Academics . Liberal Arts . Courses
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.
Advertising + Consumer Culture
Course No. ACD 347 Credits: 3.0
This course will examine advertisements in the print media with respect to various elements, including: economic and social class; race; ethnic identity; age; gender; and sexuality. The course begins with an introduction to the method of analysis called semiotics, the techniques of which will be used to determine how advertisements convey their messages and how they address themselves to particular consumers. In addition to the elements outlined above, we will discuss several recent controversial issues. While this course will not center on a history of advertising, it will treat the historical place of print advertising in a capitalist consumer culture. Interventionist tactics by various artists that attempt to subvert the economic and ideological function of ads will also be examined. Visual Culture Emphasis course. Fulfills post-1960s art history requirement. Formerly ACD 448.
The Body: Tradition, Transformation, Transgression
Course No. ACD 359 Credits: 3.0
This seminar-style course will explore one of the most important themes of twentieth-century visual art: the body (male and female). We will discuss a complex range of ideas and values associated with the nude (and naked) body as it has been represented in 20th c. photography; painting; sculpture/installation; performance and body art; and video. While the "great tradition" of the nude will be introduced, the course will focus on art produced since the 1950s (from the late modern to the postmodern era). Among other topics, we will study the visual body as a representational site for the self; for erotic desire; for the political position of women; and for formal experimentation. We will look at art that presents bodies which are very much outside tradition: i.e., bodies that are sick, decaying, dying, dead, aging, obese, androgynous, deformed, etc. Topics and terms of analysis will include: the traditional nude; feminist critiques of sexism; voyeurism; "exploitation," "obscenity," and censorship; objectification (gaze theory) sexuality; the nude self-portrait and portrait; parody and quotation; the female nude and modernism; Kenneth Clark's nude-naked (ideal-real) dichotomy; identity and performance; and formal aestheticizing of the body. Visual Culture Emphasis course. Fulfills post-1960s art history requirement. Formerly ACD 458.
Indigenous Cultures: The Inca, Aztec and Maya
Course No. ACD 360 / SNS 460 Credits: 3.0
Faculty Elizabeth Hoag
This will be a lecture based, Anthropology course that focuses on the three major civilizations of Pre-Hispanic Latin America; the Aztec, Maya, and Inca. We will study the three civilizations to understand the complexity of New World cultures, and to understand what their legacy to the Americas is today. Apply as social or natural science or non-Western Art History elective. Formerly Pre-Hispanic Civilizations: The Aztec, the Maya, the Inca; ACD 360/SNS 360.
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