Special Topics for Spring 2021

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

  • Additional information on these courses is available at https://myec.ecuad.ca/
  • Most credit courses have prerequisites that are clearly outlined on the website.
  • This page was updated on: 11/25/2020

Spring 2021

AHIS 333 S091, S092, S093 – Interdisciplinary Forums
Online, Spring 2021
VCHAT Wednesdays, 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Convener: Cissie Fu
Topic: Transformative Storytelling for Social Justice

This interdisciplinary forum brings together artists and designers, activists and healers, academics and innovators, adventurers and organisers for a multi-dimensional, semester-long dialogue about storying and worlding, towards change and action.  Dominant, undeclared narrative frames often produce, sustain, and exacerbate personal harm and social malaise: our guests from various creative fields will show how these frames can be surfaced, challenged, and disrupted, while guided virtual excursions and autoethnographic toolkits will support students’ individual and collective development of new frames to replace those that hold conflict, inequity, and stigma in place.

The literature for this course includes texts, films, exhibitions, and objects that present stories of justice: from retributive to restorative frameworks, through corrective to distributive outcomes, students will wrestle with procedural and substantive approaches to social justice, grapple with concepts and exercises of power, and practise how to witness and acknowledge, to see and hear (in contradistinction to looking and listening), and to shape and share.  Let’s get ready to transform together!

AHIS 325 S092 – Studies in Modern Art
Online, Spring 2021
Instructor: Patrik Andersson
Topic: The Monochrome
This particular instalment of AHIS 325 takes issue with the fact that a majority of contemporary art returns us to tropes from the history of Modernist art. This course aims to raise questions about these repetitions and considers relationships such as performance and documentation; the original and copy; as well as the role of the artist and spectator. In particular, the course is aimed at setting in motion for the students a critical dialogue between historical practices and contemporary art and ideas. This term we will focus our attention on the tradition of the monochrome and look closely at seven specific historical works that continues to inspire, provoke and/or confuse today’s artist.

AHIS 401 S091 - Topics in Curatorial Projects
Online, Spring 2021
Instructor: Cameron Cartiere
Topic: The Practice of Curating – The Pandemic Edition
 When it comes to books, social media, meal, clothes, or houses, we no longer seem to edit, select, plan or design. The term of choice is “to curate.” But in an era where it seems that anything and everything can be curated, what does it mean to be a practicing curator? Add to the mix that COVID-19 has limited access to galleries and museums; art fairs are a distant memory; and public art events and festivals have been postponed to some distant future. So, what does the practice of curating during a pandemic look like? The creativity of the field might amaze you and this seminar looks at the pragmatic and expressive approaches within the ever-expanding curatorial field both online and in our current socially distant reality. Students will have an opportunity to develop conceptual proposals into practical plans for exhibitions, installations, and/or public projects that can challenge our challenging times.

AHIS 404 S091 – Topics in Contemporary Art
Online, Spring 2021
Instructor: Patrik Andersson
Topic: The Concrete Art of Skateboarding
ART NOW: TOPICS IN CONTEMPORARY ART is a senior academic seminar aimed at introducing students to current issues in contemporary art. The Spring 2020 session is titled The Concrete Art of Skateboarding and will focus on a perceived relationship between skateboard culture and contemporary art. This course tries to take a step back from the hype that surrounds this latest Olympic “sport” and look beneath the status quo economic blanket that that has covered skateboarding for the past few decades to uncover the ludic potential that remains in the activity and show how important it has been, and continues to be, in generating identity, community and resistance to an increasingly controlled public sphere. We will focus our attention on a wide range of local and international contemporary art by artists who critically explore the many tropes that surround the sport as a way to respond to our modernity.

AHIS 408 S091 - Topics in Modernism
Online, Spring 2021
Instructor:  Marisa C. Sánchez, Ph.D.

Informed by an intersectional feminist methodology, this course will introduce students to writings by art historians, curators, and cultural theorists that explore the practices of artists working since the 1960s, who have engaged performance as a space for social and political activism. Even more specifically, this seminar will immerse students in discussions on a selection of women artists whose practices are motivated by a commitment to social justice, an attentiveness to marginalized communities, and a making visible of histories of significant political and social concern, which are brought forward through their performances staged within the public realm. Discussions will focus on performance art works conceived by artists Rebecca Belmore, Andrea Bowers, Tania Bruguera, Emily Jacir, Suzanne Lacey, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Teresa Margolles, Adrian Piper, Doris Salcedo, among others. In studying their works, students will gain a global and critical perspective on histories of performance art practices within contemporary art.

AHIS 420 S091 – Topics in Feminism, Gender, Culture Studies
Online, Spring 2021
Instructor: Sue Shon
Topic: Women of Color Feminisms
This course explores the philosophies, politics, and aesthetics of women of color feminist thought and cultural production. Women of color feminist works from the 1980s remain the primary source today for intersectional, queer, anti-colonial, and anti-racist creative, intellectual, and social justice practices. These works place racial capitalism and colonialism as the violent origin of modern political life. At the same time, these works grapple with “women of color feminisms” as a cohesive and constructive term, concept, category, and framework for the study of capitalism and colonialism. Rather than assuming our field of inquiry as unified, or as comprising a predictable canon, AHIS 420 seeks to understand the complex and even contentious tendencies that animate the field, as well as the variety of formal and stylistic experimentations that were undertaken in order to express, theorize, and call forth women of color feminisms. The course attends to those landmark works from the 1980s and also explores how contemporary theorists, artists, and activists built upon that foundation.

