2016-2017 WCore Fine Arts and Humanities Courses

WCFAH 101 (being) Creative (4)
This course is an exploration of creativity and what it means to be creative. There will be opportunities to discover and develop our own creativity and to design and complete creative projects/products. Philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of creativity will be considered as well as more practical components of the creative process. We will investigate current research, literature, and approaches to creativity. Questions we will ponder include: What is creativity? What does it mean to be creative? Are there specific skills related to creativity that can be developed? If so, how might we develop and incorporate these skills/attributes into our learning and our lives? What is the importance of play? What is the power of failure? This course is highly experiential in nature and is geared toward the specific individuals who are enrolled.
WCFAH 102 Alien Encounters in History (4)
People often make the judgment that since the past has influenced our own world, the people of the past must somehow be “like us” in fundamental ways. This course will seek to undermine that judgment by arguing that we are fundamentally different from people in the past and that in understanding these differences, we can more freely choose our futures. Our field of inquiry will be European History in the centuries that include the Ancient World through the Renaissance. In particular, we will examine the ways in which Europeans (a definition that evolves over time) define themselves through encountering and interacting with “alien” cultures. Examples: What’s the difference between civilized people and barbarians? How do the people on both sides of the Crusades misunderstand each other? How do the Khan and the Pope try to negotiate their communication? These are a few of the “alien” encounters that we will study. This course fulfills the Writing Emphasis (WE) requirement.
WCFAH 103 Artsparks! (4)
This course is an exploration of the creative arts. We will consider what the creative arts are and why they matter in our lives, our learning, and in our world/society. We will examine a wide variety of artistic works in the realms of visual arts, music, dance/movement, drama/theatre, poetry, and film, etc. We will have opportunities to participate directly in a wide range of artistic experiences. We will discuss such fundamental questions as: What is art? Why do the arts matter? What is an aesthetic? What is it like to interact with art as a producer/creator rather than solely as an observer/consumer? How do various art forms communicate ideas and express emotions? This course is highly experiential in nature and is geared toward the specific individuals who are enrolled.
WCFAH 104 Books That Changed the World (4)
Literature can be a powerful tool for social change. This course examines the international tradition of literary activism in which writers expose injustice, demand change, and inspire solidarity and struggle. This course fulfills the Writing Emphasis (WE) requirement.
WCFAH 105 Communicating Through Writing (4)
This course immerses students into the process of becoming college writers. The workshop oriented class provides an opportunity for students to learn about the following: how rhetorical context shapes writing, how to write about readings, how to understand the information literacy needs and approaches to research, and how to synthesize research into a student’s own writing. By the end of the course, students will have confidence to read, write, research, and communicate in a college context. This course fulfills the Writing Emphasis (WE) requirement.
WCFAH 106 Drawing, Inquiry, and Expression (4)
This course introduces students to the art of drawing and visual communication.  It covers fundamental techniques, materials, vocabulary, and modes of communication inherent to the medium. Students will also learn basic terms and techniques pertaining to creation and critique of drawings, and the presentation and storage of finished artworks. This course will also challenge students to hone their visual literacy, encouraging them to analyze and understand works of art through both historical and contemporary lenses.
WCFAH 107 Film Genres   (4)
This course explores the history, procedures, and consequences of organizing popular films into distinct “genres” (i.e. Western, Sci-Fi, Fantasy). The course will consider such questions as how genres get established, how we know that a film falls into a particular genre, how genres organize audience expectations, and how films may either meet or upset those expectations.
WCFAH 108 How Literature Matters Now (4)
This course considers how literature continues to be a vital element of human experience in the 21st century. It may focus on how literary tropes and ideas manifest themselves in other media (in adaptations, allusions, or mashups), on how digital tools have opened up new ways of understanding literary texts, or on how the techniques of literary analysis can help us to understand political narratives. This course fulfills the Writing Emphasis (WE) requirement.
