Courses

 

Fall 2017 Courses — Lecture and Seminar

All lecture and seminar courses are held in SSM 116, unless otherwise noted.

GASP 2 — Intro to Music Studies MW 1:00-2:20pm + F sections Samuelson
GASP 3 — Intro to Visual Culture MW 11:30am-1:20pm SSM 104 Yoshida
GASP 6 — Global Art History TR 11:30am-1:20pm SSM 104 DePrano
GASP 55b — Arts of the Islamic World  TR 9:30-11:20am Chandra
GASP 66a — The American Musical MW 11:00am-12:50pm Samuelson
GASP 70c — Music of the Caribbean World TR 8:00-9:15am + W Sections SSM 104 Staff
GASP 72a — Popular Musics TR 3:00-4:50pm Gale
GASP 75a — Meaning in Music MW 12:00-1:15pm + W Sections COB2 170 Gale
GASP 160a — Film Theory and Criticism MW 3:00-4:15pm COB 263 Yoshida
GASP 174a — Music, Gender, & Sexuality MW 9:00-10:15am Gale

Fall 2017 Courses — Studio

All studio courses are held in SSM 125, unless otherwise noted.

GASP 10 — Drawing 1 W 1:30-5:20pm Gomez
GASP 11 — Painting 1 M 9:30am-1:20pm Gomez
GASP 12a — Sculpture 1 R 9:00am-12:50pm Lopez-Craig
GASP 13a — Design 1 R 1:30-5:20pm Lopez-Craig
GASP 14 — Photography 1 M 3:00-6:50pm Rodriguez
GASP 15a — Multimedia 1 F 1:30-5:20pm Lopez-Craig
GASP 20 — Video 1 T 8:00-11:50am Rodriguez
GASP 34a — Songwriting TR 1:00-2:50pm SSM 116 Peck
GASP 36a — Making Electronic Music R 9:30-11:20am SSM 154 Peck
GASP 144a — Art for Social Change W 8:30am-12:20pm Gomez

Fall 2017 Courses — Ensemble

All ensemble courses are held in SSM 116, unless otherwise noted.

GASP 30d — Nordic Music Ensemble MW 4:00-5:20pm Kaminsky
GASP 31d — Nordic Dance Ensemble MW 5:00-6:20pm Kaminsky
GASP 31c — Swing Dance Ensemble MW 2:30-3:50pm Kaminsky

 

Search open courses here.

 

 

GASP Courses

 

GASP 2 — Introduction to Music Studies

We will learn the mechanics of musical structure and the proper language with which to describe it. Students will learn to hear and analyze music in terms of rhythm and meter, timbre, dynamics, form, texture, and pitch, with a special focus on melody and functional harmony.  return to top

GASP 3 — Introduction to Visual Culture

The ubiquitous presence of visual media and technologies requires us to possess a critical capacity to navigate the complex economy and language of imaging. This course introduces students to the analytical models and critical terms in art history, visual studies, and film criticism. Special attention is paid to the effects of modernity on our practices of looking. Topics of discussion include: formal analysis of visual texts, mechanization of optics, critical examination of representations in popular media, effects of globalization on perception, and ethical implications of documentary techniques. Students can expect to have a firm grasp of visual analysis by the end of the course.  return to top

GASP 5 — Music and Society

We will study the roles music can play in relation social structures and institutions, individual and group relations, and identity formation as it relates to race, gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity, nationality, and religion. Special attention will paid to issues of genre and style.  return to top

GASP 6 — Global Art History

This is a survey of global art and architecture from pre-history to the contemporary with an emphasis on the socio-cultural influence of the arts. Attention will be paid to developing skills of visual and contextual analysis. The aim is to establish a foundation in the study of art history. Students can expect to discuss historical, religious, socio-cultural, economic, and political contexts of diverse arts and architecture from across the world; demonstrate how art reflects critical issues, values, ideas, and institutions of societies; recognize technique, formal elements, and principles of design; use and define pertinent vocabulary related to art history; compare  and contrast works of art from different cultures; and communicate informed analyses through effective writing.  return to top