AHIS 430 S091 – Topics in Contemporary Aboriginal Art
Online, Spring 2021
Instructor: Richard Hill

Topic:
Modern and Contemporary Indigenous Art in the Mainstream Press
This seminar will look at the public reception of key Indigenous artists and exhibitions through their coverage in mainstream newspapers and magazines. We will look at art and exhibitions as they are available to us in surviving documents and literatures (images, artists statements, exhibition catalogues) and compare our sense of these projects with their reception by the mainstream press. We will compare and contrast theoretical frameworks and methods of analysis as well as content, with the hope of tracking not only whether these differ in general, but also over time, since the mid-20th Century. A key question will be: have some of the avant-garde ideas about Aboriginal art first propounded in the 20th Century become mainstream?

ANIM 350 S031E – Acting Essentials
Hybrid class, Spring 2021
Mondays 12:30PM-3:20PM
Instructor:  Leslie Bishko
Topic: Acting Essentials
This course is cross listed with FMSA 220.
This course will provide a comprehensive introduction to acting, improvisation, technical basics for FMSA, NMSA + ANIM students, and those working with performance. This course puts the student in the role of actor as creator. Acting is foundational to most dramatic live action and animation media creation, as it highlights the creative impact of performance and its capacity for transformation. Through immersion and experience as actors, students will learn language and techniques to improve performance, audition and rehearsal procedures. Improvisation, physical movement, body language, and voice development will be explored in character creation and development. Teaching methods include lectures, demonstrations, class exercises, workshops, scene study and games.

CCID 202/302 S032N – Fieldwork: Topics
Online, Spring 2021
Instructor: Susan Stewart
Topic: Social Documentary
This course will consider an expanded definition of documentary in the context of socially engaged art, and participatory community involvement. We will examine the role that documentary practice plays in social agency, understanding difference, and forming new ways of being together in communities. We will look at a variety of representational strategies, which are not medium specific- time based such as photography and video, illustration strategies, culture jamming, collaborative and experimental performance, creative non-fiction and fictional enactments, to name a few. Given that we are currently living and working with social restrictions brought about by the global pandemic, we will seek opportunities and avenues that are open to us in terms of community engagement and social agency. How do we transform our situated realities into socially productive documentary practices?

There are many stories that urgently need to be told, our own and others. We will work together in this class to find ways to best communicate these stories through documentary practices in any media in line with student interest. 

Course key words: respect, ethics, social justice, inclusion, dialogue, activism, social work, ethnography, archival, relational aesthetics, visual narrative, interdisciplinary and intersectional praxis.

COMD 350 S031 – Topics in Communication Design
Hybrid class, Spring 2021
Tuesdays, 8:30AM-11:20AM
Instructor:  Eugenie Cheon
Topic: Designing Presence through AR
This course will look at how we can challenge the current design paradigm and its expert-driven process and largely commercially-driven applications. Students will be invited to explore alternative design practices through participatory, socially-oriented, situated, place-based, and/or open-ended case studies to imagine new terrains of possibilities using augmented reality (AR) technology, applications and platforms. Students will be introduced to foundational knowledge of AR, learn how to build an immersive AR experience, and integrate these skills and understandings in their case study explorations. Students will propose and create independent bodies of work, consisting of research, iterative/comprehensive design process, and to contextualize their work in relation to the themes and discourses introduced in this course.

 

CRAM 204 S031F Ceramics: Special Topics (3 credits) 
CRAM 304 S031F Ceramics: Special Topics (3 credits) 
Hybrid class, Spring 2021
Mondays, 8:30am – 11:20am
Instructor Jen Woodin
Topics: Architectural Ceramics
This course explores the relationship of ceramic materials to the space of architecture; issues of large-scale work, interior architecture, commissions, public art and site specificity are introduced. Students are presented with a number of problems, both as a group and individually. Students will also develop self-directed projects. A variety of materials, techniques, processes and concepts are explored. Together we will become familiar with the basics of Rhino, a 3D modeling software to explore form and structures. In our research we will explore ways to alter or intervene in architectural spaces. Some of the techniques brought forward in this course include, digital fabrication of models, mold making, slipcasting, and methods for building large scale forms. Research on historical precedents and contemporary applications create the context for presentations, discussions and critiques, and are an integral part of this class. 

 

CRAM 303 S031X Ceramics Practices: Topics (6 credits)
INDD 330 S031X Ceramics: Advanced (6 credits) 
Hybrid class, Spring 2021
Tuesdays, 8:30am – 3:20pm
Instructor Jen Woodin
Topics: Ceramic in the Digital Era
Computer technologies and digital applications are now being used for an ever expanding role in contemporary ceramic practice. This course will explore the processes of digital fabrication, and other ceramic technologies in the making of ceramic objects. Formal, aesthetic and technical issues and concepts specific to ceramics will be investigated through many processes. This Course provides students with the opportunity to become innovators in the use of digital technologies, specifically in regard to design for ceramic art and production.  Students will choose their own direction either focusing in the area of sculpture or functional methodologies.  Students are expected to develop self-directed projects. Studio work, demonstrations, researches, presentations, discussions and critiques form an integral part of this course. 

