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The Core Curriculum

UW: Readings in Film and Performing Arts

In one of its most notorious roles, the critical essay opens a space for the evaluation, analysis, and interpretation of artistic works. But does the critic simply decode the meaning left in a work by its creator, or might the act of reading creatively generate new meanings and questions? This course will focus on critical essay-writing as a performative and generative conversation between artists, critics, and audiences. Each section will focus on a set of notable critical essays about a particular artistic medium (music, theater, film, photography...) that interrogate the aesthetic, political, and philosophical stakes of critical reading and writing, although students are encouraged to pursue their individual artistic or cultural interests. The course will involve field trips to artistic happenings and workshops with critical writers from Columbia's faculty and beyond.  These classes will have section numbers in the range of CC/GS1010.300 to CC/GS1010.399.