Anticipated SAIC Scholars Courses for Continuing Scholars 2017–2018

Note: This listing is subject to change. Please visit the SAIC Scholars webpage for updated information.

 

Fall 2017


VCS 2001-002: Issues in Visual Critical Studies: Scholars Program
Faculty: Kristi Ann McGuire
Department: Visual and Critical Studies
Day/Time: Thursday, 1:00–4:00 p.m.

Counts toward Art History credit
This course plunges students into content and ideas that universities often leave until graduate school, as we consider the role played by the "critical" in "visual and critical studies." For the past ten years, it has been referred to as "a primer for the art world." It will still, mostly, provide you with a working vocabulary and crash course as to bodies of knowledge integral to the study of visual culture. At the same time, to productively engage in a reflective critique of society and culture, it will consider "texts" from as diverse and contemporaneous a group of scholars, theorists, critics, and cultural producers as possible, from both inside and outside the academic institution. Note: this section is open to students in the SAIC Scholars Program only.


PHOTO 4010: Studio Symposium: The Future is Now: The Anthropocene
Faculty: Andrew Yang and Jeremy Bolen
Department: Photography and Liberal Arts
Day/Time: Tuesday, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

Counts toward 3 credits Liberal Arts/Science + 3 credits Studio (counts as two Scholars-designated courses)
The Anthropocene is a proposal that we are in a "new geological age of humankind," in which our species' is the prime force of transformation on the planet whose actions will be legible in rocks for millions of years to come. World-changing in the most literal sense, the implications of the Anthropocene hypothesis are profound but also very uncertain, calling into question the role the arts, design, and the natural sciences can play as critical and creative agents. This transdisciplinary "studio seminar" will be an experiment in these new forms of understanding and integrate three credits in Liberal Arts natural science with three credits in studio art. NOTE: This is an interdisciplinary class, and is not focused only on photography.


HUMANITIES 3340: Philosophy of Art (Scholars Program)
Faculty: Raja El Halwani
Department: Liberal Arts
Day/Time: Tuesday, 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Counts toward Liberal Arts/Humanities requirement
This course tackles various philosophical crucial themes in the philosophy of art: What is art? What is the connection between art and aesthetics? What is the interpretation and evaluation of art, and what role do artistic intentions play in this area? What are some of the connections between art and ethics? What is the value of art? The course proceeds thematically, and not historically, and most of the philosophers we read in the course are contemporary.


ARTHI 3900: Histories and Theories of Drawing, 1600–2000
Faculty: Margaret MacNamidhe
Department: Art History, Theory, and Criticism
Day/Time: Wednesday, 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

This course introduces students to the unique place drawing occupies in western art. Line and color are found together in illuminated manuscripts, fresco, and oil on canvas, but the Italian Renaissance elevated line above color because drawing was seen to give form to thought itself. At the same time, the hand's immediate touch seems to linger more palpably in drawing than in any other kind of visual expression, offering purely visual delight to maker and viewer alike. Our course turns on this contrast: between drawing as a mental idea's perfect correlate and the sketch aesthetic's enduring appeal. We examine also those art-school institutions (the life-class; perspectival drawing) and ask why their relevance waned in the twentieth century. Weekly visits to the Art Institute of Chicago and two specialized sessions in its Department of Prints and Drawings ensure that study of differing traditions combines with close observation of individual works. Students leave the course with a well-researched written assignment forged by a number of different stages (individual meetings; drafts and re-drafting; a class workshop), preceding submission. Open to BAAH students and SAIC Scholars.


ARTHI 4679: Performance and Its Afterlives
Faculty: Mechtild Widrich
Department: Art History, Theory, and Criticism
Day/Time: Tuesday, 1:00–4:00 p.m.

Counts toward Art History credit
Beginning as dance, cabaret theatre, informal assemblies and actions at the margins of the art world, performance has in the postwar period become an umbrella term for avant-garde manifestations including Happening, Fluxus, Actionism, and Body Art. It might seem that what these disparate movements have in common is an emphasis on live events, in which the artist confronts audience in a specific place and time. In turn, the ephemerality of performance is thought to depart from the object-based strictures of the market; not just "live" art, performance is supposed to be closer to "life" itself. Five decades on, we know performance less through direct participation than through rumors, printed narratives, and photographs. Terms like irreproducibility, authenticity, and ephemerality have to be rethought in confrontation with memory and reproduction typical of performance today.


