Jazz: Contemporary African-American Writers
Course No. LLC 374X Credits: 3.0
This course will deal with a very select number of contemporary female and male African-American writers who have won outstanding awards from various national literary awards to The Nobel Prize. The selected authors are Toni Morrison, Patricia Raybon, John Edward Wideman and Edward P. Jones. The central drift of this course will be concerned with today's multifarious significance of the complex black experience. It will therefore look into how all these writers combine a keen historical sense with a discerning aesthetic sensibility to explore afresh in a postmodernist sense the intriguing black experience with deep intellectual reflections. It will also examine how in relation to their individual subject-matters they all artistically problematize the aesthetic and philosophical questions about the thin line between fact and fiction, historical veracity and imaginative truth, and art and artifice. Our class selection will consist of four books published between 1984 and 2003. A number of videos will be shown for visual elucidation of the books' underlying concerns. Fulfills Humanities/Cultural Studies distribution requirement. Creative Writing Concentration course.
John Cage: His Life, Work, and Influence
Course No. HCS 367X Credits: 3.0
A course on the life and influence of John Cage. The class will detail his history and delve into his musical and artistic output, ideas, and influence on the creative arts today. Significant discussion will be given on his philosophies, aesthetics, innovations, and teachings. The course will also focus on Cage's connections to the visual arts, and how this connection impacted him artistically, while pushing him to formulate ideas that in turn were a significant and continuous influence on the visual arts community. The class will also touch on how Cage was able to make a living on the fringes of a capitalist society while maintaining the values of anarchy and hard work. Regular reading, writing, and listening assignments will be given in class, and students will be expected to create works of art or musical compositions which embody the legacy of John Cage, while pushing the boundaries of their own artistic processes. Visual Culture Emphasis course.
Jung + Creativity
Course No. SNS 484 Credits: 3.0
Faculty Adina Davidson
This course will combine a theoretical introduction to Jung with experiential participation in a dream workshop/small group. The theoretical component of the course will provide an overview of Jung's understanding of the human psyche with an emphasis on use of symbols and dreams as the "royal road to the unconscious." Work from the dream workshops is intended to inform the artist's work. Students will be expected (in addition to the usual preparatory reading) to bring dreams weekly and to be willing to apply material from those dreams to their own creative process.
Literature of the Americas
Course No. LLC 388 Credits: 3.0
Faculty Joyce Kessler
This course will survey the concurrent but separate developments of the literary traditions of North and South America. Taking Columbus' arrival on Hispaniola as our point of anchor, we will work backward to the Pre-Columbian original narrative forms, and forward through the written records of the complex colonial contexts of the literary art in both Americas. We will also trace the divergent results of the influences of European literature, following in each case the developments of such directions as we can identify in the prose and poetry of the colonial and postcolonial periods of each America. Reading widely and also closely, we will consider how best to trace the parallel emergence of these national literatures, seeking in a juxtaposed study what common literary and extra-literary antecedents and shaping forces the texts in both traditions may reveal. We will also inquire into the nature of the distinctions that must be made between these traditions, and into the impact the differences between these literatures may have of the understanding of what we mean by the phrase "American literature." Fulfills Humanities/Cultural Studies distribution requirement. Creative Writing Concentration course.
Media Arts & Visual Culture: Interactive Zones
Course No. ACD 487 Credits: 3.0
Faculty Gary D. Sampson
What is "interactivity"? A recent publication is titled Total Interaction, but what does that mean? In this course we will look closely at the history, theory, and practice of the interactive as a facet of contemporary art, design, and media culture. We will explore thematic zones or territories of the interactive both real and imagined, including: cybernetic systems, sci-fi and popular culture, visionary design, interactive animations and massive multi-player games, convergent technology, responsive environments, and "A.I." (i.e., artificial intelligence). A previous course in modern and contemporary art or visual culture is assumed for all participants. Visual Culture Emphasis course.
Media Arts + Visual Culture: Installation
This course investigates the emergence, prominence and impact of the installation as a new medium in contemporary art. "Media arts" or "new media" include but are not limited to video and experimental film, performance, interactive art, digital media, and especially the installation, which itself embraces a wide range of media. We will focus on the growth of the installation from "environments" in the 1960s into a distinct artistic medium used widely since the 1980s. We will discuss the work of many recognized artists and some less familiar artists from around the world as well as corresponding theories of media within the broader field of visual culture. Using a wide range of installations as examples, particular attention will be given to the implications that new media, especially digital media, have for the creative process and the critical social issues that they raise. Visual Culture Emphasis course.
Modernism in Latin American Art
Course No. ACD 443X Credits: 3.0
Whether one considers constructivist sculpture, architectural design, photography, painting, printmaking, or decorative arts, much of the 20th Century art production in Latin America countries is best understood in terms of the struggle to assimilate, redefine, and/or resist styles and concepts of "modernism." In this course we will consider how twentieth-century Latin American art and artists have been interpreted vis-a-vis trends in Europe and the United States, paying particular attention to how issues of cultural and economic exploitation created unique types of personal and national identity. In addition to analyzing the works of such well-known artists as Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Jose Clemente Orozco, Wifredo Lam, and Oscar Niemeyer, classes will be arranged thematically to better explore developments in various media and to draw distinctions among the arts of various countries, especially Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Brazil. Visual Culture Emphasis course.
Narrative Art + Mythic Patterns in African + African-American Literature
Course No. LLC 471 Credits: 3.0
This course will focus on the various artistic ways African and African-American imaginative writers create a narrative interlock of mythic and contemporary materials to formulate in postcolonial and postmodernist terms an essentialist condition of their people's experience, while a number of them explore the interface of classical and African myths for an informed global vision. Their works are largely structured with images and symbols endowed with dynamic moral and spiritual significance. They problematize the African thinking underlain by the inseparableness of the natural world and the supernatural realm, the human and the divine, the animate and the inanimate, just as this inseparableness also aesthetically underlies the relationship between the naturalistic and the abstract in both African visual art and Harlem Renaissance. There is in postcolonial African literature, and in many 'Third World' countries, a new narrative art-form which can be called 'animist realism.' It is critically regarded as contesting the dominant protocol of conventional (Western) realist narrative which is predicated on knowability and linearity. We will also look at how the interface between oral art (free text) and written art (fixed text) mediates between fiction and history in this new form of narrative realism. And there will be an ample number of videos for visual elucidation. Fulfills Humanities/Cultural Studies distribution requirement. Creative Writing Concentration course.
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