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Office: Stanford Arts Institute, Littlefield Center, 2nd Floor
Mail Code: 94305-2255
Email: artsinstitute@stanford.edu
Web Site: http://arts.stanford.edu/arts-institute/

The Stanford Arts Institute offers interdisciplinary arts curricula and research programs, drawing on the wide-ranging intellectual resources of Stanford University. The Institute forges arts connections across the University; gives grants for faculty, staff, and students; presents arts events; incubates new arts projects; and supports artists and cultural groups across campus. Since its founding in 2006, the Stanford Arts Institute has been a catalyst helping the Stanford arts community to grow.

Courses offered by the Stanford Arts Institute are listed under the subject code ARTSINST on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site.

Honors in the Arts

Web site: https://arts.stanford.edu/for-students/academics/honors-in-the-arts/

Information concerning the 2019-20 program will be available on February 15, 2019.

The Stanford Arts Institute offers an interdisciplinary Honors in the Arts program, for interested undergraduates in any major. The program supports collaborative or individual projects that combine the critical and creative imaginations. Projects must be completed in one year. All students will work with mentors and also participate in a weekly workshop.

Honors in the Arts can be completed in addition to honors work in a student's home department or alongside another capstone program, such as the Senior Reflection in Biology.

Admission

Students must have an overall GPA of 3.4 or higher. Students with demonstrated strengths relevant to the program may petition the GPA requirement at the time of application.

To qualify for admission, students must identify three courses, at least two of which must be completed by the end of the third year, that have provided the necessary foundation for the capstone project. The Creativity Course Guide and the Interdisciplinary Course Guide include courses that provide an introduction to the study of the arts disciplines as well as incorporating the arts in an interdisciplinary context.

How to Apply

Admission to the program is competitive. Students apply for entry into the program during the Spring Quarter of their junior year. 

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Stanford senior during the academic year following the Spring Quarter application
  • A minimum overall GPA of 3.4 is normally required. However, applicants can submit a GPA petition if needed. 
  • Completion of previous courses and/or creative projects that have prepared the student to execute an interdisciplinary capstone project.

Application materials include:

  • Honors project proposal which addresses the following:
    1. the concept for the interdisciplinary capstone project or research
    2. a description of the student's background in the disciplines to be drawn upon for the project
    3. why the project cannot be completed in your major department
    4. a statement of the relevance of Honors in the Arts to the student's education both at Stanford and beyond
  • Unofficial transcript
  • A completed Faculty Reference Form (provided in the application)
  • Portfolio of relevant work. The details for the portfolio vary depending on a student's main medium of expression. If the following limits present a significant obstacle, please contact Devin Garnick (dgarnick@stanford.edu):
    • Creative writers should submit work that best exemplifies their strengths as a writer. Most writers submit about 12 pages of prose, 5-7 poems, or a short scene from a play, depending on the proposed project.
    • Artists working in visual, audio, or other forms of visual or digital media should submit work that most exemplifies their strengths in the relevant form. The committee accepts the following: up to 5 images (compiled in a single pdf file), 5 minutes of video or audio, pdfs, and linked external media (such as YouTube, Vimeo, and SoundCloud). 

See the Honors in the Arts website for additional information on applying to the program.

Preparation for Honors in the Arts

To qualify for admission, students must identify three courses, at least two of which must be completed by the end of the third year, that have provided the necessary foundation for the capstone project. The Creativity Course Guide and the Interdisciplinary Course Guide include courses that provide an introduction to the study of the arts disciplines as well as incorporating the arts in an interdisciplinary context.

Requirements

Students admitted to the program are required to take the following sequence of courses during their senior year:

  • Prior to Spring Quarter, junior year: Two preparatory courses for interdisciplinary study, 4-8 units
  • Prior to Spring Quarter, junior year, or concurrent with Autumn Quarter of senior year: One further preparatory course for interdisciplinary study, 2-4 units
  • Spring Quarter, junior year: Apply for admission to Honors in the Arts
  • Spring Quarter, junior year: Confirm preparatory courses with honors program director
  • Autumn Quarter, Senior Year: ARTSINST 200A Capstone in the Arts Workshop (2 units)
  • Winter Quarter, Senior Year: ARTSINST 200B Capstone in the Arts Workshop (2 units)
  • Spring Quarter, Senior Year: ARTSINST 200C Capstone in the Arts Workshop (2 units)
  • Each Spring, students present their honors projects during a public symposium.

Honors Projects

All accepted projects are eligible for modest financial support for materials needed to complete the project.