 

DESN 319 S091 – Health Design
Online class, Spring 2021
Tuesdays, 12:30PM-3:20PM
Instructor:  Caylee Raber
Topic: Health Design
This course looks at the role of designers in the context of long term care homes and design for social change.  Facilitated by the Health Design Lab, students in this course will connect virtually with a small group of people living in long-term care homes to participate in creative activities and collectively co-design a way to capture and share the life experiences of the participants (your co-designers), in the belief that helping people articulate life experiences, especially in old age, can lead to a greater quality of life for people living in care. Co-designed outcomes from the course will highlight the stories and life experiences of people living in care and enable them to share their stories with others.  Students from all design disciplines may enrol in this course and apply their unique skills in determining the final form of the outcome, in collaboration with your co-designers.  

Students will gain experience in employing participatory design methods to collaborate with people living in care, while creatively interpreting unique content into alternative formats for sharing. Class discussions will consider the role of designers in emerging contexts and the ways in which design can contribute to social and cultural innovation. 

This course will include regular virtual engagement with people living in long term care and virtual group work.

DESN 330 S094W – Core Studio in Interdiscipline
Online class, Spring 2021
Mondays 12:30PM-3:20PM & Fridays 8:30AM-11:20AM
Instructor:  Amber Frid-Jimenez
Topic: Reading Machines: Art, Design and AI
This course is cross listed with COMD 310 and INTD 310.

This course is equal parts art, code, play and social critique. Reading Machines is an interdisciplinary studio-based course that invites art and design students to explore the ways that new technologies like AI and artificial neural networks can be used critically in practice. Students will be introduced to AI as a tool to reinterpret historical and contemporary cultural archives, and will experiment with translating digital output from AI systems into physical form, e.g. zines, artists’ books, and other printed matter. Contemporary artists and designers often co opt new mediums and methods to produce artworks that critique current cultural conditions. In this course, we will address the problematic ways that AI is implicated in surveillance capitalism by propagating misinformation and reinscribing systemic bias in social media feeds, and will ask if and how artists and designers can subvert these systems away from their commercial and political aims, towards reimagining new modes of social critique and transformation. Students will develop individual and collaborative projects over the course of the term, guided by periodic peer reviews. Students will learn how to translate their skills in composition, drawing, image production and typography to the context of new media production, shifting between digital and print forms to generate new practices and ways of working. Hands-on exercises will be framed and discussed through readings on early cybernetics, and xeno and gitch feminisms. No technical skills required, but an interest in online communication systems is helpful.

DESN 350 S031 – Topics in Interdisciplinary Design (3 credits)
Hybrid class, Spring 2021
Fridays, 12:30AM-3:20PM
Instructor:  Patricia Vera

Topic: Re-Reading Place through Wayfinding

(*Updated description)

This interdisciplinary course looks at place-making through wayfinding and community engagement. In the context of global social and ecological crisis, public spaces are problematic and contested; wayfinding solutions need to extend beyond creating navigable, accessible and compelling spaces to affirm community identities and a restorative approach to place, shifting the perspective from information systems to placemaking systems.

The course engages the role of indigenous local knowledge, languages and protocols in the creation of wayfinding systems and asks designers to employ community led models of collaboration in the process. 

Students will be introduced to theories of placemaking and a range of historical approaches to wayfinding through lectures and case studies. Students will work in individual and group projects over the course of the term, including space mapping, navigation patterns, material specifications and signage design. 

The class will have introductory exercises where the students will learn foundational knowledge and tools for wayfinding and placemaking design. In collaboration with the AGP (Aboriginal Gathering Place) and with the support of Indigenous cultural advisors, students will take Emily Carr’s building as a case study and investigate wayfinding opportunities for this place. Students will explore the possibility of re-reading the space of the building, introducing indigenous languages and reflecting Indigenous ways of knowing in order to recognize the cultural and historical context of the land where Emily Carr is situated.

DRWG 304 S091 Drawing: Special Topics (3 credits)
Online class, Spring 2021
Virtual chat Thursdays, 3:40pm – 6:30pm
Instructor: Sara-Jeanne Bourget
Topic: Off the Page: Explorations in Materiality & Space
 
This course explores the exciting potential of alternative approaches to mark-making and two-dimensional space in drawing. Each student will engage in material exploration (such as unconventional and traditional tools, drawing surfaces, and natural pigments) and inventive approaches to planar space (dimensionality, site specificity, and/or ephemerality). Through studio experimentation and research, students will consider the relationship between various media and/or their physical space as strategies for the creation of new work.

 

ENGL 350 S091 –  Literature and/of Diasporas
Online, Spring 2021
Instructor: Sue Shon
Topic: Diaspora
“Diaspora” is a concept and framework for the study of displacement and connection of peoples originating from a single place. As a concept and framework, diaspora enables critical perspectives on global processes and powers that caused migrations in the first place, which typically remain invisible in nation narratives. This course experiments with “Asian diaspora,” and “Asian diasporic literatures and cultures” as a concept and framework for studying dislocations as processes of colonialism, imperialism, war, and labour immigration. This course will also question how Asian diasporic literatures and cultural productions radically create and imagine knowledges about the emergence of modern global economy, multi-racial labour exploitation and rebellion, and anti-colonial and anti-nationalist politics. Literary texts may include works by Phinder Dulai, Larissa Lai, C. Pam Zhang, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Rick Barot, David Chariandy, Mercedes Eng, and Ted Chiang. Literary texts will be read alongside theories of Asian dislocation and diaspora.