GASP 10 — Drawing 1

Develops cognitive skill of drawing by teaching the ability to see accurately. Material covered is not limited to skills required for becoming an artist. Anyone interested in sharpening one’s perceptions and creative abilities finds this course useful.   return to top
 
GASP 11 — Painting 1
Development of the skill of painting in watercolor to develop the complex process of color vision to enhance one’s perceptive powers. The use of this skill is not limited to those planning to be artists. This is a studio class that will include drawing and painting from nature.  return to top
 
GASP 12a — Sculpture 1 
Introduces students to the traditional additive and subtractive sculptural methods along with contemporary sculptural processes. Students are taught to explore conventional media, such as clay, soft stone, wood, wax, plaster and paper pulp as well as unconventional materials. Emphasis is placed on successful union of technique and personal expression.  return to top
 
GASP 13a — Design 1 
Introduces students to two-dimensional design fundamentals as they apply to all aspects of the visual arts with emphasis on application in drawing, painting, film, digital art, and photography. Design is essential to all visual arts; it is where the thought process begins. Assignments include hands-on projects, research and writing.  return to top
 
GASP 14 — Photography 1
Beginning level course stressing technical and critical photographic skills. The class aims to develop the student’s capacity to produce wellwrought, effectively structured photographs utilizing in camera exposure, depth-of-field, and composition with either a digital or film camera.  return to top
 
GASP 15a — Multimedia 1
Introduces students to conventional and unconventional techniques in two dimensional and three dimensional arts. Variety of techniques are covered such as screen printing, block printing, acrylic transfer, encaustic, casting, jewelry design, carving and construction, mixed media photography, illustration, and fiber art. Course work includes hands-on projects, research and writing.  return to top
 
GASP 20 — Video 1 
Introduction to techniques of video.  return to top
 

GASP 30c — Swing Music Ensemble

This a big band ensemble. The group collaborates closely with the Swing Dance Ensemble, and particular focus is placed on the interplay between musicians and dancers. Prerequisite: Students must have proficiency on an instrument appropriate for big band.  return to top

GASP 30d — Nordic Music Ensemble

In this class, students learn to play traditional Nordic dance tunes, all the while developing their ability to play music by ear. The group collaborates closely with the Nordic Dance Ensemble, and particular focus is placed on the interplay between musicians and dancers. Prerequisite: Students must have proficiency on an instrument that allows them to play melodies and/or bass lines in multiple keys.  return to top

GASP 31c — Swing Dance Ensemble

In this class, students learn to dance traditional swing dances, with a focus on the lindy hop. The group collaborates closely with the Swing Music Ensemble, and particular focus is placed on the interplay between musicians and dancers.  return to top

GASP 31d — Nordic Dance Ensemble

In this class, students learn to dance traditional Nordic partner dances. The group collaborates closely with the Nordic Music Ensemble, and particular focus is placed on the interplay between musicians and dancers.  return to top

GASP — Experimental Inter-Arts Ensemble

Experimental ensemble potentially mixing music, dance, visual art, engineering — anything ensemble members bring to the table. return to top

GASP 34a — Songwriting

Techniques of songwriting. return to top

GASP 36a — Making Electronic Music

Introduces students to making music with digital audio workstations, synthesizers, samplers, and other software tools. Students create compositions exploring approaches from popular genres such as hip hop and electronic dance music as well as noise, ambient, experimental, and avant-garde. Quizzes and short written assignments cover technical, critical, and historical context.  return to top

