The faculty members of the Department of Fine Arts and Art History would like to create a new course titled Special Topics: Fine Arts, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
We currently offer advanced special topics courses in specific media that corresponds to each of the department’s Fine Arts programs (Special Topics: Drawing, Special Topics: Painting, Special Topics: Sculpture, Special Topics: Ceramics, Special Topics: Photography, and Special Topics: New Media). These course numbers serve the purpose when the course is limited to working in a single media. However, more and more the department is offering courses that extend beyond conventional studio areas, such as a recent course that explored the relationship between video and sculpture.
The syllabus included in this packet is for a course in which students will be expected to integrate Sculpture and New Media. Instead of crosslisting the course with Special Topics: Sculpture and Special Topics: New Media, which causes confusion in that neither course number is appropriate, it makes more sense to have a course number for these kinds of courses – Special Topics: Fine Arts. Furthermore, the Fine Arts faculty is considering making it a requirement that undergraduate students complete a minimum of at least one studio course that is not specific to one media, so this new course number will allow us to track curricular requirements.
Finally, these types of courses are necessary precisely because professional artists often work in interdisciplinary ways. Therefore, courses that extend beyond single media is a true reflection of contemporary art practice in the 21st century.