Through a yearlong process, students develop a capstone project that goes beyond the traditional boundaries of their major.

  • Honors projects are typically creative projects involving an arts practice element. Honors projects may also be scholarly research projects involving a multidisciplinary approach.
  • Students can apply with an individual or team-based project. For team-based projects (2-5 students per team), applicants must delineate what expertise each student brings to the project.
  • Students must receive at least an 'A-' on the capstone project. Students who receive a grade of less than an 'A-' but greater than 'NP' receive credit for the workshops but do not receive honors.
  • Mentors: Each student works closely with a graduate student mentor or a lecturer to develop and shape the capstone project. Students in the program are responsible for setting up regular meetings with their mentor throughout the academic year. The workshop class also allows for weekly progress reports and strategies for advancing the work.

Arts Immersions

New York City Arts Immersion

The Stanford Arts Institute offers an Arts Immersion trip to New York City during Spring Break, March 23 - 30, 2019.

Students travel with Stanford faculty and Arts Institute staff for a week-long engagement with the arts, meeting institutional leaders, policy makers, and arts practitioners. They visit museums, galleries, concert halls; they see dance rehearsals, opera, and a Broadway show; and they have a chance to meet with alumni in the arts. In the spring quarter class ARTSINST 11Q Art in the Metropolis, students revisit their immersion experience by reading critical literature and participating in rigorous discussion.

See the Arts Immersion web site and subscribe to the Arts Update for information about upcoming information sessions in Autumn 2018.

Admission

Applications are welcomed from all undergraduate class years. Before applying, students should be aware that they must enroll in and attend the Spring Quarter course: ARTSINST 11Q/TAPS 11Q Art in the Metropolis.

Units
ARTSINST/TAPS 11QArt in the Metropolis (required)3

Submit a complete application through the Introductory Seminars web site or visit the Arts Immersion web site. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on November 30, 2018.

Important Dates

  • Application Period: August 1—November 30, 2018 at 11:59 pm
  • Acceptance Notification: Friday, December 14, 2018
  • Travel to New York: Saturday, March 23—Saturday, March 30, 2019
  • ARTSINST 11Q Art in the Metropolis, Spring 2019, Thursdays, 9 - 11:50 am

Venice Arts Immersion

In collaboration with the Bing Overseas Program, the Stanford Arts Institute will also offer a course to complement the Venice Biennale in September 2019.

Creative Cities

Creative Cities is a year-long arts fellowship program inviting visiting scholars to examine the role of art in cities. The fellowship fosters research, conversation, and artistic projects in urban settings.

The Stanford Arts Institute is pleased to announce the 2018-19 Creative Cities fellows are Nicholas Gamso and Magie Ramírez. Gamso’s work explores how artists and writers address gentrification and other contemporary urban phenomena, such as migrancy and carcerality. His course, ARTSINST 181 Art, Gentrification, & Intersectional Racial Politics, will address the role of artists and art bureaucracies in the gentrification of minority neighborhoods, examining contested sites in New York, Oakland, East LA, and New Orleans. Ramírez is a Xicana feminist urban geographer, whose work explores the interstices of racial capitalism, art-activism and urban space. Her course, ARTSINST 183 Creative Climate Futures: Art, Climate Change & Urban Life, will examine how the geographies of colonialism, racial capitalism, and migration produce climate change inequities, and how the climate justice movement addresses these through creative forms of resistance.

Courses

Each year the fellows offer unique, interdisciplinary courses in their respective areas of research. Courses are open to all undergraduate students.

Units
ARTSINST 181Art, Gentrification, & Intersectional Racial Politics4-5
ARTSINST 183Creative Climate Futures: Art, Climate Change & Urban Life4

Artist in Residence

Stanford Arts Institute also routinely hosts Artists in Residence. In 2018-19, SAI hosts the filmmaker Kerry Tribe and the composer Tarik O’Regan. Tribe describes her work as “documentary adjacent” and her most recent film, Standardized Patient, premiered at SFMOMA in Autumn 2017. Tribe offers two classes: ARTSINST 271 Art in the Age of Neuroscience and ARTSINST 272 Practice and Critique. O’Regan’s 2017-18 season highlights include the Amsterdam revival of Mata Hari and an evening-length ballet commissioned by the Dutch National Ballet; he is currently working on a full-scale opera about the life of Lorenzo Da Ponte, commissioned by Houston Grand Opera for 2019. O’Regan will collaborate with Phelan on a course devoted to the work of Colm Toibin in Spring 2019.  

