Course Descriptions

Arts & Ideas Course Descriptions 


ARTS 310 Art of the Young Child

Interdisciplinary approach to the teaching of visual art, music, movement and creative drama; culminates in the production and presentation of a themed, integrated instructional resource. Formative assessment tools focus on lesson-planning, portfolio, performance, and in-class participation. Primarily intended for people who work with or plan to work with children pre-Kindergarten through grade 6 in a variety of settings, especially future elementary school teachers.

ARTS 310 The Arts & Being Human

The premise of this course is that there are similarities between making and appreciating The Arts, and fashioning and appreciating A Life. We will use literature, the visual arts, music, film, dance, and theater to examine the nature of The Human. Topics we will inevitably run into on our journey will include: Love, Melancholy, Empathy, Pride, Joy, Guilt, Grief, Fear, Courage, Curiosity, Spirituality, Imagination, How we know what we know, Free Will, Fate, and such topics as “What is Evil?”

ARTS 310 Classic Film

This course focuses on the Golden Age of Hollywood, which lasted from the end of the silent era in the late 1920s to the late 50’s. In addition to screening films popular films from various genres we will look at filmmaking practices, aspects of style, the changing roles played by women in an increasingly business-oriented environment, the growth of unions, and the roles played by production managers and film stars at the height of the studio system.

ARTS 310 Creative Arts Education

Interdisciplinary approach to the teaching of visual art, music and creative drama across the curriculum, appropriate for development levels; culminates in the production and presentation of an integrated teacher resource unit. Formative assessment tools focus on portfolios.

ARTS 310 The Asian Imagination in the 21st Century

This course will examine the changing worldviews and perceptions in Asian societies about “the good life,” as a consequence of the sweeping transformations that have accompanied modernization, Westernization, globalization, and materialism in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia in the wake of rapid economic growth in these societies for the past two decades. Readings will be interdisciplinary, and course material will focus on aesthetic expressions through multimedia (films, documentaries), and literary works (contemporary fiction). The overarching theme in arts and ideas addressed in this course is how societies change as a result of wealth and materialism, and what we can learn about cultural changes through the prism of aesthetic expression.

ARTS 310 Literature, Food, & Photography in Appalachia

This ARTS 310 class focuses on Appalachian literature, food, and photography. We will read stories, poems, and novels by some of the region's best writers. In doing so we will investigate how these representations address regional stereotypes (both positive and negative), extractive industry, and ongoing health crises. We will read work by some of the region's best food writers to learn about dishes historically associated with the area, all the while questioning whose ingredients are included and whose are not. And we will explore photographic representations of Appalachia and its people to interrogate how photography can be used to capture beauty, to misrepresent reality, or even as a weapon.

ARTS 310 Oulipo & Constrained Literature

It's creative writing, with a twist! This course will explore the thought and work of the members of Oulipo, a group of (mostly) French writers and thinkers for whom literary constraint plays a major role in their craft. We will also experiment daily with various writing constraints, continually workshopping individual and collaborative pieces of poetry and prose. We will also work together on term-long projects and quasihistorical pieces designed to engage, educate, and entertain the reader.