2012-13 Catalog

Decorative graphic

Offering Description



Fall 2012 and Winter 2013 quarters

Lisa Sweet printmaking, ceramics, drawing , Miranda Mellis fiction, nonfiction, and contemporary literature , Elizabeth Williamson English literature, theater studies
Fields of Study
aesthetics, art history and visual arts
Preparatory for studies or careers in
visual arts, art history, philosophy and aesthetics.

Iconoclasm is about more than just destroying or defacing an existing image--it also creates its own symbolic content. This program addresses iconoclasm as both a contemporary and a historical phenomenon, asking questions such as: What perceptions and convictions inspire people to attack, deface or destroy images? What is achieved by burning a Quran or toppling a statue of a government leader?

This program is designed for students with interest in aesthetic philosophy and printmaking. Over the course of 20 weeks, we will explore several case studies of the destruction of images--from religious objects to 'canonized' works of art in museums, from iconoclasm borne of religious conviction, to more familiar forms associated with political dissent. We will also cover image-breaking as an artistic strategy. Our collective project will be to gain clarity on the impulses, expressions and consequences of iconoclasms.

Fall quarter will provide students with a framework for understanding the history and thinking embedded in instances of iconoclasm. Students will be introduced to texts and concepts through lecture and seminar, and will begin to process ideas addressing image destruction more intentionally through writing and revising critical essays. In order to heighten an understanding of concepts as well as developing new skills and habits of thought, students will learn basic intaglio printmaking techniques, providing a hands-on context in which to understand both the power of images and some consequences of iconoclasm. They will also practice storytelling with attention to the social and historical stakes of the fraught categories of truth and fiction, ethics and aesthetics. Exploratory, craft-oriented writing exercises will be assigned on a regular basis (with accompanying readings) in order to provide participants with a sense of the possibilities of form and content. Winter quarter will represent a deeper examination of events in which iconoclastic impulses go by other names: censorship, sacrilege, art history or art-making. During this second half of the program, students will also develop culminating projects synthesizing and advancing program concepts.

Though we will be looking at works of art in a historical context, this is not a traditional art history class, nor does it offer a chronological survey of Western art. About 40% of students' time will be devoted to artistic practice and 60% to rigorous reading, writing and discussion. Students should be prepared to articulate the content of their artistic work, and to use creative modes of thinking to actively engage the theoretical materials presented in the program.

Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Special Expenses
$100.00 per quarter for printmaking materials.
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
November 5th, 2012 Fall and Winter quarter fees removed.
August 6th, 2012 Miranda Mellis, a new faculty member who brings expertise in creative writing, especially fiction has been added to the program.