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Please take special note of the time and days this class meets. This course is an introduction to the major schools of thought that influence the practice, critique, and understanding of the arts. Throughout the semester we will be considering the theme of ethics, and asking what role creativity can play in the transformation of the ethical problems confronting humanity at the start of the twenty-first century. Our course will introduce students to the major strands of ethical reflection, highlight the ethical dimensions of artistic practice, and consider closely many of the key topics in contemporary debates: war, globalization, environmentalism, and visuality. Class time is divided between group lectures and customized group discussions. Foundations in Critical Studies courses introduce the major schools of thought that have influenced the understanding and practice of the arts in the modern era, broadly defined as extending from the 18th century Enlightenment to the present day. For each school of thought students will read one or two primary texts. The class will be divided between a lecture on each topic and discussion based on the text and lecture. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the concepts, ideas, and theories that have shaped modern and postmodern thought. It thus serves as preparation for upper-division humanities courses, studio work, and critiques.