Graphic novels demonstrate a concern for constructed narrative within a visual structure, character development, and plot strategies. Graphic memoirs, or auto-graphic novels, tell true tales of human experiences and global events, exploring the boundaries between fact and fiction, public and private, interior and exterior, visual and textual, seen and unseen, traumatic pasts and their futures. Graphic memoirs are interested in how these distinctions, and the questions of individual and collective truth, transparency, and communicability they open onto, help to delineate ethical behavior and belief systems. Holding a mirror up to the multiple ways in which contemporary cultures frame and reframe individual and collective experience, graphic memoirs render their subjects’ and cultures’ ethical premises and guidelines explicit, and, therefore, enable readers to revisit, rethink, and redraw accepted ways of behaving, understanding, and circulating. Texts used in this course will be explored through this lens. We will focus on the ethical considerations and concerns conveyed in and by graphic memoirs in order to uncover unique forms of book-length sequential art, as well as enhance critical thinking about ethics and media literacy skills. Designated as writing intensive, this course emphasizes writing practices, recognizing the role writing plays in the formation of knowledge, and the framing of a specific academic specialization, as well as genre. Lecture 3 (Spring).
The Graphic Novel
This course charts the development of the graphic novel, examines that history in relation to other media (including literary works, comics, film, and video games), and reflects on how images and writing function in relation to one another. Primary readings will be supplemented with secondary works that address socio-historical contexts, interpretive approaches and the cultural politics of the medium, such as representations of class, race, gender, and ethnicity. Lecture 3 (Spring).
A course on comics and comics cultures outside of the United States. Comics are a global medium, and the history of comics varies across national and international contexts. We will investigate and study different traditions of comics across the globe. The course will focus on a range of global comics, such as bande dessinées in France and Belgium, fumetti in Italy, manga in Japan, and cómics in Spain. All comics will be read in English translation. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Popular Genre Studies in Comics and Related Media
This course focuses on a popular genre in the comics medium. The history of the genre is explored as it developed in cartooning and comics, as well as in related media such as animation, film, games, prose, television, and toys. Genres may include Comedy, Crime, Fantasy, Funny Animals, Horror, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Superhero, or Western. Check course schedule for the specific topic during any semester. Lecture 3 (Spring).
This course will explore how the comics medium has figured into the history of modern and contemporary art, visual culture, and literary culture. Students will explore how cartooning, drawing, and printmaking in the 19th century led to the development of early comics and the newspaper comic strip, how early 20th century comics fit into the modernist avant-garde, how postwar artists began to use the comics medium as both source material and as a medium unto itself, how comics have been incorporated into contemporary art museums and galleries, and how contemporary comics artists engage with abstraction, medium specificity, seriality, and the archive. The course will draw from an interdisciplinary range of methodologies, from art history and visual culture to literary studies and museum studies. Lecture 3 (Fall).
This course will explore how the comics medium has figured into the history of modern and contemporary art and visual culture. Students will explore how cartooning, drawing, and printmaking in the 19th century led to the development of early comics and the newspaper comic strip, how early 20th-century comics fit into the modernist avant-garde, how postwar artists began to use the comics medium as both source material and as a medium unto itself, how comics have been incorporated into contemporary art museums and galleries, and how contemporary comics artists engage with abstraction, medium specificity, seriality, and the archive. The course will draw from an interdisciplinary range of methodologies, from art history and visual culture to literary studies and museum studies. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Students may choose to fulfill the nine (9) electives credits by completing any one of the following:
Choose ANY three electives from EITHER the above list of Comic Studies courses OR the list of electives below.
Select a track from the list of sample tracks and choose three courses from that track
Work with the Comic Studies faculty advisor and academic advisor to construct a track.