GASP 55b — Arts of the Islamic World

This course is a wide-ranging introduction to the arts of the Islamic world from its beginnings in 7th-century Arabia to the present. The Islamic world will be defined broadly to include not only the historic lands of Islam extending from Spain to China, but also the current Muslim Diaspora. We will trace the development and diversity of artistic production of Islamic dynasties and regions, paying close attention to the changing relations between the European and the Islamic worlds, particularly in the 19th-century colonial context. Given the historical, chronological and geographic breadth of the material, our purpose will be to situate the painting, architecture, and ceramics (among other media) that will be the subject of our study into their specific socio-cultural, economic, and religious contexts. Throughout the course, we will explore issues of power and patronage, trade, regionalism, identity politics, and cultural interaction within the framework of artistic production and reception.  return to top

GASP 66a — The American Musical

Explores the relationship between the American musical and American-ness. Ideas about what it means to be an American have been expressed on the musical stage and have both reflected and helped form those ideas. Readings help link ideas about America and Americans as well as the historical contexts for the songs and narratives of the musicals.  return to top

GASP 70c — Music of the Caribbean World

Introductory lecture course on music of the greater Caribbean, including Central America and Mexico.  return to top

GASP 72a — Popular Musics

Whether we are deeply invested in it, or simply allow it to make up the background noise of our daily lives, popular music is a ubiquitous element of our everyday experience. It encodes our memories with sonic reference points, and connects us not only to our friends but also to those we do not and will never know. Yet despite its central place in our society, popular music often evades examination, and tends to be dismissed, especially by academics, as non-essential and unimportant in the broader scheme of things. The propriety of song lyrics may be debated, and the public images of artists contested, but the sounds themselves more often than not are neglected as meaningless or dismissed as trite. In this class we focus on the scholarship of those who would argue for the primacy and societal significance of popular music, including its sound.  return to top

GASP 75a — Meaning in Music

Part of the power of music is that, unlike language, it can convey meaning without letting you know how that meaning is conveyed. Music can support a specific ideological position, move you, manipulate you, make you feel a certain way. And because most people do not have the tools or language to understand the mechanisms behind those processes, they cannot make the conscious choice to resist or accept them. This class is about giving students those tools and that language.  return to top

GASP 144a — Art for Social Change

Explores differences between research conducted by artists and by academics. Examines how artists process information, as well as how various forms of artistic expression influence content and meaning. The role of cliché and stereotypical representation in the creation of works of art is also explored.  return to top
 
GASP 160a — Film Theory and Criticism

The course examines film theory and criticism from the inception of cinema to the contemporary period. Film, at first, was regarded merely as a spectacular display of modern technology and entertaining toy for the masses without any aesthetic potential. However, emerging at the time when psychology was gaining wide public and academic reception, it quickly gained traction among psychologists and philosophers who looked to the medium to contemplate the nature of human consciousness and perception of reality. Today, the status of cinema as an art form is undeniable but the nature of the medium remains mysterious, prompting many intellectuals and writers to critically stay with the difficulty of articulating cinematic movement, political representation, and reproduction of reality. The course covers multiple writers and theorists including Hugo Munsterberg, Rudolf Arnheim, Siegried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, Jean-Louis Baudry, Laura Mulvey, Mary Ann Doane, Sergei Eisenstein, Gilles Deleuze, Jean-Luc Godard, Andre Bazin, Christian Metz, Tom Gunning, Belas Balazs, Robert Stam, Ella Shohat, Louis Althusser, and Francesco Casetti.  return to top

GASP 174a — Music, Gender, and Sexuality

Can you hear gender? How are ideals of masculinity and femininity expressed in music and how have these ideals changed over time? In what ways do musicians and composers communicate sexuality in sound or in performance? This interdisciplinary seminar explores these questions and more by considering a variety of musics from the art, popular, and folk traditions. We’ll talk about the relationships between music, gender and sexuality from a variety of analytical perspectives including music studies, media studies, women and gender studies, and queer theory. This course is reading, listening, and discussion intensive. Class discussions will push all of us to challenge our assumptions about music, gender, and sexuality. Students will be expected to undertake a major research project in which they will apply what they have learned to a musical tradition that interests them.  return to top

 

 

OLD COURSE NUMBER (TO BE UPDATED SOON)

