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.
Why (and how) do we make things? What might the kinds of making and mastering that we encounter in art, design, and craft school have to do with the making of philosophical conversations, national identities, or scientific categories? In this course, we offer an understanding of "making" based on the Greek word poiesis - a term that encompasses the creation of visual, textual, and material objects, as well as the production of ideas more broadly. Through primary source readings andcollaborative exercises, we will explore the connections between making new knowledge and participating in the world around us, particularly in the context of art and design education. How is "making" a participatory process? What notions, spaces, and practices come to us already made by our culture, and which traditions are ripe for re-making?