LS212 Introduction to the Arts

for SP 2010

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LS 212 Introduction to the Arts


SP 2010 HO


Dr. Lolly Ockerstrom


Assistant Professor English


Ph.D., English, Northeastern University, Boston
Certificate, Advanced Seminars in Writing
M.A., English, Northeastern University

Office Location

321 CO

Office Hours

TR 9:00 - 11:30


Class Days


Class Time

12:00 - 1:15 PM

Credit Hours



  • Sporre, Dennis J. The Creative Impulse: An Introduction to the Arts. 8th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: 
          Pearson/PrenticeHall, 2009.
  • Lunsford, Andrea. Easy Writer, 4th edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2010.

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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Course Description:
LS212 Introduction to the Arts (MGE): A study of the common elements in the visual, verbal and performing arts and how they reflect values of different cultural periods. The course also includes a survey of themes, genres, and representative work in the classical, romantic, and modern art forms. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
Students learn best by doing things--by reading and writing, by trying things out, by writing and talking about their experiences, and by posing questions. When studying the arts, experiential learning is even more important. I  try to set up classrooms that invite informed exchange of ideas, experimentation, analysis along with personal perspective. My hope is that students will venture into new territory--and be willing to fail (and I don't mean fail the class!). Within each of us resides an artist that longs for expression, but in order to find that artist, you must let go of the idea you have to be perfect. You have to role up your sleeve, so to speak, and be willing to get your hands a little grubby. My goal for the students in this course is that they be willing to "give it a go"--to try new art forms as a means of self expression, while also gaining a respect for the historical and cultural contexts that have given rise to various art forms.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the connections between art and other facets of society
  2. Develop an awareness of the impact of art on individuals and society
  3. Analyze elements of a variety of art genre
  4. Research an art subject and show evidence of collection, synthesis, and formulation of a thesis

Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:

  • Quizzes/short in-class essays
  • Oral presentation (based on class readings; extra research required) 
  • Critique of an art event 
  • Final project (includes oral presentation/performance/reflections)
  • Reflective Essay*

*Class journal: Buy a special journal for class. Keep notes from reading and class discussion as well as your own commentary on your progress as you explore the arts. You will need this to help you write your final, reflective essay.



Periodic quizzes/short essays 100 points total
Oral presentation 50 points
Critique 50 points
Final Project 100 points
Reflective essay 100 points
Total Points 400
Grading Rubric:
A 360-400
B 320-359
C 280-319
D 240-279
F Below 240

Late Submission of Course Materials:

  • Assignments are due on the due date. Late work is not acceptable. It is not good for you, it is disruptive, and it is unfair to other students
  • Penalty for late work: loss of 10 points for first day late (including non-class days); 25 points for work that is 2 days late. No papers will be accepted after 3 days.
  • All written work must be presented at the beginning of class, typed and formatted according to assignment requirements.
  • Do not ask to go to a computer lab to print out work. Do not enter class late.
  • Missed quizzes, in-class essays, or exams may not be made up.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

  • Arrive in class on time prepared with all reading, writing, and other assignments.
  • Bring required textbook and other materials to class.
  • Volunteer relevant, informed, well-thought-out commentary to class discussion.
  • Listen respectfully to others.
  • Turn all cell phones off.
  • No texting in class (penalty: you will be marked as absent for that day).
  • No food or drink in class except water.
  • Meet all deadlines.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week One (Jan. 11 & 13): Introduction to the course; syllabus: Chapter One: Understanding the Arts. Discussion. Short, in-class writing. 

Wed.: Read Introduction, p. 13 - 29. Special attention to Functions of Art, Evaluating Art, and Putting the Arts in Perspective

