Art & Activism

This course explores art and social change in times of mass displacement, racial oppression, and war. It surveys the efforts involved in achieving justice and the possible implications of remaining historically mute. Taught by Rice’s post-doctoral fellow in Jewish Studies Yehuda Sharim, the class will host contemporary activists and artists concerned with radical visions of hope, and will collaborate with Olafur Eliasson’s Green Light workshop to engage in a semester of conversation about the political, social, economic, and artistic implications of displacement and relocation.

Art and Environment Reef Ecologies

This course delves into questions of environment, ecology, and sustainability through the lens of contemporary art and science. Marine biologist Dr. Adrienne Correa and artist and anthropologist Dr. Lina Dib will co-teach the course in partnership with Fossilized Houston, a group of Houston-based artists, scientists, and thinkers who raise awareness about climate change and species extinction through community art projects. Students will discover and experiment with environmental art practices, as well as learn about a complex, dynamic, and sensitive ecosystem: coral reefs. Students will design and create works that highlight our relationship to local and global reef ecosystems and provide new ways to rescript our interactions with our environment.

Creativity Up Close

Designed by associate professor of musical composition and theory Anthony Brandt, this course explores creativity as a universal feature of human cognition and examines its role in human behavior and society. Each week, seminars will focus on the neuroscience, psychology, sociology, and economics of creativity through readings and discussions spanning both the arts and sciences. Concurrently, hands-on workshops taught by visiting artists and scholars will allow students to develop independent projects in oral history, musical composition, industrial design, and video art. Evening lectures on innovation by leading researchers including Robert Bilder, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and Keith Sawyer, free and open to the public, will complement the course.

Leadership Through The Arts

This course enables graduate students to develop and perform their own creative projects that will be showcased in “pop-up” locations across Rice’s campus. Working with music professor Janet Rarick, theater director Christina Keefe, and mindfulness-based coach Elizabeth Slator, students receive individual training in performance methodologies and gain practical experience in creative production and arts leadership.

Medical Media Arts Lab

Taught by English professor Kirsten Ostherr in collaboration with physicians from the Texas Medical Center, visual artists, industrial designers, and creative writers, this course enables students to develop projects that help medical professionals communicate information to patients. Outputs include short videos, info-graphics, virtual models, and web applications about issues such as patient enrollment in clinical trials, diabetes treatments, and education for ICU doctors.

Monster - Conceiving and Misconceiving the Monstrous in Fiction and the Biosciences in Medicine and Art

The monsters that inhabit our world are products not just of nature but of human conception. They wander forth out of evolution and language, out of brain physiology and prejudice, out of the pages of fiction and the corridors of art. It is this variety that humanist Deborah Harter and bioscientist Mike Gustin endeavor to capture as they ask how our notions of the monstrous help us to understand who we are, what we fear, and with what consequences we perceive and misperceive human variation. It is a variety, moreover, that will be broadened and enriched as we invite our students, in their final projects, to complete creative works of art under the guidance of artist/photographer Paul Hester.

Visualizing Nature

Visualizing Nature is an experimental course studying the natural landscape and ecosystems of the Houston area. Taught by earth science professor Adrian Lenardic and visual art professor Geoff Winningham, the course combines classroom lectures, laboratory demonstrations, and extensive field trips. Professor Lenardic lectures on the geoscience of the area and leads experiments in the field; Professor Winningham uses laboratory demonstrations to build students’ skills in landscape photography and delivers illustrated lectures on achievements in landscape photography through the history of the medium. Students then produce their own landscape photographs and scientific graphs which explore the intersections between fine art and the visual display of scientific information.