Spring 2013 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Terranova, Charissa
Discipline and Number
HUAS 6375 Section 001
M Time 4:00 PM - 6:45 PM
Course Title
Art, Experience & the Senses

Description of Course:

While the history of art has unfolded around centuries of hallowed and auratic objects, the human subject -- the roving viewer, the corporeal percipient -- has largely been ignored. This class focuses on the role of the human body within the experience of art.

This course will focus on the work of art defined according to a system of forces otherwise known as the lived bodily experience. We will focus on philosophy, theories of art and perception, and primarily contemporary art. We will work through a deep history of contemporary new media theories of "embodiment" and the rising interest in art and the brain sciences by looking to shifts within the sciences and writing of knowledge during early modernity (17th c). Themes, art, and authors of concern include: epistemologies of the senses, phenomenology, affectivity, empathy, sensibility, embodiment, technics of the senses, and the brain and art; Baroque painted allegories of the senses, Baroque sculpture, Baroque architecture, automatons, chronophotography, cinema, light, kinetic, TV art, gestural painting, land art, performance art and happenings, and the chronic avant-garde; John Locke, Étienne Bonnot de Condillac, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Mark B.N. Hansen, Francisco J. Varela, Humberto R. Maturana, Jonathan Crary, et. al.

Required Texts:

Most readings will be on docutek accessible through the library; students will be notified via email of any texts for purchase.

Readings will be culled from the following texts:

John Locke, An Essay on Human Understanding
Etienne Bonnot de Condillac, An Essay on the Origin of Human Knowledge
Robert Jütte, A History of the Senses: From Antiquity to Cyberspace
Bacci & Melcher, Art & The Senses
Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Peception
James J. Gibson, The Senses Considered as Perceptual Systems
Jonathan Crary, Techniques of the Observer
Francisco J. Varela, et. al., The Embodied Mind
Bruce Clarke and Mark B. N. Hansen, Emergence and Embodiment: New Essays on Second-Order Systems Theory

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

attendance and a final research project

participation in class: 1. lead readings-based discussion in class 2. a final presentation on your research project

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