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Bard College Catalogue 2023-24
Interdisciplinary Arts CoursesThe following courses draw on faculty expertise across the disciplines and programs.
The Artist as Citizen
“There should be no dividing line between artistic excellence and social consciousness,” wrote Joseph W. Polisi, president of the Juilliard School, in The Artist as Citizen, published over a decade ago. In this course, Bard College artists and scholars from diverse disciplines evaluate the obligations of citizenship with regard to the arts.
The Architecture of an Urbanized Planet: Designing Body and World
This course approaches architectural design not by focusing on the production of a particular building, but by working transversally across a number of conceptual scales. Since at least the 20th century, architecture’s scope of practice has widened to include landscapes, cities, regions—even the planet itself—while also narrowing its focus to include the design of micro environments for the human body. The course considers the techniques and ideas emerging from these various scalar practices, and cultivates critical new design approaches.
Understanding Social Media
This course raises critical questions that evolve around social media, including surveillance and privacy, big data, and misinformation. Topics include sociohistorical perspectives regarding technology and society; the nature and characteristics of different social media, such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat; civic engagement through digital platforms; the role of influencers; and social media marketing. Students create social media projects and analyze trendy cases in different platforms.
Introduction to Media
This course provides a foundation in media history and theory. Students consider the origins, evolution, and changing nature of a variety of media, and explore how media reconstructs the world we inhabit. They also spend some hands-on time working with media to assess their own positions as “prosumers”—not just as users and consumers but also as producers and creators of media. Readings from Adorno, Benjamin, Barthes, McLuhan, Berger, and Chomsky, among others.
Vibrant Matter: Archives of Contestation and Reanimation
This advanced course investigates the “aliveness” of archives and collections and what political theorist Jane Bennett describes as vibrant matter—the capacity of things “to act as quasi agents or forces with trajectories, propensities, or tendencies of their own.” Students work in the media of their choosing to create artwork that utilizes archives as a tool for both contestation and reanimation. The class visits on and off-campus archives and local historical societies.
Beyond Bollywood: Mapping South Asian Cinema
DESIGNATED: OSUN COURSE
South Asian cinema is nearly synonymous with Indian cinema to the international audience, although Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal have developed strong film cultures too. The objective of this seminar is mapping the cine profile of the South Asian countries and examining Bollywood’s hegemonic presence in the region. Films studied include works by Raj Kapoor, Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, and Anurag Kashyap from India; Zahir Raihan, Alamgir Kabir, and Tareque Masud from Bangladesh; Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Shoaib Mansoor from Pakistan; and Lester James Peries from Sri Lanka.