The goal of this class is to discover the dynamics and existence of a “Millennial Renaissance of the Arts and Humanities.” To do so, we will wrestle with material that suggests that we are living in a “crisis” or “decline” of the Arts and Humanities, and we will explore your understanding and role in their possible resurgence in today’s day and age. What do you think is the “worth” of the Arts and Humanities in this networked culture in which content is spread more easily between a larger and more diverse group of individuals?
In this course you will explore the many surprising and unusual ways in which the Arts and Humanities are spreading ideas and engaging diverse groups and communities across the world. You will discover how today’s sharing, remixing, and reframing of content in connected and participatory ways is allowing a diversity of community members, businesses, and organizations make space for new ideas, new practices, and more diverse audiences and opportunities.
Through a process of continuous questioning, mind-mapping, information gathering, analysis, and writing, this course will simulate a lab-like environment in which you will take intellectual risks and argue for the “worth” of the Arts or Humanities in your lives and across platforms, publics, and spaces. The best blogs written in this class will be eligible to be published on internationally renown sites, such as 4humanities.org or The Arts & Humanities in the 21st Century Workplace.
Readings will include essays from the fields of Media Studies, Youth Studies, Art Activism, Ethics, Video Game Design, Crowdsourcing, Audience Theory and Higher Education. Faculty members and case studies for this course will span a variety of different fields including:
Invited Guests & Topics of Conversation include:
Susan Frost, President of Frost Marketing
Fernando Orellana (Digital Art) ~ Immersive Art
Patricia Culbert (Theatre) ~ Pop-Up Theatre
Charles Batson (French): Burning Man
Lorraine Cox (Visual Art): EcoArt Activism
Amanda Ervin (Makerspace Coordinator): Communicating Via Textiles
COURSE PLAN AND APPROACH
Discussions and assignments in this class will emphasize process, exploration, sharing, and discovery. This means that all of us, myself included, will be asked to take risks, reach outside our comfort zones and continually reflect on our learning. This is both an individual endeavor and a collective one, as we all become responsible for our own learning and share and grow through what we have discovered. For this purpose, we will ask a lot of questions, mind-map, brainstorm, explore, discover, analyze, create and write in a lab-like environment.
Toward this goal, the class is divided into three sections:
Part I: Understanding the Context and Background
In the first part of the class you will gain an understanding of the factors that are influencing the public’s and the Millennial’s understanding of the “worth” of the Arts and Humanities. We will explore the ideas that are worthy to you, and how these ideas are expressing themselves in a networked culture. In a world that is transforming right before our eyes, you will explore which ideas are worth spreading and why.
Part II: Engaging Audiences: Case Studies
In this second segment of the course, several members of the faculty and staff will present surprising and transformative ways in which the arts and humanities are involving new or different audiences in unexpected or unusual ways that allow all of us to question traditional ideas, structures, or organizations and to think differently.
Part III: Your Millennial Renaissance
In the final weeks of the course, you will explore case studies that are of interest to you. In a lab-like class environment, you will get to share your findings and engage the entire class in the development of an argument for the worth of the arts and humanities from your perspective and in your voice.
Possible Questions To Be Explored:
1. Website, Entries, Preparation & Class Participation (40%)
Each student will create his or her own webpage on Weebly.com (or other) on which s/he will post written reactions to at least 10 of the class readings and discussions. Students can decide how, when, and where to post these reactions on their pages, but it is highly recommended that students post at least one entry a week.
The grading of these entries will be conducted by a peer (chosen randomly) and by yourself in the middle and at the end of the term. Prof. Henseler reserves the right to change this grade should the evaluation not align with the rubric. The grading will follow this rubric:
2. Two Blog Post (30%)
You will write two blog posts over the term. Blog Posts will be between 500-1500 words and they will undergo a repeated editing process inside and outside of class, by your peers and by the professor. Grading of blogs will take into account the efforts and excellence of the blogs in the entire process and according to the recommendations outlined on the course webpage titled “Blog Writing.”
3. Final Project 30% (25% by peers / 25% self-evaluation / 50% by prof.)
An Idea Worth Spreading: Write a Blog of between 1500-2500 words that makes a case for the “Millennial Renaissance” or “Worth” of the Arts and Humanities. You can approach this topic from any perspective you wish, with the goal of reframing ~ Use your websites to add material that will strengthen your case.
Attendance in this class is mandatory. After two unexcused absences, your final grade will be reduced one grade point (for example, from a B+ to a B) for each unexcused absence. If you must miss a class, it is your responsibility to contact other classmates and find out what was covered and what assignments (or handouts) I distributed during your absence. Please write here two names/phones of classmates you may contact:
*All* reasons and excuses count towards these absences, including oversleeping, studying for a test in another course, illness and medical appointments, and personal and family emergencies. This means that if you decide to skip 1 class in the first half of the term, and then you must be away during Week 9 for a family emergency, you will suffer a grade penalty. So, budget this 1 “free” absence carefully and make sure that you leave yourself “room” to be sick or deal with emergencies late in the term. You do not have to explain to me why you missed class; I will simply note your absence. If serious illness or personal emergency keeps you away from class for an extended period, I will of course make exceptions to the grade reduction policy -- but I will need documentation from the appropriate authorities. You are responsible for making up for material you missed due to absence. It is not appropriate to ask me to do this for you.
Union College recognizes the need to create an environment of mutual trust as part of its educational mission. Responsible participation in an academic community requires respect for and acknowledgement of the thoughts and work of others, whether expressed in the present or in some distant time and place.
Matriculation at the College is taken to signify implicit agreement with the Academic Honor Code, available at honorcode.union.edu. It is each student's responsibility to ensure that submitted work is his or her own and does not involve any form of academic misconduct. Students are expected to ask their course instructors for clarification regarding, but not limited to, collaboration, citations, and plagiarism. Ignorance is not an excuse for breaching
By being in this class, each student implicitly agrees to the the Honor Code.