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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jolynn Edwards
BIS 490
Bothell Campus

Senior Seminar

Study of special topics in interdisciplinary arts and sciences. Prerequisite: BIS 300.

Class description

This class will examine the visual and performing arts in the Seattle area through visits to local museums and theatre spaces and other cultural sites. These experiences will be set against a group of readings on the arts and their audience in America. The class examines issues of arts production and consumption borrowed from the literature of the sociology of culture and from cultural economics. Some of the themes have to do with work in the arts, a place for the arts within a specific community, support for the arts, and the payback to the community by arts-based experiences, both tangible and intangible economically.

Student learning goals

1. Expand understanding of the social and cultural merits of the visual and performing arts to a city's economy and livability.

2. Develop theoretical background for analysis of works of art.

3. Learn to write cogent critiques/reviews.

4. Investigate analytical techniques to assess individual artistic fields and subfields (cultural fields and habituses of the artists [Bourdieu] or arts worlds [Becker]).

5. Learn from previous writing and presentation experiences to hone one's skills for clear explications of research.

6. If appropriate, link with a specific organization in a formal internship or informal observation.

General method of instruction

Discussion of readings, some brief lecture, panel presentations, visits out in the arts community.

Recommended preparation

Arts and humanities instruction.

Class assignments and grading

There will be a certain number of shared texts about the arts as preparation for site visits. The students will write three critiques of visual or performing arts events they attended and share with the rest of the class. Each student will embark on an individual research project and give periodic updates to the progress of their research in class, culminating in a 10-minute class presentation and 10-page academic paper. These research topics will be chosen in consultation with the professor and should focus on current issues in American performing or visual arts.

Grades will be based on seminar participation, reviews of arts events, and final product to be negotiated depending on term project.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Jolynn Edwards
Date: 05/01/2012