 HUMN 205 S031 – Studies in the Humanities*
*linked with CCID 202 S031
online and in-person delivery, Spring 2021
Instructor: Cameron Cartiere
Topic: The art of collaboration: collectives, partnerships, and the practice of pairs
In this linked academic and studio course, students will explore the history, methodologies, challenges, and benefits of collaborative practice. From mail art and Dada to contemporary dynamic duos and group collectives from around the world – understanding the range and ingenuity of art and design collaborations can open up new and exciting possibilities for material and digital practices. In our new era of social distancing, online platforms, and digital dependence, collaboration allows us to come together and break through both creative and social isolation regardless of where we are in time and space allowing us to come together even if we need to continue to stay apart.
 
This course will be presented in a hybrid format with synchronous online engagement, field-trips, and class-based instruction (as conditions allow).

HUMN 305 S092 – Studies in the Humanities
Online, Spring 2021
Instructor: Rita Wong
Topic: Watershed Relations    
This course contemplates the role of water in shaping our lives and our cultures. Acknowledging how Vancouver is located on the traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples, we will start with the local. Vancouver was once home to more than 50 salmon streams, most of which have been destroyed with urban settlement, yet important residues remain such as Musqueam Creek which continues to be home to wild salmon today. We will consider how the flow of rivers – Stalew (also colonially named as the Fraser), the Columbia and the Peace River – shapes British Columbia, and what kinds of reciprocities we might offer to these and other rivers that we rely on and live with.

We will start with our own watery bodies and scale up eventually to consider the Pacific Ocean as a body that affects us all, in ways that need to be acknowledged during intensifying climate change. Water has been variously described as “the embodiment of spirit” (Dorothy Christian), the hydro-commons,  the oil of the 21st century, the gift of life, and much more. How might we respond to and learn from different perceptions and stories of water?

HUMN 305 S093 - Studies in the Humanities
Online, Spring 2021
Instructor: Su-Anne Yeo
Topic: Exploring Black Arts Movements in the 20th Century

This course will delve into the role of visual artists, filmmakers, and writers in movements for Black liberation in the second half of the 20th century. Through an analysis of the Black Arts Movement in the U.S. in the 1960s and 1970s, and the British Black Arts Movement in the U.K. in the 1980s, the course will engage with questions including the relationship between politics and aesthetics; the tension between collective action and individual expression; the cultural politics of identification and belonging; and the changing nature of activism. It will attempt to draw transnational connections to other movements on the part of marginalized and racialized communities, e.g. Asian Canadian and Asian American communities. And it will ask how these 20th century emancipatory projects might inform struggles for social justice and artistic experimentation in our present 21st century moment.

HUMN 306 S091: Studies in Humanities: Design Studies in Humanities: Design
Online, Spring 2021
Instructor: Reyhan Yazdani

Topic:
Language, Politics and the City 
Language, Politics and the City
will explore the relationship between design, language, Identity and Politics within the contemporary  socio-political context on multiple scales. It will stress on the theme of language as a bridge for intercultural experiences and present the work of artists and designers who use text, translation, voice, and embodied language as strategies to address colonization, cultural diversity and non-Western knowledge. The course will consist of both individually-driven and collaborative assignments, with a combination of informal exercises, in-class projects, and out-of-class work, as well as lectures, discussions and critiques.

HUMN 309 S091 – Cross Cultural Design
Online, Spring 2021
Instructor: Jacqueline Witkowski
This course will explore and position case studies within textile design, coupled with objects from Vancouver institutions like the Museum of Anthropology, to challenge dominant modes of design thinking and praxis. In studying traditional approaches in making to more contemporary devices, the aim of the course will be to promote the appreciation and understanding of textile design within different cultures and communities, as well as to broaden the concepts that consider appropriation, identity, industry, diaspora, and resistance.

HUMN 311 S092 – Visual Art Seminar
Online, Spring 2021
Instructor: Aaron Peck
Topic: The Aesthetics of Walking
In what ways can walking be an aesthetic practice? This course will explore that question through a variety of readings, assignments...and walks, imagined and taken. Our central questions - aside from the abovementioned one - will be the following: In what ways can we represent and give this practice a form in words? How can we use walking to explore a variety themes and theories (including those of race, class, gender)? And lastly, how can we apply this to our own practices and disciplines? In order to guide these questions, over the semester, we will read a selection of literary texts from a variety of perspectives (individual, formal, historical, cultural/political, environmental). Our readings will thus encourage us to consider these approaches as models for our own work - whether that is visual art, curatorial, illustration, animation, film, photography, social practice, or design. Our assignments will further help us improve our written and analytical skills by encouraging us to consider our readings as models for how to write well and express our critical and theoretical intentions accurately.

