What is the course about?
This course is about us and how we understand, express, and explore ourselves through creative and visual arts. Through an engagement with set readings, as well as artistic and creative practices (including your own work if you wish), this course provides an exploration of key ideas that inform and inspire contemporary creative and cultural practice. The course is designed to enhance the thinking that underpins work in the creative arts, and is ideal for those wishing to think, research and make in relation to the world around them and key issues and debates concerning identity, race, ethnicity, gender and other key areas of contemporary identity politics.
What previous students liked most about their course: .
“Innovative course for artists! Brilliant tutor, fantastic group! Material covered was approached in a very accessible way.”
“The group and the lively discussions that came out if it which continued well into the evening after the class finished”
“The reading - great material I wouldn’t have encountered otherwise”
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
Each week will explore a different theme related to identity and the self, including:
- what is identity, and what different ways can we understand this concept?
- what does it mean to have a self?
- representations and creative explorations of identity: race, gender, sexuality and ethnicity
- identity politics and performativity
- the body
- phenomenology and the experience of the self
- technology and identity
Each session will involve a set reading or video (provided as part of the course fee via Google Classroom) which will be used to inform discussion, talks, and exploration during teaching sessions via Zoom.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Read, understand and discuss with confidence a wide range of conceptual, critical and theoretical ideas related to theme of identity
- Recognise and analyse creative practices in relation to identity, the body and related themes;
- Draw on critical and theoretical ideas and texts to enhance your own creative, critical and artistic thinking.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is for those studying or developing their creative practice, whether in art, design, craft, creative writing, performing arts, and those working in the creative sectors such as art teachers, curators or arts professionals. Ideally, you will have some prior experience in one of these areas, or be actively involved in producing creative work through study or independently with a desire to extend the conceptual basis of your work. We also welcome those who may not be practicing, but have an interest and desire to explore the subject.
You will need a good handling of written and spoken English necessary to engage with set readings and for participation in paired and group discussion. Some experience in reading theoretical texts about art and culture would be beneficial, but a willingness to read and engage with theory and build your skills is essential.
You will need access to the internet, so that you can engage with resources on our Google Classroom, as well as participate and interact in Zoom classes.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This course will be taught via Zoom and Google Classroom, through a mixture of illustrated talks, paired and group discussion, sharing your own examples of work (if you wish), readings and videos, and visual analysis exercises. Each week you will be set a key reading to instigate discussion in class, along with a suggested reflective or creative activity.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You are encouraged to have a notebook, paper and pen to record notes from talks and discussions. You may wish to buy some of the books from the course reading list. All readings will be available digitally, however if you intend on printing the readings you will need to consider the printing costs.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may be interested in other Art in Theory courses, exploring other themes and ideas in contemporary creative practice such as VB653 Art and Ideas: Time and Memory, or VB648 Art and Ideas: What is visual language?
You might also be interested in art history courses, or philosophy or anthropology courses within the humanities department.