GASP 33 / ARTS 33 — Bollywood

In today's image and sound saturated world, the popular Hindi/Urdu cinema produced from Mumbai (Bombay) is a key visual and sonic archive through which India is accessed. Transcending barriers of language and narrative, Bombay’s popular cinema (sometimes questionably called “Bollywood”) has engaged diverse audiences across the world. Its visual presence is palpably felt in India's public sphere through large billboards, cinema theatres, and posters in shops and public transport; and it is emotionally present through oft-repeated but popular cinematic tropes, music, and narratives. At the basic level, this course is an introduction to the history of popular Bombay cinema. However, historical knowledge cannot simply be consumed and must be understood in the context of popular cinema's ambivalent relationship with the independent Indian nation-state and the varying attitudes of cultural theorists on this immensely popular visual and musical archive. Therefore, we will also investigate what defines the “popular” and why we must take it seriously. Beginning our study with the roots of this popular cinema in Parsi theater and Dastangoi (Indo-Islamic mode of story-telling), the course will take a thematic look based on chronology at issues such as the struggle against colonialism, the emergence of a new nation, the representation of urban spaces, gender identities, religious violence and the figure of the Muslim, and representations of the Indian Diaspora. We will also engage with films from the South Asian Diaspora that deal with Indian identity outside the country and move towards a more global understanding of Hindi/Urdu cinema by tracing its links to filmmaking outside the subcontinent. Students will be encouraged to move beyond analyzing the narrative towards a deeper and close engagement with the visual form and attention will be paid to cinematic techniques.  return to top

GASP 53 / ARTS 53 — European Art History

This is an introductory level art history course that presents basic art history tools and examines the cultures and history of Europe from the Bronze Age through contemporary art, from approximately 1000 BCE to 2000 CE. The course addresses a wide range of art production including architecture, sculpture, and painting. It explores works in their social context, addressing issues of patronage, class, gender, material culture, world exploration, and religious development and conflict, among other topics. Example topics include the design and function of Stonehenge, Gothic Cathedrals, paintings by Botticelli and Michelangelo, the Impressionists, and Picasso.  return to top

GASP 101 / HIST 101 — Visual Arts of the 20th Century

This course examines the history of modernism in visual arts and surveys a selection of modern artists and artworks in their historical, cultural and sociopolitical contexts. It aims to help students acquire a general understanding of various art movements, representational strategies and art historical debates. Students will also learn methods of visual analysis and research through participating in discussions, presentations and collaborative projects.  return to top

GASP 105 / HIST 112 — History of Islamic Art & Architecture

This course is a wide-ranging introduction to the arts of the Islamic world from its beginnings in 7th-century Arabia to the present. The Islamic world will be defined broadly to include not only the historic lands of Islam extending from Spain to China, but also the current Muslim Diaspora. We will trace the development and diversity of artistic production of Islamic dynasties and regions, paying close attention to the changing relations between the European and the Islamic worlds, particularly in the 19th-century colonial context. Given the historical, chronological and geographic breadth of the material, our purpose will be to situate the painting, architecture, and ceramics (among other media) that will be the subject of our study into their specific socio-cultural, economic, and religious contexts. Throughout the course, we will explore issues of power and patronage, trade, regionalism, identity politics, and cultural interaction within the framework of artistic production and reception.  return to top

GASP 111 — Postmodern Art

This course focuses on the history of twentieth-century visual arts after WWII and the emergence of postmodernism in a global context. It examines artwork and critical theories in relation to historical, cultural and sociopolitical developments in various cultures throughout the world.  return to top

GASP 114 / ARTS 114 — Ancient Roman Art

This is an upper-division level art history course that examines the cultures and histories of ancient Greece, Etruria, and Rome, with the primary focus on ancient Rome. The course addresses the arts of these cultures from the Greek Dark Ages around 1000 BCE to the fall of ancient Rome in 476 CE, including architecture, sculpture, painting, mosaic, and the decorative arts. It explores works in their social context, addressing issues of patronage, gender, material culture, and religious change, among other topics. Example topics include ancient temple design, the lost cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and the design of the Coliseum.  return to top

