outside on the lawn
The Creative Discovery courses listed below provide opportunities for a broad introduction across a range of creative fields. They give you the opportunity to join thinking and making, while also providing access to performances, screenings, exhibitions, and other exciting events, on-campus and off. Such courses provide a foundation for future experiences as artists, performers, designers, videographers, and writers -- and for future experiences as responsive thinkers and engaged audience members in the domain of arts and culture.

Visit the Berkeley Academic Guide for more information on each of these courses, offered Fall 2020. 

ART 8: Introduction to Visual Thinking
Instructor: Anne Walsh

Art 8 considers contemporary art as fundamentally emerging from a larger system of visual culture that cuts across many material forms and platforms, from unique works in traditional media like oil painting viewed in museums, to time-based photographic media, to ecological, social, or networked practices. In lecture and studio sections we will encounter and learn terms and concepts common to contemporary visual culture. We examine issues arising from the history, economics, and institutionalization of art as well as issues in contemporary art making and critical thinking. We will discuss and practice material, critical, and presentation skills. In three larger and 6 smaller projects students will progressively define and articulate their subjective interests, conceptual urgencies, and material or procedural affinities. Art 8’s goal is to further students’ own sense of direction and voice as young artists by guiding you toward critical and imaginative skills, toward a practice radical openness and productive doubt, and toward ever-greater awareness knowledge of the cultural contexts you work and live within.


ART 118: Advanced Drawing: Remixing the Figure
Instructor: Indira Morre

The primary focus of this course is to advance fundamental technical skills in figure drawing, to gain an understanding of human anatomy, and to acquire a personal visual language of drawing from life. Through close observation of the human form, students will develop ways of seeing that go beyond conventional visual perception. Students will expand the skills necessary for figure drawing executed in a variety of wet and dry media, together with diverse methodologies of traditional and contemporary figure drawing including digital drawing on tablets and ARVR technology. Via the heightened observational and existential sensitivities gained through practice, students will discover that representations of the contemporary body make visible our constantly shifting cultural values, serve as an autobiographical record, and reflect the collective social conscience.


ART 160: Lights that See Us
Instructor: Carrie Hott

The Lights That See Us is a course created in response to our ever-changing relationship to new technology. We will explore historic, material, political, and artistic perspectives of technology systems beginning with some of the earliest forms of artificial lighting up to emerging Internet of Things devices. And now, in response to the covid-19 era of reliance on technology to gather, communicate, learn, and work virtually, the course will focus heavily on the complexity, advantages, and drawbacks of technological mediation, specifically in the home.


ART 160: Special Projects at Platform Art Space
Instructor: Jill Miller

Students will explore what it means to make and exhibit art during the time of a pandemic. Course participants will experiment with new, interdisciplinary methods and forms to create artwork that may be viewed at a distance: both online and in public spaces where pedestrians and motorists traverse the landscape. The course investigates new, hybrid modalities for creative work in a quickly-shifting, uncertain time. Class projects will cover a range of media and topics, including: site-specific video projections, a collaborative group project at the Worth Ryder Gallery, drive-by/walk-by art installations, and activist posters, illustrations, and gestures.


ART 199: Independent Study - Worth Ryder Art Gallery Student Internship Program
Instructor: Farley Gwazda

*Please note, this is a draft syllabus and may be updated significantly for fall 2020. ART199 Section 002: “Remote Viewing,” which explores possibilities for experiencing art in the age of social distancing. Our goal will be to move beyond the typical, often tedious webpage/Instagram model of the virtual gallery, taking as our flagship the mystical practice of “remote viewing” - observing a distant target via extrasensory means. This is a disputatious subject - discredited by science but exploited by the CIA, an integral part of some indigenous rituals but appropriated by the new age experience industry. This course posits that Zoom meetings and social media posts fail to transcend the message of their medium, fail to privilege the experience of the viewer, fail to create the kind of autonomous, open-ended encounter that is key to meaningful cultural exchange. The course will include wide ranging explorations of possibilities for art exchange outside the gallery, from traditional media such as public murals, to cutting edge technologies such as telepresence robotics and immersive VR installations.


African American Studies 164: Spoken Word
Instructor: Aya de Leon

This course is designed to give students four vantage points on contemporary spoken word:
1. as a diverse, layered, and multicultural young adult arts movement
2. as an art form with African American roots, including Black church, Black power and hip hop traditions
3. as an opportunity to practice using spoken word as a tool for social commentary and to communicate personal experience
4. as an opportunity to utilize the process of creativity for self-exploration and community building


Classics 17A: Introduction to the Archaeology of the Greek World
Instructor: Kim Shelton

This course is intended as an in-depth introduction to the material culture of the Ancient Greeks. We will examine and discuss the architecture, sculpture, painting, and ceramics of the various periods chronologically from the Neolithic to the Hellenistic period, and will examine how archaeologists and art historians interpret this evidence. One goal of the course is to understand the technical and artistic development and changes in the artifacts and their characteristic styles while gaining deeper insight into the civilization that produced them through an understanding of how the wider social and economic context conditioned and were affected by these accomplishments.


CHS 159: Mexican Migration and CHS 180: Chicana/o Ethnography
Instructor: Pablo Gonzalez

This course will introduce students to contemporary ethnographic works produced by Chicanas/os. We will look at how Chicana/o Studies uses ethnographic writing, film production, photography, and performance, as a way to describe the everyday lives and experiences of Chicana/o and Latina/o communities in the United States and across different borders. We will focus on what makes Chicana/o ethnography unique to other forms of ethnographic writings. What methodological tools are used by Chicana/o ethnographers? What are the politics in conducting ethnographic research? And, where do Chicana/o ethnographers position themselves as researchers and as active observing participants? The course will not only map a genealogy of Chicana/o ethnography but also read contemporary ethnographies on such topics as Trans-border social movements, community formation, the US/Mexico Borderlands, Labor and Migration, racism and racialization, folklore, and Chicana/o cultural production.