HUMN 311 S093 – Visual Art Seminar
Online, Spring 2021
Instructor: Fawn Daphne Plessner
Topic: Fake News, Media Landscapes and the Artist as “Aesthetic” Journalist
How have artists responded to the wide array of Media landscapes and the aesthetics of journalism to create new insights and experiences of ‘facts’? How do we understand our collective experience of ‘the world’ through secondary accounts, ‘fake’ vs ‘real’ news and digital publics?  And how can artists create new spaces for public knowledge? These questions and more will be explored in this course through the lens of not only some thought provoking media and art theorists (McLuhan, McChesney, Blaagaard et al.), but also artists’ projects that manipulate a range of journalistic tools and techniques (e.g., interviews, reportage, investigative research/analysis etc.) and forms of dissemination (online and print newspapers, radio, ‘TV’, broadcasting, social media, print publishing etc.) to navigate complex political themes and topics.

This course combines both studio and academic work. It invites students to develop a ‘practice-based’ art project that experiments with a journalistic technique, in addition to participating in discussion groups based on weekly readings and lectures, writing essays and small and large group critiques, etc. Key texts and lectures will explore what is meant by 'aesthetic journalism' and understanding citizen journalism as a conceptual and aesthetic practice.

HUMN 311 S094 – Visual Art Seminar
Online, Spring 2021
Instructor: Sadira Rodriguez
Topic: An Ecology of Practices
This course will examine the ways in which decolonisation can be an active, engaged and relevant set of practices that empower us to begin to think about our relationships between art, its institutions and their relation to the natural world. We will explore ways of thinking that seek to trouble the systems we inherit, and to look at how thinking with an ecological turn may provide us with provisional ways of moving forward. Along-side texts by Isabelle Stengers, Donna Haraway, Zoe Todd, Robin Wall Kimmerer and many others, we will also examine artists and non-art practices that enact principles of decolonisation. While discussing what is unsettling about decolonisation, we will also discuss the vital importance of entering into the complex set of questions and conditions attendant to it.

HUMN 311 S095 - Visual Art Seminar
Online, Spring 2021
Instructor: Joe O’Brien
Topic: What Next? : Hope as action and uncertainty as premise
What could happen if we embraced uncertainty? How are not knowing and unknowing central to hope? With hope and uncertainty - what now becomes possible, and what next? Hope and uncertainty are fundamentally intertwined - hope can only grow where outcomes are unknown. These questions and this confluence will be our starting point as we draw on the works of José Esteban Muñoz, Paulo Freire, Mary Zournazi, Cidália Silva, and others as entry points into our consideration of hope and uncertainty. In connection with the works of artists, writers, theorists and activists, our discussions will range from considerations of uncertainty as an embodied phenomena to hope as a need that must be anchored in action in order to bring about change.
    
Our course will begin with group discussions and short writing assignments leading to our main focus, a student led research-creation project. For the project students are welcome and encouraged to bring their studio practices into the course as an integral part (or outcome) of the research. The project will be an opportunity to explore the ways in which students’ creative practices overlap and intersect with varied notions of hope, uncertainty, and/or possible futures.

 

HUMN 311 S096 – Visual Art Seminar
Online, Spring 2021
Instructor: Lauren Marsden
Topic: Archipelagos
This course topic takes its cue from the term archipelagraphy, a methodology introduced by literature scholar Elizabeth DeLoughrey for the articulation and remapping of relations that continuously emerge among and in-between islands. It is a call for the collective and continuous realization of fluid identities in archipelagic territories in opposition to colonial conceptions of the island as a self-isolated utopia, an echo of the empire, or as a derivative of the mainland. By looking at the island as “a model, rather than simply a site,” the contents of this course will explore how artists understand the notion of islands as diasporic, geographic, and experiential formations (Stratford, 2011). The concept of “islands” may be considered as more than just definable landmasses but also as social/cultural situations, such as moments of interactive isolation or a chain of related but discrete objects. This may manifest as material considerations, performances, collective practices, and writings that engage the entanglements of one island to the next. A primary question this course will ask is, in what ways do we consider communities and material worlds as archipelagos?


Stratford, Elaine et al., 2011. “Envisioning the Archipelago.” In Island Studies Journal 6, no. 2: 114.


ILUS 305 S091 Illustration Genres Topic (3 credits)
Online class, Spring 2021
Virtual chat Tuesdays, 8:30am – 11:20am
Instructor: Amory Abbott
Field Work: Landscape in Illustration

In this course we will be exploring how the category of landscape thrives across contemporary art and the illustration profession. Addressing current social, political and spiritual relationships people have with the living world (including land usage, consumption of natural resources, territorial concerns, ecological crises and fellowship with nature) students will engage in independent external “field work” projects that deepen their understanding of the living world around them, and how illustration works in its service. This course will incorporate historical evidence, readings, outdoor exploration, film, writing, and group discussions to inform class assignments. Approaches may range from gallery exhibitions, social activism and publication design to background painting in animation. Research processes and professional outlets will be highlighted while exploring meaningful approaches to how artists view, and depict the landscape. 


