Fall 2015

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Fall 2015 Course List

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AAD  251  The Arts & Visual Literacy***           Voelker-Morris, Robert

This course is an introduction into visual culture and visual analysis. In this class we explore ways in which physical, perceptual, affective, and cognitive modes of learning interact when viewing, interpreting, and assessing designed visual information within socio-cultural contexts. The visual world is filled with structure and meanings. This course is an introduction to the many facets involved in human experience of the visual world, from cars and sunsets to the “Mona Lisa.” Visual experience involves the qualities of what is seen (materials, colors, arrangements–all the aspects of design), everything that the individual brings to the experience (body, senses, emotions, beliefs, knowledge, biases–the many aspects of being human), and the context in which experience takes place (influences of other people, histories, environments, institutions—the many aspects of our physical and cultural world). In this course students will explore the interactions of these elements of experience, and how they come together in creating interpretations and forming judgments about the visual world.
***This course is taught online.
AAD  252              Art & Gender***

Voelker-Morris, Julie

This course explores issues associated with art, gender, and society by considering how gender is relevant to the creation, study, and appreciation of art and culture; introducing and addressing socio-cultural factors influencing roles of women and men in the arts, culture, and society; discussing gender as a vehicle for understanding artistic creation and select artistic mediums–including the visual arts, comics, theatre, film, music, architecture, and media/advertising–in community and cultural contexts; examining underlying social structures that affect how art and artists have been defined; and, asking students to identify and articulate personal critical perspectives regarding issues of art and gender.
*** Two sections: An on-line course and a FIG (Freshman Interest Group) course.

ARH 209  History of Japanese Art               Walley, Akiko

Historical survey of the visual arts of Japan. Selected works of painting, sculpture, architecture, and other arts studied in relation to the culture in which they were produced.


ARH 399  Special Studies: War & Japanese Art            Walley, Akiko



ARTR  199  Indie Comics & Zines                Putnam, Bryan

Drawing from a survey of indie comics, zines, and graphic novels, students will uncover how visual narratives function, how they are made, and their cultural impact.  Students will explore drawing, printmaking and bookmaking as they craft their own unique, visual narratives.  Topics of study include sequential narrative, composition, drawing, and independent publishing.  This course is open to all majors.


ENG 280 Introduction to Comic Studies                 Saunders, Benjamin

This class is conceived as an introduction to the art of comics, and to the methodologies of the new academic discipline of Comics Studies. Course content will vary from term to term, according to the specialist interests of the individual instructor, within the following parameters. Students will be exposed to a spectrum of comic-art forms (i.e., at a minimum, three of the following archetypal forms: the gag cartoon, the editorial cartoon, the newspaper strip, the comic book, the graphic novel, the web comic.) Students will be exposed to a historical range of comic texts, ranging from (at least) the early 1900s to the present. Students will be required to read several professional critical or theoretical essays over the course of the term alongside the primary materials the instructor of record assigns.  These essays will be drawn relevant academic peer-reviewed sources.  Scott McCloud’s influential book, Understanding Comics, will be required reading for all versions of the class.


ENG 385   Graphic Narratives & Cultural Theory: Graphic Novels       Fickle, Tara

What is the difference between a story told with words and one told with pictures? How does the latter change our understanding of traditional literary conventions like genre, plot, tone, character, and audience? Gaining rapid momentum since the 1960s, graphic fiction emerged as a phenomenon which not only extended but challenged a well-established canon of newspaper cartoons and serial comic books, not only developing unique formal qualities but incorporating completely new content. Rarely did we see the traditional figures of the superhero and his archnemesis; now real, ordinary people, with their very human weaknesses and limits, took center stage. And the worlds which they inhabited were both familiar and terrifying. This shift raises a number of important disciplinary and methodological questions, each of which will be taken up in this course. How do we “read” these novel combinations of text and image – what new methods and vocabularies are needed? In exploring these new modes of inquiry, students will learn not only a new set of analytical and interpretive skills but how to apply them in a wide variety of interdisciplinary contexts. The course thus satisfies university-wide General Education requirements; the “literary theory/criticism” requirement for the English major; and also counts towards the Comics and Cartoon Studies minor.
Gen Ed; Theory


SPAN 407  Seminar: Latin American Comics*


Mitos y Monitos, Reading the Nation in Latin American Comics
The art of serial narrative in historietas or comics was appropriated early in Latin America. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, graphic artists, governments, and other institutions have created a wealth of characters and series to portray history, spread the word of economic and cultural change, to instill social values, or to criticize authoritarian tendencies in politics. After introducing the elements for visual analysis and a brief history of the medium, this class analyzes prime examples of the representation of national history, adaptation of literature, and cultural criticism thorough comics from Mexico, Argentina, Cuba, and Nicaragua.
*Taught in Spanish