Spring 2015 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Riccio, Thomas
Discipline and Number
HUAS 7340 Section 001
T Time 1:00 PM - 3:45 PM
Course Title
Narrative Spaces & Places

Description of Course:


Narrative Spaces and Places investigate the relationship of the human body to space and to place, and how narratives grow from, and are expressive of, these relationships. The course will begin with an understanding of the human-centered Western worldview and how it has evolved to be based on literacy, abstract thought, and separation from the body. As a counterpoint, the course will examine alternative worldviews offered by indigenous, oral, and non-literate cultures that view the body as part of a larger system that humans inhabit and connect to through a sensuous life-world. The process of how humans create ordering systems of objects and language to conceptualize and construct space and place. This post-disciplinary course will draw on phenomenology, anthropology, architecture, psychology, geography, advertising, religion, mythology, ritual, and, most significantly, media and performance studies, as to better understand the multiple narratives and evolving concept of space and place.

Student Learning Objectives
The discussion of spaces (individual, virtual, social and cultural) and place (personal, geographical, and political) are increasingly becoming key concepts and articulators of our emerging global culture and historical moment. The course will provide the student with an overview, understanding (history, form and function), and the theoretical/analytical tools necessary to apprehend the general concepts of body, space and place.

Required Texts:

Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience
By Yi-Fu Tuan
University of Minnesota Press

The Spell of the Sensuous
by David Abram

Poetics of Space
Gaston Bachelard
Beacon Press

The Order of Things
MIchel Foucault

Architecture in the Experience Economy
Anna Klingmann
MIT Press

Common as Air
Lewis Hyde

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Completion of reading assignments prior to class discussion
Four 3- to 5-page response/analysis papers (topics to be assigned)
One 20- to 25-page research project/paper on an approved subject
One 15-minute semester end research project/paper presentation
Class participation & attendance

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