Studio Symposia

Studio Symposia

Studio Symposia are advanced-level courses which blend a curriculum of studio practice and academic study and provide 6 credits, 3 towards studio, 3 towards Liberal Arts or Art History. Studio Symposia will provide two 'points' towards the six-course Scholars requirement.

Starting with Fall 2018--ALL Studio Symposia courses will be accepted as Scholars credit.

Please note that these courses are unique in that while they provide Scholars credit for Scholars Program participants, they are open to all students and all seats are first-come, first serve. 

Studio Symposia: 2018-2019 Academic Year

Fall 2018

PHOTO 3005 + HUMANITIES 3158: The Erotics of Excess

Faculty: Oli Rodriguez, Jeremy Biles

Day/Time: Tuesday, 9:00 a.m.—4:00 p.m.

  • This Studio Symposium course awards 6 credits: 3 towards Humanities/Liberal Arts AND 3 towards Studio Elective
  • Students are required to enroll in two 3-hour co-requisites (PHOTO 3005 and HUM 3158) in order to take this blended course

This course investigates the relationship between eroticism, excess, artistic practice, and modes of representation. Taking an interdisciplinary and transgeneric approach (with readings in theory, history, philosophy, psychology, and literature), the course focuses special attention on photographic mediums, including film. Instructors frame the concept of ‘erotics’ as a mode of practice that investigates and integrates sex, gender, and a variety of ambivalent movements, for example, the play of form and formlessness, taboo and transgression, attraction and repulsion, incorporation and excretion, abjection and sublimity. Key ideas discussed in class include sex/uality, gender, race, bodies, ritual, violence, representation, desire, and ‘perversion.’ Students will read texts from art theory and history, psychoanalysis, literature, and psychology, as well as viewing a variety of films. Throughout the class, they will be asked to synthesize course readings and discussions with their own artistic practice.

PHOTO 4010 + SCIENCE 4010: Future is Now: The Anthropocene

Faculty: Andy Yang, Jeremy Bolen

Day/Time: Wednesday, 9:00 a.m.—4:00 p.m.

  • This Studio Symposium course awards 6 credits: 3 towards Natural Science/Liberal Arts AND 3 towards Studio Elective

  • This course requires an individual application via email to the instructors:, and

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 with three credits in studio art.

Spring 2019

CAPSTONE 4900-060: Fast Time/Slow Time: Creative Practice in a World Without Art

Faculty: Judith Brotman, Jeremy Biles

Day/Time: Tuesday, 9:00 a.m.—4:00 p.m.

  • This Studio Symposium course awards 6 credits: 3 towards Humanities/Liberal Arts AND 3 towards Studio Elective

  • This course also satisfies the Senior Capstone 4900 requirement

In this Capstone class, students will develop a focused/independent body of work and will be asked to participate in a range of self-selected activities that support work/working process. Some activities will relate directly to studio practice; others will focus on life outside the studio. Critique groups and research are potential examples of the former; meditation, walking, or yoga are examples of the latter. In support of both kinds of activities, students will read and respond (in writing and in discussion) to a variety of literary readings as well as texts drawn from art theory and criticism, religious studies, and psychology. Emphasis will be placed on texts that foster a synthesis of theory and practice, particularly through attention to habit, attention/awareness, labor, and discipline. Required projects include an in-process and final critique of studio work and a formal presentation describing/discussing impact of selected activities on working process.

PTDW 4127 + SOCSCI 4127: Embodied Justice: Sexual Health Education as Practice

  • This Studio Symposium course awards 6 credits: 3 towards Social Science/Liberal Arts AND 3 towards Studio Elective

Faculty: Christa Donner, Terri Kapsalis

Day/Time: SP19 TBA

This 6-credit interdisciplinary Studio Symposium course explores innovative Sex Ed curricula through intersectional gender justice and racial justice perspectives. We focus on a range of topics including Sexual Pleasure, Consent, Communication, Sexual Assault Advocacy, Body Image, and Peer Education. In the studio, we create broadly-defined 'educational materials' including: workshops, zines, actions/events, videos, and more. We are joined by Scout Bratt, an experienced educator in the Chicago Public Schools who will facilitate direct service summer internship possibilities and fall SAIC peer education work.