Winter 2018


PROFPRAC 3900: Chicago Social Ecologies
Faculty: Kevin Kaempf and Lora Lode
Day/Time: Winter Interim Session (3W1)

Counts toward Academic Spine/Studio Credit
Satisfies Professional Practice requirement and off-campus study requirement

Chicago is a site that has harbored both officially sanctioned and overlooked histories of social and political movements. These histories and narratives have complex psychological, relational, structural and mythological consequences. In this context, we will look at how relationships between people, places, and environments create intricate social ecologies. In what ways do community groups like churches, block clubs, and gardening groups affect the physical and emotional landscape of our city? How have civic, political, and social visions and policies shaped Chicago?

Students will explore the urban landscape and consider where social ecologies are in balance to locate possible creative and aesthetic models for social transformation, supported communities, and civic participation. Critical spatial practices and action-based research will inform students as they examine texts, films and archival material to scrutinize the notion of the city as a dynamic organism that is constantly being reconfigured. Drawing on fieldwork and a historical lineage of social practices as a form of cultural production, students will plan, organize and realize a final collaborative project, publication or event.


Spring 2018


SOPHSEM 2900: Sophomore Seminar: Writing Art History
Faculty: Annie Bourneuf
Department: Art History, Theory, and Criticism

Counts toward Academic Spine/Studio Credit
The aim of this intensive course is to learn how to write art history. To this end, we will study the study of art, taking a look under the hood of the discipline of art history. We will examine how scholars build compelling arguments about art, how they pose questions, and how they discover answers to them. We will not only study statements by scholars reflecting on their own methods, but also exemplars of analysis, which we will in turn take apart to figure out how to do such analysis ourselves. Since, in art history, such questioning and such analysis is inseparable from writing, we will work on essential skills of academic writing, such as posing generative questions, making persuasive and well-structured arguments, finding and using sources, crafting clear prose, and reflecting on one's own approach and assumptions. This course is required for the BA in Art History and is also open to SAIC Scholars.


SOPHSEM 2900: Sophomore Seminar: Title TBA (Scholars Program)
Faculty: TBA

Counts toward Academic Spine/Studio credit


CAPSTONE 4900: Beyond Critique: Language and Interpretation
Faculty: Michelle Grabner
Department: Painting and Drawing

Counts toward Academic Spine/Studio credit
This course will address alternative positions and modes of interpretation. It will examine the institutionalized authority of suspicious and symptomatic analysis of art work while offering up compelling arguments for a more inclusive range of affective styles and modes of post-critical interpretation. The Limits of Critique and Beyond Critique will be guiding texts in examining this critical turn within the field of critique. Interpretive analysis in this course will be applied to the exercises of assigning language to art work. This course will also examine how the study of interpretation and the tenants of post-critique can inform making, display, and distribution.


SOCSCI 3802/VCS 3001: Cultural Anthropology
Faculty: Karen Morris
Department: Visual and Critical Studies
Day/Time: Friday, 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Counts toward Liberal Arts/Social Science
The field of anthropology offers perspectives on cultural and social difference in the world, and challenges assumptions about what we think of as "natural," "normal," and "true." This course examines a variety of human cultures across the globe while offering an introduction to anthropological theories and methods. Case studies are drawn from around the world. Topics include marriage and family; gender and sexuality; kinship and social stratification; economics; religion, magic, and witchcraft; language and politics; race and ethnicity; culture change; and globalization. Students conduct independent fieldwork projects in the greater Chicago area, enhancing their understanding of the discipline.


ENGLISH 1005-026: First Year Seminar II: The Marriage Plot: Brontes, Austen, Elliot, Eugenides
Faculty: Eileen Favorite
Department: Liberal Arts
Day/Time: Tuesday, 9:00 a.m–12:00pm

Counts toward English First Year Seminar II requirement
In this class we examine how the plot of marriage began as comedy and Gothic satire with Austen (Northanger Abbey and Pride and Prejudice), and moved into darker territories with the Brontes (Jane Eyre, 1847; Wuthering Heights, 1847), Emphasis in the class is on critical analysis of texts through close readings. We also examine these works in terms of literary criticism, with an emphasis theories both feminist and postmodern.


SOPHSEM 2900-012: Sophomore Seminar: Repetoire
Faculty: Rachel Niffenegger
Department: Academic Spine (Interdisciplinary)
Day/Time: Thursday, 6:00–9:00 p.m.

Counts toward Sophomore Seminar 2900 requirement
This Sophomore Seminar section is relevant to SAIC Scholars working across all media who are questioning and developing how meaning and material intersect in their work. We will focus on inventorying the entire stock of techniques and concepts explored in our work at SAIC until this point. Through critique and discussion we will iterate within our established repertoires with our sights set on developing studio practices that allow for both focus and innovation.