(This course was taught at St. Edward’s University in Fall of 2013)
Designed as an introduction to arts criticism, the class will explore ideas and attitudes about the function of criticism and the role of the art critic. Students will be invited to focus on a particular art form of their choosing (film, music, theater, etc.), and will spend the semester learning how to write critically about that form. We may think through and discuss the blurry distinctions between “high” culture and “popular” culture, comparing articles from a variety of publications to explore audience, tone, and purpose. How, for example, do reviews in Entertainment Weekly compare with those published in The New Yorker? By working through the long-standing traditions of art and literary criticism, students will enter into the critical conversation with an enhanced expertise and sense of confidence. In the latter half of the class, we will focus on authorial voice and style – showcasing/workshopping student work to focus on particular lessons in writing style.