ILUS 306 S031Y Illustration Practices: Topics (6 credits)

INDD 307 S091C – Textile Production Design
Hybrid class, Spring 2021
Tuesdays, 12:30PM-3:20PM
Instructor:  Heather Young
Topic: Patterning

This intensive course builds off an initial personal garment study. A deconstructive assessment of existing garments will provide the basis to map out origin, material, construction and technical drawings in addition to social value and life cycle. The second project builds from lessons in sustainability, industry practices and reflections on our current pandemic situation. Alternate patterning, structural requirements, and internal considerations will be introduced for the creation of a reconstructed face mask. Illustrated lectures, readings, videos and group discussions will be used to introduce topics throughout the semester.


INDD 350 S091 - Topics in Industrial Design
Hybrid class, Spring 2021
Tuesdays, 12:30PM-3:20PM
Instructor:
 Aaron Oussoren
Topic: New Craft

This course explores the emerging landscape of design and making practices in relation to traditional craft practice. Through theory and experimentation, students will study how analogue, legacy tools and processes may be re-interpreted through digital platforms, and vice versa. Students will explore and critique new forms, surfaces, and material combinations made possible by a combined digital/analogue approach. Students will gain a general understanding of emergent processes related to design such as 3D printing moulds, 3D printing ceramics, CAD modelling in VR, 3D scanning. We will explore the contemporary forms of New Craft, the role of the designer, sites of knowledge exchange, and emergent industrial production. 

 

 

MHIS 407 S091 – Themes in Interactivity
Online, Spring 2021
Instructor: Maria Lantin
Topic: Design for Reciprocity
This course will look at interactivity in media through the lens of reciprocity. We may think we know what interactivity is and often the first thing that comes to mind are games or apps, but we will look for ways to deepen our understanding of what it means to be in relation with the non-human, specifically the human-made, in a non-transactional fashion. We will explore this topic through talks, readings, and writing/making exercises that examine different facets of reciprocity in interactive and social media such as the gift economy, good conversation, spheres of influence, persuasion+manipulation, delight, curiosity, and performance. We will do close readings on a few examples of media works to deepen our understanding of what reciprocity can be in interactive media, and how we might keep this in mind when designing new media work. We will also speculate on how certain interfaces could be redesigned for reciprocity. This course will emphasize reciprocity in its design as well, experimenting with ways of collaborating and building on each other's work and insights.

MHIS 429 S091 - Topics in Film + Media
Online, Spring 2021
Instructor: Jordan Gowanlock
Topic: Visual Media and Materiality
This advanced seminar course explores different ways of understanding film and other visual media through their physical materials. Visual media sometimes seem immaterial or phantasmic. This is as true of 19th century magic lantern shows as it is of digital media cloud servers. Getting beyond this narrow view and thinking about the materiality of visual media reveals the apparatuses, experiments, natural resources, ethical stakes, human labour, historical artifacts, critical tools, and imaginative possibilities behind the image. Each week students will be assigned theoretical works from film and media studies as well as overlapping disciplines such as sociology and philosophy. Students will also be expected to view creative works and screening material online. Students will engage and interpret these theoretical and creative works, developing their own original ideas on each week’s subject through verbal discussion on Zoom, Moodle posts, and essays. 

PRNT 307 S031Y Print Media Practices: Topics (6 credits) 
Hybrid class, Spring 2021
Mondays, 12:30pm – 6:30pm
Instructor: Daniel Drennan ElAwar
Topic: Relief printmaking: the art of protest and resistance

This class, offered to students in ILUS, and PRNT, is a special topics course that focuses on relief printmaking processes as they relate to popular voice, protest, and dissemination of revolutionary ideas. Through the study of various case studies, students will explore the historical precedent of communicative forms such as the broadside, the protest poster, the printed pamphlet, etc., as well as the print shop as site of resistance and revolution. Students will work with a variety of media that relate materially to collective work, widespread dissemination of ideas, and powerful imagery: letterpress, linoleum/rubber sheet print, and woodblock print. The class will examine protest art via multiple axes: Lettering, text, and image; agency and audience; individual and collective work; language and translation; as well as framework and manifesto. Conceptually, explorations/projects will go from the most-local (university, neighborhood, city, region) to global (solidarity and resonance, liberation movements, etc.) Through class readings and discussions students will work on topical social, cultural, and political issues, translating their creative and communicative energy into powerful and resonant visual works.

MDIA 300 S091 - Media Thematic (6 credits)
Online class, Spring 2021
Wednesdays, 12:30AM-6:30PM
Instructor:  Rafi Spivak
Topic: Hybridities

Hybridity is a methodology of looking at the world in a dynamic and dialectical way that acknowledges the complex interdependent relationship of different forces. This interdisciplinary production course will encourage students to combine methods from various media practices and other art practices, to confront themes that arise from the tension between opposing forces, and to examine non-traditional dissemination methods for their works. In a way, this media thematic can be seen as a hybrid of all the other media thematic courses offered in the 300 level, operating in seems between drama, documentary and experimental film, between screen based media, installation and social media, between old and new. As we are working in a unique time, with traditional production methods of dramatic and documentary content being more difficult to follow, students will be encouraged to incorporate appropriated materials into work and the course will focus on media creation as a studio practice. Teaching methods include screenings, exercises, individual and collaborative projects, and assigned readings exploring a variety of critical, aesthetic, technical, and ethical issues that are concerned with hybridity. Students will have regular critiques, and a tight timetable in which the projects must evolve from concept to completion. Students continue to refine their critical vocabulary, analytical and technical skills required for preparation for 4th year grad productions. 

