Fall 2019 Course Descriptions

The GW Bulletin houses official program requirements for the university. You can use it to find out the courses you need to take to complete your degree. However, we want to help you navigate the course selection process, so we have provided more detailed descriptions of what each course entails that you can use as a resource while planning your course schedule. Please contact your program with any specific questions.

For a list of when these courses are being offered in the fall, please refer to our 2019 Course Offerings page. Please note that these are still subject to change and the final schedule of courses can be found through the Office of the Registrar.

Please note that some professors may put their own spin on a course, so the actual syllabus of a course may vary slightly from the below descriptions.

Courses are listed by their course code in alphabetical order under their focus subject area. Sometimes the code prefixes can be confusing - here are some clarifications:

ART HISTORY: Art History courses are listed under both AH and CAH.

DESIGN: The design program houses graphic design, digital media design, interaction design, and exhibition design. Exhibition design and interaction design have been given their own sections below. The rest of design can be found under the Graphic Design section, including the codes CGD and CDE.

STUDIO ARTS: The studio arts has the most degrees at the Corcoran, as well as the most code prefixes for courses. If you are looking for non-photography fine arts courses, look under the Fine Arts section, which includes the codes FA, CCR, CFA, CFN, and CPR. Those codes correspond as FA = fine arts, CCR = ceramics, CFA = corcoran fine arts, CFN = first year foundations, CPR = printmaking. If you are interested in art courses, look through the entire list, as not all ceramics classes are under CCR, etc.

If you are looking for photography-based courses, there is a separate section entitled Photography & Photojournalism, which contains the course codes CPH and CPJ, as well as some FA.

AH 1000 Art of the Exhibition

B. Obler
What responsibility do curators in Washington, D.C. have to represent art from various cultures and time periods to the U.S. public and visitors from other countries? What particular challenges do this city’s museum educators, guards, development staff, conservators, etc. face?  What place does contemporary art have in a city dense with political debate and heavily laden with historical memory? In this iteration of this seminar, students will take an exhibition co-curated by Prof. Obler, with Phyllis Rosenzweig, curator emerita, Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, as a case study. On view at the Corcoran’s Flagg Building from August 8–December 15, “Fast Fashion / Slow Art” will feature 11 videos with the aim of catalyzing broad-ranging discussions on labor and environmental sustainability in contemporary garment industries. Students will make their own intervention in the city’s art scene by organizing an exhibition—also on the subject of fast fashion—in Gallery 102, the Corcoran's student-run gallery.


AH 1031 Survey of Art and Architecture I (G-PAC)

G. Elliott

This course is an introduction to the history of art that selectively surveys painting, sculpture, architecture, and material culture in Europe, Asia and the Mediterranean before 1300 CE (i.e. from Prehistory through the Middle Ages). By using a variety of theoretical, analytical and critical means, you will learn to approach works of art in relation to their larger historical, cultural, political, economic, and religious contexts. In class, we focus on the contextual conditions under which works of art were produced and the various ways they have functioned from that time on. You will learn how to perform visual analysis, understand iconography and meaning, articulate the important characteristics of individual objects and monuments, as well as recognize broader stylistic developments across time. Visits to museums will provide you with first-hand experience of original artworks. Classes are comprised of lectures and discussion groups.

*This G-PAC course is approved to fulfill requirements in two distributions: Arts; and Global /Cross-Cultural Perspective.


CAH 1090 Art History I: Art Now, Contemporary Perspectives in the Visual Arts

L. Lipinski

Contemporary art is in flux and expanding beyond traditional forms, i.e. the

painting on the wall and the sculpture on a pedestal. What does that mean for artists? For you as the viewer? For anyone who is invested in and involved with art today? Important and related questions are: What is art? What is theory and what is its function in relation to art? These are some of the questions we will explore. The mission of this course is help you develop tools to both appreciate and analyze contemporary art; to improve your oral and written communication by thinking critically about art; to recognize how contemporary art connects not only to your life experiences but also to the lives of others; and to embrace diverse perspectives and expand your knowledge of contemporary art and its institutions. Through a focused and thematic study of artists and artworks, exhibitions and institutions, and historical texts and critical theory, you will gain an understanding of the expanding art scene. The course is structured around the following themes grouped in three units—1) identity and the body; 2) time, memory, and place; 3) science and spirituality.


AH 2071 Intro to The Arts in America

K. Markoski

A survey of American art from the period of colonial exploration and settlement to the postmodern present. Political and social meanings of painting, sculpture, architecture, prints, and photographs. The relationship of art to religion and nationalism; issues of class, race, and gender.

*Same as AMST 2071.


AH 2161: History of Decorative Arts: American Heritage

D. Pierce

This course examines the decorative arts in America from the seventeenth century to the modern period. Course emphasis is given to the changing visual characteristics in American design as they relate to the changing American experience. Twentieth-century European modernist design traditions are also investigated in relationship to their influence on American design in that period.


AH 2162W: History of Photography

A. Givens

The invention of photography in the early 19thcentury changed the course of art, history, and modern civilization. As a tool of the industrial revolution, photography has served many different functions and fields (both scientific and aesthetic) while posing provocative questions about its use, efficiency, philosophy, and our relationship to the physical and social world. Together we will explore how photography was invented and developed through decades of innovation up to the present digital age. We will consider the following questions. Is photography art? What kind of truth does photography represent? How has photography been used to document war, disasters, and history? What is its truth value as a medium of the modern and postmodern age? My goal for the course is for you to develop and improve your writing skills and enrich your knowledge of photography in all of its manifestations, from the documentary to the artistic, including the theoretical implications of photography as an artistic and as an ethical practice.

AH 2190: East Asian Art

D. Kumar-Dumas

This course discusses modern and contemporary art in Asia with particular attention to visual art produced as a result of encounters between groups identified primarily on the basis of their racial and ethnic origin. Beginning in the late 18th century, this course looks particularly at two modes of encounter: one is animated by race, or the encounters between the so-called West and the non-West, and most commonly understood as the relationship between whites and Asians; and the other on ethnicity, or the tensions and convergences resulting from interregional encounters between Manchus and Han Chinese, Chinese and Taiwanese, and/or Koreans and Japanese. Course materials interrogate how constructs of race and ethnicity arise from the production of visual representation.


AH 2191 South Asian Art (G-PAC)

C. McKnight Sethi

This course considers visual and material culture of South Asia from early archaeological settlements to the contemporary period. Regions to be studied include the Himalayas and the Indian subcontinent (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka). Working chronologically, we will examine artists and diverse creative practices and the powerful patrons who supported them. Fundamental to our study will be to acquire a working knowledge of the geographical, political, and social forces in the region, and to explore the ways in which both religious and secular art and architecture operate in this rich cultural terrain. No previous knowledge of South Asian history or art history is required. This course fulfills the G-PAC Arts requirement for Critical Thinking and Cross-Cultural Perspective.


AH 3102 Ancient Art of the Roman Empire

E. Friedland

This course surveys the art and architecture of the Roman world including its Etruscan predecessors (c. 1000 B.C.), the rise of the Republic, the conquest of the Greek world and the “Hellenization” of Rome, the establishment of the Roman empire by Augustus, the expansion of the empire under the Flavian emperors and Trajan, the consolidation of the empire under Hadrian, the Antonine and Severan emperors, the crisis of the third century, the reign of the Tetrarchs, and the Christianization of the empire begun by Constantine (A.D. 324).  Themes will include the development and styles of portraiture, historical relief, and wall painting; the materials, techniques and innovations of Roman architecture; the "Romanization" of the provinces through architecture and sculpture; and the development of the late antique style and “Christian art.” Special consideration will be given to the use of art as propaganda, external influences on Roman art, and the legacy of Rome to the Medieval, Renaissance, and modern worlds.