Theory And Criticism of 20th Century Art
A critical study of some of the major theoretical and philosophical texts that ground twentieth century art as well as their impact on artists and art historians/critics. Taken together they constitute what is presently called critical theory across a wide range of the humanities and social sciences, as well as the emergence of an alleged postmodernism. Major issues include: the theory of autonomy and self-reflexivity, the structuralist paradigm, post-structuralist and Marxist critiques of modernism, feminist approaches to spectacle, semiotics, and the theory of the sign, spectatorship, and commodity fetishism, the relation of vision to constructions of identity and power. Key authors to be discussed include: Lessing, Kant, Greenberg, Foucault, Barthes, Benjamin, Saussure, Pierce, Levi-Strauss, Lacan, Lyotard, Bataille, Debord Baudrillard, and Ranci. (Prerequisites: ARTH-136 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
The image remains a ubiquitous, controversial, ambiguous and deeply problematic issue in contemporary critical discourse. This course will examine recent scholarship devoted to the image—a ubiquitous controversial, ambiguous and deeply problematic issue in contemporary critical discourse—and the ideological implications of the image in contemporary culture. Topics will include: the modern debate over word vs. image, the mythic origins of images, subversive, traumatic, monstrous, banned and destroyed images (idolatry and iconoclasm), the votive, the totem, and effigy, the mental image, the limits of visuality, the moving and projected image, the virtual image, dialectical images, image fetishism, the valence of the image, semiotics and the image, as well as criteria by which to assess their success or failure (their intelligibility) and their alleged redemptive and poetic power. Students will explore the theoretical framework of the concept of the image, and critically evaluate these theories within their broader intellectual and historical contexts. (Prerequisite: ARTH-135 and ARTH-136 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
This course is an introduction to the study of visual communication. The iconic and symbolic demonstration of visual images used in a variety of media is stressed. The major goal of the course is to examine visual messages as a form of intentional communication that seeks to inform, persuade, and entertain specific target audiences. Lecture 3 (Fall Or Spring).
Introduction to Creative Writing
This course gives students the opportunity to write in different creative genres such as fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. In producing a portfolio, students will learn concrete elements of craft and techniques of improvisation to generate creative work. The course uses readings, peer feedback, workshops, and collaborative brainstorming to develop and refine texts for the printed page and beyond. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Storytelling is one of the primary ways we make sense of the world, communicate, share human experiences, and entertain ourselves. This course introduces students to methods used by literary critics and creative writers. Reading stories and analyzing the basic elements of story, the course builds understanding of how stories work, demonstrates the importance of artistic strategies, to enable greater appreciation of the creative choices storytellers make as they craft and communicate their stories in a variety of mediums. The course will explore distinct storytelling modes – such as oral, written, visual, dramatic, digital, ASL, augmented or mixed-reality – and consider the contributions different genres, or kinds of storytelling make to these practices. It will also explore how stories circulate in a culture, or across cultures, and examines the dynamic interrelations between stories, audiences, and changing cultural or historical contexts. Students will read, analyze, discuss, compare, and creatively rewrite or remix stories in order to better understand the range of storytelling practices, how stories work on us as readers, and why they are so significant to human cognition and cultures. Lecture 3 (Fall).
From Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, forms of popular literature have existed alongside more literary forms of narrative. In this course students will focus on the distinguishing thematic, structural, and formal distinctions between popular and literary fiction (and in some cases drama and poetry) with an awareness of the historical trends that produced this distinction (the dime novel). The course may focus on popular forms either within broader genres (such as fiction, drama, or poetry) or could be organized thematically and use several of these larger genres. Some sub-genres may include, for example, detective fiction, gothic and horror, the western, romance, etc. Analysis of popular treatment of certain themes and ideas will give students a lens through which to understand how important social, political, and cultural issues enter into the popular imagination, and can in some cases become part of ideological contestation through popular literary discourse. Lecture 3 (Spring).
This course introduces students to the field of adaptation studies and explores the changes that occur as particular texts such as print, radio, theatre, television, film, and videogames move between various cultural forms and amongst different cultural contexts. The course focuses upon works that have been disseminated in more than one medium. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Storytelling Across Media
This course introduces the basic elements of narrative, reflecting on key concepts in narrative theory such as – story and plot, narration and focalization, characterization, storyspace, and worldmaking – to enhance your understanding of how stories work and your ability to understand how such storytelling strategies convey their meaning and themes. After an initial exploration of storytelling traditions emerging from oral myth and short stories in print, we expand our inquiries into what a narrative is and what it can do by considering what happens to storytelling in graphic novels, digital games, and in recent electronic literature. Reflecting on competing definitions and varieties of narrative, the course raises the overarching question of why how we access, read, write, and circulate stories as a culture matters. Expect to read stories in a variety of media, to review basic concepts and conversations drawn from narrative theory, and to creatively experiment with the storytelling strategies we are analyzing in class. No familiarity with specific print, digital, or visual media necessary, though a willingness to read and reflect on stories in various media and to analyze their cultural significance will be essential. Lecture 3 (Spring).