Music 108 / M108 / 208A: Music Perception & Cognition
Instructor: Jeremy Wagner

A review of the sensory, perceptual, and cognitive foundations of listening, performing, and composing. Topics include relations among various acoustical and perceptual characterizations of sound; perceptions of pitch, time, temporal relations, timbre, stability conditions, and auditory space; auditory scene analysis and perceptual grouping mechanisms; perceptual principles for melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic organization; orchestration as spectral composition. A course research project is required.* *The course project can take a number of forms. Examples of past semester projects include literature/book reviews, musical analyses or original musical compositions exploring course topics, miniature psychoacoustics studies and original research, etc. The student is encouraged to think creatively and propose a project that aligns with their particular interests and talents.


MUS 155: Music Composition
Instructor: Ken Ueno

An introductory exploration of approaches to contemporary music composition. This fall, students will compose pieces for a chamber choir of Bay Area professional singers whose livelihood has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. We will develop compositions and performance practices that will foreground PPEs and socially distanced protocols. In this way, we will not only analyze how safety protocols and health concerns need to transform music practices, but, through the creation of new works, we will advocate for art that takes advantage of the new reality.


Slavic 49AC: Children's Literature in the Context of American Cultures
Instructor: Anne Nesbet

Children's books are complicated objects that deserve to be taken seriously on a number of different levels, both as artistic texts and as documents of their time. We will therefore take a multi-pronged approach to our texts: we will read these books carefully and closely, using some of the formal tools developed for literary analysis by Slavic theorists (Mikhail Bakhtin, Vladimir Propp, Viktor Shklovsky, Tzvetan Todorov), and we will consider more contemporary analyses and critiques of these works (by scholars such as Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, Dr. Debbie Reese [Nambe Pueblo], and Dr. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas). We will also pay particular attention to the development of the children’s literature industry in the United States and to the current state of children’s publishing. Readings will include children's novels by writers like Louise Erdrich, Laura Ingalls Wilder, L. Frank Baum, Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Medina, and Elizabeth Acevedo, as well as numerous critical and theoretical articles. I hope to invite several of our authors to visit us this semester!


Design Innovation 22: Prototyping and Fabrication - Making Things
Instructor: Christopher Myers

Course overview:
How to play: creative problem solving by having fun
Lo-fi prototyping; Hand tools; Fasteners, materials, adhesives: knowing what’s available and making the right choice; 2D fabrication; 3D assemblies from 2D parts; 3D modeling; 3D fabrication; Breadboarding (wireless); Soldering; Microcontroller concepts; Programming; Sensors; Motors; Other actuators; Mechatronics: linkages,gears, pulleys, belts; Mechanical adjustability


HUM/ENV DES TBD (in COCI process): Ghosts and Visions: Placekeeping, Augmented Reality, Histories and Futures
Instructor: Susan Moffat

This Fall, the Public Histories/Public Futures Humanities Studio course will focus on using Augmented Reality (AR) as a way to explore a public space with a complex and layered history. We will be experimenting with AR as a way to ask questions about how our bodies, the bodies of other creatures, and physical materials inhabit space, and how physical sensations and imagination interact to construct our experience of place. This is especially relevant in a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has limited the places that we can inhabit. We will then ask how the aggregation of disparate bodies and memories in a place affects politics, policy, and power. Central question: throughout the semester, you will explore this question relevant to questions of urban change, gentrification, climate change, and the role of art and design in society: How does the hidden history of a place affect how we envision its future?


HA 190F.1: Visual Activism
Instructor: Julia Bryan-Wilson

*Please note, this is a draft syllabus and will be updated significantly for fall 2020. How has visual culture played a contested role within the social movements of the last several decades? How, we might ask, is activism made visible; how does it erupt (or disappear) with collective fields of vision? Drawing upon black South African queer photographer Zanele Muholi’s term “visual activism” as a flexible rubric that encompasses both formal practices and political strategies, this lecture class interrogates contemporary visual cultures of dissent and protest as they span a range of ideological positions. We will examine recent developments in and around recent intersections of art and politics, looking closely at performances, photographs, art objects, and graphic interventions, with a special focus on tactics of illegibility and fugitivity. Topics include visual responses to structural racisms, global climate change, state violence, and queer/trans issues.


HA 192.T: Medieval / Modern: Giotto to Michelangelo & Beyond
Instructor: Henrike Lange

This new seminar will engage with questions of modernity and modernities across time and space. Connecting our current location in California in 2020 to different phases of late medieval, early, mid-, and high Renaissance art history, patterns of artistic new beginnings and reformulations of older themes, methods, and practices arise. Particular attention will be paid to epochal breaks and shifts such as the Black Death of 1348 and other catastrophes (plagues, floods, fires) and their respective cultural-artistic responses in defining the periods “before” and “after” a catastrophic event or collective trauma as well as apotropaic images to prevent them in a historical context. While we will study Cimabue, Giotto, Masolino, Masaccio, Donatello, Botticelli, Michelangelo, and Raphael, the actual focus of the course will not be on canonical artists but on the question of their canonical construction as a problem of writing art history. One goal of the seminar is to show these artists embedded in a wider spectrum of lesser known artists and artistic production around them, including architecture, design, sculpture, and arts and crafts. Readings will combine literary, historical, theoretical, and theological texts from the medieval and early modern period up to the Baroque age with scholarly literature from the late nineteenth century up to the present day, giving students an overview of a variety of ways in which the issue of medieval and modern is addressed in the current art historical discourse.