2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
    
    Sep 24, 2020  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog

ARTH 250 - Special Topics in Visual Culture


Introduces students to a wide range of visual culture products made in the U.S., including material artifacts from popular culture, traditional fine arts, architecture, and landscape design. Possible field trips include the American Antiquarian Society and the Worcester Art Museum. This course develops the student’s research, oral presentations, and writing skills through intense study that is not possible in a survey course.

Fall 2019 Topic

Introduction to American Material Culture

This weekly seminar will acquaint students with basic concepts and methods in the study of material culture as it relates to the American experience. “Material Culture” means all things created or modified by people - clothing, tools, furniture, works of art, books, buildings, landscapes, and even food. This course will investigate the ways to interpret objects by considering them in the contexts of their designers, makers, and users as well as expose what meaning the study of artifacts can reveal about both ”high” and “low” culture. In addition to theoretical readings about how to approach the study of material culture, the class will consider discrete objects within the classroom and utilize the seminar’s three-hour time block for a few excursions to explore a broader range of artifacts. The course will culminate with students completing a research project that includes a close reading of an object of their choosing and an oral presentation of their analysis and findings.

 

Anticipated Terms Offered: periodically