Courses

Each year the Artist in Residence offers unique, interdisciplinary courses in her or his area of art practice. Courses are open to undergraduate and graduate students.

Units
ARTSINST 171Art in the Age of Neuroscience3-5
ARTSINST 272Practice and Critique3-5

Courses

ARTSINST 11Q. Art in the Metropolis. 3 Units.

This seminar is offered in conjunction with the annual "Arts Immersion" trip to New York that takes place over the spring break and is organized by the Stanford Arts Institute (SAI). Participation in the trip is a requirement for taking part in the seminar (and vice versa). The trip is designed to provide a group of students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the cultural life of New York City guided by faculty and the SAI programming director. Students will experience a broad range and variety of art forms (visual arts, theater, opera, dance, etc.) and will meet with prominent arts administrators and practitioners, some of whom are Stanford alumni. For further details and updates about the trip, see http://arts.stanford.edu.
Same as: TAPS 11Q

ARTSINST 40. Public Service Internship Preparation. 1 Unit.

Are you prepared for your internship this summer? This workshop series will help you make the most of your internship experience by setting learning goals in advance; negotiating and communicating clear roles and expectations; preparing for a professional role in a non-profit, government, or community setting; and reflecting with successful interns and community partners on how to prepare sufficiently ahead of time. You will read, discuss, and hear from guest speakers, as well as develop a learning plan specific to your summer or academic year internship placement. This course is primarily designed for students who have already identified an internship for summer or a later quarter. You are welcome to attend any and all workshops, but must attend the entire series and do the assignments for 1 unit of credit.
Same as: EARTHSYS 9, EDUC 9, HUMBIO 9, PUBLPOL 74, URBANST 101

ARTSINST 50. Arts in Context: The Process of Cultural Production. 1-2 Unit.

A combination of practical skill-building and discussions with practicing arts professionals, this course will provide students with the foundational skills necessary to produce programs on campus and/or work in the arts. The talks and workshops will cover topics including curatorial practice and programming (for both visual and performing arts); grant writing and other fundraising methodology; budgeting and financial management; contracts and other legal considerations; and public relations and marketing. Every session is open for drop-in attendance, or students may take the entire series for credit. May be repeat for credit.
Same as: MUSIC 50, TAPS 50

ARTSINST 100. The Questions of Clay: Craft, Creativity and Scientific Process. 5 Units.

Students will create individual studio portfolios of ceramic work and pursue technical investigations of clay properties and the firing process using modern scientific equipment. Emphasis on development of creative process; parallels between science and traditional craft; integration of creative expression with scientific method and analysis. Prior ceramics experience desirable but not necessary. Limited enrollment. Prerequisites: any level of background in physics, Instructor permission.
Same as: APPPHYS 100

ARTSINST 141. Online Jamming and Concert Technology. 2-4 Units.

Today's vast amount of streaming and video conferencing on the Internet lacks one aspect of musical fun and that's what this course is about: high-quality, near-synchronous musical collaboration. Under the right conditions, the Internet can be used for ultra-low-latency, uncompressed sound transmission. The course teaches open-source (free) techniques for setting up city-to-city studio-to-studio audio links. Distributed rehearsing, production and split ensemble concerts are the goal. Setting up such links and debugging them requires knowledge of network protocols, network audio issues and some ear training.
Same as: MUSIC 153

ARTSINST 142. Drawing with Code. 4 Units.

This studio course will engage coding practices as drawing tools. What makes a good algorithmic composition? How do we craft rule-sets and parameters to shape an interesting work? What changes if we conceive of still outputs, ongoing processes, or interactive processes as the "finished" work? We will look at the history of algorithmic drawing, including analog precedents like Sol LeWitt and other conceptual artists, along with current pioneers like John Simon Jr., Casey Reas, and LIA. Outputs will involve prints as well as screen-based works. Some basic coding experience is helpful, but not required. Assignments are based on conceptual principals that students can engage with at different coding skill levels. This is a good way for non CS students to explore coding practices as well as for CS students to hone their skills. We will work primarily in the free Processing software for our explorations.
Same as: ARTSTUDI 163

ARTSINST 150. The Changing World of Popular Music. 2 Units.