WCFAH 109 Making Sense of Movies (4)
This course examines the formal elements of film and its history, from the earliest experiments in motion photography through the present. Students will learn the terminology and concepts of film analysis (mise-en-scene, montage, cinematography, etc.) in the context of film’s evolution across the twentieth century. Films may include profanity, violence, and/or sexually explicit images. This course fulfills the Research Emphasis (RE) requirement.
WCFAH 110 Models of History (4)
Students will explore questions of why civilizations developed where and when they do.  Do civilizations require patriarchy?  What makes some civilizations successful where others fail?  How did ancient cultures view love, sex, gender, and marriage?  How did ancient views about the afterlife impact their cultures and actions?  During this course students will construct five historical models to examine how different factors in history might affect the outcomes of critical events and trends. Our context will be world civilizations before the Columbian Exchange and we will include examples from civilizations across the globe. This course fulfills the Writing Emphasis (WE) requirement.
WCFAH 111 Paint, Perception, and Alchemy  (4)
This course introduces students to the art of painting and visual communication. It covers fundamental techniques, materials, vocabulary, and modes of communication inherent to the medium. Students will also learn basic terms and techniques pertaining to creation and critique of painting, and the presentation and storage of finished artworks. This course will also challenge students to hone their visual literacy, encouraging them to analyze and understand works of art through both historical and contemporary lenses.
WCFAH 112 Patterns of Global Immigration (4)
This course looks at the recent history of global immigration patterns in the context of modern world history, paying particular attention to the last century, or so, of migration. The course focuses on immigrant experiences in the US and Europe but it also closely examines global circumstances that affect who becomes an immigrant and why. Students will explore immigration through a variety of writing assignments that focus on the historical and contemporary influences shaping the immigration experience in many parts of the world. This course fulfills the Writing Emphasis (WE) requirement.
WCFAH 113 Power of Arts in Our Community (4)
 This course uses greater Salt Lake City arts organizations and artists as the aggregate sources for research. Students will demonstrate comprehensive understanding of cultural assets of greater Salt Lake City, including how the arts have been affected by 1) history; 2) religion; 3) non-profit and for profit arts organizations; 4) independent artists; 5) local governmental arts policy; 6) patterns of philanthropy; and 7) patterns of attendance. Students will also be able to describe the financial impact of the arts and the role community cultural development plays in our capital city.
WCFAH 114 Searching for America (4)
This course will explore the rich tradition of modern American literature by featuring some of the most captivating texts and innovative authors. While taking a problem-solving approach, it will specifically emphasize pertinent connections between literature and culture. For example, our main problem-solving task will be to interpret literary texts as cultural texts, allowing us to identify how imaginative writing illuminates, interrogates, and complicates fundamental aspects of American culture. We will discover that whether literary protagonists dream of freedom, refuge, success, or happiness, they all imagine and experience modern America in uniquely compelling ways. This course fulfills the Diversity Emphasis (DE) requirement.
WCFAH 115 The Bible and Literature (4)
We will examine the ongoing cultural dialogue between literature and the Christian Bible, focusing on themes such as creation, temptation, fall, revelation, exodus, testing, persecution, conversion, apocalypse, and the problem of evil. Works by by authors such as Shakespeare, Milton, William Blake, C.S.Lewis, Kafka, and Dostoevsky will be read in the context of relevant passages from the Bible. What light do the Bible and literature throw on perennial human issues? Our basic approach to these texts will be anthropological.
