Special Topics for Summer 2016 and Fall 2016

Special Topics 

Please note: this page will be updated as information is confirmed. In case of a discrepancy between this page and InsideEC, the information on InsideEC will be deemed correct.

  • Additional information on these courses is available at https://inside.ecuad.ca
  • Most credit courses have prerequisites that are clearly outlined on the website.

Summer 2016

AHIS 333 SU01 – SU04 – Interdisciplinary Forums (3)

Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:00pm– 4:00pm Summer 2016 (Term 2)

Instructor: Phil Smith

Topic: The Non-Stop Mirror (Stage): Post-Modernism and Popular Culture

If you’re looking for love / in a looking-glass world / it’s really hard to find. - Bryan Ferry, “Mother of Pearl” (1973)

As much as there may be a general longing to move beyond the age of post-modernism, the current candidacy of a certain reality TV show host for U.S. President can be seen as but one more affirmation that we are still very much immersed in a post-modernist epoch.

Accordingly this course will examine the relationship between post-modernism and popular culture including whether post-modernism can be seen as beginning substantially earlier (i.e. the late 1930s) than is often formulated, what its effects are on art, “high” culture, and social conditions might be, and, in particular, whether popular culture can be seen as not simply one manifestation of post-modernism, but in fact is the root cause and brute force behind it.

These perspectives will be explored through lectures, screenings, and guest speakers as well as in the seminars that follow each lecture. Possible fields and mediums to be addressed over the course of the term include movies, television, comics, animation, video games, popular music, and advertising.

AHIS 336 SU01 – Historical + Contemporary Movements (3)

Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:00am– 11:50am Summer 2016 (Term 2)

Instructor: Ariane Noël de Tilly

Topic: Art and Revolution
This special topic course will focus on the role and function of art during several revolutions since the French Revolution, including the Russian Revolution, the Mexican Revolution, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and the Algerian Revolution. One of the aims of this course is to further understand how the revolutionaries, counter-revolutionaries and/or artists defined the role of art in these periods of revolution. During the course of the semester, we will look at the different types of works produced in the context of these revolutions, from paintings to caricatures, from propaganda posters to films.

CCID 202 SU01 & CCID 302 SU01 – Fieldwork: Topics (3)

Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:00am – 11:50am, Summer 2016 (Term 1)

Student must be available for the festival on July 15-17 in order to enroll

Instructor: Cameron Cartiere

Topic: Finding your Rhythm: The Vancouver Folk Music Festival

This CCID practice-based course offers students a unique opportunity to engage in coursework focused on embedded practice that includes an off-site fieldwork experience. This class will focus directly on producing works for the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. Students will create their own practice-based project proposals based on site research, cultural context, and independent studio work. This is an opportunity to develop practical experience working in the public realm and to explore new approaches for understanding audience, engagement, and negotiation.

This course is open to students in any degree program and any major. Students will be participating in the Vancouver Folk Music Festival after the class has completed. This participation will include executing the works developed in class. Students will receive full passes to the festival, back stage access, and food.


Part 1: Emily Carr University Campus and site visits to Jericho Beach.

Part 2: July 15 – 17 Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Jericho Beach

CCID 302 SU02 & CCID 302 SU03 – Fieldwork: Topics (3)

Section 1 (Term 1) and Section 2 (Term 2) Summer 2016

Hybrid course – part online and a 2 week field study component from June 15 to 30 and July 17 to 31

Instructor: Haig Armen & Keith Doyle

Topic: Design Workshops in Milan, Italy

With the ubiquity of networks and emerging technologies our creative spaces are transforming, becoming displaced and distributed. Emily Carr University will explore the concept of the distributed design studio by hosting a variety of design challenges over the summer of 2016 in Milan, Italy.

This Culture and Community Interdisciplinary (CCID) practice based topics course, will offer students an opportunity to engage in coursework focused on embedded practice that includes an off-site fieldwork experience. This includes various sites and locations away from the University campus, including but not limited to long distance fieldtrips, field houses, neighbourhood houses, community centres, and other learning spaces related to curriculum. Students will create their own practice-based projects based on site research, cultural context, and independent studio work related to specific learning outcomes, and research requirements of the faculty teaching the course. This course is open to students in any degree program.

HUMN 305 SU91 – Studies in the Humanities (3)

Online, Summer 2016 (Term 2)

Instructor: Aaron Peck

Topic:  Slow Looking

The online magazine Triple Canopy has described its intention as attempting to "slow down the Internet" -- we, too, in this course, will want to slow down and think seriously about a set of images, seeing what thoughts we can bring to bear on them after prolonged contemplation through a varieties of readings across the humanities. This course, titled "Slow Looking," intends to slow down the way we look at visual information. From paintings from Old Masters, such as Nicholas Poussin, Edouard Manet and Artimessia Gentileschi, to contemporary artists such as Kerry James Marshall and Jeff Wall, to celebrity selfies, like those of Kim Kardashian, and to war reportage and advertising, this course demands that we look closely and rigorously at one image per week, and we will supplement that looking with readings from art history, philosophy, critical theory, history, literature, or literary criticism. This course also demands that we take images from high art as seriously as we do the kind of images we merely swipe away on our iPhones. So every week, you will be required to slow down and spend a lot of time with one picture. We will analyze that image through the proverbial lens of a specific text and also through our own observations of looking at it. Required forums and discussions will be also used to further perform close readings of the image, a way of slowing down and looking.

