Credit Hours: 4
Course Fee: $0
Instructor(s): Shapiro, Ali
Schedule: MonWed 11:00a-12:30p
Description: Ever heard the saying “in matters of taste there can be no disputes”? This saying suggests that taste is beyond logic — that we like what we like for no particular reason; that trends evolve out of nowhere; that our evaluations of things like music, art or fashion as “good” or “bad,” “cool” or “nerdy” or “trashy,” are based entirely on personal preference. This course disagrees! Instead of viewing “matters of taste” as arbitrary and subjective, we’ll investigate where tastes come from, how they fit into particular times and places, and how they intersect with other aspects of identity such as race, class, gender, and sexuality. We’ll use writing to connect the dots between our own interests, obsessions and experiences in order to make complex discoveries about why we love the things we love (or, in some cases, love to hate). We’ll read other writers attempting to define aesthetic categories like “Internet Ugly” memes and art that’s “SOBIG (So Bad It’s Good)” — and then invent new categories of our own. We’ll take a hands-on, creative approach to different types research in order to investigate local trends. Along the way, we’ll hone our ability to think critically about music, art, fashion, and other aspects of popular culture, and to make connections between writing and other forms of creative making.
Frequency: This course is typically offered in both the fall and winter terms of every academic year, though scheduling may vary according to future term circumstances.