2011-12 Catalog

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Offering Description

In the Presence of Beauty


Spring 2012 quarter

Robert Knapp physics, sustainable design , Suzanne Simons writing, journalism, sociology , Helena Meyer-Knapp politics and government
Fields of Study
architecture, cultural studies, education, history, music and visual arts
Preparatory for studies or careers in
design, art history, cultural studies, education, world history, architecture and visual arts.

This program will explore the idea and the experience of beauty. Our thesis is that the sense of beauty has many facets, which different cultures recognize and value differently. Individual preferences also differ, always under the influence of powerful, shared traditions of beauty. We will dramatize and investigate this by paying extensive attention to three traditions in which the faculty have professional expertise—Iran, Japan and Britain. Significant differences between these traditions and between individual student and faculty experiences in the American context will be a major occasion of collaborative and individual learning.

Most class meetings will put students in the presence of beautiful art, writing, film, architecture or music; readings and seminars in criticism and cultural history and analytical and expressive writing assignments will help students develop authentic ways to articulate their descriptions and judgments. The work will lead to a major concluding project on an individually chosen instance of beauty. Students will acquire both a fuller understanding of the variety of ways one can encounter beauty, and of ways to document, appreciate and evaluate the experiences of beauty that occur.

The program has two levels of enrollment: all students will meet one night per week and every Saturday for a coordinated program of lectures, seminars, films and workshops. 16-unit students will also prepare for and take two two-day visits to cultural cultural resources in Northwest cities, to be in the immediate presence of beautiful things which can come only second-hand to campus.

Advertised Schedule
Wed 5:30-9:30pm; Sat 9am-5pm.
Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Schedule Details
Events Outside of Regular Schedule: 16-credit students will also have two overnight field trips to musical, architectural, and literary sites: Portland, Oregon on May 3/4 and Vancouver, B.C. on May 30/June 1.
Required Fees
$170 for overnight field trips for students choosing the 16- credit option.
Offered During
Day, Evening and Weekend

Program Revisions

Date Revision
March 15th, 2011 Suzanne Simons has joined the teaching team.