AH 3107 Ancient Mexican Civilizations

J. Blomster

The cultural region referred to as Mesoamerica – encompassing modern day Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador – was the cradle of early and spectacular civilizations in the New World. This interdisciplinary course uses archaeological and art historical scholarship to explore substantial anthropological issues related to the rich cultural traditions of Mesoamerica; the class focuses on the unique character of Mesoamerican civilization, its development, and its contributions to the world. No prerequisites are required. The structure of the course follows the chronological sequence of Mesoamerican cultures. After examining the peopling of the New World and the initial hunting/gathering lifestyle, the focus is on the development of agriculture, pottery, and the first permanent villages. We will examine the change from egalitarian societies to complex chiefdoms, states and even empires. Emphasis will be placed on the development of Mesoamerica’s first civilization – the Olmec – and the features first synthesized by the Olmecs, especially monumental art, that resonate in subsequent Mesoamerican civilizations. Different approaches to complex society, art, and political organization will be examined by comparing the cities and states of Teotihuacán, Monte Albán, and various Maya polities. After examining the militarism that arose after the demise of these major states, the course will conclude with a brief examination of the final prehispanic empire in Mesoamerica – the Aztec.


AH 3114 Intro to the Art of the Book in the Medieval Muslim World

M. Natif

This course will serve as an introduction to the history of painting and book illumination in the Muslim world, beginning with the rise of Islam in the seventh century and ending with the seventeenth century. We will rely both on written sources (historical, philosophical, poetic, and religious) and works of art and material culture (painting, book illustrations, and calligraphy) to better understand the unity and diversity of the Islamic world and its complex attitude toward images. Islam nurtured a unique artistic and aesthetic visual language that was fashioned, in part, by Muslims’ exposure to and dialogue with other peoples and civilizations, including Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Buddhists, and others. The Muslims’ encounter with the flow of Turkic nomads, the growing influence of the Persian language, the contested Arab hegemony, exchanges and relations between nomad and sedentary, and the ongoing conflicts with non-believers (Byzantines, Hindus, Shamanists) brought about an endless process of creativity that is constantly reflected in Islamic art. The format of the course is a combination of lectures and class discussions. Throughout the course we will analyze specific case studies that will offer us a more complete grasp of the history of Islamic painting and book culture. The course is designed to serve non-specialists. All reading materials, including original sources, will be in English.


AH 3117 Latin American Art II

A. Huezo

The course provides and in-depth analysis of Latin America through the art of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Rufino Tamayo, Maria Izquierdo, Xul Solar, Emilio Pettoruti, Antonio Berni, Wilfredo Lam, Joaquín Torres-García, and Chavela Vargas, among others. By analyzing a wide variety of artistic production that includes painting, sculpture, performance, prints, manifestos, music, film and ephemera, the course considers the diversity of Latin America cultural and artistic production, emphasizing artists’ relationship to religion, tradition, race, gender, and politics. While considering Latin America’s enduring legacies and dynamic processes of change, it addresses several important art movements, such as modernism, surrealism, indigenism, social realism, muralism, and magical realism. Moreover, the course introduces students to the major artistic theoretical issues with an eye on the regional and global changes that defined, challenged, or helped shape Latin American art and culture.


AH 3120 Italian Renaissance City: Court & Commune

P. Jacks
An exploration of Italy in the 14th and 15th centuries focusing on the major city-states (comune) of Florence, Siena and Pisa; the maritime republic of Venice and princely courts of northern Italy: Sforza of Milan, D'Este of Ferrara, Gonzaga of Mantua, Malatesta of Rimini,  Montefeltro in Urbino, Aragonese of Naples and papal patronage in Rome. Major artists include Giotto, Masaccio, Piero della Francesca, Pollaiuolo, Mantegna, Pisanello, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio and Leonardo da Vinci; the architectural achievements of Brunelleschi, Alberti, Michelozzo, Laurana and Francesco di Giorgio Martini are also highlighted.


AH 3141 & AH 3141W European Art of the Early Nineteenth Century

L. Robinson

This course considers the development of Neo-Classicism and Romanticism in the context of the rapidly changing political, intellectual and social climate of Europe during and after the 1789 French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, the Restoration and the French Revolutions of 1830 and 1848. The primary focus is on painting and sculpture and the thematic, stylistic and contextual examination and interpretation of Neo-Classicism and Romanticism in France, England and Germany in the work of representative artists such as Jacques Louis David, Antonio Canova, Eugène Delacroix, Caspar David Friedrich, Francesco Goya, John Constable and JMW Turner. Requirements of the course include: two examinations, assigned readings and a research paper.  Students enrolled in the WID section of the course have additional writing assignments. All images shown in class are posted on Blackboard.


AH 3146W Modern Architecture in Europe and America

P. Jacks

A survey of major movements in architecture and urban design from Palladian Revival in England (Burlington, Chambers, Wyatt), the archaeological discoveries of Pompeii and Herculaneum, Greek Revival in England, visionary architecture in the Age of Revolutions (Ledoux and Boullée), the impact of the Industrial Revolution (Paxton's Crystal Palace), Gothic Revival (Pugin), Rundbogenstil in Germany, Arts & Crafts (Ruskin and Morris), Jugendstil and Art Nouveau (Guimard, Horta, Gaudi), Vienna Secessionist (Wagner, Olbrich, Loos), Bauhaus from Weimar to Dessau (Gropius), the Machine Aesthetic (Le Corbusier),  De Stijl (Rietveld, Doesburg), International Style (Mies van der Rohe), Modernism in Scandinavia (Aalto, Saarinen, Asplund), Critiques of Modernism (Stirling, Smithson).


CAH 3150 Theories and History of Graphic Design

L. Lipinski

What are the origins of graphic design? What is the purpose of graphic design? How has graphic design shaped the world past and present? Together we will explore how the field has evolved from the invention of writing in ancient civilizations to the digital revolution and beyond. My goal for the course is for you to build of foundation of knowledge on which to shape your own theory and practice of design. If you know and appreciate the past, you will build on the cultural legacy of beautiful form and effective communication.


AH 3153 American Art of the 20thCentury

A. Dumbadze

This course is a historical and thematic investigation of 20th American art. We will look at key movements such as the Ashcan School, Harlem Renaissance, Abstract Expressionism, the Chicano Arts Movement, Conceptual Art, Feminism, Postmodernism, and AIDS activism, as well as individual artists in some depth.  Several themes and questions will frame our discussion: What are the various relationships between art and politics?  What is the relationship between art and life?  What are the different ways 20th American art has addressed the politics of identity and the politics of representation? 


AH 3170 Methods, Materials, and Techniques in Art History

P. Reuther

Materials, Methods, and Techniques in Art History supplements traditional approaches to art history by investigating works of art as objects. Introducing recent research trends in technical art history, students will become familiar with current practices in conservation, restoration, imaging and chemical analysis. Wherever possible students will experience direct interaction and contact with the objects themselves and will engage with practitioners in the field. Additionally, students will be guided in one or more hands-on projects individually or in groups, recreating objects utilizing traditional materials, techniques, and methods. The course will track regional institutional exhibitions and events particularly where these relate to professional conservation work.


AH 4139 Monarchs, Merchants, Magnificence

B. von Barghahn

Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics (4.2) defines ‘magnificence’ as a virtue concerned with wealth and a “fitting expenditure involving largeness of scale” both with respect to the agent and to the “circumstances and the object”. This seminar addresses the concept of magnificence espoused by select  European monarchs and their resplendent courts: the exhibition of paintings, tapestries and sculpture in stately galleries of municipal palatine complexes; expansive gardens and landscape architecture; luxurious aristocratic fashion and fabrics; formal public ceremonies and etiquette commemorated in art; the decoration of private rural residences with themes appropriate to a life of otium (leisure) --mythology and the royal hunt. Besides absolutist magnificence and expenditure on a grand scale to reflect a sovereign’s power and prestige, this course additionally will consider bourgeois magnificence in the North. Art commissioned for town households and civic structures by Dutch merchants, as well as wealthy patrons of Belgium, France and England, often accents classical concepts associated with the display of splendor -- liberality, justice, magnanimity, morality and ethics. Lastly, magnificence (magnum facere) as an attribute of invention and intellectual refinement also will be explored by examination of key works by important Baroque philosophical artists such as Rubens, Rembrandt, Poussin, Velázquez, and others.