HUMN 311 SU02 – Visual Art Seminar (3)

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:30pm – 7:20pm, Summer 2016 (Term 2)

Instructor: Phil Smith

Topic: Art Practices and Popular Music 

“The Beatles have had a bigger influence on me than Picasso.”        -Damien Hirst (artist), 2009

From Piet Mondrian’s affinity for “boogie-woogie” music to Jackson Pollock’s preferred studio soundtrack of jazz, from the music/art fusion of the punk rock scene of the 1970s to Jeff Koons’s 2013 CD cover for Lady Gaga and Damien Hirst’s mini-manifesto above, visual art and popular music have long had a particularly close and often symbiotic relationship. Accordingly, this course will explore a number of songwriters, performers, and artists who exemplify this cross-pollination of disciplines with particular attention paid to four convergent concepts: process, performance, persona and professional practice.

By looking at popular music from both a historical/aesthetic and a creative/process perspective, we will also focus on the collaborative and collective aspects of this form from the Broadway musicals and blues of the 1920s to today’s digital and post-genre musical landscape, as well as the ways in which strategies of music making (and marketing) may continue to inform a contemporary art practice. Reflecting the content and approach of the course, assignments and projects will range from the written to the audio and/or visual.

Please note:  no prior musical background or knowledge is needed for this course.

HUMN 311 SU90 – Visual Art Seminar (3)

Online, Summer 2016 (Term 1)

Instructor: Jay White

Topic: Art in the Anthropocene
"The Anthropocene" is the current geological era of planet Earth. The term is derived from the latin word anthropos (human) to define this particular era as one where human activities are significant enough to have a measureable global impact on the planet's geology and ecosystems. In response to the escalating concern over climate change and irreversible ecological transformation, the human species is finding itself tasked with massive challenges in responding to events that might not be immediately apparent in our everyday lived experience. For many of us, this call-to-action coincides with a need to radically transform the ways we perceive and act as global citizens and human subjects.
This course will examine the ways that contemporary artists respond to a situation where humans find ourselves decentred, de-prioritized, and entangled in uncertain and potentially dangerous relationships with other entities. How do we represent, translate, and relate in scales and durations that are too big or small for our sensing bodies to perceive? What strategies do thinking, feeling cultural producers bring to deal with despair, catastrophe and hopelessness? What new definitions of 'life' emerge when we reconsider our relationships with other people, species, phenomena and objects?
Through readings, field work, writing, forum discussions and individual projects, we will attempt to integrate and consider these urgent issues in our own practices.

ILUS 208 SU01 – Illustration Practices: Topics (3)

Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:00pm – 3:50pm, Summer 2016 (Term 2)

Instructor: Jesse Garbe

Topic: Figure and Narrative

This course concentrates on making illustrations of the human figure. Parallel to this, the class will also examine the figures relationship to narrative images and broader cultural concerns, such as one finds in popular culture, cultural theory and art/ illustration history. Projects will be structured around existing cultural narratives and will focus on developing tools and techniques for depicting the figure. Topics of discussion will include proportion/ distortion, tonal variation, anatomy and their relationship to conveying ideas. There will also be regular critiques and discussions to support students in their investigations and to address any practical concerns that arise. A final grade will be based on participation, progress and inventiveness, and the development of observational, subjective and relevant technical skills.

Fall 2016

AHIS 333 F001 - F003 - Interdisciplinary Forums (3)

Wednesdays, 4:30pm – 7:20pm, Fall 2016

Instructor: Randy Lee Cutler

Topic: Chroma

Through the convergence of diverse perspectives this course considers the art and politics of colour in the construction of aesthetic forms, philosophical phenomena and scientific artifacts. Whether thought of as chroma, colour or pigment, their affective and symbolic intensities offer us poetic access into historical and contemporary modes of aesthetic engagement. Thinking across and between artistic practices how does colour carry meaning particularly in how it manifests emotional and cultural differences? And how do visual experiments with a focus on colour whether light, hue or saturation draw and enlarge on artistic practices? Within this framework, the instructor's lectures are complimented by visiting speakers and media presentations providing an exploration into the performance of colour in our daily lives. 

VAST 320 F001P – VAST 420 F001P – Visual Arts Thematic I & II (6)

Tuesdays, 12:30pm – 6:40pm, Fall 2016

Instructor: Ingrid Koenig

Topic: Black Holes and Other Entanglements in the Studio

This interdisciplinary studio course uses science as a lens through which to view and speak about the current world and invisible forces of the known universe, and interacts with these perspectives in the context of art practice. Students investigate and experiment with conceptual and material transformations that arise from being inspired, informed and mystified by phenomena in physics and other probing areas. The breadth of scientific fields to be encountered will depend on students’ individual research interests, while weekly topics address themes such as quantum particle behavior, biology and new materialism. The narrative of science contextualized in human experience, the abstract, embodied, misinterpreted, the complex rhizome, construction of knowledge, play of metaphor, connectivity, uncertainty, energy transformation, entropy, chaos theory, dark matter – these are all subjects for studio entanglements.

Students will participate in the Artist-in-Residence Program at TRIUMF, (Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics with its cyclotron particle accelerator). They will also have a studio day at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.