This course will cover changes in the business, economics, and practices of the popular music industry. It will provide a brief historical overview of the industry and its business models. The majority of the course will focus on the industry as it works today and on forces that are causing it to change rapidly. The course will feature guest artists and executives with current experience in the field, as well as project-based assignments designed to give students hands-on experience.Topics will include: Economics and business models of commercial music business,Technology and music production, Technology and music distribution, Technology and marketing, Leadership in the music industry: case studies, Managing creative projects, Copyright and legal issues. Attendance at first class required. Enrollment will be determined on the first day through a simple application process.
Same as: MUSIC 150P

ARTSINST 171. Art in the Age of Neuroscience. 3-5 Units.

Technical advances in brain imaging offer new insights into the neurological underpinnings of consciousness. Yet the new science of mind leaves many unanswered questions regarding philosophical, cultural and spiritual aspects of subjectivity. Who is the 'I' that makes art and who is the 'I' that experiences it? Drawing from a broad range of disciplines, this hybrid seminar/production course examines questions of subjective experience while paying particular attention to media and linguistic theory, cognitive psychology and theories of consciousness. The material is topical and the readings are guided. Of paramount importance is your commitment. Active participation in discussions, activities, self-directed research and creative production is required.
Same as: ARTSINST 271

ARTSINST 172. Practice and Critique. 3-5 Units.

Appropriate for MFA candidates in Documentary Film or Art Practice or for advanced undergraduates working in visual art or time-based media, ¿Practice and Critique¿ is designed to enhance students' understanding of critical issues within their own work and the work of their peers. The artist and instructor will collaboratively direct feedback on work in progress. Feedback of finished work (or a completed component of a larger / thesis project) will follow a critique method developed by feminist artist and educator Mary Kelly in which the artist doesn't speak until the end of the session. We begin by reflecting on the affective, perceptual and phenomenological experiences engendered by the work. In doing so, we slow down our natural inclination to seek answers about ¿what the work (or film) means¿ by paying close attention to how it goes about producing meaning. In time, we proceed towards the denotative, referential and connotative meanings available to be read within the work. Finally we invite the artist to ask questions of the class and reflect upon their experience of the critique. Students will come away with a deeper and more nuanced understanding of how their work affects an audience. Optional one-on-one meetings with the instructor will provide opportunities for directed problem-solving and, depending on the goals and interests of students enrolled in the course, additional class time may be dedicated to screenings, field trips, studio visits or other activities.
Same as: ARTSINST 272

ARTSINST 180Q. How to be Governed Otherwise: Art, Activism, and the City. 4 Units.

This course will introduce you to contemporary art¿s engagement with political activism. This introduction will focus on the city as, at once, a field and target of activism¿a field of public appearance, artistic intervention, and political action, as well as a target of claims to residence, livelihood, recognition, justice, and collectivity. We will pose activist politics, artistic intervention, and urban space as mutually imbricated, each shaping the possibilities, programs, and histories of the other¿a perspective that offers insights into the spatiality, materiality, and visuality of political identity, agency, and action. Over the quarter, we will study some of the many artistic interventions that are encompassed by urban activism, from informal and everyday practices to protest, resistance, and occupation. Comparative case studies will be drawn from a global context. You will investigate these case studies through both research on urban activism and activist practice; the seminar will therefore invite you to explore the militant possibilities of research, the research possibilities of activism, and the implications of each for the production of art.
Same as: CEE 131Q, URBANST 180Q

ARTSINST 181. Art, Gentrification, & Intersectional Racial Politics. 4-5 Units.

This course addresses the role of artists and art bureaucracies in the gentrification of minority neighborhoods, examining contested sites in New York, Oakland, East LA, and New Orleans. Students consider histories of underdevelopment and displacement, asking what these processes may reveal about greater contests over space, aesthetics, power, and knowledge. The course serves as an opportunity to engage urban cultural politics from the perspectives of critical race theory, queer studies, and feminist critique as well as through encounters with works by William Pope.L, Laura Aguilar, Paul Chan, and others.
Same as: URBANST 181A

ARTSINST 182. Activating Urban Spaces: Materializing Hidden Narratives in the Urban Environment. 3-4 Units.

This course will investigate the organization and shaping of public space from the perspective of story and narrative. The course will consider how authorized narratives feature in the built environment and in the social spaces and usage of the city and how unauthorized, sometimes contentious narratives lurk beneath the surface and persist on the "skin" of the city. It will investigate the role of artists and the arts in "mapping" or surfacing alternative stories, concepts and imaginations of how the city is or can be. Inspired by the writings of Michel DeCerteau and Italo Calvino, this class explores the role of narrative in the city and the imagination from the perspective of cultural memory, lived experience, usage of space and organization of the built infrastructure. It offers an alternative approach to thinking about cities, how they are formed and how they function. This class will utilize and combine active field research methods with creative practice. Locations for our field research and excursions will include areas around Stanford and the Bay Area. The class will function as a hybrid seminar and collaborative studio workspace supporting students interested in applying creative practices to field research to develop methods for materializing narratives in various forms of public performance or place-specific art. Students will develop research for projects tailored to a particular location of their choosing and will explore the idea of the 'hidden city' its histories and its communities.
Same as: URBANST 182

ARTSINST 183. Creative Climate Futures: Art, Climate Change & Urban Life. 4 Units.

