Fall 2011 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Terranova, Charissa
Discipline and Number
AHST 2331 Section 001
MWF Time 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM
Course Title
Understanding Art

Description of Course:

"Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it." - Bertolt Brecht

This course offers an introduction to art as both object and experience. We will be guided in the fall semester by the fundamental thesis that art is a means of critical thinking. We think through art as it relates us to other people and the rest of the world. We think through art as it is an object, experience, discourse, market, and belief system. Under the umbrella of “critical thinking,” the course is organized according to the following themes: form, media, idea, heritage, history, style, “-ism,” modernism, postmodernism, the contemporary, power, institution, and business.

This course provides an introduction to art – how to look at and discuss it with friends, family and colleagues. It will provide a fundamental knowledge and language of art in order for students to be comfortable in museums, galleries, and artists' studios. The goal is to generate an enthusiasm for art grounded in solid knowledge of the basics of art. Organized around Dr. Terranova’s lectures, class will be an open forum for getting at the rudiments of art’s changeful complexities. Dr. Terranova encourages discussion, interaction, and vibrant engagement.

For further information click on the syllabus link at Dr. Terranova's website: www.charissaterranova.com.

Required Texts:

John Berger, Ways of Seeing

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

There are seven very short written assignments, a mid-term and final exam, and a debating exercise. As part of these requirements, students are required to make site visits to a museum, gallery, a work of modern architecture, and the mall for analysis of works of art. Attendance, reading, and avid engagement with colleagues and the professor are also required.

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