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Morrissey College of Arts and Science

UN551501 Exploring Self, Exploring Art

capstone program

Dustin Lee Rutledge

Adjunct Faculty, English

Course Description

This course presents art as a means of personal development, encouraging students to appreciate not only art, but also the capacities and self-knowledge art can stimulate. We will explore art by experiencing it, sharing it, discussing it, and writing about it. Artworks will represent various levels and periods (e.g. fine art, popular art, contemporary art, past art) and forms (e.g. photography, music, dance, writing, sculpture, painting, theatre). How can exploring art show us who we are? Artistic engagement will help us understand our experiences and goals, in education, relationships, spirituality, career, and society, preparing us to flourish.
 

Field Trips

In addition to our weekly meetings, two class field trips will be organized. On Sunday, February 11 at 2 p.m., we’ll catch a performance of the play Bad Dates staged by the Huntington Theatre Company. The cost of this field trip will be approximately $20. For our second field trip, on Friday, April 6 at 5 p.m. we’ll visit the galleries of the SoWa Art & Design District to meet artists in their studios and view their work. This event will be free. Attending both field trips is required.
 

Required Texts

The following course texts, available at the BC Bookstore (except for the two movies, which are available on iTunes), will need to be purchased.

  • Akhtar, Ayad. The Who & The What. Back Bay Books, 2014.
  • Baker, Annie. John. Theatre Communications Group, 2016.
  • Cold Weather. Directed by Aaron Katz, Sundance Selects, 2011.
  • “In a World...” Directed by Lake Bell, 3311 Productions, 2013.

The following course readings will be accessible on Canvas.

  • “Activities of Daily Living” | Doug Crandell
  • Aesthetics (excerpts) | James W. Manns
  • Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art (excerpts) | Edited by Peter Lamarque and Stein Haugom Olsen
  • “A Pocket Guide to Jesuit Education” | BC University Mission and Ministry
  • “Cities Are the Fonts of Creativity” | Richard Florida
  • Coloring Book | Chance the Rapper
  • Encyclopedia of Human Relationships (excerpts) | SAGE Publishing
  • God Is Not One (excerpts) | Stephen Prothero
  • “In Silicon Valley, Working 9 to 5 Is for Losers” | Dan Lyons
  • “The Journey into Adulthood: Understanding Student Formation” | J.A. Appleyard, S.J., et al.
  • “The Limitations of Being Spiritual But Not Religious” | Rabbi David Wolpe
  • “Message to a Former Friend” | Tony Hoagland
  • “Pedal, Pedal, Pedal” | Heather Sellers
  • “The Power of Introverts” | Susan Cain
  • “The Right Way to Say ‘I’m Sorry’” | Jane E. Brody
  • Student Development in College (excerpts) | Lori D. Patton, Kristen A. Renn, Florence M. Guido, Stephen John Quaye
  • Universal Principles of Art (excerpts) | John A. Parks
  • Universal Principles of Design (excerpts) | William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, and Jill Butler
  • “Tales of Creativity and Play” | Tim Brown
  • “Vocation” | Sandra Beasley
  • “You’ll Never Be Famous—And That’s Okay” | Emily Esfahani Smith
     

Grading

Quizzes: 25%

Quizzes will be given regularly this semester (see the course schedule) to ensure you are keeping up with and understanding course content. Each quiz will take place at the start of the class meeting.

Papers: 50%

Two major papers, each worth 25% of your grade, will be assigned this semester (see the course schedule). Paper #1 will ask you to consider your BC education, and Paper #2 will ask you to explore art as a means of self-discovery. Details for each paper will be provided.

Participation: 25%

Participation includes your attendance, preparedness for class, contributions to class activities and discussions, and effort on all writing assignments.
 

Course Schedule

WEEK 1

January 18: Welcome
  • In class: Exercise(s)

WEEK 2

January 25: Student Formation
  • Reading due: “The Journey Into Adulthood: Understanding Student Formation” and “A Pocket Guide to Jesuit Education” from BC University Mission and Ministry

WEEK 3

February 1: Student Development in College
  • Conference: sign up for a time between Weeks 3 and 4
  • Reading due: Excerpts from Student Development in College | Excerpts from Universal Principles of Art and Universal Principles of Design
  • Writing due: Exercise
  • In class: Quiz

WEEK 4

February 8: Annie Baker’s John
  • Reading due: John
  • In class: Quiz
February 11: ** Field Trip to Bad Dates at the Huntington Theatre Company (2 p.m.) **
  • Cost: approx. $20
  • Location: 264 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115

WEEK 5

February 15: Creativity
  • Reading due: “Tales of Creativity and Play” from TED.com | “The Constructivist’s Dilemma” from Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art | “Pedal, Pedal, Pedal” from The Sun
  • In class: Quiz

WEEK 6

February 22: Areas of Competence
  • Conference: sign up for a time between Weeks 6 and 7
  • Writing due: Paper #1
  • In class: Exercise(s)

WEEK 7

March 1: Representation, Expression, and Form
  • Reading due: Excerpts from Aesthetics | Excerpts from Universal Principles of Art and Universal Principles of Design
  • Writing due: Exercise
  • In class: Quiz
March 8: Spring Vacation
  • NO CLASS

WEEK 8

March 15: Career
  • Reading due: “You’ll Never Be Famous—And That’s Okay” and “In Silicon Valley, Working 9 to 5 Is for Losers” from New York Times | Cold Weather | “Vocation” from poets.org | “Activities of Daily Living” from The Sun | Excerpts from Universal Principles of Art and Universal Principles of Design
  • In class: Quiz

WEEK 9

March 22: Society
  • Reading due: Material for This Week’s Exercise | “Cities Are the Fonts of Creativity” from New York Times | “The Power of Introverts” from TED.com
  • Writing due: Exercise
  • In class: Quiz
March 29: Easter Weekend
  • NO CLASS

WEEK 10

April 5: Spirituality
  • Conference: sign up for a time between Weeks 10 and 11
  • Reading due: Excerpt from God Is Not One | “The Limitations of Being Spiritual But Not Religious” from C21 Resources | Excerpts from Universal Principles of Art and Universal Principles of Design | The Who & The What | Coloring Book
  • In class: Quiz
April 6: ** Field Trip to SoWa First Friday event in the South End (5 p.m.) **
  • Cost: Free
  • Location: 450 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02118

WEEK 11

April 12: Relationships
  • Reading due: Excerpt from Encyclopedia of Human Relationships | Excerpts from Universal Principles of Art and Universal Principles of Design | “Message to a Former Friend” from The Sun | “The Right Way to Say ‘I’m Sorry’” from New York Times | “In a World…”
  • In class: Quiz

WEEK 12

April 19: Theory’s Role in Aesthetics
  • Reading due: “The Role of Theory in Aesthetics” from Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art | Excerpt from Aesthetics
  • In class: Quiz

WEEK 13

April 26: Wonder
  • Conference: sign up for a time between Weeks 13 and 14
  • Writing due: Paper #2

WEEK 14

May 3: Conclusion
  • Writing due: Exercise