Right now I should be sitting here working on getting all my readings and tasks for the weeks ahead finished. Instead I’m sat here, surrounded by rather difficult, and extremely long, texts, crying into my cup of tea. Okay, I’m metaphorically crying into my cup of tea both because I’m not actually crying and because I’ve long since finished my tea. But that’s beside the point. It seemed high time I got started with some procrastination and wrote my once a semester sum up of what courses I am studying.
Introduction to Visual Methodologies
This course is a compulsory module for all humanities students. Part of me is looking forward to it because it does seem interesting and the teacher seems lovely. I am a little worried about how much overlap there’s going to be with the art history courses I’ve already taken as it’s obviously intended for people who’ve not done any.
It seems to focus on the different philosophical views towards art over the years and the ways in which they’ve fed into criticism so it should hopefully have a different slant. I’ve not found it challenging so far (only two classes in though). Admittedly, some of the texts are difficult but that’s philosophers for you! In short, it’s either going to be a course I love or it’s going to be a little dull, I think. We’ll wait and see!
Narrative Across Media
This course was one I signed on to a bit on a whim as Dania was planning on taking it and showed me the course description (and it looked good). It’s supposed to look at the way narratives behave when portrayed through different media using narratology. For example, how are narratives presented in novels differently to in poems?
This is another course I’m not sure about right now. The teacher, although really engaging, was very clear that he wanted to champion a scientific approach to the humanities as opposed to an interpretation based one. If you know me then you’ll know my opinion on that. I do like narratology, however, so that should work out. I also think that the teacher is confident in his own abilities and status to be open to people having different opinions on what humanities should be about. The issue will be writing my papers in the style that this course dictates… On the other hand, the last class seemed a lot less strict on the whole “Humanities are science” thing, rather using narratology as a framework for interpretation – something I can deal with and agree with.
This one sounds quite similar to Narrative Across Media in many ways as it looks at the adaptation of texts into other medias and new versions. For example, we read Pride and Prejudice and then look at various adaptations… films, television series, Bollywood films, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies etc etc etc and work with those. The texts chosen look really interesting and watching/reading multiple versions of a thing is right up my street.
In fact, while this course seemed to have quite a bad reputation, I think it may end up being my favourite. I agree with the main text book author on most things, the teacher is good fun and engaging and the general subject corresponds with what I actually want to do in life. It’s wonderful.
Art and the Body
I ended up in Art and the Body really late as I had planned on taking Creative Writing this semester and then Art and the Body next year as it was better for me timetable wise and also workload wise. Of course, Creative Writing was oversubscribed.
Art and the Body is exactly what it sounds like. The first half looks at how the body is portrayed in art, focusing mainly on portraiture and, to be honest, it’s fascinating. The second section is on how art influences the body from corsets to tattoos. What a subject! To see that double influence is just really exciting. I also know this teacher as I’ve had her before and she is great. She knows her stuff, is passionate, strict enough to run an organised class but really kind too.
So, overall, it seems that I’ve got a bit of a strange mix of classes that I feel I will love and ones I’m less sure about. The fact is, I’m sure I will gain something from all the classes I’m taking and will grow to enjoy them all in some way because I always do in the end. I also feel that I will like the teachers for all of them which, while it shouldn’t be an issue, is always important. We’ll see how they all go!