MDIA 300 S092V Media Thematic (6 credits)
PRAX 300 S092V Dialogues with Media Art Practices (6 credits) 
Online class, Spring 2021
Virtual chat Wednesdays, 12:30pm – 3:20pm
Instructor: Peter Bussigel
Topic: Dialogues with Media Art Practices
This third year course offers the opportunity for students to develop their practice within the discourse of contemporary and historical art discourse. Students will acquire a critical vocabulary for understanding their own trajectories in dialogue with the context and history of art, through group critiques, discussions of pertinent writings, and individual and group presentations of research on a variety of subjects related to their area of practice. A Dialogues course is an investigation of artistic practice premised on a student's own interest to situate their work in a broader discourse and professional realm. They will learn skills related to completing projects, making presentations, speaking in public, leading discussions, writing, and integrating research and knowledge within their creative practice. Weekly meetings will allow for critiques of self-directed studio projects, discussion of assigned readings, and presentations of research projects.

 

MDIA 300 S093G Media Thematic (6 credits)
VAST 320 S093G Visual Art Thematic I (6 credits)
Online class, Spring 2021
Virtual chat Tuesdays, 8:30am – 3:20pm
Instructor: Maria Lantin 
Topic: Making with Data

In this course we will look at how data can be used as material for making, and how this kind of making can foster insight. Starting from defining what might be data, we will choose (and maybe even create!) 3 different datasets then learn how to process them and transform them into other representations. We will look at the history of data visualization originating from the sciences and influenced by art and design throughout. Along the way, we will find out about artists and designers working with data as their primary raw material, and get some practice with software tools that enable data perception (e.g. Processing, TouchDesigner). Students will also be encouraged to imagine non-digital or hybrid ways of working with data. We will also look critically at current trends around data including machine learning, AI, and surveillance capitalism.

 

PHOT 306 S031 Special Topics in Photography (3 credits)
Hybrid class, Spring 2021
Tuesdays, 12:30pm – 3:20pm
Instructor: Ho Tam
Topics: Photobook

The photobook operates as polyvalent sub-category of art publication, acting simultaneously as document, archive, exhibition space, distribution vehicle, artist multiple, and sculpture, among other roles. This course offers both practical and theoretical approaches to the photobook as an extension of the artist book and monograph. The class will make use of the books in ECUAD library’s Artists' Book collection and other resources as points of conversation. Students will learn a number of common print and production methods used in book publishing, and be asked to think critically about what techniques, genres, and design considerations are most pertinent to their own practices.


PNTG-315-S091 Painting Practices: Topics (6 credits) 
Online class, Spring 2021
Virtual chat Fridays, 8:30am – 3:20pm
Instructor: Mark Igloliorte
Topic: Portraits for the New Normal: Back to Life
This course examines the genre of portraiture in painting. It will draw from relevant histories and the contemporary moment to consider a resurging interest in the painted portrait today. In this politically tumultuous time the portrait has a renewed relevance. It is a uniquely apt, and charged, form to examine diverse subject positions, philosophies of self and identity, and relationships between individuals and the world.

In this course participants will engage with portrait painting, including approaches such as: working from life - creating portraits in real time through video conferencing, working within their social bubble and seeking additional creative and safe solutions for engaging as painters. 
There will be a focus on weekly discussions where a small group of students lead a review of a painting movie or podcast. 
Through artistic production, research, discussions, writing and critique, students are expected to increase their understanding of the content and context of their process and production as well as their knowledge of contemporary art. Critiques and discussions complement studio production.

 

PRAX 300 S031 Dialogues with Curatorial Practices (6 credits) 

Hybrid class, Spring 2021

Fridays, 8:30am – 3:20pm
Instructor: Patrik Andersson
Topic: Dialogues with Curatorial Practices

This third year PRAX course offers the opportunity for students to develop their own intersection between theory and practice within the field of curating. Students will acquire critical vocabulary for understanding and situating their own interest in exhibitions within a historical and contemporary context. This will be done through research, interviews, studio visits, and group discussions of pertinent writings and exhibitions. Individual and group presentations of research related to their area of practice will also make up the course. This course is meant as a laboratory environment in which to explore student's own interests while situating them within a broader discourse, professional and practical realm. They will learn skill sets related to completing curatorial projects such as developing the scope, content and idea of an exhibition as well as integrating this research and knowledge in the form of studio visits, interviews, press-release and catalogue texts, design and finally an exhibition. Students will be expected to lead class discussions on related topics. Weekly meetings will allow for critiques of self-directed studio projects, discussion of assigned readings, and presentations of research projects. 

PRNT 205 S091 Print: Alternative Processes (6 credits)
Online class, Spring 2021
Virtual chat Fridays, 8:30am – 3:20pm
Instructor: TBA
Topics: Print & Papercraft
In this course students will explore monotype printing methods and papercraft that can be easily done at home. The focus of this class will be on materiality and to work within the limits of paper. Students will rely on learning and thinking through making to gain a greater understanding of the processes, materials, and the artistic vocabulary used in printmaking. Presentations on papercraft from around the world and contemporary artists that work with paper will be provided. Students will gain knowledge first through video demonstrations and apply these techniques in their projects on monotype printing methods, paper cutting, and paper casting which will later be combined at the end of the term for a final project.