AH 4182 Photography in India

C. McKnight Sethi

This seminar considers the many different histories of photographic images on the Indian subcontinent from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. We will consider the vagaries of the vast archive of photographic images that participated in and fueled British colonial engagement in India, and explore how this technology transformed artistic practice throughout the twentieth century and into the present. Specifically, we will examine the ways in which the production and circulation of photographic prints facilitated broader taxonomic interests of the British Raj to map, collect, and “know” India’s architectural and artistic past. We will also consider the use of photography in ethnographic studies and colonial attempts to categories people, castes, and occupations of the region. Moving into the twentieth century, we will explore how photographic images - both still and moving - participated in growing discourses on modernism and anticolonial nationalist movements. Finally, we will look at the work of contemporary artists throughout the subcontinent and the global South Asian diaspora who deploy photography as a means for artistic expression. This discussion-based seminar is open to graduate students and art history majors (or advanced undergraduate students with permission of the instructor). Previous knowledge of South Asian art is not required.


AH 4189 Fast Fashion/Slow Art

B. Obler
Conceived as a crucible for new research, the exhibition “Fast Fashion / Slow Art,” co-curated by Bibiana Obler, associate professor of art history, and Phyllis Rosenzweig, curator emerita, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, will be on view at the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design from August 8–December 15, 2019. The show aims to foster discussion on such questions as: What are the merits of the local and tailor-made versus the global mass production of “fast fashion”? Is it possible to protect workers’ rights and ensure safe working conditions while keeping up with consumer demands? What skills do the mass production of textiles require? Can design and technology offer sustainable solutions to the environmental effects of fast fashion? What role do art and popular culture have in raising consumer consciousness? In this eponymous seminar, students will pursue their own individual research on relevant topics as well as presenting tours and/or their own research to public audiences, if scheduling permits. 

 PLEASE NOTE: The course is listed under the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design / Art History & under the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design / Honors on the Schedule of Classes.


AH 6258 Art Historiography

D. Bjelajac

This graduate seminar examines a range of critical perspectives, theoretical issues, and global methodologies that constitute the practice of art history. The course topics and required readings offer insight into particular histories, inheritances, and possibilities within the discipline, and are designed with the goal of allowing students to develop their own approaches to researching and writing about art. Students in the class will be asked to identify relevant texts, write weekly reading responses, lead class discussions, compose critical questions about themes introduced in class, participate in lectures by visiting artists and scholars, and produce an historiographic study of a single work of art from a local collection.


AH 6262 Photography in India

C. McKnight Sethi

This seminar considers the many different histories of photographic images on the Indian subcontinent from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. We will consider the vagaries of the vast archive of photographic images that participated in and fueled British colonial engagement in India, and explore how this technology transformed artistic practice throughout the twentieth century and into the present. Specifically, we will examine the ways in which the production and circulation of photographic prints facilitated broader taxonomic interests of the British Raj to map, collect, and “know” India’s architectural and artistic past. We will also consider the use of photography in ethnographic studies and colonial attempts to categories people, castes, and occupations of the region. Moving into the twentieth century, we will explore how photographic images - both still and moving - participated in growing discourses on modernism and anticolonial nationalist movements. Finally, we will look at the work of contemporary artists throughout the subcontinent and the global South Asian diaspora who deploy photography as a means for artistic expression. This discussion-based seminar is open to graduate students and art history majors (or advanced undergraduate students with permission of the instructor). Previous knowledge of South Asian art is not required.

AH 6265 Women In Islamic Art

M. Natif

As artists, patrons, collectors, and subject-matter, women played import and diverse roles in Islamic art. As elite women, they commissioned monuments and gardens, patronized artists and calligraphers, and had their own libraries. Oftentimes, they were involved in all stages of the artistic production, and like their male counterparts, had access to the myriad of resources in the royal workshops. Women in preā€modern Islamic courts used power and financial means to cultivate art and took active part in political and cultural life. This seminar will focus on women as the subjects and the creators of art, as well as the patrons of architecture and artifacts. Classes will be organized chronologically and thematically, starting with a historical survey of the status of women in the pre-modern Muslim sphere, of female artists and their artistic contributions, as well as an examination of the literati, secular, and religious images of women in Islamic art. By surveying the monuments they commissioned, we will attempt to define the particular characteristics of patronage of women. Throughout the course we will look into socio-economic aspects of patronage and think about the relationship between power, wealth, and image of female subjects. Some of the important themes we will explore include gendered sight, art history’s exclusions, female portraiture, the female heroine, the nude, and sexuality in illustrations and album paintings. The significance of social factors such as differentiation based on gender and class will also be considered while understanding particular aesthetic and artistic trends.

AH 6270 Collectors and Collections

L. Robinson

Built on assigned readings ,class discussion, and lecture this course considers the evolution of European and American collecting from antiquity to the early twentieth century. Individual collectors-- monarchs, aristocrats, and the middle class- provide the focus for an examination of collecting motivation, aesthetic considerations, methodology of collecting and display in the context of the artistic, intellectual, social, and political climate of the time. Requirements of the course: research paper, oral presentation based on research paper, review of a current local exhibition, and a take-home examination. In addition, students take turns presenting a synopsis and leading a discussion of one of the readings assigned for that day.


AH 6270 Contemporary Art & Theory

A. Dumbadze

This class examines contemporary art and theory from a perspective that is informed by our current moment, a time which is decidedly strange, anxious, and unstable. Each session is arranged around a specific topic or historical development, although three major themes will predominate: the impact of neo-liberal capitalism, the changing nature of subjectivity, and the influence of digital technologies.


CAH 6400 History of Exhibitions

L. Lipinski

The exhibition is where modern and contemporary art meets the public. This course looks at the history and theory of exhibiting new art in the past 150 years, starting with the French Salon and the independent alternatives that challenged it (Courbet, the Impressionists, and Post- Impressionists), through avant-garde exhibitions (Expressionists, Constructivists, Dada, and Surrealists), installation art and alternative exhibition practices, and current strategies for exhibiting contemporary art. We will discuss historic exhibitions including the Armory Show and Hitler’s Degenerate Art exhibition and consider such issues as exhibition design, audience, ideology, politics, economics, and critical reception.

CDAD 6570 Proseminar: Research & Writing for Decorative Arts & Design History

E. Chase Rochette

This writing-intensive course is designed to equip students with the skills required for scholarship in the history of decorative arts.  The focus of this course is to develop methodologies adopted in decorative art and design history scholarship as well as to practice critical analysis skills. Formatting, argument, organization, content, are all critically examined by students in preparation for seminar courses. Students hone reading, writing, and research skills through assigned readings, class discussions, and writing assignments. 

*Open to Decorative Arts & Design History students only.


CDAD 6571 Survey of Decorative Arts and Design I (1400-1800)

E. Kuykendall

This required foundational course provides an overview of European decorative arts from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Emphasis is on major developments in furniture, metalwork, textiles, glass, and ceramics from Italy, France, England, Germany, and the Low Countries. Through lectures and readings, students will build a working visual and historical vocabulary of decorative art materials, forms, styles, ornament, production, and use. Topics covered include the development and uses of interiors, socialization of space and the body through display of objects, rise of consumer culture, impact of global trade networks, court ritual and display, politics of taste, major patrons and makers, important objects and sites, and the development of manufacturing technologies. Students will apply their skills in weekly critical writing responses and comprehensive written examinations.



CDAD 6573 Craft & Trades in Early America

E. Kuykendall

Limited written records and modern romanticism have often combined to create misconceptions surrounding the work of the colonial artisan, men, and women who fashioned hand-made goods in an isolated setting. In reality, American craftsmen thrived (though some did not) within complex economic, social, and political networks stretching across the globe. Their livelihood and status was linked to current tastes, burgeoning technologies, exotic imports, and enslaved labor.

This new course explores the work of pre-industrial artisans in colonial British America and the early republic by considering a variety of trades, from master builders to enslaved potters. The relationship between an object's design--it's physical and aesthetic properties--and the tools and technologies available to the tradesperson are considered, in addition to marketing strategies, labor relationships, and patronage. Classes are conducted in a seminar format where discussion of the weekly readings is required. Each class is accompanied by illustrated lectures, as well as museum field trips and workshops. Knowledge culminates in the student's ability to analyze secondary texts, interpret primary sources, an original research paper, and oral presentation.

*Fulfills Material Culture theory requirement


CDAD 6574 Historic Textile Analysis

C. Gunzburger

Good textile design exploits the possibilities and limitations of available materials, structures, and techniques. This practicum course will explore the technical aspects of textiles as a means to interpreting their aesthetic and cultural contexts, and establish a framework for critical evaluation of textile objects.