A transmedia storyworld is a shared universe in which its settings, characters, objects, events, and histories are featured in one or more narratives across many different media, including print fiction, films, television episodes, comics/ graphic novels, and games. This course will focus on the construction of large-scale transmedia storyworlds and how such storyworlds expand in size and detail over time. Students will trace narrative arcs as deployed through different media and consider the strengths and limitations of each medium in terms of adding to knowledge about the transmedia storyworld. The course will also analyze the differences and similarities between transmedia narratives, adaptation, and other forms of serial storytelling; the multi-authored nature of transmedia storyworlds; commercial aspects of transmedia storyworlds; and creative work produced by and for fan communities. Lecture 3 (Fall).
World Building Workshop
This course focuses on the collaboration construction of fictional worlds. Students will learn to think critically about features of fictional worlds, such as the social, political, and economic structures that influence daily life for the characters who inhabit that world. Students will also participate in extensive character development exercises, and then write short fiction from these characters’ perspectives describing the challenges they face in these worlds. Students will critique each other’s fiction and submit revised work.
Each class will include considerations of sophisticated fictional worlds in print and in other media and discuss world building features relevant to teach. (Prerequisites: ENGL-211 or completion of First Year Writing (FYW) requirement or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Creative Writing Workshop
This course is for students who want to explore the techniques of a single genre of creative writing and add to their skills as a creative writer. Through reading and discussion, students will see their own writing in a larger context. Reading/reflection and writing/revision will be emphasized all semester. The focus will be on the creation of creative works and the learning of stylistic and craft techniques. Ongoing work will be discussed with peer editors, which will not only help students rethink their work but teach them to become better editors. Group critiques will provide the opportunity to give and receive helpful feedback. Each class will rely extensively on the creative writing workshop model, and will focus on a specific genre of print-based creative writing.
The course may be taken up to three times for a total of 9 credit hours, as long as the topics are different. (Prerequisites: ENGL-211 or completion of First Year Writing (FYW) requirement or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
History & Theory of Exhibitions
Art exhibitions are organized around a curatorial premise, a statement that articulates an idea allowing for the selection of work included in an exhibition. This course begins with an overview of exhibition history, starting with the transformation of the Louvre into the first public art museum following the French Revolution, where art history, a discipline developed in the 19th century, was enlisted to organize exhibition. The course then examines the proliferation of types of exhibitions that accompanies modernism, up to the present, paying close attention to the curatorial premise animating the exhibitions. Lecture 3 (Spring).
This course examines the history and practice of exhibition design. It reviews the history of exhibitions within the development of museum-like institutions. In this course the following aspects of exhibition design are considered: curatorial premise or theme, exhibition development timeline, exhibition site, contracts and contractual obligations, budgets and fundraising, publicity material, didactic material, and exhibition design. The course includes field trips to local institutions and collections throughout the semester. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Visual Culture Theory
Visual culture studies recognize the predominance of visual forms of media, communication, and information in the contemporary world, investigating both high cultural forms such as fine art, design, and architecture and popular low cultural forms associated with mass media and communications. Visual culture studies represents a turn in the discourse of the visual, which had focused on content-based, critical readings of images, and has since broadened its approach to additionally question the ways in which our consumption and production of images and image based technologies are structured. Analyzing images from a social-historical perspective, visual culture asks: what are the effects of images? Can the visual be properly investigated with traditional methodologies, which have been based on language, not imagery? How do images visualize social difference? How are images viewed by varied audiences? How are images embedded in a wider culture and how do they circulate? Lecture 3 (Fall).