Climate change is a defining factor of this generation, and yet while scientists unanimously warn of the inevitability of climate change, it remains a looming specter. This course builds an intersectional and structural understanding of climate change, and explores how art activates the intangibility of climate change, making it visible, visceral, and political. We will examine how the geographies of colonialism, racial capitalism, and migration produce climate change inequities, and how the climate justice movement addresses these through creative forms of resistance. We will undertake this exploration in three parts: first, by engaging with the cities of New Orleans and San Juan, to understand how climate catastrophe aggravates existing inequalities, and how residents creatively respond to disaster. From there we will consider how art serves as a form of politics, how it is taken up in social movements to provoke shifts in political consciousness. Lastly, we will engage directly with political art forms that address climate change, with a particular focus on those that centralize the experiences of populations most at risk of climate catastrophe. These art forms call attention to who bears the disproportionate burden of climatic shift, which geographies are most at risk, and how these creative interpretations envision climate futures. The course will culminate in a collective creative project in which students address climate change and climate futures from their own lived experiences.
Same as: URBANST 183A

ARTSINST 184. Creativity: Anatomy of a Buzzword. 4 Units.

Creativity is one of the defining values of our time, embraced by corporate CEOs, kindergarten teachers, and starving artists alike. Yet it not always clear what creativity means. This course will explore how the capacious concept of creativity has shaped contemporary ideals of work, art, technology, human nature, and the good society. Using a mix of popular texts, contemporary scholarship, and classics of social thought, we will look at what kinds of products, places, and people count as 'creative' in public conversation, and why. Particular attention will be paid to how different overlapping notions of creativity have guided arts policy, business practices, and urban economic strategy over the last few decades of capitalist development. Using Stanford itself as a case study, students will conduct field work to discover how the concept of creativity operates across and between the various departments, disciplines, and centers on campus, from the fine arts to psychology to business. This research will culminate in the final group project: a multimedia archive and digital concept map of creativity discourse at Stanford. Students will come away from the class with concrete research skills and theoretical tools that will enable them to critically engage with any big ideas in the public sphere, as well as a better understanding of recent economic and cultural history underpinning our everyday assumptions and widely held values.
Same as: URBANST 186

ARTSINST 197. Industry Immersion: TV and Film. 2 Units.

This course is designed to give students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the exciting and ever-changing TV and Film industries. Each week features Stanford alumni and industry professionals who will share information about their company and current role, insights about their career path, and a deep dive into a key trend facing the industry. Each class will also feature a hands-on project pulled from a typical workday. In addition to guest speakers and in-class projects, focus is on preparation for work in the industry including development of impactful job search tools and support of the internship search. The course will be 6 weeks long, with the final session being a trek to visit a local TV or Film company. Priority to Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors interested in careers in TV and Film.

ARTSINST 198. Matter and Mattering: Transdisciplinary Thinking about Things. 4-5 Units.

Things sit at the nexus of cross-cutting heterogeneous processes; tracing the entanglements of any prominent thing or class of things demands a transdisciplinary approach that recruits expertise from the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. For example, carbon is a key factor in global warming for reasons that are as much socio-historical as bio-physical, and we could not begin to sketch the full significance of carbon without considering such diverse frames of reference. Our growing appreciation in the social sciences and humanities of the agency, polyvalence and catalytic role of things has given rise to The New Materialist and Post-Humanist movements, which in turn raise questions about intra-action and observational perspective that are echoed in the modern physical and life sciences. In this class we will explore these theoretical convergences in considering themes such as `things-in-themselves¿, networks and open systems, assemblages and entanglements. We will also examine specific examples such as oil, metal (guns), dams, viruses, electricity, mushrooms; each thing will be explored both in terms of its social and ethical entanglements and in terms of its material properties and affordances. There will also be hands-on encounters with objects in labs and a couple of local field trips. The key question throughout will be `why and how does matter matter in society today?¿.
Same as: ANTHRO 188, ANTHRO 288, APPPHYS 188, ARCHLGY 188, ARTSINST 298

ARTSINST 199. Independent Study. 1-5 Unit.

