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Course Information

Instructor Info:Jules Rosskam
Office Extension x5550
Mariel Nyrop
Term: 2013S
Meeting Info: Thursday
09:00 AM - 11:50 AM Jerome Liebling Center 131
04:00 PM - 06:00 PM Jerome Liebling Center 120

In this interdisciplinary course students will work in the medium(s) of their choosing to explore the ways in which text and image interact with and complicate one another. We will look at a wide array of work that incorporates text and image, including but not limited to: Picasso, Braque, concrete poetry, Twombly, Rosler, Spero Piper, Krueger, Kalin, Child, Seydel, Ligon, Kaprow, Ono, Grand Fury. The main emphasis of this class will be experimentation and collaboration. Students will work on both collaborative and independent projects throughout the semester, while simultaneously developing a group show, which will be staged in the Leibling gallery at the end of the semester.

Evaluation Criteria:

Participation and Exchange

Participation does not mean you should just talk a lot. In order to be a good “class participant” you should: ask questions of the instructor, your classmates, and yourself; contribute insights about the course material and your classmates’ comments; and work to create an environment in which everyone is comfortable contributing. This means saying “I don’t get it” when you don’t, explaining concepts when you think you do “get it,” asking questions, making space and time for your classmates’ comments, bringing up examples, theorizing, challenging, and analyzing. If you are having a bad day (and therefore unable or unwilling to engage fully in class), you are required to post your thoughts (two paragraphs minimum) to the “I had a bad day” forum on Moodle by the end of the day.

I believe the open exchange of ideas is extremely important in the classroom. I hope to create a safe learning environment where students can disagree and debate with one another, but still respect each other as classmates and peers. This means that while you may be strongly opposed to an opinion expressed during a discussion or critique, you should never use personal attacks to get your point across.  In my classroom I expect students to not only express their ideas, but to genuinely listen to the ideas of others and to offer reasoned responses.


You will not receive an evaluation from me unless you’ve completed a self-evaluation. DUE 5/3/13. If, at any point during the semester, it becomes certain that you will not receive an evaluation I will inform you. However, you should not hesitate to check in with me about your progress throughout the semester.


All assignments are due on the date indicated in the syllabus – late work will not be accepted. Should you neglect to complete more than two experiments you will receive a NO EVAL. Should you not complete your artist presentation, group presentation, or any work for the group show you may be subject to an immediate NO EVAL.


You will almost always have weekly readings to do from the textbook, Writing on the Wall. In addition,there will be 1-2 readings that are assigned by student groups. You are required to create an artistic response to these (student-group assigned) readings. This response should be akin to writing a two-three paragraph summary of the main point(s) of the reading(s), with your opinion included. However, instead of simply writing a response paper you will make an art-object that contains both text and image. Every week we will look at your responses at the beginning of class. Please come prepared to fully engage with your work and the work of others. YOU ARE REQUIRED TO PRINT ALL READINGS AND BRING TO CLASS.

These weekly experiments are named “experiments” and not “assignments” for a reason. Which is to say, they are a place to TRY NEW THINGS, to push yourself to use a medium you’ve never used, to explore content you’ve previously been intimidated by, etc. You will be assessed not necessarily on how “successful” these experiments are, but on your ability to actually push yourself outside of your comfort zone.


One of the first reading assignments you have is to read Colleague-Criticism: Performance, Writing and Queer Collegiality in which you will be exposed to a new/collaborative method of artistic practice and criticism. You will then be put into small groups, with whom you will work for the entire semester.

In each Thursday class you will get into your groups and spend time writing about and talking about each other’s work. You will track your colleagues/peers growth over the semester, and they will track yours. At the end of the semester you will interview each other about your work and produced a collaboratively written document just as Bonin-Rodriguez, Dolan, and Pryor have done.

Additional Info:

Attendance and Tardiness

It is mandatory that you show up for class. If you miss more than four classes you will receive a NO EVAL. Being late to class two times (or leaving early) is equal to one absence. You are expected to show up for class not just bodily, but intellectually. Those who attend class but remain non-verbal, semi-comatose, or fully asleep will not be considered in attendance. Presence is mental and emotional, as well as physical.

Study Buddy: Please take it upon yourself to trade email addresses with another person in the class. If youare absent, you should email this person to borrow and copy lecture notes and discuss everything you missed. Although I will be happy to discuss things if you feel confused (after consulting your buddy and the TA) or behind, I will not be able to review entire class meetings or answer questions such as “what did I miss?

Electronic devices

Use of cell phones, pagers, games, laptops, etc is not permitted in class.  If you violate this policy I will ask you to leave, and you will take an absence for the day.


The best way to contact me is via email. I hate the phone so please don’t bother leaving me a message because I will not listen to it. The only time to call would be during my office hours,

when I will definitely answer the phone. For quickest turnaround, it’s best to email me Tues-Thurs.  You may sign up for my office hours on Hampedia, but you are always welcome to drop by and see if I’m free without making an appointment ahead of time.

My office hours are: Tuesday’s 3:40-5:40 and Wednesday’s 2-3:40. You can sign up on Hampedia.

You’re in Control

Its up to you to come to class ready and prepared to engage with your classmates on the issue(s) we will be examining.  This means that you muse completely the readings and assignments and be active participants in your own education.  If you do not participate in class you will NOT PASS this class.  I am available for consultation regarding your progress in the class during scheduled meetings or via email. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please email me with possible times. If you are having problems in the class with attendance, understanding the readings, or completing assignments, please see me immediately. I can be flexible, but it’s up to you to contact me if you are having problems.