WCFAH 116 The Serious Art of Humor (4)
This writing emphasis (WE) Exploration course focuses on humor as a pivotal human experience in the twenty-first century. Students will explore how humor is tied to social contexts, and gain a deep understanding of ways in which humor entertains, instructs, and illuminates political issues. We will read comedy as a cultural text and explore a myriad of subgenres that span geographical contexts (including works by social activist Wanda Sykes, contemporary satirist George Saunders, Indian joke master Kushwant Singh, and cultural critic Barry Sanders), as well as examine styles of comic performances from Ali G’s shock-comedy to Margaret Cho’s political satire. In the process, we will investigate the meanings and effects of humor that have proliferated through social and digital media in the backdrop of such historical events as 9/11 and the Asian Tsunami. Throughout the course, students will reevaluate the concept of humor and ask “what’s funny and why?” This course fulfills the Writing Emphasis (WE) requirement.
WCFAH 117 Writing Time (4)
Both writing and drawing use time. That is a problem. This LC considers this problem by exploring how writing and drawing use time formally or conceptually, paying particular attention to the composition of our works or the assembly of many individual components into a unified whole. We will analyze sequential images, using ideas found in films, graphic novels, photographic experiments, and animation in order to better understand how time can be used as a medium, as well as an idea. We will work to connect our writing and drawing practices in form and content and reflect on the inherent similarities and dissonances we find in each. This course fulfills the Writing Emphasis (WE) requirement.
WCFAH 118 The Yogic Experience (4)
This course is designed to help students discover the benefits of yoga. Students will study the history, culture and philosophy of yoga while concurrently practicing the tools of asana (poses). Class time is dedicated to experiencing yoga’s beneficial moving and breathing principles, and discussing how to expand their practice beyond the mat by bring increased awareness into their lives. Reading and reflective journaling will assist this process.  Students will be guided to adapt and modify yoga poses suit their need and intention. Relaxation is part of the daily curriculum; as students improve their ability to fully and actively rest, learning is absorbed and students become better students.
WCFAH 119 Exploring Photography (4)
With the introduction of contemporary technology, vision itself has become our most immediate form of communication and expression. Although we will look at and discuss the work of others, this course is primarily about each student making her/his own personal images. In this course, students will learn basic technical skills for the beginning photographer. These include camera operation, developing and scanning black and white film, basic grayscale digital image processing, making prints from negatives, making inkjet prints and presentation. Students will also learn the grammar of this language; use of the frame, time, vantage, and detail. Students will investigate the relationship of form to content. Most importantly, students will use these skills to explore their own vision and ideas. Through discussions and group critiques, they will share this work with each other and receive feedback to help them refine it. They will produce affective images that examine their personal perception and concepts.
WCFAH 120 The Story of America (4)
This class will serve as an introduction to American history from the colonial period to the present day.  We will seek to answer some fundamental questions: How did we get here?  How did we go from a handful of small, not very important British colonies to the richest and most powerful nation on earth?   How free have Americans been, who has wielded power, and how has that changed over time? How do historians construct their versions of the past? This course fulfills the Diversity Emphasis (DE) requirement.
WCFAH 121 Ceramics I: Material Studies (4)
This course introduces students to the fundamental nature, practices, techniques, and culture of working in clay. Students will receive an introduction into the four basic building techniques of ceramics. It is a course that will familiarize the student with a utilitarian and artistic material that has been used for millennia and continues to be found useful in new technological and industrial manners. Students will be given an understanding of the practice of time management, a key component to the success of working in clay and a necessity in daily life. Students will learn ceramic hand-building, pottery, glazing, and firing methods as a means of self-expression and communication. This course fulfills the Research Emphasis (RE) requirement.
WCFAH 122 Gender, Sex, and Identity (4)
The central aim of this course is to foster critical thinking about gender and how the concept of gender structures relationships of power around us every day. This means that we will think about, write about, and talk about questions related to what gender is, how it affects us, and how it can change. Throughout this course, we will draw on several different disciplines, such as sociology, philosophy, literature, and political science, to develop a multi-faceted understanding of how gender structures our lives. We will also look at specific topics related to the intersections of race and gender, sexual identity, gender inequality, and the flexibility of gender categories. This course fulfills the Diversity Emphasis (DE) requirement.