GASP 131 / ARTS 120 — Critical Popular Music Studies

Whether we are deeply invested in it, or simply allow it to make up the background noise of our daily lives, popular music is a ubiquitous element of our everyday experience. It encodes our memories with sonic reference points, and connects us not only to our friends but also to those we do not and will never know. Yet despite its central place in our society, popular music often evades examination, and tends to be dismissed, especially by academics, as non-essential and unimportant in the broader scheme of things. The propriety of song lyrics may be debated, and the public images of artists contested, but the sounds themselves more often than not are neglected as meaningless or dismissed as trite. In this class we focus on the scholarship of those who would argue for the primacy and societal significance of popular music, including its sound.  return to top

GASP 141 / ARTS 141 / HIST 114 — History and Practice of Photography

Examine critical texts on the history and theory of photography, study the work of
photographers from diverse backgrounds, and investigate cultural and sociopolitical issues in photographic practice and production. Students will also learn some basic techniques of taking photographs through various in-class exercises and assignments.  return to top

GASP 151 — Topics in Visual Culture

Special topics in the study of visual culture in a global context.  return to top

GASP 151 — Topics in Visual Culture: History of Viewing/Exhibiting Art

Special topics in the study of visual culture in a global context.  return to top

GASP 151 — Topics in Visual Culture: Video Games and/as Art

Far from mere entertainment, yet protested in its new home in museums like MoMA, the video game is an important form of 21st century digital and material production. By approaching games and art from both theoretical and experiential perspectives, students in this topics of visual culture course will engage with the question of whether video games are art, and why such a question might matter, particularly in the contemporary age of digital reproducibility and global flow. Students will read texts from both game studies and visual culture, play digital games/artifacts, take field notes of gameplay, and write blog entries of various lengths. While experienced gamers are welcome, experience as a game player is unnecessary for participating in the class.  return to top

GASP 152 — Topics in Music Studies

Focuses on a combination of individual and group research projects in music studies.  return to top

GASP 152 — Topics in Music Studies: Popular Song in the US

Focuses on a combination of individual and group research projects in music studies.  return to top

GASP 171 — Museums as Contested Sites

This course examines issues concerning the history of museums and controversies surrounding high-profile art exhibitions that were staged by public and private institutions in the United States in the twentieth century. A large selection of interdisciplinary texts provides a historical and theoretical overview of the development of museums, as well as analyses of specific exhibitions in their sociopolitical contexts. Students will not only acquire specialized knowledge of institutional and curatorial practices, but also have the opportunity to put their critical understanding into practice through curating an original exhibition. Students have the opportunity to serve as student curators for the UC Merced Art Galleryreturn to top

GASP 172 — Curatorial Methods and Practices

This seminar is a companion course to GASP 171 Museums as Contested Sites. It offers students the opportunity to acquire and apply specialized knowledge and critical skills in visual culture research, curating and exhibition programming. Students will read and discuss texts that examine contemporary and historical curatorial methods and exhibitory practices. Students will also conduct research on artworks, produce papers and exhibitions based on their research findings, and give in-class and/or public presentations. Students enrolled in GASP 172 serve as student curators and assume various responsibilities, including: planning and managing exhibition programs of the UC Merced Art Gallery; curating and installing exhibits; organizing campus art shows and competitions; producing and disseminating publicity materials; and participating in public outreach events.  return to top

GASP 175 — Race and Nationalism in American Art

This seminar addresses critical issues concerning pictorial representations of racial and national identities in twentieth-century American art through examining historical, cultural, and socio-political documents and theories. Special emphasis is placed on artists who are considered outside the canon and on debates surrounding notions of diaspora, assimilation, and nationalism.  return to top

