Integrative Studies 339: Humanities Seminar: Fictional Interpretations of Art

Spring 2005

Section ER2, BV1, YV1, WV2 : Tuesdays, Thursdays, 5:30 - 6:45 p.m.


Instructors:                     Patty Fox, MFA; Linda Uhlenkott, PhD


 Office:                  McMullen Hall # 127, McMullen Hall #119

                           Phone: 753-2262, 753-2346; Fax 753-2131



Office Hours:  Linda Uhlenkott M 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.; T 12:00 - 2:00 p.m.(ASC);   W 11:00 – 12:00 Other hours by appointment.

Office Hours: Patty Fox  M, T, Th, F  10:00 - 12:00 and by appointment




Story of Art, E.H. Gombrich, Chapters 12 - 20

The Birth of Venus, Sarah Dunant; Leonardo’s Swans, Karen Essex; The Girl with the Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier; Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland;  The Life of Michelangelo, 2nd ed., Ascanio Condivi



Students will need a minimum size of an 11  x 14” journal-writing and drawing journal. (You may also need pencil, erasers, gel pens, glue stick, rubber cement, ruler.)


Other Resources for the Class

Books: The Artist’s Handbook of Materials and Techniques, Ralph Mayer; Painters on Painting, Edited by Eric Protter; Color: A Natural History of Pigments, Victoria Finlay; The Lives of the Artists, Giorgio Vasari 

Videos: The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance; The Girl with the Pearl Earring


The above books will be on reserve in the GBC Elko campus library.  If you are unable to get to this library, you will have to make other arrangements which may mean the internet or purchasing some of these books.  The librarians will also be able to assist you. 


Catalog Description:

An integrative seminar on topics in the humanities. The topics will vary to address needs and interests of programs. Course fulfills the upper-division integrative humanities general education requirements. May be repeated once for credit if the topics are different.

Credits: 3 

Prerequisites: Completion of lower-division general education requirements.


Course Description:

This humanities seminar is a study of  Renaissance and Baroque art and the works of fiction and poetry that have been written in response to the art. Students will read and discuss art, short fiction and poetry, as well as create short fiction and art.


Student Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be able to demonstrate the following in the areas of writing, reading and interpretation.



-use of formal standard English and MLA style in the composition of short stories

-synthesize the affective and aesthetic interpretations of art in short stories and essays


Reading and Critique

-read affectively and interpretively

-orally describe the meaning of the text

-orally discuss alternative meanings of texts and images as seen by literary critics and aesthetic critics



-identify terms, of authors and their works and of artists and their works

-list characteristics of fiction as observed in the literary works used in class

-interpret style, iconography and the cultural context of art work

-identify techniques and materials and conservational methods through the use of formal analysis

-use historical and biographical criticism in the literary argument about the texts


Learner Outcomes


Identify authors, painters, terms, works

Class discussion

List elements of short stories

Short Story (Project 1), Dialogue from an Image (Museum Journal 1)

Use the elements of short stories and information gathered through research to write a story about art

Story about art evaluated by rubric (Project 5 -- short story from Project 1 embellished and expanded), Mapping (Museum Journal 3)

Analyze a work of art

Oral presentation of formal analysis

Compare a work as presented in a printed text with the work as presented in a movie format

Written essay evaluated by a rubric (Project 6)

Use the internet and library to research and present the life of an artist through selected details about places, persons and objects important to that person

Biography (Project 2); Group letter-writing (Painters on Painting), (Museum Journal 7), (Museum Journal 4)

Create a pictorial narrative about art

Collage (Museum Journal 2)

Interpret art work through style and cultural context; oral presentation

Formal Analysis

Identify and research techniques, materials and conservational methods for five (5) museum pieces

Project 4

Compare one genre with a second, describing what the author of one can accomplish that the second cannot

Robert Browning and Ascanio Condivi (Project 3) - evaluated with a rubric

Reproduces Standard Edited English

Short stories and other formal writings, oral presentation



Assignments and Expectations:

INT 339 is an advanced course in literature and language in which you will be expected to read more widely and write about your reading in a more critical manner than in other courses you may have taken. Because this is a seminar, you will also be expected to contribute regularly to class discussions and to participate in any online discussions via WebCT.