WCFAH  123 Citizenship & Voting in Europe (4)
This course examines the struggle for citizenship and its attendant benefits in European History.  The course will follow this focus by selectively looking at European history from the Renaissance through WWII. Approximately two weeks of the course will be developed to a service learning project related to individuals seeking citizenship and/or voter registration here in Salt Lake City. We will look at how the current local issues relating to obtaining citizen rights affect our understanding of the issues that have aided and impeded citizenship in history.
WCFAH 124 Ethics and the Profit Motive (4)
This class will introduce students to the wide range of questions and problems that are encountered in the business world. The goal for this class will be less about answers and more about awareness. Contrary to what is sometimes a popular belief, there are rarely any easy solutions to ethical problems in the real world. What’s important instead is that students are aware of what’s at stake. Consequently, this class will explore the many conflicts that can arise between the pursuit of profit and the quest for various other sources of value and meaning in the world. Students will be asked to think critically, openly, and in an informed way about possible solutions to these conflicts.
WCFAH 201 (Un)American Cinema (4)
 This course seeks to understand American film history in light of one decisive set of events: the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings on communism in the film industry and the resulting industry blacklist. These events extended from 1947 until the late 1950s, which is obviously a small portion of American cinema history. We will situate them in relation to a broader historical context. For instance, the blacklist is incomprehensible without some sense of how the Hollywood studio system operated and the threat it was under in the late forties. And if the economic conditions in Hollywood played a decisive role in the blacklist, they continue to determine the political and aesthetic character of American movies to this day. We will treat the blacklist as a particularly vivid convergence of the factors that have shaped American cinema from the beginning, including the circumstances of international capitalism (and communism), the political beliefs and artistic aspirations of particular filmmakers, and the struggle between nativism and cosmopolitanism in American culture as a whole and in American cinema in particular. This course fulfills the Research Emphasis (RE) requirement.
WCFAH 202 America’s Best Idea (4)
In 1872 the U.S. Congress declared the Yellowstone region the world’s first “national park.” In 1916 Congress created the National Park Service, “which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” Today the Park Service manages 407 “units” with 28 different designations – including national parks, monuments, historical parks, military parks, preserves, recreation areas, seashores, parkways, lakeshores, and reserves – and nations around the world have created their own versions of “national parks.” This course will investigate the “national park” idea and its implications for natural and human history. Why has this been called “America’s best idea?” What have been the implications of national park designation for Native Americans? For wildlife? For American history and culture? How do historians answer such questions? This course fulfills the Research Emphasis (RE) requirement.
WCFAH 203 Drawing Lines in the Sand (4)
This hybrid studio-seminar course examines art about landscape, space, and environments, while challenging students to build on these ideas in their own creative work.  Students will research artworks and writings that explore topics such as landscape, “wild” and urban space, public and private spaces, land(scapes) and power, using this context to inform their creative works that address these same topics.  This course simultaneously introduces students to fundamental drawing techniques, with a special focus on drawings and images made using landscape, nature, and hybridized modes of visual communication. No previous experience with drawing is required. This course fulfills the Research Emphasis (RE) requirement.
WCFAH 204 Epistolarity: Letters to and From (4)
This writing emphasis (WE) W seminar focuses on letters as both reading and writing texts. Students will read letters both real and imagined (for example Heloise and Abelard, Frederick Douglass, Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse, Sojourner Truth, Madame de Stael, M.L.King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, McSweeney’s Letters to People or Entities Unlikely to Respond) across a variety of genres. Students will also write their own letters (love letters, rejection letters, condolence letters, complaint letters, etc.) to themselves, their loved ones, the instructor and classmates, the editors of newspapers or magazines, their communities, etc.  The course seeks to combine a deep understanding of rhetoric (awareness of audience, purpose, and information literacy) with literary modes across a broad spectrum of relevance. Letters might include emails, texts, and tweets. The seminar aims to teach students the importance of establishing ethos in conjunction with educating one’s audience. Workshop format, with at least 20 pages of writing, including multiple drafts of each assignment. The course addresses three college-wide learning goals (writing/critical thinking/creative-reflective), plus diversity, because understanding issues of power, subordination, and privilege are inextricable from creating a standpoint from which to speak. This course fulfills the Writing Emphasis (WE) requirement.