Gender and Contemporary Art
This course traces the historical development of women’s activism in the art world from the 1970s to the present. We will interpret how this art activism, which artists and scholars alike have referred to as the feminist art movement, has examined how gender informs the ways art is made, viewed, conceptualized in history and theory, and exhibited in museums and visual culture, in a range of cultural contexts. We will also analyze how current artists, critics, and curators continue to build on this history, in particular how they use the concept of gender intersectionally to develop a variety of new creative practices, theories, modes of exhibition and social engagement. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Graphic Design Studio I
This course is an introduction to basic visual communications in the field of graphic design. Lectures will cover graphic design topics and information ranging from typographic terminology and design principles to methods of visual organization. Assignments will be undertaken in the studio where hands-on introduction to graphic design studio skills and practices will occur. Through formal studies and perceptual understanding, including aesthetics, graphic form and structure, concept development problems and visual organization, students will design solutions to visual communication problems. Assignments will explore aspects of graphic imagery, typography, hierarchy, and layout. Students will refine their computer skills through applications requiring digital formats. (This course is restricted to GRDE-BFA or VISMEDIA-BFA Major students.) Lab 5 (Spring, Summer).
Motion Design I
This course will introduce the concepts, principles and techniques of motion design and animation. Topics covered are planning and organization methods in the form of storyboards, animatics, kinetics, animation principles, sequencing, composition, visual variables, and forms of narrative storytelling. Focus is on the integration of time and media, such as illustration, photography, video, audio, animation and type, to communicate a moving message. This course will emphasize design from a problem-solving point of view and explores the production-timeline. (This course is restricted to GRDE-BFA or VISMEDIA-BFA Major students.) Lab 5 (Spring).
This course is an introduction to the fundamental principles of typography (the visual representation of language) to effectively convey information and ideas to specific audiences. Focus is on the communicative function and aesthetic nature of typographic problem-solving. Course content and lectures will cover typographic terminology, type anatomy, history of typography as well as type classification, type measurement, and issues of legibility and readability. Once students are introduced to the fundamentals of typography, they will include imagery as appropriate. Students will also refine their skills using relevant software. (Pre-requisites: GRDE-106 and (GRDE-107 or FDTN-141) or equivalent courses.) Lab 5 (Fall Or Spring).
Graphic Design Studio II
This course will focus on the analysis, creation and use of imagery for communication purposes, along with an introduction to symbol and icon design as it relates to branding. Processes and techniques for creating images are explored. Projects incorporate symbolism, concept development and integration of image and text. This course will build upon the principles and theories learned in Graphic Design Studio I with project solutions developed for print media, motion and digital use. (Pre-requisites: GRDE-106 and (GRDE-107 or FDTN-141) or equivalent courses.) Lab 3, Studio 2 (Fall).
Students will expand upon the principles of grid theory, text and display typography, sequence, page layout, and type and image integration as they relate to a range of design applications: posters, instructional materials, brochures, magazines, books, etc. Visual organization and message communication are stressed. This course builds upon the content taught in Typography and Design Imagery courses. Appropriate layout and imaging software skills are integrated. (Prerequisite: GRDE-201 or GRDE-202 or equivalent course.) Lab 5 (Spring).
This course will introduce students to a calligraphic hand for the purpose of acquiring a comprehensive understanding of letterform design and application for personal and professional application. Students will learn to letter using traditional and current tools and techniques. This course is open to anyone who is interested in learning more about lettering, the historical evolution of calligraphy as a precursor to typography and about past, present and emerging styles and practitioners in the fields of lettering, calligraphy and typography. (This course is available to RIT degree-seeking undergraduate students.) Studio 5 (Fall, Spring).
Design for Non-Majors I
This course is a structured, cumulative introduction to the basic elements and principles of two-dimensional design for non-majors. This course will focus on the development of both a visual and verbal vocabulary as a means of exploring, developing and understanding 2D compositions. The course addresses a wide variety of media, tools, techniques both traditional and technological, and theoretical concepts to facilitate skill development and experimentation with process. This course may help in building a portfolio. (This course is open to all undergraduate students except those in FNAS-BFA, ILLM-BFA, ILLS-BFA, NMDE-BFA, GRDE-BFA, IDDE-BFA, INDE-BFA, 3DDG-BFA, CCER-BFA, GLASS-BFA, METAL-BFA, WOOD-BFA, PHIMAG-BFA, STAR-BFA and PHTILL-BFA.) Studio 5 (Fall, Spring).