Students will get hands-on experience with historic textile materials and techniques through workshops with practitioners and museum collection visits. Techniques covered include spinning, bobbin and needle lace-making, weaving, printing, and embroidery. The course will equip students with textile cataloging, scholarly textile structure analysis, and materials identification skills. Students will compile a reference notebook of a comprehensive range of historic textile materials, techniques, and structures.


CDAD 6575 Aesthetic Movement

C. Fischer

Art for Art’s Sake, the defining adage of the Aesthetic Movement, implies that art should be an end in itself.  In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, aesthetes on both sides of the Atlantic such as James McNeill Whistler, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and Oscar Wilde sought to liberate themselves from repressive Victorian rules and free art from design reformers’ obsession with solving social and ethical problems.  The Aesthetic concern for making art an independent statement is the beginning of modern art as we know it today.

*Fulfills Non-Western influences requirement




*The following courses require special permission from the department.


CDAD 6900 Independent Study

Students who wish to pursue a specific interest may choose to work independently under the supervision of a faculty member or museum curator.  These topics must be separate from coursework and the final project must be a research paper or a professional presentation with audience. To register for an independent study, the Contract for Independent Study must be completed, which requires a description of the project and the signatures of the supervisor and a member of the department staff.

It is the student’s responsibility to define and outline a course of study and a final project, and to obtain the approval of the supervisor first and then the department director before proceeding.  With the supervisor, the student must establish work load and determine how progress is measured.  The student and supervisor must also agree on a final project. Students may not use the independent study to prepare material for a thesis proposal; it should be a separate research project. The supervisor is responsible for overseeing and evaluating the student’s course of research: approving the proposed outline, offering guidance as it pertains to bibliography and methodology, and for grading any preliminary work and the final project. Students may enroll in a maximum of 6 credits of independent study toward their degree.


CDAD 6902 Internship

Students who wish to acquire additional professional and practical experience in the field may choose to intern at a predetermined institution.  Arrangements for and approval of any internship must come through the department director.  To register for an internship, the Contract for Internship must be completed, which requires a general description of the work the student is doing and the signatures of the internship supervisor and the department.

As an intern, the student is required to work a minimum of eight hours per week or 120 hours total over the course of the semester.  In addition, the student must keep a journal reporting their activities to be handed in at the end of the semester to the department director who, in consultation with the internship supervisor, awards a grade on the basis of performance and written work. Students must also complete a Critical Analysis Paper, which contributes to their grade. The internship supervisor should assign projects that give students training and hands-on experience in the area of the supervisor’s expertise such as curating, exhibit design, publications, or museum education.  Opportunities for interaction in a collegial and professional environment are as important as the development of specific skills.  Students may enroll in a maximum of 6 credits of internship toward their degree.


CDAD 6998 / CDAD 6999 Thesis I / Thesis II

The master’s thesis requires research and writing on an approved topic under the direction of a faculty supervisor. Students must have had their thesis approved by the department prior to must registering for thesis. Students enroll in a minimum of 3 credits and maximum of 6 credits of MA Thesis that apply toward their degree; once they have taken two semesters of thesis, they must enroll in a one (1) credit thesis course until the completion of the thesis. Students must be enrolled in thesis during the semester they intend to graduate.

MA|EX Year1A

CEX 6010          Studio I: Introduction to ED (Andrea Dietz)     M 1:00pm – 5:30pm

Studio I operates at the scale of the object and the body, developing relationships between them and the spaces they inhabit. It provides a foundation in working with and conceptualizing through the basic modules of an exhibition. Co-requisite to CEX 6011.


CEX 6011          Introduction to Visual Representation (Ezgi Isbilen)      R 1:00pm – 5:30pm

This course covers the skills and tools required of two- and three-dimensional design work and the foundational theories of representation and production. It introduces the principles of line-weight, figure/field, color and texture, form and shape, composition and hierarchy, and assembly. It teaches orthographic projection and axonometric and perspectival construction; analog and digital drawing and modeling; and architectural documentation standards and scale. It works through hand drafting and drawing, computer drawing and modeling (Rhino), collage (Photoshop), rendering (Cycles), postproduction (Illustrator and InDesign), and multiple model-making techniques (using paper, [scale] wood and metal, and basic digital fabrication [3d printing and laser cutting]). Co-requisite to CEX 6010.


MA|EX Year2A

CEX 6120          Studio III: Advanced Tools & Methods of ED (Kevin Brookes)      W 6:10pm – 10:40pm

Advanced instruction in the principles and fundamentals of computer-aided design, representation, presentation, and analysis. Development of skills with digital tools to communicate the design intent to a variety of project stakeholders. Systems of the design process, including analytical, expressive, syntactical, and spatial language.


CEX 7120          Construction and Detailing for ED (Alvin Tsao)             Sa 1:00pm – 5:30pm

The materials, documentation, and construction techniques used by exhibition designers and fabricators. How design decisions can influence manufacturing efficiency and cost. Drawing skills for reverse engineering of typical exhibit structures. Compilation of a final design or construction documentation package with exhibit media keys and requisite components to communicate and control the design during fabrication.


CEX 7800          Capstone I (Andrea Dietz)                                  T 1:00pm – 5:30pm

Through the capstone preparation course, students will prepare a design project proposal, complete pre-design research, and produce a schematic design package. Students will develop their work through a series of methodological prompts (approaches, destinations, techniques, topics, and typologies) and fill-in content through ideation and precedent study.

CCR 1253.80 Introduction to the Wheel

Hardy, K

Students are introduced to using the wheel to create functional pottery. The class covers wedging, throwing, trimming, and glazing for simple forms. Assignments explore the poetic presence that results from the character of clay, the manipulation of form, and the qualities of glazed surfaces. Weekly assignments focus on bowls and vertical forms with a focused glazing/slipping palette. At times this course may be cross-tallied at the intermediate level as CCR 2253. Students who have completed CCR 1253 may wish to register for CCR 2253.80


CFA 1090.81/.80 Fine Art Fundamentals I: Drawing.


Drawing is the fundamental language of visual communication and an essential skill for all visual artists. In this course, you improve your drawing skills through exercises in mark making, perspective, and line, with assignments also focusing on value, form and mass, and composition. Students do gesture and contour drawings as well as fully developed drawings; frequent individual and group critiques foster both feedback and your own ability to express your point of view. Classes include demonstrations, drawing the life model and still lifes, and exposure to the history and contemporary practice of drawing. First-year drawing is required of all prospective Fine Art majors and serves as the prerequisite for more advanced drawing, illustration, and animation courses.


CFA 1091.80 Fine Art Fundamentals II: Painting.

Oberndorfer, C

First-year painting focuses on materials, techniques, and historical precedents as means to begin to develop your personal imagery, content, and techniques. Classes devoted to a rigorous, hands-on learning process provide a context for the expression and development of individual goals, from realism to abstraction to animation. Working on several paintings during the semester, students experiment with both traditional and new methods. Discussions on the history of painting, along with faculty-moderated critiques begin to address the rich context in which the contemporary painter participates. Fundamentals of Fine Art: Painting is a prerequisite for taking intermediate and advanced painting courses.


CFA 2090.80 Fine Art Studio I.

J. Sham

Students are challenged and encouraged, individually and collaboratively, to employ resourcefulness, critical thinking and creativity to identify, analyze, understand and resolve problems related to contemporary art practice, production and theory. To facilitate this approach, broad problems are presented by a team of faculty that examine the creative appetite and move on to investigation and development of strategies for making art. Required for FA majors.


CFA 2125.80 Printmaking Workshop Credits.

McAleer-Keeler, K

An introduction to the use of a variety of printmaking media, connecting their use to the mainstream of contemporary artistic practice. Etching, lithography, screen print, and relief printing. Printmaking's multi-faceted relationships to photography, sculpture, painting, and other media.


CFA 3800.10 Directed Studies: Fine Art

McAleer-Keeler, K

This option is appropriate for degree students who want access to independent faculty supervision, lab areas, and supplies for independent projects, and do not need or desire extensive course instruction.


