AESTHETICS AND CULTURE (3 credits)
PROFESSOR TARA GIANNINI
Aesthetics and the arts are central to our lives.
We surround ourselves with things based on our aesthetic preferences, from the automobiles we drive, the music to which we listen, the way we arrange our furniture, present ourselves, decorate our bodies and on and on. Each culture and sub-culture has its own set of aesthetics, ideals of beauty, and cultural/communal identity.
In many ways we express the deepest parts of our personal and cultural/communal identities through our aesthetic choices, for we often define ourselves through them. We announce for the world to see that we embrace one set of aesthetic values as opposed to others. These choices express our generation, region, class, gender, culture, nation, social group, and/or other important aspects of who we are. Often they express other aspects of human existence as well. Typically, however, we do not try to interpret what these choices mean, even when we have decided to invest considerable amounts of time, money, effort, and significance into them. To remedy this gap in our understanding, this course will focus on the intersection of these questions concerning meaning, pleasure, evaluation, and the arts by examining the following topics:
• How does each culture express its own aesthetic sensibilities?
• How do aesthetics differ from Western and Non-Western cultures?
• What are some of the subcultures that exist in the Western world currently? What do their communal/cultural aesthetic sensibilities entail?
• What is aesthetic experience? What do different cultures’ ideas concerning beauty look like?
• What roles do reason, the emotions, and pleasure play in the appreciation of the arts?
Through course readings, discussions, lectures, examination of select art objects, class presentations, field trips and writing assignments, we will seek to develop a better sense of the meaning and philosophy of aesthetics and the arts’ places in our lives.
Tara Giannini, B.F.A., M.F.A.
CONTACT INFORMATION firstname.lastname@example.org OFFICE HOURS
In addition to each of the 3 main assignments listed below, there will be 3 additional weekly online assignment that will consist of watching a documentary/reading an article outside of class and answering a series of questions. There is one of these due on Sunday 4/12, Sunday 4/19, and Sunday 5/3.
1. Compare and Contrast Paper: to be uploaded as an Assignment to LMS by Wednesday 4/15. See LMS for Project Specifications
2. Contemporary Artist Presentation: to be given in class on Monday, April 20th. See LMS for Project Specifications
3. Individual Final Creative Project and Presentation: Due Last Day of Class: Wed. 4/29. See LMS for Project Specifications
CONDUCT AND EXPECTATIONS
1. COMPUTERS MUST BE SHUT IF NOT TAKING NOTES. THIS IS MY BIGGEST PET PEEVE. ***Points will be deducted when I see computers open if you are not taking notes and if your phone is out during lectures, work time, films etc.
2. Be sure to check your LMS account regularly. I would advise linking your LMS account with your LAFS email account so that you are notified when there is a new message from me. This option can be located on your LMS profile page. This will be my primary mode of contact with you.
3. Phones out of sight and on silent. Step outside to text or take a call.
4. Attendance will be taken twice each class—at the start and at the end.
5. Please be respectful when I and your peers are speaking.
6. Take care of your garbage.
7. Be on time for all deadlines.
8. Be respectful of classmates, LAFS Faculty and Staff.
9. Be respectful of the equipment and facilities.
APRIL CONTENT AND ASSIGNMENT CALENDAR
Intro to Aesthetics, Greek