May be repeated for credit.

ARTSINST 200A. Capstone in the Arts Workshop. 2 Units.

First in a three-quarter series required of all Capstone in the Arts participants (Capstone Track and Honors Track). Students initiate and develop interdisciplinary creative projects with the support of peers and mentors in a small, workshop format. Required enrollment in 200 A,B,C.

ARTSINST 200B. Capstone in the Arts Workshop. 2 Units.

Second in a three-quarter series required of all Capstone in the Arts participants (Capstone Track and Honors Track). Students initiate and develop interdisciplinary creative projects with the support of peers and mentors in a small, workshop format. Required enrollment in 200 A,B,C.

ARTSINST 200C. Capstone in the Arts Workshop. 2 Units.

Third in a three-quarter series required of all Capstone in the Arts participants (Capstone Track and Honors Track). Students initiate and develop interdisciplinary creative projects with the support of peers and mentors in a small, workshop format. Required enrollment in 200 A,B,C.

ARTSINST 210. Stanford/WMG Leadership Initiative Capstone Workshop. 1 Unit.

Workshop required for all Stanford/WMG Leadership Initiative fellows. Students initiate and develop capstone projects based on their interests in the music industry.

ARTSINST 271. Art in the Age of Neuroscience. 3-5 Units.

Technical advances in brain imaging offer new insights into the neurological underpinnings of consciousness. Yet the new science of mind leaves many unanswered questions regarding philosophical, cultural and spiritual aspects of subjectivity. Who is the 'I' that makes art and who is the 'I' that experiences it? Drawing from a broad range of disciplines, this hybrid seminar/production course examines questions of subjective experience while paying particular attention to media and linguistic theory, cognitive psychology and theories of consciousness. The material is topical and the readings are guided. Of paramount importance is your commitment. Active participation in discussions, activities, self-directed research and creative production is required.
Same as: ARTSINST 171

ARTSINST 272. Practice and Critique. 3-5 Units.

Appropriate for MFA candidates in Documentary Film or Art Practice or for advanced undergraduates working in visual art or time-based media, ¿Practice and Critique¿ is designed to enhance students' understanding of critical issues within their own work and the work of their peers. The artist and instructor will collaboratively direct feedback on work in progress. Feedback of finished work (or a completed component of a larger / thesis project) will follow a critique method developed by feminist artist and educator Mary Kelly in which the artist doesn't speak until the end of the session. We begin by reflecting on the affective, perceptual and phenomenological experiences engendered by the work. In doing so, we slow down our natural inclination to seek answers about ¿what the work (or film) means¿ by paying close attention to how it goes about producing meaning. In time, we proceed towards the denotative, referential and connotative meanings available to be read within the work. Finally we invite the artist to ask questions of the class and reflect upon their experience of the critique. Students will come away with a deeper and more nuanced understanding of how their work affects an audience. Optional one-on-one meetings with the instructor will provide opportunities for directed problem-solving and, depending on the goals and interests of students enrolled in the course, additional class time may be dedicated to screenings, field trips, studio visits or other activities.
Same as: ARTSINST 172

ARTSINST 298. Matter and Mattering: Transdisciplinary Thinking about Things. 4-5 Units.

Things sit at the nexus of cross-cutting heterogeneous processes; tracing the entanglements of any prominent thing or class of things demands a transdisciplinary approach that recruits expertise from the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. For example, carbon is a key factor in global warming for reasons that are as much socio-historical as bio-physical, and we could not begin to sketch the full significance of carbon without considering such diverse frames of reference. Our growing appreciation in the social sciences and humanities of the agency, polyvalence and catalytic role of things has given rise to The New Materialist and Post-Humanist movements, which in turn raise questions about intra-action and observational perspective that are echoed in the modern physical and life sciences. In this class we will explore these theoretical convergences in considering themes such as `things-in-themselves¿, networks and open systems, assemblages and entanglements. We will also examine specific examples such as oil, metal (guns), dams, viruses, electricity, mushrooms; each thing will be explored both in terms of its social and ethical entanglements and in terms of its material properties and affordances. There will also be hands-on encounters with objects in labs and a couple of local field trips. The key question throughout will be `why and how does matter matter in society today?¿.
Same as: ANTHRO 188, ANTHRO 288, APPPHYS 188, ARCHLGY 188, ARTSINST 198