Design for Non-Majors II
This course is the second semester of a sequential, introduction to the basic elements and principles of two-dimensional design. Organized to create a broad introductory experience this course will build upon the visual and verbal vocabulary, media, techniques, skill development. This course will also focus on the comprehensive exploration of color theory as well as dealing with conceptualization and more advanced issues related to problem solving. This course may help in building a portfolio. (Prerequisite: IDEA-221 or equivalent course and undergraduate student standing in any major except STAR-BFA, FNAS-BFA, ILLM-BFA, ILLS-BFA, NMDE-BFA, GRDE-BFA, IDDE-BFA, INDE-BFA, 3DDG-BFA, and CCER-BFA.) Studio 5 (Fall, Spring).
Visual Storytelling for the Graphic Novel
This course is an intensive investigation into the graphic novel as a medium for artistic practice. Designed for students interested in the art of storytelling through graphic novels. Students will explore composing a story, developing a pace through layout and composition, learning the fundamental tools of sequential illustration and then unifying the entire structure with the intent of creating a graphic novel. Studio 5 (Fall, Spring).
2D Animation and Asset Production
This course provides a theoretical framework covering the principles of animation and its use in game design to affect user experience. Emphasis will be placed upon principles that support character development and animations that show cause and effect. Students will apply these principles to create animations that reflect movement and character appropriate for different uses and environments. (This course is restricted to students in GAMEDES-BS or NWMEDID-BS or GAMED-MN students.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
Illustration I is the primary core course for illustration majors in their sophomore year. The students approach major elements of technique, application, and theory in relation to becoming illustrators. Studio sessions involve basic problem solving, anatomy, pictorial composition, media applications, figurative expression, use of reference tools, and illustrative techniques. Class structure allows demonstrations of processes and experimentation for assignment development. Group and individual critiques will be used to evaluate work. (Prerequisites: FDTN-111 or ITDI-211 or equivalent course.) Studio 5 (Fall, Spring).
Digital Illustration I
This course will provide students with methods of conceptualizing, organizing and executing illustrations using the computer. Projects will expose students to various types of digital techniques using vector and raster-based software applications, and a variety of input and output devices for the creation of professional level assignments. The course will emphasize conceptual problem-solving methodology and the language of visualization while providing a consistent foundation for digital illustration as it relates to professional illustration production. Color systems, digital terminology and pre-press file formats will be covered. (Prerequisites: FDTN-111 or ITDI-211 or SOFA-108 or equivalent course.) Studio 5 (Fall, Spring).
This course will focus on preparing students to create work for a variety of illustration markets including the advertising, editorial, corporate and book publishing markets. Emphasis will be placed on the development and creation of a variety of finished illustrations that will demonstrate understanding of current industry trends and standards. Students will gain insight into the differences and nuances of these illustration specializations. Creative problem solving, stylistic self-expression, and technical proficiency will be emphasized. Students will participate in individual and group reviews and critiques. (Prerequisites: ILLS-213 or equivalent course.) Studio 5 (Fall, Spring).
Digital Illustration II
Digital Illustration II will provide students with advanced methods of conceptualizing, organizing and executing illustrations using the computer. Projects will expose students to various types of digital techniques using vector and raster-based software applications, and a variety of input and output devices for the creation of professional level assignments. The course will emphasize conceptual problem solving methodology and the language of visualization while providing a consistent foundation for digital illustration as it relates to professional illustration production. Color systems, digital terminology and pre-press file formats will be also be covered. (Prerequisites: ILLS-219 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Spring).
This course will provide students with a historical overview and discussion of the field of illustration. Students will be presented with illustration in a developmental context. Visual examples, illustrator’s biographies, descriptive information, and terminology will define and distinguish illustration and provide topics for discussion. The course will cover revolutionary illustrators, evolutionary trends, and styles from 1880 to the present. Special emphasis will be placed on particular illustrators whose artistic contributions to the field have defined and influenced changes and new movements. Work in traditional mediums and more recent digital mediums will be covered. (Prerequisites: FDTN-112 and FDTN-121 or equivalent courses.) Studio 5 (Fall).