 

PRNT 305 S091 Print Media: Special Topics (3 credits)
Online class, Spring 2021
Virtual chat Wednesdays, 12:30pm – 3:20pm
Instructor: Beth Howe
Topics: Artist Book Toolkit: methods, materials, and bookbinding techniques for making books by hand
This course will offer artists and designers wanting to incorporate the bookform into their practice useful expertise in bookbinding materials, methods, and forms. The emphasis of this studio course will be to learn a wide variety of traditional and contemporary hand bookbinding techniques: for example, stab binding variations, coptic bindings, accordion/ leporello variations, buttonhole bindings, and classic hardcover 'case' binding.

Students will acquire the small set of tools needed to bind books to a high degree of finish at home, and learn how to identify material properties important to successful bookbinding, such as paper grain direction and choosing adhesives to match the materials.

Live and recorded online workshops will walk students through new bindings and other technical demonstrations such as making your own bookcloth for book covers.
In addition to developing material skills, students will produce an artist book project in which they bring their own content together with the new forms learned in this course.

SCIE 300 S091 – Studies in the Sciences
Online, Spring 2021
Instructor: Jane Slemon
Title: Heart, Mind, Health: learning From the Human Body
 We'll explore topics related to health and the things that affect it. Looking closely at what’s occurring within aspects of the human biological system, the course invites students to explore health, illness and imbalance as well as approaches to health care treatment as these relate to our other work in art and design. 

Delving into medical material and shaping thoughtful questions for science, students control the direction of their research and notice how our ways of thinking about the body connect to what we know--our maps, our imaging, our analogies. We look at the many ways the body learns in health and in ill health: the conditions and drugs that affect how nerves function; conditions of the brain; the effects of procrastination, play and practice; the ways cancer can manifest in tissues; what science has learned about sexual function and dysfunction; how we manage cancer research and bring attention to it in art works; the anatomy and physiology of the heart's systems of muscle, conduction and circulation; how viruses (like AIDS or H3N2) cause the immune system to act against the human host. These special topics invite interest in these and other avenues of research for the student.

SOCS 300 S092 – Studies in Social Science
Online, Spring 2021
Instructor: Sanem Guvenc-Salgirli
Topic: Design of Disease
*note: in 2020 this course was offered under mnemonic  SCIE 300*

Poisons, pills, corpses, gravediggers, miraculous cures, epidemics, sorcerers… History of medicine is one big ensemble that incorporates all these and more.  This strange and varied history is at the same time entangled with various practices of design: from the architecture of medical and mental institutions to early visualizations of diseases and human anatomy, from X-Rays and MRIs to computer generated imagery in films and TV series.  Why is history of disease also the history of humanity? Why do we think of pain through metaphors?  How can poison be a cure as well?  How do representations of diseases affect the way we perceive the world?  Through these questions (and many more!) this course is designed to give the students a sneak peak into the history and sociology of medicine through a discussion of a wide range of diseases, treatments, and cures. 

VAST 320 S091L Visual Art Thematic I (6 credits) 
VAST 420 S091L Visual Art Thematic II (6 credits) 
Online class, Spring 2021
Virtual chat Thursdays, 8:30am – 3:20pm
Instructor: Christine Howard Sandoval
Topic: Reciprocity and Land Based Art
This studio course will examine reciprocity in concept and practice as it relates to contemporary land based art. Through a critical engagement with the history of Land Art, a term coined by artist Robert Smithson in the 1960’s, we will examine ways artists are currently subverting the very notion of site specificity and redefining the meaning of land from a place to be enacted upon to a space of ecological consciousness and Indigenous identity. 

Students will be asked to submit a proposal for a land based art project at the beginning of the semester, which will be developed throughout the course with weekly workshops and one on one meetings. Community engagement, field research, historical and archival research, and land based raw material use will be discussed through the lens of Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples by Linda Tuhiwai Smith. Students will also have an opportunity to engage with practicing land based artists through digital platforms to learn more about their professional experiences navigating the art world with an ethic of reciprocity. A course reader of essays, transcribed lectures, and other textual formats written by artists and cultural theorists will provide regular reading assignments to structure critical dialogue and written responses.

WRTG 301 S091 – Special Topics in Writing
Online, Spring 2021
Instructor: Erika Thorkelson
Topic: The Art of Creative Nonfiction Writing
From magazines to podcasts, story slams to comics, real stories are reaching audiences in a plethora of new and powerful ways. In this course, we will explore the tools and ethics of shaping compelling narratives from the real world through creative research and personal exploration. 

A wide umbrella, creative nonfiction offers a breadth of opportunities for play and invention that reach far beyond the traditional academic essay to include modes as disparate as storytelling, pop culture criticism, the personal essay and literary journalism. Through writing workshops and readings, this class will offer opportunities for experimentation and feedback as well as a look at the modes of publication available to the creative nonfiction writer. Texts will include contemporary and classic creative nonfiction by writers such as Alexander Chee, Carmen Maria Machado, Jia Tolentino, Alicia Elliott, Andrea Bennett, Tetsuro Shigematsu, Terese Marie Mailhot, Annie Dillard, Joan Didion and more.