CFA 3090.10 Fine Art Studio III. Page, D

Fine Art Studio III curriculum is constructed with an emphasis on the development of your individual creative process and studio production. Of equal significance is the student's first-hand understanding of areas of critical importance to the fabric of contemporary art that is studied through the various assignments. These content areas are explored in depth in Seminar providing the necessary background for your investigations. The seminar acts to enrich your understanding of all Studio III Assignments. Third year is a year built around assignments called "contracts" that provide a framework by which you can begin to create a vital and productive individualized studio practice. The contracts bridge faculty-directed studio projects with independent self-directed art making and emphasize the research of ideas, exploration of medium and materials, and the development of process and production over the course of the year. Formal instruction includes brief lectures and specialized demos with an emphasis on feedback on your work in progress through individual studio meetings as well as feedback on your completed work through formal group critiques. This semester your faculty will work with each of you towards better articulation and implementation of your goals arising from your studio investigations. During the course of the year, you are guided through a variety of art making and writing projects that operate through two distinct, but intertwined, art making approaches: expansion of your current studio practice into new and unknown areas and focused studio work. It is important to discover new tools, techniques and areas of conceptual investigation in an effort to expand both your knowledge base and your individualized studio practice. No less important, however, is the focused movement necessary for your commitment to the production of completed, well-realized art works and bodies of work. Methods for locating areas of inspiration are studied collectively in this course. Your Third Year Studio course is a time for beginning the self-directed practices that are necessary for a studio artist beyond the framework of the academy.


CFA 4090.10 Fine Art Thesis I.

Goodman, J

Reserved for BFA/FA requirement. Prerequisite: CFA 3091 Fine Art Junior Studio II.


6901.81/FA 2190.82  Art and Social Justice

Montoya, M

Course Description:

This topics-based course addresses contemporary and historical theories of social relations and

public space, while engaging with foundational questions relevant to a creative practice in the

public sphere.

Topic Description:

For decades now, artists and activists have used their practices to critique and bring change to

human society. Often this work deemphasizes the creation of objects and focuses the artist´s craft on the creation and modulation of human relationships. This course investigates the history and theory of art in the relational sphere during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries with a

concentration on contemporary social expressions. We will trace the theoretical origins of this

work from the Situationists through Fluxus and into current works falling under the umbrella of

Socially Engaged Art and the recent analysis of Bishop and Thompson. Through in depth

analysis of art works, critical texts and artist commentary students will develop a broadly

informed context and framework for evaluation for their own work.


CFN 1090.12/.11/.10 Drawing and Surface.

Vieira, A

An intensive studio covering the principles of drawing and mark-making and their place in contemporary art and design practice. Through the physical activity of drawing, students refine their capacity to observe and visualize. Materials fee. Restricted to BFA majors


CFN 1091.10/.11/.12 First-Year Studio 1: Form and Materials.

Montoya, M

Comprehensive studio course providing a broad experience with the tools and materials of traditional and conceptual sculptural practices in art and design; develops students’ ability to think, perceive, visualize, design, and build in three dimensions and explore questions of space, place, site, presentation, and context. Required for all first-year BFA majors.


FA 2190.80/81 Special Topics: Screenprinting

McAleer-Keeler, K

This is a broad based course in screenprinting for both beginning and intermediate students. The course covers techniques and strategies in screenprinting for students studying graphic design, photography and fine arts. The first half of the semester is devoted to basic skill building and understanding the potential and uses of this medium. The second half focuses on specific projects related to each student's interests and background. Students taking this course for graduate credit will be asked to do a research paper on the exploration of a contemporary artist who employs the use of screenprinting for the creation of fine art and/or portfolio editions.


FA 2190.10 Fine Art Fundamentals

J. Goodman

In this Special Topics: Fine Art Fundamentals 1 (Foundation Painting) course students will explore traditional techniques of both acrylic and oil painting. We will look at paint and paint application through formal and informal exercises and demonstrations.  Students will have regular written assignments relating to their projects and the history of painting. This studio/hands on course will be interspersed with weekly readings on historical and contemporary art history. These readings will be composed of eastern, western and non-dominant art world politics being addressed in painting today. There will be weekly painting assignments to be completed in class. Each class session will be divided up into a hands-on practicum, a critique component and a reading (or watching) of art historical component.

We will explore both current and historical painting practices, and investigate the concepts of observation, representation, abstraction, and conceptual thought as sources for our work. Discussion regarding scale, supports, surface preparation, color, and the manipulation of paint as materials and their impact on content and expression will be explored.

The students will look at the medium of paint as subject, material and content. Students will have the opportunity to explore options in traditional imagery, constructed ideas and nonobjective expression.

There will be regular field trips to museums, galleries and studios. Students will have the opportunity to interact with the professionals at these various venues. Instruction will be through in studio demonstration of materials, youtube videos, readings and internet sources.


FA 2001.80 Concept Lab.

Sham, J

Connecting concept, materials, media, and audience; addressing challenges using materials and media. Cross-disciplinary thinking and individual and collaborative creative practices as well as historical, contemporary, and theoretical context of art works. Materials fee. Restricted to students who have completed a minimum of 6 credits in Fine Arts (FA) courses.


FA 1601. New Media: Digital Art.

Agricola, A, Huckenpahler, B, Ikard, L or Cheung, N

Introduction to the tools and processes of digital, electronic, and time-based arts. Development of technical skills necessary for using the computer as a creative tool. The history and current role of digital representation and distribution in art, ideas, and relationships. Materials fee.


FA 1502. Color Photography.

Hazelden, J, Carr, K or Sakai, J

Introduction to the materials and processes of color photography. Color theory, exposure techniques, film scanning, digital color correcting, and printing. The use of color as a means of visual communication and creative expression. Materials fee.


FA 1501. Black and White Photography

Carr, K, McAfee, A, Alston, O or Chao, C

Introduction to the materials and processes of black-and-white photography. Camera operations, film processing, printing, and presentation methods. Technical skills. The visual language of photography. Materials fee.


FA 1401. Painting: Visual Thinking.

Dolan, C or Oberndorfer, C

Development of technical and perceptual skills that are the foundation of visual expression. Beginning projects start with a simple introduction to the mechanics of paint handling: how to begin a painting, apply paint, and model form. Value, line, color, and abstraction.


FA 1301.81 Drawing Fundamentals

Dolan, C

Fundamentals of line, shape, value, contrast, composition, and mark making. Emphasis on working directly from life. Traditional and contemporary strategies and skills for developing technique, process, and meaning. Conceptual issues. Materials fee.


FA 1015. Wheelthrown Ceramics.

Ozdogan, T or Hardy, K

Development of cylindrical and open forms. Sketch studies, trimming, clay and glaze making, reduction and oxidation kiln firings.


FA 1014. Handbuilt Ceramics

Varga, J or Ozdogan, T

Working with clay as an art form. Pinch, coil, slab, hump and press mold, paddling, and hollowing techniques. Sketch studies, clay and glaze making, reduction and oxidation kiln firings.

97703 CGD 3010 Interactive Web Design I

Designed for beginners, this hands-on course teaches valuable real-world interactive communication skills as students learn the basics of modern web design and go to the cutting edge of new-media storytelling.

This course assumes no prior design, coding or software experience. Students from any department in the university would benefit from taking Interactive Web Design.

Students will create dynamic, new-media timelines and story-maps with embedded video, audio and imagery; learn the basics of interactive graphic design and creating imagery for the web; learn to build websites that automatically conform to any screen width; explore web typography; design a proper information hierarchy; build attractive, responsive layouts for desktop, tablets and mobile; learn to add Facebook, Twitter and other feeds directly into their webpages; explore the future of communication technology, and much more.


CGD 3010: Digital Illustration Studio

Digital illustration for print and web. Application of traditional illustration to digital media, using primarily Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Focus on concept development and personal style. Critiques consider composition, lighting, content, meaning, and other constructive criteria.


CDE 1090. Design Fundamentals I. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the visual components that serve as fundamental principles in the field of design. The study, classification, and application of Gestalt theories of perception, color systems for designers, and pattern making. Design methodology, processes, and language; the critique process; project workflow; professional practices and presentation; and digital software and hand craft tools. Students create 2D and 3D forms and learn how to use materials in design projects.


CDE 2090. Design Studio I. 3 Credits.