This course will focus on preparing students to create work for the book publishing industry. Emphasis will be placed on creating a wide variety of finished illustrations that will appeal to picture book markets as well as a range of other publishing categories. To create a basis for their illustrations, students will visualize existing narratives and/or author their own story concepts. This will involve story development and storyboard conceptualization. Creative expression and technical experimentation will be encouraged. The course will culminate with the student creating a completed “dummy” suitable for presentation to book publishers. (Prerequisites: ILLS-219 or equivalent course.) Studio 5 (Fall, Spring).
This course will focus on the visual interpretation of subject matter specific to these specialized genres of illustration. Emphasis will be placed on creating a wide variety of finished illustrations. Critical thinking, visual criticism, and rhetoric will also be a required component of work generation and imaginative conceptualizing. Stylistic options and technical approaches to the subject matter will be emphasized. Studio 5 (Fall).
This course will facilitate the use of sketchbooks as a creative, developmental tool for illustrators and artists. Students will complete assignments by draw on location and in class to explore subjects and environments to create a visual reference material in the form of a sketchbook journal. Material documented in the sketchbook will then provide visual reference for more complete illustrations. Studio 5 (Spring).
This course will provide an in depth look and practice at creating humorous, symbolic or acerbic images of people for this specialized area within the field of Illustration. Assignments will challenge students to create characters for a variety of purposes and media. Emphasis will be placed on interpreting facial expressions, body postures, and clothing. Students will work in black and white and in color media producing a wide variety of finished illustrations. Students will be instructed in production methodologies, character diagramming, and color systems. Studio 5 (Spring).
Political Cartooning is an introduction to this very popular, humorous approach of illustration that is widely used by newspaper and magazine publishers. Students will apply humorous, satirical, ironic, etc. content to their illustrations. Research, brainstorming, and exploration of techniques and media are emphasized. The history of visual joke telling is reviewed. Studio 6 (Spring).
Drawing for Non-Majors
This class is devoted to developing basic skills in drawing. Formal art elements, mark making, observational skills, and personal expression will be stressed. Students will engage in issues of representation and abstraction through relationships of marks, lines and other graphic notations. (This course is open to all undergraduate students except those in FNAS-BFA, ILLM-BFA, ILLS-BFA, NMDE-BFA, GRDE-BFA, IDDE-BFA, INDE-BFA, 3DDG-BFA, CCER-BFA, GLASS-BFA, METAL-BFA, WOOD-BFA, PHIMAG-BFA, STAR-BFA and PHTILL-BFA.) Studio 5 (Fall, Spring).
Creating Artist Books
This course focuses on preparing students with the tools needed to create an artist book. Emphasis will be placed on the exploration of materials and ideas. The end product will be a finished artist book. Creative expression and technical experimentation will be encouraged. The course will culminate with the students publicly presenting their process and resulting artwork. (This class is open to undergraduate students in CAD except those with majors in FNAS-BFA, ILLM-BFA, ILLS-BFA, or STAR-BFA.) Studio 5 (Fall, Spring).
Introduction to Cartooning
This course is devoted to an intensive investigation into the language of cartooning as a narrative medium. Focus will be on the function of visual images (and then images in sequence) to dispense information. Each week a new aspect of graphic storytelling will be discussed, allowing for more narrative and emotional range. Students will devote the last third of the course to a project of their own. Students will draw and create dynamic stories through image making. (This course is restricted to UGRD-CAD Major students.) Studio 5 (Fall, Spring).
Exploration of calligraphic letterforms, typographic history, and practical production with an emphasis on developing concepts, nomenclatures and techniques involved in the design of a digital typeface. An understanding of basic typography and calligraphy is needed. Course can repeated for a second time with advanced coursework assigned. (This course is available to Undergraduate College of Art and Design students with at least 3rd year standing with permission of Instructor.) Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Spring).
