Spring 2019 (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
IDH3931  14529  The Art of Health and Illness: Using Creative Work to Explore Illness Experiences and Health Negotiations 3499  R/8  Sams, Kelley C.  The Art of Health and Illness 
IDH3931 22241  Performing Arts Backstage: A Look Behind the Scenes 4B98 R/3 Cox, Matt Performing Arts Backstage 

The Art of Health and Illness: Using Creative Work to Explore Illness Experiences and Health Negotiations

How do we make sure we stay well? What do we do when we get sick? What measures would you take to make sure someone you love gets the right care? These questions are an essential part of the human experience. By studying creative work that investigates questions related to illness and care, this course focuses on some of the broader issues surrounding healthcare and how these have been addressed through the arts. Students will be asked to produce their own creative reflections centered on health issues drawing from a variety of disciplines. On March 21st, the class will attend a performance of Mercy Killers together, as a part of the Performing Health Festival sponsored by UF Center for Arts in Medicine. This one-man show centers around Joe (played by Michael Milligan, who also wrote the piece), an auto mechanic in middle America whose life is turned upside down when his wife is diagnosed with a terminal illness and he cannot afford to pay for her care. Neither artistic experience nor specialized knowledge about healthcare is required for participation, only a readiness to engage creative and critical thinking.



The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat is a whimsical yet scientific take on what happens to individuals affected by brain trauma and disease. This class explores a range of different neuropsychological disorders and the interesting lives of those experiencing them. The course aims to introduce students to unique disorders of the mind, but in a creative and personal way. In class, students will learn about the basics of the brain and discuss the applications of psychology and neuroscience to the stories from the book. Students will also call on critical thinking and empathy skills to imagine the daily lives of the individuals experiencing these unique disorders and their caretakers. No previous knowledge of psychology or neuroscience is required. 

Performing Arts Backstage: A Look Behind the Scenes

University of Florida Performing Arts brings performances to UF from all over the U.S. and all around the world. We’ll go behind the scenes to learn how it all happens: how the performances are produced and created; how the artists are contracted and presented at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts; how things work backstage. We’ll explore the business and craft behind the art.

University of Florida Performing Arts will present a performance series at UF of more than  forty performances and artists during the 2018-2019 season. Each performance draws on the work of artists, producers, agents, designers, artisans, managers, and technicians, among many others. Their coordinated work creates new performances and brings those performances to cities around the U.S. on national tours. Focusing on three performances during the spring semester – Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Finding Neverland, and Anoushka Shankar – we’ll explore each artist’s work and some differences among arts genres, while also going backstage at the Phillips Center to see and experience how the work unfolds behind the scenes.

Students will use “The Production Manager’s Toolkit”, by Cary Gillett and Jay Sheehan, as a general resource and guide, supplemented with material accessible online.