Course content focuses on visual hierarchy, principles of composition, design principles, and intro to Semiotics. Typography, form, image, space, and the grid are explored through projects. Students learn an iterative design process to explore and develop concepts. This course requires a high level of execution through precise craftsmanship.


CGD 2050. Typography I. 3 Credits.

This course introduces students to one of the most integral components of visual communication- typefaces and their letter forms. Topics covered include typographic vocabulary, terminology, history, technology, classification, measurement, and syntax. Students are introduced to typographic history, nationality, and technology. Students learn visual hierarchy and the grid as organizing principle and system. In some terms this course may be cross-tallied at the undergraduate level as CGD 2050 and at the graduate level as CGD 6350. Students enrolled at the graduate level complete additional assignments to earn graduate credit. Prerequisites: CFN 1000 or CDM 1200; and CDE 1000 or CGD 1010.


CGD 3090. Graphic Design Studio III. 3 Credits.

In this advanced level course, students focus on interactive and interaction design. Course projects immerse students in interactive web design, and mobile apps design for smart phones and tablet devices. Students learn, employ, and engage in systems design, user experience, user interface design, user interaction, and responsive design. Students learn to use mobile devices (smart phones/tablet devices) and computers as digital tools to communicate designed messages and visual content. Students learn advanced design process which includes: iterative concept development, wire framing, prototyping, design development, craft, details, production, and coding. Software and coding used in course projects include Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS), HTML, and CSS. Students develop professional oral presentation skills by participating in weekly critiques. Project workflow, professional presentation, and professional practices for designers are integrated into course projects. At the end of the semester, students obtain experience in professional design projects and skill sets, while understanding on-the-job expectations for a fast-paced professional design studio. Students must have received a grade of C or above in CDE 2091 to have it count toward the prerequisite requirement. Restricted to graphic design majors. Prerequisites: CDE 2091 or permission of the department chair.


CGD 3960. Design Lab. 3 Credits.

This course offers a select group of undergraduate junior and senior graphic design students the unique opportunity to design and oversee production of projects for the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art Design. Design Lab serves as an in-house design studio as students gain experience interacting with clients, managing deadlines, understanding and working within the limitations of their projects, and scheduling timelines. Elements of the design process covered in the course include writing design briefs and contracts, conceptual and design development phases, producing print-ready artwork, and fabrication coordination and supervision. Permission of department required for enrollment.


CGD 4090. Graphic Design Thesis I. 3 Credits.

Graphic Design Senior Thesis is comprised of three components: written paper, interview of a design professional, and a final graphic design thesis project. In this course, students select a topic related to the field of Design, develop a thesis statement and written paper through a research and writing phase. Graphic Design briefs pertaining to the development of the written thesis and paper are explored during the semester. This course is for BFA/Graphic Design only. Prerequisite: A grade of "C" or better in CGD 3091 Graphic Design Studio IV; or Department Chair's approval.


CGD 4120: Environmental Design

Course Description: 

Using the environmental sign as a medium, students will explore the reading of the environment and the unique messages within it. Lectures and projects will introduce typographic connotation, semiotic theory, and image communication as design tools, approaching the sign as a transmitter of information and cultural identity as well as a vehicle for participation and play. The semester long project focuses on environmental design, architecture, and branding for a Design Museum in the non-profit market sector. We will explore how interaction design impacts the museum experience.

Prerequisite: Working knowlege of InDesign, Photoshop or Illustrator

See the Registrar’s Schedule of Classes for all Interaction Design listings.

IA 1000 Dean’s Seminar: History of Modern Architecture and Design

This course introduces students to the history of modern world architecture and design through the context of key buildings of the 20th/21st Century. Students learn the leaders in architectural history, as well as innovative contemporary designers working today within a global context. Through lectures, readings, assignments, field trips, and discussions, an overview of the architecture, interiors, and furniture of the most significant and unique buildings in history are explored and examined. By merging conceptual thinking, design thinking, and critical thinking in combination with history, this course will incorporate a complete exploration of modern architecture and design. This course fulfills the G-PAC Arts requirement for Critical Thinking + Cross-Cultural Perspective.


Studio 2 IA 3200

This course covers all phases of design, beginning with development of a concept through producing a complete presentation. Students learn how to implement the different aspects of the design process as a project evolves from program requirements to a creative and functional interior. Investigations will include but are not limited to analyzing user experience, anthropometrics, ADA requirements, light, materiality, circulation, programming, finishes and furniture.

Restricted to IA undergraduate majors.


Understanding Materials and Color Theory IA 3225

This course is an extensive study of both the visual perception and interaction of color, and interior and exterior materials for residential & commercial environments. The class thoroughly covers and explores color theory (through a series of exercises and assignments) and both interior and exterior materials and finishes, as well as interior building methods and materials, as they relate to interior build-outs and furniture grade materials and construction. Students  examine and study materials and construction methods to develop an understanding of the material qualities, strengths, weaknesses, when to use/not use, etc. Students will complete an in-depth color and materials palette for a given interior space and program.

Open to non-IA majors with permission of instructor.


Introductory Digital Design Tools IA 3250

This course is an interactive hands-on course focusing on integrating Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) technologies with the design process. An introduction to construction methods, codes, and standards provide the foundation for assignments and projects which are completed using AutoDesk software. The first half of the semester focuses on the two dimensional capabilities of AutoCAD. Plans, RCPs, elevations, sections, and details are created to develop skills using AutoCAD along with a basic understanding of the relationship between drawings. The second half of the semester concentrates on Revit and its inherent three dimensional capabilities. A simplified set of construction drawings allows the user to demonstrate Revit skills for typical drawings. Shading and rendering of views provides a foundation for understanding how materials, reflectance, and lighting impact the look of interior settings. Three dimensional modeling is introduced first through modifying components and later through the creation of components.

Restricted to IA undergraduate majors.


Studio 4 IA 4400

This course builds on all prerequisite classes and adds rigor to the understanding of technology, ergonomics, aesthetics, and function. Professional practice and client communication are stressed in all phases of the course beginning with site surveys, investigative questionnaires, programming and preliminary budget analysis. Collaborative skills necessary for project perfection and timely completion are strengthened through a team approach to a real world project. Self and peer critique are emphasized throughout all phases.

Restricted to IA undergraduate majors.


Lighting and Acoustics IA 4425

The course presents concepts of the basic physics of light and illumination: terminology, principles and applications that are used in the design of lighting. The focus is on simple light sources, luminaries, colour, and compositional lighting techniques. Demonstration of basic calculations to determine lighting requirements and point source calculations specific for emphasis on interior objects and settings will reveal the importance of these practices. The analysis of a commercial lighting environment based on established practices provides the basis for analyzing interior settings. Lighting for residential, commercial, and institutional settings will be examined along with the development of both lighting and reflected ceiling plans. During the acoustic portion of the course the science of acoustic generation, transmission, absorption and control are presented. Room acoustics and psychological impacts that sound and noise have on both the space and the occupant will be explored.

Restricted to IA undergraduate majors.


Pre-Design for Studio 5 IA 4450W

The entire course is devoted to full immersion in all of the pre-design work that makes a project complete and outstanding including the process of design, conceptualization of an idea or project, and the thorough research required to make ideas come to life.

Restricted to IA undergraduate majors.


Studio 1 Graduate IA 6100

This course introduces the theory and application of design principles and elements to the specific studies of the built environment while establishing a thorough understanding of the design process. Students are encouraged to cultivate expression of originality, conceptual thinking and analytical observation through hands-on exercises of creative problem solving that respond to lectures and demonstrations.

Restricted to IA graduate students.


Graphic Communications IA 6125

Concepts and techniques used successfully in communicating design; graphic design principles, including hierarchy, emphasis, balance, rhythm and contrast, tools used in creating two-dimensional communication ideas; image creation, logo design and branding, rendering, basic layouts, three dimensional modeling, printed and digital presentation skills.

Open to non-IA majors with the approval of the instructor.


Sketching Architecture and Design IA 6150

This entry level course is an intensive program of study that will introduce students to skills used in the practice of Architecture and Interior Design. These skills are both technical and artistic. They include freehand sketching, (3D) mechanical drafting, architectural lettering, field measuring and documentation, field sketching, orthographic and perspective drawing, and informal and formal drawing presentations.

 Open to non-IA majors with permission of the instructor.