Figure Drawing for Non-Majors
This course will introduce students to figure drawing, with a focus on the nude figure. This studio course will offer students the opportunity to develop traditional life drawing techniques such as dynamic line quality, visual perception and contemporary approaches to figure drawing. **Fee: A materials fee is required for this course** (Prerequisites: FDTN-111 or ITDI-211 or SOFA-108 or equivalent course.) Studio 5 (Fall, Spring).
Sketchbook Artists Designers
This course will facilitate the use of sketchbooks as an innovative visualization tool for artists and designers. Students will complete assignments by drawing, conducting research and exploring onsite reference gathering. Exploration of subjects and environments support the creation of visual reference material in the form of a sketchbook journal. Material documented in the sketchbook will then provide visual reference for more complete artwork or design work. (This class is open to undergraduate students in CAD except those with majors in ILLS-BFA.) Studio 5 (Fall, Spring).
Drawing is one of the most immediate and powerful forms of expression in the visual arts. Because it is so adaptable, many have used drawing for their most dynamic explorations, from installation art to underground comic books. Using both traditional and experimental drawing techniques, students will explore personal and contemporary drawing strategies. Students will seek to develop meaningful personal imagery, while refining drawing skills along the way. Experimentation with a wide range of media techniques and working methods including transfers, montages, collage, wash drawings and digital inputs students will also explore various ways of gathering and integrating research materials, including photography. Development of your own drawing series will be an intense culmination of the semester. We will look at how contemporary issues like digital technology, sampling, and photography have impacted how drawings are made, how they are used and how they are understood in today’s art world. (Prerequisite: FDTN-112 or FDTN-212 or ITDI-211 or equivalent courses.) Studio 5 (Fall, Spring).
This course will explore the art and technique of Letterpress Printing in the 21st Century. Emphasis will be placed on typography and typesetting using lead and wood type. The history of letterpress printing; its demise and rebirth in modern times, as well as wood block and linoleum block printing will be covered. Hands-on methods of combining both types of design and hand set typographic layouts in various mediums and sizes integrated. All aspects of the letterpress printing process will be covered: setting type correctly, tying forms, press make-ready and maintenance, printing, ink mixing, paper, some book binding and finishing. Students will also explore digital design for letterpress printing using the Box Car Base. This course may be offered off campus. This course may be retaken up to two times with advanced course work. **Fee: There is a lab fee to cover personal equipment and supplies** (This course is restricted to undergraduate students in CAD with at least 2nd year standing.) Studio 5 (Spring).
Film, Comics, and French Culture
The course focuses on French culture through feature films, animated films, and comic books. France is the strongest film industry in Europe and is one of the world’s major movie export powers after the U.S. Franco-Belgian comics are one of the main groups of comics, together with American and British comic books and the Japanese manga. France is Europe’s largest producer and the world’s third largest exporter of animated film. What do French films and comics tell us about French culture? The course explores aspects of contemporary French society. It addresses a broad range of topics including multiculturalism in France, French cuisine and the French paradox, fashion in France, the impact of the two world wars on French society, the legacy of the French colonial experience, and ethnic and sexual minorities in France. The course examines the interconnectedness of French culture with other cultures in the world, particularly American culture and the cultures of former French colonies. Students will also have to interpret and evaluate French films and comic books considering the cultural context in which they were created. They will learn about the specificity of French cinema as opposed to Hollywood productions, of French animated films versus American animated films and Japanese anime, and of Franco-Belgian comics as opposed to American and British comics and the Japanese manga. The course also offers a brief introduction to spoken French. Lecture 3 (Spring).
Performing Identity in Popular Media
This class is a critical, theoretical, and practical examination of the constitution and performance of personal identity within popular media as it relates to identity politics in everyday life. Through lectures, readings, film, and critical writing, students will examine elements of personal identity and diversity in popular media in order to foster a deeper understanding of how identity is constructed and performed in society. Lecture 3 (Spring).
Drawing For Animation
This course focuses on the mechanics of motion as applied to animated characters, both human and non-human. Working directly from a live model, costumed and nude, and also employing visualization techniques, students will apply figure-drawing skills along with gesture drawing, focusing on the correct representation of weight, energy and force in sequential poses. Specific attention is paid to improving drawing skills in order to create stronger storytelling poses for animated properties. A variety of drawn animation examples will be screened in class. (Prerequisite: SOFA-121 or equivalent course.) Studio 6 (Spring).
