Reading and Writing about Visual Experience: Language Arts
Tuesday | Thursday: 8:00 - 9:30am
This class centers on the analysis of artworks that use language, text, and communication as either medium, subject, or the butt of the joke. How have artists used speech, writing, grammar, and theories of meaning as resources, interpretive frameworks, or foil in visual art? How is text unlike and like other media? In this course, we will explore and challenge our assumptions and theories about language as practical, rational, structured, or human, and art as creative, aesthetic, disorderly, and bodily through the juxtaposition of text and image in the work of art.
Each week, we will focus on one or several related artworks that use primarily visual modalities (though we will explore to a lesser extent film, sound, and performance artworks) to engage or employ linguistic forms. We will build on our collaborative analysis of artwork and close reading of texts, enriching our discussion of artworks through research with secondary sources and skills for argumentative writing. A significant portion of class time will be devoted to peer editing and group-work activities. The course will culminate in a 10-12 page final paper that involves the analysis of an artwork of the student’s choosing, drawing on course readings and independent research.