Studio 4 Graduate IA 6400

This course builds on all pre-requisite courses and adds rigor to the understanding of technology, ergonomics, aesthetics, and function. Professional practice and client communication are stressed in all phases of the course beginning with site surveys, investigative questionnaires, programming and preliminary budget analysis. Collaborative skills necessary for project perfection and timely completion are strengthened through a team approach to a real world project. Self and peer critique are emphasized throughout all phases.

Restricted to IA graduate students


Lighting and Acoustics IA 6425

The course presents concepts of the basic physics of light and illumination: terminology, principles and applications that are used in the design of lighting. The focus is on simple light sources,luminaries, colour, and compositional lighting techniques. Demonstration of basic calculations to determine lighting requirements and point source calculations specific for emphasis on interior objects and settings will reveal the importance of these practices. The analysis of a commercial lighting environment based on established practices provides the basis for analyzing interior settings. Lighting for residential, commercial, and institutional settings will be examined along with the development of both lighting and reflected ceiling plans. During the acoustic portion of the course, the science of acoustic generation, transmission, absorption and control are presented. Room acoustics and psychological impacts that sound and noise have on both the space and the occupant are explored.

Restricted to IA graduate students.


Research Seminar for Studio 5 IA 6450

The entire course is devoted to full immersion in all of the pre-design work that makes a project complete and outstanding including the process of design, conceptualization of an idea or project, and the thorough research required to make ideas come to life.

Restricted to IA graudate students.

See the Registrar’s Schedule of Classes for all Music listings.


MSTD 6101.10 Museum Management

An overview of the major activities in governing and managing a museum.  Course introduces the student to the non-profit sector and the context of the legal and professional expectations for governance. Course covers the elements of forming a museum, strategic planning, the role of the CEO/Director, building the organization structure and staffing.  Finance, operations, and facilities management are also covered. The course also includes sessions on fundraising, grant writing, business planning, special events, programs, performance measurement and accreditation, marketing, public relations, and managing change. A strong emphasis on ethical challenges and decision making is included.


MSTD 6201.10  Museum Collections

This class will serve as an introduction to creating, controlling, and protecting collections.  We will look at the fundamentals of collections care (collections plans and policies, accessions, deaccessioning, loans, access, and the physical protection of museum objects) as well as legal and ethical issues related to collecting and collections management.  Because guidelines to best practices run up against contingencies ‘on the ground,’ case studies will introduce students to challenges encountered in museum practice.


MSTD 6203.80 Preventive Conservation Concepts

Builds upon topics introduced in the Preventive Conservation Concepts course with emphasis placed on practical exercises and ethical issues.  Students will learn how to evaluate and monitor collections, how to prepare a grant for collections care, and how to develop and implement policies and procedures to facilitate collections care. MSTD 6203(or its cross-listed equivalent in Fine Arts/Anthropology) is required for this class.

*Taught at the Smithsonian Institution  


MSTD 6204.80 Preventive Conservation Techniques

Builds upon topics introduced in the Preventive Conservation Concepts course with emphasis placed on practical exercises and ethical issues.  Students will learn how to evaluate and monitor collections, how to prepare a grant for collections care, and how to develop and implement policies and procedures to facilitate collections care. MSTD 6203(or its cross-listed equivalent in Fine Arts/Anthropology) is required for this class.


MSTD 6205.10 Archival Practice

This course introduces museum professionals to the core ideas and practices of archivists and archival institutions. It establishes a foundation of` knowledge about archival materials (their nature and uses); professional principles and practices in the management of archival materials (archival theory and functions); archival institutions (purposes, placement, operations); and the archives profession (values, organizations). It will illuminate differences and commonalities in professional values and methods of archives and museums. Students will become familiar with doing research in archives.


MSTD 6301.10 Museum Exhibition Curatorial Planning

The class focuses on the work of curators in the selection, display and interpretation of objects for collections and in exhibitions. Sessions emphasize ethics and collecting, exhibit conceptualization and development, working with the community, the production of meaning, and the politics of exhibiting.


MSTD 6403.10 Museums and Digital Technology

In many museums, digital technologies are now a naturalized and expected presence–core to the institutional approaches to problem solving. In the post-digital museum, technology and digital media are not considered as ends in themselves, but rather, as the means that helps the museum meet its mission and goals. Technology is not neutral, however. It has its own histories, both within and outside museums that impact its adoption within the museum. Museums began using digital technologies in the 1960s, and this has affected how museums work and how they define themselves. This course will explore the relationship between museums and digital technology, considering how and why it has been incorporated into practice.

*Taught at the Smithsonian Institution


MSTD 6501.10 Museum Internship

Supervised practical training in Washington area museums (or elsewhere). Internships are supervised by one or more members of the sponsoring museum staff and focus on a variety of areas including museum management, conservation, collections management, exhibition design and development. Prior approval required.


MSTD 6502.10 Directed Research

Individual research on special topics in the museum field working with a MSTD professor or outside museum experts. Topics must be approved in advance by MSTD.


MSTD 6502.11 Directed Research

Individual research on special topics in the museum field working with a MSTD professor or outside museum experts. Topics must be approved in advance by MSTD.


MSTD 6601.10 Special Topics:  Critical Visitor Experience

As museums become increasingly visitor focused, it is critical to understand the multiple factors that affect the whole visitor experience. What is the impact of museum architecture on the museum visit? How do the museum’s shop, café, and other non-exhibit spaces inform the visitor experience? In this field-trip based course, students will utilize multiple frameworks through which to explore, observe and critique visitor-facing aspects of museum work. Together, we will examine and analyses the impact of museum architecture, entry and exit experiences, the shop, café, and other non-exhibit spaces, exhibit design and content, signage and wayfinding, staffing choices, and pre- and post-visit information on the whole museum experience. Expert guests from a variety of backgrounds will join us to unpack the choices made within the museum, to help form a comprehensive understanding of the multiple aspects of audience experience. Through close-looking and comparative analysis, students will learn how to understand and interpret the influences that shape the visitor experience in order to better think of the visitor within their own work, and to consider how the whole museum experiences works together. Core to this class will be reflection, critical analysis, and synthesis. Students will engage with the museum intellectually, creatively, emotionally, socially, and physically.


MSTD 6601.11 Special Topics:  Museum Ethics and Values

As institutions concerned with knowledge and culture, museums have significant power to shape society. Such power brings significant and enduring ethical challenges across all parts of the museum, including governance and funding, questions around collecting and preservation of objects, education and serving the public, exhibiting culture and much more. Core to this class will be broad and deep discussions about the practical, political and institutional paradoxes that museums face in trying to work in the service of the public. This course will involve broad reading about the museum field today, and constructive discourse about the ethical concerns of museums, including formal standards of ethics, but also exploring the paradoxes, dichotomies, confusions, debates, and disagreements within the field at large. Students are encouraged to search for and synthesize their own links between theory and practice to better understand the nuanced contexts in which museum work occurs, and consider their own position within such contexts. 


MSTD 6601.12 Special Topics:  Museum Governance

Good governance with an informed diverse board and an effective board-staff partnership are central to the success of every museum. As a basic component of the museum professional’s experience, everyone from the director, to the curator, to the educator, to the collections manager, to museum management, will have the responsibility of working with members of the board through special projects, their museum departments and trustee committees. To ensure the success of these experiences, strong working relationships between board and staff and an understanding of respective roles and responsibilities will be essential. This course will cover the role and responsibilities of the board and the elements of a successful staff-board partnership. Case studies from the museum community and guest speakers will exemplify these topics.


MSTD 6601.13 Special Topics:  Interpreting Historic House Museums

Historic sites and house museums are among the most common type of museum in the United States and in this class their interpretation will be explored through readings, discussions, field trips, exercises, case studies, guest speakers, and individual and group assignments. Among the major topics we’ll investigate are historical significance, visitor needs and interests, and online and on-site interpretive methods.

CPH 1091.10/.11 Photography Fundamentals I: Light Studies and Optical Culture

Light and optics are the fundamental elements of photographic media and of contemporary media culture. This Foundation year course introduces students to the formal characteristics of light and lenses by surveying a variety of image-making practices, from primitive photographic devices to digital photography and video. Through a combination of classroom talks and hands-on projects, students encounter principles of black-and-white and color photography, as well as learning camera controls that open up a wide range of expressive possibilities. Historical antecedents, contemporary practices, and strategies of critical interpretation are discussed in relation to specific assignments throughout the semester.