Visual Cultures of/in India: 19th century – Present

This course examines the visual cultures of colonial and post-colonial India with a focus on the popular. The diverse materials examined, including architecture, painting, photographs, postcards, posters, calendar art, and films, are read in conjunction with themes and theoretical issues such as colonialism, nationalism, archaeology, conservation, tourism and commodification. Throughout the course, we will investigate definitions of the popular image, cultural consumption, and political identity. We will also question traditional understandings of the “popular” and visual culture and the ways in which these categories are constructed - particularly in opposition to “high art” and “fine arts” in the larger field of art history and more specifically in the Indian context.  return to top

 

Arts Courses

ARTS 101 — History of Clothing, Costume and Fashion: Euro-centric Pre-History to 1800 
Survey of history of Euro-centric clothing, costumes and fashion from pre-history to 1800. Emphasizes the intrinsic connection between clothing and all aspects of human existence from politics, economics, sociology, cultural history, to climate, psychology and art. Each student is encouraged to pick research topics connected to his or her major.  return to top
 
ARTS 102 — History of Clothing, Costume and Fashion: Euro-centric 1800 to 1980
Survey of history of Euro-centric clothing, costumes and fashion from 1800 to 1980. Emphasizes the intrinsic connection between clothing and all aspects of human existence from politics, economics, sociology, cultural history, to climate, psychology and art. Each student is encouraged to pick research topics connected to his or her major.  return to top
 
ARTS 103 — History of Ethnic Costume
Survey of ethnic costume across the globe. Covers indigenous clothing, emphasizing the intrinsic connection between clothing and cultural history. Each student is encouraged to pick research topics connected to his or her major.  return to top
 
ARTS 104 — History of Costume Design
Survey of history of costume design with emphasis on costumes for the stage. Examines the practice of costume design across world cultures as well as the relationship between costumes and prevailing cultural values. Course work concentrates on research but may include a creative component.  return to top
 
ARTS 115 — Twentieth Century Drama: Theatre and Social Responsibility 
Examination of ways in which the works of selected 20th century playwrights contribute to awareness of social responsibility. Explores correlation between dramaturgy and political activism. Includes staged readings of plays, research and writing.  return to top
 
ARTS 150 — Assemblage Sculpture
Assemblage sculpture, a unique three dimensional art form that consists of creating works of art that are assembled rather than modeled, carved or cast. The elements are pre-formed, natural or manufactured materials or objects. Course work includes research into the history and uses of assemblage, and writing.  return to top
 
ARTS 159 — Advanced Projects in Acrylic Painting
Application of acrylic medium techniques for the purpose of creating original works. Course advances each student’s understanding and application of color, composition, proportion, and principles of artistic creativity.  return to top
 
ARTS 170-01 — Portraiture
Students have opportunity to study with a contemporary artist. Open to any student interested in learning how acquisition of technique supports creative processes. Emphasis is placed on process instead of result. Technique taught varies depending on instructor artist’s medium of expression. May be repeated for credit four times.  return to top
 
ARTS 170-02 — Documentary Videomaking
Documentary Videomaking.  return to top
 
ARTS 190 — UC Merced Chorus
Selected mix of 50 to 80 voices performing choral music appropriate for a choral ensemble designed to provide singers and audiences with stimulating musical experience. Chorus will perform concert(s). Previous singing experience and sight reading skills are required. Acceptance into chorus is by audition only.  return to top
 
 
 
 

GASP 12 — Asia Pacific Art

This introductory course examines the visual arts of the Asia Pacific. Students become familiar with art practices in Japan, China, Korea, Thailand, as well as the United States. Our inquiry begins with the historical process of naturalizing the imported concept of art in these regions during the nineteenth century as part of the colonial and semi-colonial modernism. We then transition into contemporary art and film to critically situate the emerging perception of global contemporaneity facilitated by transnational exchange and exhibitions.  return to top

GASP 19 — Love Songs

Lecture course on love songs in society.  return to top

 
 
 
 
 
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