WCFAH 205 Goddesses, Heroes, and Others  (4)
From ancient scriptures to contemporary comics, these literary characters-goddesses, heroes, and “others” (figures marginalized by the dominant group)-rule. This course investigates and supports your investigations of these character types. It poses basic questions asked by many literary critics: where do these characters come from and how are they adapted by so many cultures and literary genres? To answer these questions, we’ll delve into current theory and historical research. We’ll do our part to keep goddesses, heroes, and others alive! This course fulfills the Research Emphasis (RE) requirement.
WCFAH  206 Homelands & Contested Spaces (4)
Focusing on the methods, processes and outcomes of empire in what are usually referred to as “settler states,” this course explores the United States, Australia, and South Africa (among others) from circa 1600 to the present. It compels students to grapple with the complex origins, realities and legacies of what we commonly know today as reservations and homelands. Questions of primary concern in this course are: How and why did these spaces come to be? How and why were they maintained (or not maintained)? Why did certain populations accept or reject the creations of these spaces (and why do these responses change over time)? How do the ancestors of settlers and indigenous populations see and experience these spaces today? The courses places a heavy emphasis on critical reading, film interpretation, and research. This course fulfills the Diversity Emphasis (DE) requirement.
WCFAH  207 Humor and Philosophy (4)
Most people love to laugh-but why? And what makes something funny? Is there a secret to someone or something being comical? And what’s the purpose of humor and laughter, anyway? Finally-can anything be funny? Are some forms of humor actually immoral, and are we bad people for laughing at some jokes? Or is humor a fictional holiday from everyday life, where anything and everything is allowed? In this course we’ll philosophically explore these questions and others about the nature, purpose, value, and possible limits of humor in everyday life.
WCFAH 208 Philosophy of Love & Sex (4)
Love and sexuality are two of the most crucial and complex aspects of our identities. Moreover, these concepts are often intertwined and sometimes pitted against one another. In this class, we will examine different approaches to this topic from a wide selection of philosophical traditions. Furthermore, we will supplement traditional philosophical readings with analyses of artifacts from popular culture, such as music, movies, and television. All of this will prepare us to ask and respond to various questions, such as “what is love, what is sex, and how are they related?” “In what ways does who and how we love make us who we are?” “How is sexuality a personally and politically important construct?” and “How can love change the world?” This course fulfills the Writing Emphasis (WE) requirement.   
WCFAH 209 Poverty and Global Justice (4)
Poverty is examined in this course as an ethical issue of the most pressing sort. Reviewing various ethical theories and conducting a survey of some of the most commonly used definitions of poverty, we focus on this question: what justifies, ethically, politically and economically, if at all, allowing so many human being to remain mired in extreme conditions of deprivation (i.e. poverty that kills)? Arguably, we could act in such a way as to change such conditions to the benefit of the humans who are otherwise the victims of these unchanged, impoverished conditions.
WCFAH 210 Traditional Photography (4)
More photographs are uploaded to Facebook every two minutes than were made during the first 60 years of the history of photography. With the shift to digital technology and the convenience it affords, electronic photography has replaced traditional, silver-based photography as our mainstream method of visual expression and communication. Traditional photography, however, continues to be practiced with a strong and passionate following. Most serious photographers consider it necessary to learn these skills to truly understand the medium, and many practice it for its immediacy and hands-on intimacy. This course will introduce skills, techniques, and materials of traditional, silver-based black and white photography. These skills include use of camera types, including view cameras and hand-held cameras, lenses, light metering techniques, lighting techniques, and refined development and traditional printing techniques. We will examine how different technologies have introduced different methods, and how these methods have shaped, and been shaped by, cultural aesthetics and priorities. We will discuss and examine artistic and photographic concerns, and deal with the advancement of personal visual and conceptual skills needed to produce affective images. Students in this course will experiment with a variety of materials, techniques, and philosophical approaches to traditional photography, and ultimately produce a body of work that exhibits their own personal investigations and creative expression.
