MLAS Course Roster

Summer 2013 Courses

* See individual course descriptions for first class meeting date and place.

MLAS 260 05:

Modern Architecture

Instructor:  Professor Leonard Folgarait
Location: TBD
Days and Time: Tuesdays, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
First class: Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Course Description:
This course is a study of important developments in the history of architecture from the early 19th century to the present. Works of architecture will be considered as objects of intellectual and physical labor that can be studied for information about the historical period of their production.  In addition to buildings, we will take architecture to include city planning and ways in which architectural ideas are used in non-architectural media.

Formal analysis and a social historical approach will address questions such as:  why was this building constructed?  Whose purpose did it serve?  How was it received in its own time?  How does a consideration of its style help to answer the previous questions?  Emphasis will be placed on relationships between style and content, and in turn to general historical conditions.  The course intends to demonstrate that architectural production, as other forms of human behavior, can yield meaningful information about the historical process.

Course Requirements:
There will be one written assignment, a 10 page formal research paper, on a topic to be assigned. This paper will also be presented as an in-class lecture of 15 minutes.


June 4   19th Century Architecture
          11   The Chicago School
          18   Frank Lloyd Wright
          25   International Style
July 2   Political Architecture
          9   Deconstruction and Museums
          16   Student presentations
          23   Student presentations
          30   Student presentations
August 6   Final discussion and paper due

Course Instructor:
Leonard Folgarait is Professor of History of Art at Vanderbilt University, where he has served as Chair of the Department of History of Art. His areas of teaching and research are the modern art of Latin America, with a specialization in the twentieth-century art of Mexico, and modern European and American art and architecture.  Special interests are: the relationship of art to politics, early cubism, surrealism, performance art, film, photography, and historiography.

He has published four books on modern Mexican art and his articles have appeared in journals such as Oxford Art Journal, Arts Magazine, Art History, Works and Days, and Quintana.

MLAS 260 61:

Drawing & Composition
from Concept to Artifact

Instructor: Michael Aurbach
Location: TBD
Days and Time: Tuesdays, 6:30p.m.-9:30p.m.
First class: Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Course Description:
MLAS 260 is an introductory drawing course designed to elevate one’s
awareness of what is involved with creating images.  Drawing exercises,
slide lectures, and other events will highlight the conceptual and historical
issues associated with making pictures.  Traditional studio assignments
will be presented to help improve observation skills.  Other exercises
address problems associated with spatial development, the figure,
value, and non-representational imagery.

No background in studio art or art history is required. 

Course Instructor:
Michael Aurbach is a Professor of Art who teaches sculpture and drawing.  His socially inspired works have been exhibited throughout the United States for three decades and  much of his recent work serves as commentary on academia, secrecy, and institutional behavior.

Aurbach was selected for the 2013 Barbara Ritzman Devereux Artist Grant which allowed him to exhibit his work at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, Florida.  In 2010, the Joan Beren Foundation provided support work for his solo show at the Wichita Art Museum in Wichita, Kansas. 

Aurbach is a past president of the College Art Association and has received numerous grants and awards.  The National Endowment for the Arts, the Southern Arts Federation, the Tennessee Arts Commission, Art Matters Inc., the Puffin Foundation, and Vanderbilt University are among the institutions that have provided support for his sculpture.  There have been 80 solo shows of Aurbach’s work and he is a past recipient of the Southeastern College Art Conference Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement.  In 2001 he had the inaugural show of contemporary work at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville.

MLAS 260 81:

Listening to Film

Instructor:  Professor Stan Link
Location: TBD
Days and Time: Mondays, 6:30p.m. - 9:30p.m.
First class: Monday, June 3, 2013

Course Description:
Film is both immediate and complex, its combination of sight, sound, and narrative creating a vitality and depth of possibilities shared by few other individual arts. If film can be seen as creating a type of world inhabited by objects, characters, and in which time is active, then we can understand ourselves at the very least as a kind of voyeur, and perhaps sometimes as a co-inhabitant. Far from a passive act, film viewing frequently translates as the personal experience of a space and history that is not personal.

This course will explore the ways in which the film soundtrack engages the spectator in a primary experience of the screen world. The relationship may be simply to underscore and reinforce. On the other hand, it may be that the soundtrack tells us things that the story itself, the characters, the dialogue, etc. do not. Since the immediate goal of the course is to consider how our real-time responses as spectators are influenced by what we are hearing, the course will NOT constitute an exploration of film history, production, technology, film composers or directors. It is, so to speak, a map of what comes from the screen world, not of what went into constructing it.

At the same time, one of my deeper goals for the class is to come to an understanding of how our lives are informed by sound, music, and the act of listening in general. Film is an excellent laboratory for studying the relationship we have with the world by way of our ears. In a culture driven by a constant stream of images and visual stimuli, the types of information and experience imparted merely by listening appear to be relatively modest. My belief, however, is that the degree to which vision appears to dominate our economy and culture is more the product of its accessibility to description and ease of manipulation when compared to the temporally fleeting complexity of sound, for which we have only relatively primitive vocabularies and concepts.  In short, the ear has a great deal more to tell us if only we can decipher and transcribe its messages.

Course Instructor:
Stan Link is Associate Professor of Composition, Philosophy and Analysis of Music at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music. A composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music ranging from an African drum ballet to sonic landscapes and ghost stories, his works are performed on stages and in headphones across the U.S., in Europe, and Australia. His solo compact disk of electro-acoustic meditations of time, In Amber Shadows, appears on the Albany Records label. Other music, pots, pans, whispers, plinks and plucks can be heard in compilations on the Albany, Vox Novus, Capstone, Pa's Fiddle, and Art Trail labels. Along with music composition and theory, he teaches interdisciplinary courses on music, art, and film. Also an active scholar, Stan has numerous publications on a wide range of topics that includes noise, silence, film music and sound, musical representations of psychopathology, digital aesthetics, and cinematic horror. With degrees from Princeton and Oberlin, Stan feels at least somewhat prepared for his current work on the musical lives of nerds, geeks and other misfits.