Week Two (Jan. 18 & 20): (Monday: Martin Luther King Day). Read Chapters 1 and 2: "The Ancient World," p. 32-50, and "The Aegean & Archaic Greece," 53-73. Historical contexts. Focus on Egyptian art; Epic of Gilgamesh; Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Week Three (Jan. 25 & 27)
: Greek Classicism and the Roman Period. Chapter 3: p. 75-109; 111-139. Historical contexts. Focus: Greek vases, architecture (esp. Greek theatre), sculpture, literature (Homer).
Week Four: (Feb. 1 and 3): Chapters 4: The Roman Period. Chapter 4, p. 111-139. Historical contexts: The Roman Empire. Focus: Roman painting. The Colosseum.  Aqueducts. Vergil.
Week Five: (Feb. 8 & 9): Chapter 5: Judaism and Early Christianity, p. 141-173. Historical contexts: Focus: Buildings as symbols. Mosaics.
Week Six: (Feb. 15 & 17): (Monday, 15 February: Presidents' Day) Chapter 6: Byzantium and Islam, p. 176 - 207. Historical contexts: Muhammed. Focus: Mosaics. Manuscript illumination. The Dome of the Rock.  
Week Seven (Feb. 22 & 24): Chapter 7: The Early Middle Ages, p. 210 - 235; Historical contexts: The medieval church; Pope Gregory I; Charlemagne. Focus: Sacred and secular music (Gregorian chant; musical instruments); painting.
Week Eight (March 1 & 3): Chapters 8: The High Middle Ages (The Gothic Age), p.  237 - 275. Historical contexts: the Hundred Years' War; the Plague; the Crusades. Joan of Arc. Focus: Chartres Cathedral. Painting (Giotto). Literature (Geoffrey Chaucer. St. Francis. Margery Kempe. Julian of Norwich.)
* Critique due Monday, March 1.
***FALL BREAK*** March 8-12
Week Nine (March 15 & 16):

Chapter 9: The Early Renaissance, p. 278 -303. Historical contexts: Leonard da Vinci. Technology. Battle of Agincourt, 1415. Lorenzo de'Medici. Rise of Humanism. Machiavelli. Focus: Painting (Botticelli). Literature (Petrarch).

Chapter 10: The High Renaissance and Mannerism, p. 305-339. Historical contexts: Exploration of the new world. Focus: St. Peter's Cathedral, Rome. Mannerism. Commedia dell'arte. Madrigals. Michelangelo.

Week Ten (March 22 & 24):  Chapter11: Renaissance and Reformation in Northern Europe. Historical contexts: the Reformation. Martin Luther. Focus: Theatre (Shakespeare). Music. Art (Jan van Eyck; Hieronymus Bosch, Albrect Durer. Literature. Astrophel and Stella. 
Week Eleven (March 29 & 31):  

Chapter 12: The Baroque Age, p. 372 - 407. Historical contexts: Scientific revolution. Focus: Architecture: Sir Christopher Wren. Art: Caravaggio, Reubens, Rembrant. Music: Johann Sebastian Bach. Literature: John Milton

Chapter 13: The Enlightenment, p. 409 - 445. Historical contexts: Watt's steam engine. American Revolution. George III. Focus: Voltaire. Architecture: Monticello. Art: the English School. Hogarth, Gainsborough. Music: Mozart. Literature: Jonathan Swift, "A Modest Proposal."

 Week Twelve (April 5 & 7): Chapter 14:  The Romantic Age, p. 448 - 478. Historical contexts:  Queen Victoria; U.S. Civil War. Focus: Music: Johannis Brahms. Literature: William Wordsworth, William Blake. Emily Bronte.

Week Thirteen (April 12 & 14):

Chapter 15: Realism, Impressionism, and Beyond, p. 482 - 521. Historical contexts: Emigration from Europe; Pasturization; Brooklyn Bridge, Freud. Focus: Art (Millais, Manet, Daumier, Cassatt, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Picasso, Duchamp. Literature: George Bernard Shaw. Music: Claude Debussy; Igor Stravinsky and "The Rite of Spring." Dance: ballet (Diaghilev, Isadora Duncan). Pre-Raphaelites. Literature: Virginia Woolf (The Waves); James Joyce (Ulysses). Gertrude Stein (Tender Buttons).

Chapter 16: Modernism, p. 523 - 557. Historical contexts: World War I. Collapse of the Stock Exchange, 1929. World War II. Art: Bauhaus. Dada. Surrealism. Georgia O'Keefe. Grant Wood. Music and literature: Harlem Renaissance. Photography. Architecture: Frank Lloyd Wright.
Week Fourteen (April 19 & 21): Presentations.
Week Fifteen (April 26 & 28): Presentations.
Final Exam Week: additional presentations, if needed.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95
You are allowed two absences without penalty (that equals one-sixth of the total class time--very generous). Use these absences sparingly. Penalties apply to additional absences:
3 absences: loss of 25 points
4 absences: loss of 50 points
5 absences: loss of 75 points
More than 5 absences: Failure to pass course.
If you feel you have extenuating circumstance, make arrangements to see me in my office during my office hours. Do not approach me as class is starting. Provide written documentation for extenuating circumstances (doctor's note; funeral notice; court appearance).

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:12/29/2009 4:11:06 PM