WCFAH 211 Reading and Detection (4)
While investigating the history of the detective genre in film and literature, this course compares the work of interpretation with detective work. It is a famous staple of the detective narrative that the detective explains her or his method of detection, often in considerable philosophical detail. In this course, students will imitate these self-reflective detectives by cultivating and describing their own unique methods of interpretation. They will articulate these methods in essays, discussions, and other linguistic performances.
WCFAH 212 Renaissance Humanism: Erasmus (4)
Desiderius Erasmus is one of the best known figures of Renaissance Humanism.  He read, wrote, and travelled widely, interacting with almost all the major intellectual figures of the early sixteenth century in Europe.  This course will look at this exciting period of history through the lens of the life of one extraordinary man. Students will come away from this course with a strong understanding of the one of the major intellectual currents of the period, one that set the stage for the development of early modern Europe, from the Reformation to the Revolution.  In particular students will engage in direct research through the correspondence of Erasmus, which encompasses thousands of letters and hundreds of correspondents-a virtual who’s who of Renaissance thought. This course fulfills the Research Emphasis (RE) requirement.
WCFAH 213 Revisioning (dis)ability (4)
This course has been designed to provide an in-depth exploration of social justice issues for people with disabilities.  Through a series of visual images, including documentaries and digital photographs, students will examine the disturbing history of cruel treatment through ‘tyranny of the majority’ toward those with disabilities.  Topics include the Eugenics Movement, forced institutionalization, and continued restraint and seclusion.  Students will also delve into the social changes brought about by the Disability Rights Movement as well as the barriers to full inclusion that exist today. This course fulfills the Writing Emphasis (WE) requirement.
WCFAH 214 Transnational Cinema (4)
Because it is generally directed at a mass audience and because it has played a founding role in modern societies’ ways of representing themselves and educating (or indoctrinating) their citizens, cinema is even more visibly and emphatically political than other art forms. In this course, we will study three “cases” in the history of world cinema in an effort to get some understanding of how films operate on and in history. We will conceive “history” not as a progression of events through time but rather as a series of struggles among individuals and groups within particular societies. Because resistance to oppression is an explicit goal of the films we will study, we will focus on how cinema addresses sites of solidarity and oppression like ethnicities, tribal structures, religion communities, and genders and modes of sexual expression and practice. This course fulfills the Diversity Emphasis (DE) requirement.
WCFAH 215 Vampire Literature (4)
This course proceeds from the assumption that reading literature bears certain uncanny similarities with vampirism, and that these similarities partly account for the success of the vampire subgenre in popular literature and cinema (the reception of which we will regard as a kind of reading). In particular, literary texts put their readers in a state of passivity that is at once often nerve-wracking and intensely pleasurable. Meanwhile, we will regard writing as a form of vampiric seduction, luring the reading into a receptive state only to strike at the decisive moment and thus achieve its aims (which we will assume are somewhat less violent than the aims of a vampire). This course fulfills the Writing Emphasis (WE) requirement.
 WCFAH 216 Ethical Issues in Health and Healthcare (4)
The basic or human right to life enjoys widespread endorsement, though just what sort of life is considered a basic right may vary from one society to another. While exploring some of these varieties of the conception of “life” which all human beings putatively have a right to (and thus someone or other has a duty to support such a claim), we will focus in this course on the role which health and adequate health care play, anywhere, as necessities, for human beings who are trying to enjoy the substance of such a basic right to life. Other necessities for a substantive life as a matter of right will be discussed as well.
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