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Course Information

Faculty have provided information regarding their courses to assist students in selecting courses that are the best fit for their skills and interests. 

All Courses

For a full list of Visual Arts courses, please review the Visual Arts Catalog.

Fall 2021

VIS 202- Art Practice, Topic: Writing

A workshop/seminar devoted to a particular materials practice (e.g., media, painting, digital media, etc.) that engages with critical questions arising within that discipline. Content will vary from quarter to quarter. May be taken for credit two times. (Required, MFA)

VIS 203- Working Crit

Workshop in which students engage in an extensive evaluation of one another’s ongoing work in preparation for either the First Year Review or MFA Review. Offered every winter. May be taken for credit two times (Required, MFA)

VIS 204- Re-thinking Art History

Critical evaluation of the methods, practices, and disciplinary commitments of art history, encompassing both revisionist interventions of the late-twentieth century and earlier paradigms, in order to envision new discipline-specific and interdisciplinary directions for the future of art history and visual culture. (Required, PhD)

VIS 205- Intro to Grad Studies

This seminar introduces art practice students to the graduate program in a workshop environment. Emphasis is on the production of new work and on situating that work in relation to a larger art context. (Required, MFA) Offered every fall and required of all first-year MFA students.

VIS 207- Working Practice

Workshop for PhD in Art Practice concentration students cotaught by PhD and MFA faculty offering extensive evaluation and critique of work. Intended to explore issues associated with artistic practice as a form of research in a university setting. Course is only applicable to VA76 and VA77 PhD programs. PhD students with a concentration in Art Practice my take VIS 207 each year until they qualify for candidacy.

VIS 209- Thesis Writing

This course includes research and discussion of the required thesis for MFA candidates in visual arts. Advancement to candidacy required. A draft of the MFA thesis paper is required to complete this course. (Required, MFA).

VIS 219- Feminism and Activism in 1970/80s to now

Examines a topic of special interest to permanent and visiting faculty that is not addressed in the regular curriculum. As in other Art Practice/Theory seminars, students will both produce work and read and write critically about the topic. Topics will vary.

VIS 242- Theories of Media and New Media

Critical study of the ways in which media (film, video, photography) and new media have been theorized. May be taught from a historical or comparative perspective or focus on a single topic or theorist.

VIS 257- Seminar in Meso-America Art

Topics relating to the art and civilizations of Pre-Columbian Mexico and Central America, either specifically art historical (such as iconographic, formal, and stylistic analysis) or encompassing a spectrum of interdisciplinary and cultural/historical problems. May be taken three times for credit.

VIS 502- Graduate Teaching in Visual Arts

Training in teaching methods in the field of visual arts. This course examines theoretical and practical communication and teaching techniques particularly appropriate to studio and production-style courses.

Winter 2022

VIS 200- Methods and Theory

An interdisciplinary survey of key 20th- and 21st-century methodological approaches to the history, theory, and criticism of the visual arts. Course engages with methodologies found in the fields of philosophy, linguistics, science and technology studies, sociology, and anthropology, among others. Students develop individualized approaches to specific objects of study, which may range from art, media, performance, design, and material culture to theory.

VIS 201- Contemporary Critical Issues

An exploration of a range of issues important on the contemporary critical scene through readings and writing assignments. Topics will vary from year to year. (Required, MFA)

VIS 202- Art Practice: Photo

A workshop/seminar devoted to a particular materials practice (e.g., media, painting, digital media, etc.) that engages with critical questions arising within that discipline. Content will vary from quarter to quarter. May be taken for credit two times. (Required, MFA)

VIS 202- Art Practice: Bookmaking

A workshop/seminar devoted to a particular materials practice (e.g., media, painting, digital media, etc.) that engages with critical questions arising within that discipline. Content will vary from quarter to quarter. May be taken for credit two times. (Required, MFA)

VIS 203- Working Critique

Workshop in which students engage in an extensive evaluation of one another’s ongoing work in preparation for either the First Year Review or MFA Review. Offered every winter. May be taken for credit two times (Required, MFA)

VIS 256- Seminar in Media and New Media

Topics in media (photography, film, video) and new media, contemporary or historical. Coverage may be broad or addressed to a particular topic such as Film Remakes; Silent Cinema; Photography and Social Movements; The Language of New Media.

VIS 258- Seminar in Chinese Art

Advanced studies in the secular and religious art traditions of China. From year to year, the seminar may focus on early China (Neolithic to the end of the T’ang dynasty), on later dynasties (Sung, Yuan, Ming) or on art of the People’s Republic. May be taken three times for credit.

Spring 2022

VIS 202- Art Practice: Drawing

A workshop/seminar devoted to a particular materials practice (e.g., media, painting, digital media, etc.) that engages with critical questions arising within that discipline. Content will vary from quarter to quarter. May be taken for credit two times. (Required, MFA)

VIS 203- Working Critique

Workshop in which students engage in an extensive evaluation of one another’s ongoing work in preparation for either the First Year Review or MFA Review. Offered every winter. May be taken for credit two times (Required, MFA)

VIS 206- Art Practice Research

Seminar examines the interrelationship between theory and practice and the nature of artistic production as a form of research.

VIS 208- Thesis Exhibition

Each student will be asked to explore a broad range of strategies for publicly presenting their work beyond the studio. This course includes research and planning for the required Thesis Exhibition for MFA candidates in Visual Arts. A detailed proposal of the MFA Thesis Exhibition is required to complete this course.

VIS 211- Fact and Fiction

This seminar addresses the space between narrative work generated from a factual base and that generated from a fictional one. Special attention will be given to discussing work that confounds the assumed gap between the two.

VIS 234N- Frames of View

Critical and historical analysis of the institutions, social networks, and communicative media through which art is presented to its audiences. May also address theories of vision and visuality, spectatorship, public space, originality and reproduction, and public space.

VIS 255- Seminar in Contemporary Art

Thematic and critical discussions of recent US and international art, 1960s to the present. Art/Text; Mixed Media Practices; Conceptual Art; Art After Appropriation; Global Art at the Millennium; New Genres of Public Art; Mike Kelly and the Conceptual Vernacular: Art and Activism. May be taken three times for credit.