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Academics . Liberal Arts . Courses

Liberal Arts Courses

Art History, Theory, Criticism Emphasis Senior Research Paper

Course No. ACD 415  Credits: 3.0

Research paper required of seniors pursuing the Visual Culture Emphasis. Not open as an elective. Offered spring. Pass/fail.

Issues in Design: Theory + Culture of Design

Course No. ACD 416  Credits: 3.0

What exactly is the "culture" of design? Design writer Guy Julier recognizes a shift in the design profession from "a multidisciplinary to an interdisciplinary activity." This assertion will become our point of departure for exploring the interdisciplinary aspects of contemporary design practice and theory in relationship to the complexities of culture and society, especially with respect to urban environments. We will move from conventional considerations of the history of modern and postmodern art and design, to a broader contemporary understanding of design with respect to globalization, consumerism, technological change, sustainability, infrastructure, city planning, urban design and alternative trends. Visual Culture Emphasis course. Fulfills post-1960s art history requirement.

History of Photography Survey

Course No. ACD 421  Credits: 3.0

This is a photo historical survey course. Lectures are presented on leading photographers throughout the history of photography from its earliest beginnings to the present within a context of cultural, art historical, social and political trends. Students develop skills in critical thinking, writing and research through lectures, group discussions, reading and writing assignments along with the production of a comprehensive research paper. Required of Photography Majors. ACD or open liberal arts elective. Offered fall. Visual Culture Emphasis course. Formerly ACD 348.

An Introduction to African Art

Course No. ACD 422  Credits: 3.0

This art history course provides an introduction to the visual art traditions of sub-Saharan Africa from ancient cultures to the present. Lectures and readings are drawn from art historical scholarship as well as from other disciplines (anthropology, archaeology, visual culture studies) that provide a sense of the social, political and religious contexts within which the art was created and used. The study of African art from a Western perspective presents questions that are covered in class: When and under what circumstances did “Africa” as a concept emerge? Did Africans consider their works “art” in the same sense that Westerners use that term? How did Western museums acquire African art and how does that inform the way we understand African works? In what ways did colonialism, the spread of Islam and Christianity, pan- Africanism and post-colonial movements affect artistic production? How do we understand modernism in an African context? Fulfills non-Western or cross-cultural art history requirement. Visual Culture Emphasis course. Formerly ACD 358.

Neo-Expressionism/Neo-Geo

Course No. ACD 442  Credits: 3.0

This course will explore neo-expressionism, neo-geo and postmodern art (painting, sculpture, performance, photography) of Germany, Italy, England, and the United States from 1971 to the present. We will survey two major developments in art making and cultural theory taking place in Europe and America. The first is art as anti-modern (neo-expressionism) - a return to history, to representation, to narrative, to the figure, and of the artist/self. The second is art after "the death of the author" (postmodernism) - or the end of the individual "author"/artist (as the unique source of meaning of art) and the birth of the reader/viewer. In analyzing these developments, the course will survey the work of a number of artists. 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.

Design + Craft in Modern Culture

Course No. ACD 462  Credits: 3.0

This course is an introduction to graphic and three-dimensional design from the Industrial Revolution to the present. We will examine modern and contemporary artists, styles, and objects across the design and craft disciplines, including finely crafted furniture and other objects designed for public and private spaces (architectural details and ornamentation, wallpaper, textiles, lamps, kitchenware, etc.); decorative objects such as ceramics, metalwork, and glass; objects of mass production and consumer culture (cars, trains, cameras, corporate and residential furnishings, electronic goods, etc.); art posters, private press books and illustrations, and innovative forms of communication graphics. Special consideration will be given to the social and cultural meanings of objects, issues related to the design and craft fields as professional occupations, and the art historical and theoretical relationships of the various design and craft disciplines beyond medium (material) specific concerns. Visual Culture Emphasis course.

Exhibition Theory + the Culture of Display

Course No. ACD 463  Credits: 3.0

While fundamental theories of exhibition design are applicable to exhibiting art in a variety of public and private places, there are considerations of philosophy and methodology that are unique to this field. This course is designed to give students preparing for careers in the arts an understanding of those philosophies and exposure to the practical techniques that have been proven useful by people in the field. The required text book title suggest that the course will focus on contemporary visual display strategies but consistent applications will be made to explore gallery and museum standards. Visual Culture Emphasis course. Formerly ACD 363X.

Meet Your Faculty view all

Zachary Savich

Associate Professor | Interim Chair of Liberal Arts

Zach Savich is a poet and nonfiction writer. His books include the poetry collections Daybed (2018) and The Or...more

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