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Visual Anthropology

Course No. SNS 321  Credits: 3.0

Visual anthropology is an important growing subfield of cultural anthropology. The course focuses on how anthropologists have used visual media of various kinds, especially ethnographic film, to record, document and study human cultural and social diversity worldwide. A series of ethnographic films, readings and class discussion will explore this method of anthropological data collecting and analysis. As a counterpoint to earlier, popular, western cultural biases in visually "representing" non-western, non-industrial peoples as "romantic," "noble," "savage," "enigmatic," "curiosity," anthropology's film studies sought a stronger objectivity. Did they succeed? Worldwide, indigenous peoples now make extensive use of visual media/communication to reflect on their "contested identities." How has visual anthropology helped in that effort? From the 19th century's still photographs to today's cyberspace, visible culture and visual media interface. The course reviews ethnographic film as part of that communication process. $15 course fee required.

Visual Arts: Aesthetics, Style + Content

Course No. VAT 300  Credits: 3.0
Faculty Amber Kempthorn | Christian Wulffen | William Lorton

Focuses primarily on the acquisition of creative and technical skills in the context of the development of original ideas and personal style. Studio work will consist of the practical exploration of the relationship between formal, technical, aesthetic, and stylistic issues relative to the personal, and thematic subjects of the student’s own choosing. Relative to this, in the seminar portion of the course the students are given critical, theoretical, and philosophical background to issues surrounding the subjects of style, aesthetics and content. In the studio the students are encouraged to think of their work as an integrative whole consisting of these various components. In this context they are required to engage in independent critical research on topics relevant to their work. The research takes the form of both archival and studio work and is presented in both visual and written form. This course is required for all junior students in Visual Arts. Offered spring.

Visual Concepts in Illustration

Course No. ILL 371  Credits: 3.0

This course encourages students to develop a confident knowledge of design in illustration, the thinking process, and production techniques necessary to compete in the field of applied arts and prepares illustration students to become working professionals within the marketing communications community. It will motivate the student's visual awareness, teaching the student to conceptualize, design and execute on a professional level. Students become familiar with several techniques used in editorial illustrations, book illustrations, advertising illustrations, as well as many others using an extensive range of materials. Students learn to produce quality illustrations and to be responsible for the conceptual aspects of a project whenever necessary. Offered fall.

Visual Culture and the Manufacture of Meaning

Course No. ACD 305  Credits: 3.0
Faculty David Hart | Gary D. Sampson | Rita Goodman

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.

Water+: An Exploration of Water-Based Media

Course No. PTG 240-340-440  Credits: 3.0
Faculty Lane Cooper
Prerequisite(s) Intro to Painting: Painting History: 1828-Present

This course explores the different materials and processes used in various water-based media such as acrylic, gouache, watercolor, ink, and other natural substances that can be used to make colors/washes. Various historical models will be examined such as Chinese scroll painting and watercolor from the Song dynasty to Renaissance architecture and figure studies to post-impressionist use of color and mark which will put contemporary use of water-based media into focus. The work of artists as varied as William Blake, Vincent Van Gogh, Charles Burchfield, and Paul Klee to more recent artists such as Francesco Clemente, Marlene Dumas, Amy Cutler, Shazia Sikander, and Franz Ackermann, will be examined within the context of the student’s personal practice. This course is open to all students with the prerequisite of Intro to Painting or with the permission of the instructor.

Ways of Thought: Confucianism, Taoism, and Zen

Course No. HCS 367  Credits: 3.0

This course is an introduction to systems of belief and action in China and Japan. It begins with a critical cross-cultural comparison of Confucianism, Taoism and Ch'an Buddhism in China and Zen Buddhism in Japan, concluding with a comparison between two representative systems, one Eastern and one Western. The aim of this course is twofold: to explore traditional philosophical, religious and psychological perceptions that have influenced life (ideal and otherwise) in China and Japan, and to provide a basis for understanding selected Asian cultures and, through perspectives gained, to reflect upon our own.

Ways of Thought: Hinduism and Buddhism

Course No. HCS 366  Credits: 3.0

This two-semester course begins with an introduction to similarities and differences between Eastern and Western systems of belief and action. It proceeds with a critical cross-cultural comparison of Hinduism, Indian and Chinese schools of Buddhism, Taoism in China, and Zen Buddhism in Japan. It concludes with a comparison between two representative systems, one Eastern and one Western. The aim of this course is twofold: to explore traditional philosophical, religious, and psychological perceptions that have influenced life (ideal and otherwise) in India, China and Japan, and to provide a basis for understanding selected Asian cultures and, through perspectives gained, to reflect upon our own.

Weaving Patterns: Collective Activity

Course No. SEM 275-375-475  Credits: 3.0
Faculty William Lorton

Students will learn to weave and explore the possibilities of the process on traditional floor looms (floor, tapestry, computer-assisted Dobby) and alternative weaving devices (constructed from found objects or using architectural influences). Technical vocabulary and conceptual focus will be developed through an investigation of process, material, tools, and the many and varied histories of weaving. The intersection between weaving and collaboration will be explored in discussions on the development of pattern/structure as a form of communication; looms built in situ; implication of globalization on craft production; traditional and contemporary practice of gifting; and social participation.

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