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Academics . Liberal Arts . Courses

Liberal Arts Courses

Art + Design History I: Ancient-18th Century

Course No. ACD 103  Credits: 3.0

Intended to introduce students to art history through the study of major art concepts, theories, and historical events from the ancient Greek and Roman periods to Europe of the Enlightenment. The approach is both chronological and thematic. Offered fall.

Art + Design History II: 18th Century-1945

Course No. ACD 104  Credits: 3.0
Faculty Danielle Deibel | Georgina Ruff
Prerequisite(s) Art + Design History I: Ancient-18th Century

Covers major movements and ideas in European and American art and design history to the mid-20th century. Students are provided with a firm grounding in the debates and theories of modernity and modernism in art. Prerequisite ACD 103. Offered spring.

Art + Design History III: 1945-Present

Course No. ACD 203  Credits: 3.0
Faculty Brynne McBryde
Prerequisite(s) Art + Design History II: 18th Century-1945 | Art + Design History I: Ancient-18th Century

Examines influential artists and related concepts of art and design from around WWII through the first decade of the new millennium. Discussions focus especially on critical distinctions and meanings of modern, postmodern, and contemporary art, design, and visual culture. Prerequisites ACD 103 and 104. Offered fall.

Visual Culture and the Manufacture of Meaning

Course No. ACD 305  Credits: 3.0
Faculty Steven Ciampaglia

This course will introduce students to critical theories and methods of analysis for interpreting contemporary visual art and culture. Topics include: formalism and stylistic analysis; semiotics and structuralism; Marxist theory; biography; psychoanalytic theory; feminist analysis and gender studies; postcolonial theory; post structuralism and postmodernity. Select interpretive frameworks employed in the "manufacture of meaning" will be situated historically and discussed fully and critically, using seminal writings. Required for Visual Culture Emphasis. Fulfills post-1960s art history requirement.

Cinematic Time after 1960

Course No. ACD 320 / HCS 320  Credits: 3.0

What does a cinematic image of time look like? Why did this question suddenly seem pressing after the Second World War? How has cinematic time been explored by filmmakers and artists in the past 50 years? What possibilities does this exploration open up? These questions will guide our investigation of cinematic time since 1960. We will consider a wide range of films and moving image media in which time takes on strange qualities—where the emphasis is on what is happening in the image, rather than on what has happened or will happen in the next shot. $25 course fee required. Formerly ACD 320X.

Race and Representation in Contemporary Art + Culture

Course No. ACD 321  Credits: 3.0

This seminar-style course considers the relationship between race and representation in visual art and culture during the last three decades using contemporary methods including multi-culturism and postcolonial theory. We will discuss and analyze examples of contemporary art as well as popular culture drawn from advertisements, animation, film, the internet, installation and performance art, sculpture, photography, television, and video. The focus will be on American culture, but discussions will also include the cultural contexts of Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and Latin America. In addition to the primary focus on the representation of race, questions of class, sexuality, and gender will also be considered. Questions to be addressed include: Is race largely a biological or cultural phenomenon? How are "white" and "mixed-race" understood as racial categories? How have artists of different races dealt with racial identity and representation? Do popular media such as commercial advertisements and music videos convey prevailing notions of racial stereotypes? Visual Culture Emphasis course. Fulfills post-1960s art history requirement. Formerly ACD 420.

Social Cinemas: Politics of Representation and Engagement

Course No. ACD 322 / HCS 322  Credits: 3.0

Social is a term used to describe all kinds of art and media today including social media, social practice, and activist media directed toward “social change.” This course examines film and video work that demands we think carefully about how the social is defined and represented as an idea, an experience, and a world (or worlds). We will begin by considering Jean Vigo’s call for a new “social cinema” in the 1930s. We’ll consider how experimental and avant-garde film functioned as a means for organizing social worlds and expressing social critique. We’ll ask what Stan VanDerBeek might have meant when he described the rise of a “new social media consciousness” in 1974. And finally we’ll look at how contemporary filmmakers and video artists respond to the way the Internet has changed our relationships to one another and to the events that shape our sense of how the larger social world is structured and defined. May be applied as an art history elective, post-1960s art history elective, or humanities/cultural studies elective. Visual Culture Emphasis course.

African American Art

Course No. ACD 334  Credits: 3.0

This course covers African American art from the late 1700s to the present emphasizing the formal qualities of art as well as the social and cultural contexts within which it was created. Lectures and assigned readings are drawn from the scholarship of art history, literature, anthropology and history. We examine works by U.S. Artists of African descent and others who engage aspects of African American life and culture. Visual Culture Emphasis course.

Meet Your Faculty view all

Paul Hanson

Adjunct Faculty

I am an anthropologist and folklorist working in the United States and Madagascar. My PhD dissertation resear...more

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