CPH 1091.80 Photo Fund II: Techniques/Practice

This film-based course for prospective photography majors and others interested in furthering their photography abilities extends students' existing camera and darkroom skills through a thorough assessment of individual image-making abilities. Students will learn advanced methods for making black-and-white negatives and prints, including controls for exposing and developing, as well as encountering new film formats and types. Practical instruction is accompanied by assignments that explore different genres and allow students to develop their own personal approaches.


CPH 2090. Photography/Photojournalism Studio I

Students explore personal sources of image making, strategies for editing, and different ways of seeing while refining their technical abilities. Assignments provide a structure for individual expression and interpretation while developing an awareness of photographic traditions, including photojournalism and documentary modes, and of the current state of contemporary practices. Students develop confidence and rigor in their approaches within an atmosphere of exploration and risk-taking. Fine-art photography and photojournalism students meet together and participate in frequent group and individual critiques, which promote intensive dialogue and proficiency in critical thinking.


CPH 3070.10 Studio and Location Lighting

Introduction to studio and location lighting. Strobe and continuous lighting equipment; light modifiers and grip equipment; mixed sources light; and aesthetic approaches using artificial and ambient light. Restricted to students in the BFA in fine arts photography, BFA in photojournalism, or MA in new media photojournalism programs; demonstrated abilities and preparedness through portfolio review by department head or instructor may be substituted.


CPH 3450.80 Pre-Digital Alternative Process.

This workshop-style course allows students to investigate new and personal directions using alternative photographic processes such as albumen, salted paper, gum bichromate, platinum/ palladium, and mordançage, leading to a fully realized portfolio, book, or other personal project. The course explores the creation of large-format digital negatives. Field trips include a visit to a Daguerreotype studio in New York City. Invention, experimentation, and risk are strongly encouraged in this intermediate to advanced level class. Students are required to provide their own chemistry and supplies for their final project. Prerequisites: CPH 2250 or permission of the instructor.


CPH 4090.80 Photography Thesis I

As a complement to Senior Seminar, Senior Thesis Studio emphasizes process and practice in the development of a senior thesis project. The work evolves from a studio and seminar atmosphere that stresses individual and group critiques, as well as readings and discussions. Students are responsible for planning and executing a final thesis exhibition that meets professional standards and pushes their visual language and conceptual development. Various modes of presentation are discussed and demonstrated. During the fall semester, students exhibit their work-in-progress (White Walls Gallery) and participate in a critique with other Corcoran faculty. The work-in-progress critique at the end of the fall semester represents a pivotal moment in the development of the thesis exhibition and is judged accordingly by the Studio faculty. Additionally, students present and defend their work in the Photography Department's Departmental Review, in preparation for their exhibition during the spring semester. Prerequisite: CPH 3091.


CPH 4120. 10 Photography/Photojournalism Seminar II

This course is a complement to CPH 4090 and CPJ 4090. This course explores issues of photographic voice, precedent and impact in the art world and publishing worlds. Students develop an awareness of the context in which they are making work by addressing contemporary issues through writing and oral presentations, visiting speakers, readings, exhibitions, and critiques with Corcoran faculty and outside experts. An emphasis is placed on engaged participation and articulate and convincing writing addressing a student's ideas and aspirations in relation to traditions, practices, and discourses of photo-based art and media. This course is designed to assist Fine Art Photography and Photojournalism students in the process of working through a successful Senior Thesis project as well as in developing a well-rounded artistic and photojournalistic practice.


CPH 6450.80 Pre-Digital Alternative Process.

1. Exploration of Salted Paper, Platinum printing, Mordencage, production of large format negatives and Wet Plate Processes 2.Alternative presentation methods 3.Exploration of the marriage between concept and process Restricted to This is a graduate level course. (Same as CPH 3450).


CPJ 3090.10 Photojournalism Studio III

For Photojournalism majors only. Classes in this third-year course for photojournalism majors examine the similarities and differences in photojournalism in newspapers, magazines, television, the Internet, and other media. In additon to short-term, deadline-driven assignments, students undertake long-term projects. Topics include still and moving images, writing and editing needs in a variety of assignments, journalistic ethics, and communication laws. Prerequisite: CPJ 2091 Photojournalism Studio II.


CPJ 4090.80 Photojournalism Thesis I

In the final year of the Photojournalism curriculum, the emphasis is on developing individual strengths and style in the context of a sophisticated understanding of how photographic media shape and reflect public opinion. Students define, propose, research and initiate a longterm project that culminates in the Spring semester Senior Thesis exhibit. Intensive one-on-one and group critiques are integrated into the course as the students explore various approaches to their chosen subject matter. Prerequisites: CPJ 3091 and permission of the department.


CPJ 6050.10 Advanced Multimedia Lab I

In this intensive, required course all MA in CPJ students are immersed in the basics of audio collection and production, integration of still images into audio timelines, video techniques and post-production. Three projects are completed through the course of the semester and grow increasingly complex. Final projects are published on a webpage conceived by the student.


CPJ 6010.10 Photojournalism Graduate Seminar I.

This is the first in a three-semester series of courses exploring traditional and non-traditional uses of photographic imagery in the media. Over the semester the class examines photojournalism to determine the elements within an image, sequence or mode of publication that are most effective in communicating a concept or representing human experience. The class runs as a series of lectures, visiting artists, field trips and group projects.


CPJ 6100.10 Research, Reporting, and Writing: Contemporary Journalism Practice

Students go beyond the basics in story coverage exploring effective research techniques, interview techniques, and writing for breaking news as well as short and long term projects. Through lectures, writing assignments, intensive workshops as well as individual and team assignments, students develop and begin to hone the skills of effective story coverage for web and print publications. This course works closely with the Photojournalism Story and Narrative and Advanced New Media Lab courses. A critical reading of contemporary media is emphasized throughout the course


CPJ 6110.10 Story and Narrative in Photojournalism

At the heart of photojournalism is the human condition and the day-day-lives of those around us. Through this course students analize effective visual storytelling with still images. Students develop an understanding of what makes a strong photo story and how to pursue compelling images. A series of student-generated projects is completed through the course of the semester.


CPJ 6900.10 Internship: MA Photojournalism

For degree students only. Internships can help students develop marketable skills, establish professional contacts, and explore different career options.


CPJ 7010.10 Photojournalism Graduate Seminar III: The Medium and the Message

This course is designed to support and challenge New Media Photojournalism students as they work through the concepts of their thesis work and presentations. Units address the essential elements of exhibitions, social media, online publishing, and community engagement. A combination of case studies, visiting lecturers and practical exercises is used to explore ideas and develop multi-platform strategies for publishing work. This course functions as a complement to CPJ 7800.


CPJ 7320.10 Fine Printing Technique

This course is for graduate New Media Photojournalism students who know the basics of digital imaging, printing, and workflow and want to increase their skills and competencies in these areas in a workshop environment. Students learn more refined and subtle approaches to editing and printing their photographs, develop a personal workflow process that is efficient and confidence-building, and benefit from individual and group critiques of their personal projects. The emphasis is on exploring the creative possibilities of the digital darkroom, on integrating advanced digital techniques and approaches so that they serve the content of the image and the intentions of the image-maker, and on making high quality prints from both digital originals and scanned film. The class is taught in an up-to-date digital lab using Adobe's latest Creative Suite version of PhotoShop and a choice of printers and film and flatbed scanners. Among the subjects covered are varieties of ink-jet printers and papers, color profiles and color management, test printing and proofing, advanced scanning and re-sampling, and creating master files. Students also learn contemporary ideas about digital asset management (DAM).


CPJ 7800.10 Thesis Workshop

This workshop-style course focuses on student's projects and progress in the research and production of a thesis project for graduation from the New Media Photojournalism program. Arranged as a series of team-led workshops, group and individual critiques, coaching sessions, and work with outside mentors, the class provides a productive atmosphere as students build and refine their projects. This is where the rubber hits the road. The proof gets into the pudding required of anyone who is working on thesis for Spring exhibit and defense.

See the Registrar’s Schedule of Classes for all Theatre and Dance offerings.