Concept and Character Design
This course will introduce students to the basics of design as applied to characters and environments for animated productions. Students will create and develop a cast of characters for an imagined property, focusing on group dynamics, visual appeal and personality development. Line, color, texture, shape, form and story are referenced when developing characters and environments. Students will institute a process of visual development through a variety of exercises, working toward a final, finished project. (Prerequisite: SOFA-203 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Spring).
Animation Scriptwriting and Storyboard
This course concentrates on the structures of temporal organization for the screen in all animated productions. Particular attention is paid to the structures of scriptwriting and the layout of movements and visual composition via editing into storyboards. Various individual written script projects will be required of the student, leading to a final production script for an animated film that will be fully storyboarded and formatted. Particular attention will be paid to the visual storytelling aspects of converting a written script. Layouts from the production will also be developed. (Prerequisites: FDTN-121 or FDTN-131 or equivalent courses and completion of First Year Writing (FYW) requirement.
Co-requisites: SOFA-203 or SOFA-215 or SOFA-522 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
History and Aesthetics of Animation
This course will explore the beginnings, the evolution, the creative and practical history of the animated film, including prehistory of animation, early film and animation history, major trends, artists, animation studios, theoretical distinctions and international identities in animation. Issues of animation aesthetics will also be elucidated through discussions, readings and reviews of exemplary films to emphasize the unique characteristics of the animated art form and how those characteristics are used as a means of interpretation and expression. Both orthodox and unorthodox animation will be highlighted. Films will be screened at every lecture. (Prerequisites: SOFA-121 or equivalent course and completion of First Year Writing (FYW) requirement.) Lec/Lab 4 (Fall, Spring).
This is an intensive comics workshop conducted over one weekend. Students will learn about comics structure and key elements of comics storytelling, and they will use that knowledge and their own abilities to create a short comic on a theme by the end of the workshop. No drawing or illustration skills are required, though they are welcome. The course will be facilitated by RIT faculty and a comics artist. Lecture 5, Studio 20 (Annual).
Comics in the Archive
This is a course on archiving and analyzing comic books. Using the Cary Collection’s archive of comic books, we will work to create a digital finding aid that details the unique print characteristics of comic books. We will also work with digitized copies of comics from the archive, to produce innovative accounts of comics as a print and visual medium. Lecture 3 (Spring).
This course will introduce the technologies of letterpress printing as applied to the creation of fine art prints. Students will generate several printed works using vintage metal and wood type set by hand, and then combine these traditional skills with innovative 21st century relief printing techniques. Students will learn platen and cylinder press printing and maintenance in order to make small editions of multi-color printed works. Studio 6 (Fall, Spring).
* At least one course must be taken at the 300-level or above.
ENGL-421: The Graphic Novel
FNRT-388: Gender and Contemporary Art
SOIS-242: Comics: Image & Text in Popular Culture
SOIS-342: Global Comics
SOIS-444: Comics in the Archive
ENGL-211: Introduction to Creative Writing
ENGL-375: Storytelling Across Media
ENGL-390: Creative Writing Workshop
SOIS-242: Comics: Image & Text in Popular Culture
SOIS-344: Popular Genre Studies in Comics and Related Media
FNRT-354: Exhibition Design
GRDE-201: Typography I
GRDE-202: Graphic Design Studio II
SOIS-242: Comics: Image & Text in Popular Culture
SOIS-542: Art Comics
ILLS-477: Caricature Illustration
ILLS-482: Political Cartooning
ITDI-231: Introduction to Cartooning
SOIS-242: Comics: Image & Text in Popular Culture
SOIS-342: Global Comics
IGME-119: 2D Animation and Asset Production
SOFA-218: Concept and Character Design
SOFA-541: History and Aesthetics of Animation
SOIS-242: Comics: Image & Text in Popular Culture
SOIS-344: Popular Genre Studies in Comics and Related Media
ARTH-521: The Image
FNRT-224: History & Theory of Exhibitions
FNRT-354: Exhibition Design
SOIS-242: Comics: Image & Text in Popular Culture
SOIS-542: Art Comics