Fall 2018 (un)common arts

These courses are discussion oriented, seminar courses centered on a performance or exhibit. All of these courses are one credit.

Please use the UF Schedule of Courses to find times, places, and other course information.

(un)common arts courses

CourseClass NumberTitleSectDay/PeriodInstructorSyllabus
IDH2930 18207 What Makes a Monster? 204F W/9 Stoyan-Rosenzweig, Nina  What Makes a Monster 
IDH3931  18219 Political Satire/Capitol Steps  2H82 R/7 Kevin Baron  The Problem with Political Jokes and Capitol Steps 
IDH3931 18255 The World to Come: Images of Climate Change 2113 W/8 Harpold, Terry  The World to Come: Images of Climate Change 
IDH2930 18326 Petty: The Biography 2196 W/11 Clavert, Clay Petty: The Biography 
IDH2930 18320 The Art of Pop Up: The Magical World of Three-Dimensional Books   22C9 W/6 Komanski, Carolynn  The Art of Pop Up 
IDH2930 18377 Phoenix: Reading the "God Manga's" masterwork  22HG M/9 Smith, Christopher Phoenix 
IDH3931 18254 Behind the Scenes: Producing a Musical-A National Tour 1H47 R/3 Cox, Matt Behind the Scenes: Producing a Musical 
IDH2930 21840  Experiencing Hamlet As an Actor 3D77 W/4-5 Homan, Sidney Hamlet 

Political Satire/Capitol Steps

Political comedy and satire have been viable forms of communication for centuries, providing an outlet for transmitting political commentary and opinion in both flattering and unflattering ways. In the contemporary era, there has been a rise in the use of political comedy on television, but there are numerous other outlets where satire and comedy shed light on political realities. Political cartoons, stand-up comedians, blogs and websites, social media and memes, and music or other live-art performances have the power to convey information, form or shape opinions, and even influence or motivate political participation.

The purpose of this course will be to explore the connections between comedy and satire, and politics. As American politics have become more hyper-partisan and bitter, it would seem that political comedy has increased in attention, becoming more popular. This course will function seminar-style, using historical and contemporary examples of political comedy and satire to drive conversation around the impacts that comedy has on politics directly, and indirectly by informing, influencing and motivating political behavior. Students will be assigned readings, videos, and other multi-media or web-based content to explore each week, and will meet for one hour a week to discuss and explore ideas and perspectives. In the aftermath of a bitter 2016 election and an upcoming midterm/Governor election, this course is a perfect time to observe how comedy is utilized. The last few weeks of the course, students will give a presentation based on the subject matter. Bonus is a performance with the Capitol Steps

The World to Come: Images of Climate Change

We live in an age of worsening ecological instability and crisis. Climate change,
environmental degradation, biodiversity collapse, and mass extinction threaten to reshape
the collective futures of humans and other living things of the Earth. As we enter the late
Anthropocene, the geological epoch defined by human influences on the environment,
our former habits of mind and body are more and more incompatible with emerging
situations on the ground, in the air, and under the water. But we humans are by nature
timorous and reactive; creating new habits is difficult for us, who often find willful neglect,
cynicism, and despair the easier solutions. In this course we will start with the positive
humanist assumption that to prepare for the world to come we must reimagine it,
ourselves, our communities, our civilization, and our species. A hopeful resolve to think
and act anew must come to us first by way of the creative imagination.
Our principal model for this work of bearing witness and renewing possibility will be a
landmark international art exhibition at UF’s Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, “The World
to Come” (September 18, 2018 – January 6, 2019). The exhibition, which features works
by more than 45 contemporary international artists, will challenge us to discard obsolete
assumptions about human destiny, to confront catastrophic environmental injustices and
reflect on our bonds to each other and to non-human life, and to consider the viability, if
not the necessity, of a planetary humanism.
The course will meet once a week in the Harn Museum. We will spend much of our time
in the museum’s galleries discussing the exhibition. We will also meet with the
exhibition’s curator, Kerry Oliver-Smith. Students are encouraged to attend a two-day international symposium affiliated with the exhibition (October 19–20), featuring scholars,
artists, and scientists whose research and teaching are focused on environmental crisis and
the environmental imaginary.
Graded writing assignments include three short essays and three group presentations on
selected works in the exhibition.

Behind the Scenes: Producing a Musical - A National Tour

“This course will take students behind the scenes to explore the business and the art of producing an American musical. Students will be introduced to theatre production and design, to the production management of a theatrical tour, and to backstage work at the Phillips Center for a national tour production of a musical, presented by University of Florida Performing Arts. Along the way, there will be opportunities to see how performing arts centers work, and to explore the changing meanings of a performing arts event.”