Evolution of an idea or a discipline central to the humanities. Content varies from year to year. For University Honors Program students only. Offered: A.
The course focuses on exploring SKIN as a subject in the cultural history of the Western world. Being the largest human organ, the SKIN is our interface with the world. Looking at various metaphors for this interface, we will consider both the rich history, as well as contemporary ideas through the lens of art. We will discuss prevailing concepts, representations, theories and implications in continental philosophy, psychology, and cultural theory, as well as historic and contemporary interpretations in visual art. The main focus is on experiential learning by in-depth research and studio practice (art making project).
Student learning goals
• Gain an understanding of main cultural concepts related to the topic. • Further your understanding of modes of representations in the arts (conventions and subversions of traditions). • Develop and present in-depth research on chosen topic. • Gain familiarity with major contemporary artists addressing this subject. • Further your research and presentation skills. • Develop an art project from ideation to execution/presentation.
General method of instruction
Course will consist of lectures, readings, discussions, presentations, and one art-making project. We will take various field trips to on-campus resources and welcome guest artists/scientists for presentations during class.
Course content: I. Brief overview of the anatomy and physiology of skin II. The Skin in Western thought (Renaissance, The Enlightenment, Modernism, Post-modernism/contemporary concerns) - Boundary metaphors (inside-outside; the body in the world; integrity; permeability; penetration; representations) - Skin as container / Skin as cover - Skin as canvas / mirror: a site of inscription (identity, branding and marking, skin color) III. Touch and tactility IV. The body of the future: fabricating new identities / teletactility
Class assignments and grading
Course work: Keep up with weekly readings and reading journal. Research project: written analysis of a topic of your choice. (5 page paper) Short art research project: presentation of a chosen contemporary artist Making project: “Second skin” Discussion facilitator on chosen topic (team project)
Evaluation You will receive feedback on each project completed. Your final grade will be determined by the following:
45% - P & P + P: • Participation and Preparedness (class discussions, in-class projects) 35% • Professional manner (timeliness, individual effort, commitment, progress) 10% 55% - Assignments: • Research paper 25% • Art project 20% • Contemporary Artists Research and Presentation 10%