Not actually a course, yet. Wasting time on the internet: a syllabus:
What I Did For Love: Taste, Evaluation, and Aesthetics in American Culture
“I don’t know art, but I know what I like,” goes the disclaimer. In this writing-intensive part-workshop, part-seminar, we will seek to unpack the relationship between “art” and “what I like” by examining a variety of cultural objects together with accounts of “taste.” What are the uses of an art that nobody likes? Could “annoyance” be an aesthetic principle? What is the role of money in taste? What are the ethics of aesthetics? Under what circumstances is an aesthetic pleasure “guilty”? When should the appreciation of art works be a matter of disinterested judgment, and when a matter of passionate engagement? Does “love” blind? What is the difference between a “fan” and a “critic”? What are the affordances and limits of the “formulaic” and the “generic”?
Four weeks of this course will be devoted to workshopping students’ critical writing, examining the roles of description, praise, blame, analysis, and enthusiasm in writing about culture. Students will also maintain a course blog. For the final assignment, students are encouraged to pitch their writing to an appropriately chosen publication.
I mention purely in passing that “Arms So Freezy: Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ as Radical Text” will be introduced in Week 8.
Said Natalia Cecire, who wrote this syllabus: “Posting it on my blog was actually the wasting time on the internet part.”