Bridging art history and environmental humanities, this course will explore how the experience of landscape, a term that privileges the visual, is impacted not only by sight but by sound, touch, smell, and even taste. We will look at the way artists have translated embodied experiences of landscape into paint and other media as we ask what is lost or gained, just as we will consider what the taste of tea or oysters might tell us about the history and present environment of the places they come from.
By looking at how artists and writers have theorized and experienced landscapes in the past, we will explore how those histories inform how and what we sense today. We will ask: how is the environment experienced (and narrated) through our bodies? How do human interactions with nature produce a “sense” of ownership and domination? Is something more symbiotic possible? To answer these questions, we will look at works of art in the collections of WCMA and The Clark, read work by historical and contemporary writers, and engage in experiential learning that activates all senses, including hiking, tasting, and making.
Evaluation will be based on participation, including weekly journal reflections, and the completion of a 10-page written assignment that will combine creative reflection and research. Attendance and active participation in class discussions will also be required.
We will typically meet three times a week for three-hour sessions, with some additional required field trips.
Adjunct Instructor Bio: Elliot Krasnopoler is a Doctoral Candidate in the History of Art at Bryn Mawr College, where he is completing a dissertation about the intersections of contemporary art, landscape, and time. He holds an M.A. in Art History from Williams College, and a B.F.A. in Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He lives in North Adams, MA, and is an avid hiker, tea enthusiast, and mineral collector.
Grading: pass/fail only
more senior students will be given priority
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit: