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First Year Writing in Art and Design

ARTDES 129 .2


Credit Hours: 4
Course Fee: 0
Instructor(s): Shapiro, Ali
Schedule: MonWed 2:30p-4:00p
Modality: Virtual


Fall 2021

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 OF OFFER­ING: 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.
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