Regular attendance is critical to success in this course. When you miss class, you will miss lectures and discussion that will help you in your understanding of the influence that language and culture have on poetry; these discussions will be integral to the writing of the papers for this course. If you miss class, it is your responsibility to check the WebCT course site where we will post updated information. GBC’s attendance policy allows up to three absences in a three-credit class without penalty, but those should be used to cover emergency absences. Instructors may drop students for excessive absence. (See page 51 of GBC’s General Catalog 2004 - 2005 for the complete attendance policy.)





Class Schedule for: Fictional Interpretations of Art


Aug 29         Class 1- Introduction- Syllabus

Read: The Birth of Venus and The Story of Art Chapters 12, 13 and 14

How to use the internet for this class, Web CT,  Web sites and your Museum Journals  and Projects


Aug 31         Class 2- Lecture #1 from The Story of Art,  

                   Chapters 12 - 14


Sept 5         Class 3- Literacy terminology- What is a short story? Museum Journal  #1 - Creating dialogue from images.


Sept 7          Class 4- Museum Journal #2 - Create a collage illustrating a narrative


Sept 12         Class 5- Discussion of The Birth of Venus. Read: Leonardo’s Swans and Chapters 15, 16 & 17 The Story of Art. Museum Journal #1 due.


Sept 14         Class 6-Video- The Medici -Godfathers of the Renaissance Part 1


Sept 19         Class 7- Museum Journal #3 – Mapping, Dante website


Sept 21         Class 8- Video- The Medici-Godfathers of the Renaissance Part 2

                     First Project due: Short Story


Sept 26        Class 9 - What and how to do a biography?

Museum Journal # 4 - Create a timeline


Sept 28         Class 10- Robert Browning Hypermedia

                   Explain third project

Oct 3           Class 11 Video - The Medici-Godfathers of the Renaissance part 3


Oct 5          Class 12- Discussion of Leonardo’s Swans. Read Michelangelo


Oct 10          Class 13- Finish Video The Medici – Godfathers of the Renaissance

                   Part 4

Oct 12         Class 14 - Lecture Art History Chapters 15, 16, and 17

Second Project due: Biography


Oct 17         Class 15- How to do a formal analysis of art work

                   Guidelines for analyzing works of art, select works of art for your                           report

                   Comparison of poetry structure

Explain fourth project: Five artwork samples from a museum


Oct 19         Class 16-Museum #5 - Illuminated Manuscripts

                   Class Discussion of Michelangelo.


Oct 24        Class 17- Finish Class discussion of Michelangelo

What can Browning do that Condivi cannot?  Read: Story of Art Chapters 18, 19 and 20

Students design rubric for Formal Analysis


Oct 26        Class 18 - Formal Analysis presentations by students


Oct 31        Class 19 - Formal Analysis presentations by students


Nov 2        Class 20 - Formal analysis presentation by students


Nov 7       Class 21 - Read Girl in Hyacinth Blue, Third project due



Nov 9      Class 22- Art History Lecture- Chapters 18, 19 and 20, Baroque Period


Nov 14       Class 23- Museum Journal #6 – Period costume identification - Fourth Project Due – Five Artwork Samples


Nov 16      Class 25- Discussion of Girl in Hyacinth Blue, read: Girl With the Pearl                        Earring


Nov 21      Class 26- Video- Girl with the Pearl Earring


Nov 28      Class 27- Video- Girl with the Pearl Earring

                   Fifth project due – An Original Story of Art


Nov 30       Class 28- Class discussion of film and book, Project #6 Assigned


Dec 5        Class 29-Museum Journal #7 – Group letter writing to an artist from                          Painters on Painting


Dec 7        Class 30- Sixth Project Due-Comparison of movie and screenwriting, Course evaluations


Dec 12       Exam week



Total Points=100


Projects – 60 pts. (6 projects)

1.       Short Story

2.       Biography

3.       What can Browning do that Condivi cannot?

4.       Five Artwork Samples from a Museum (students may use one of these for        their formal analysis)

5.       A Story of Art

6.       Comparison of Movie and screen writing


Museum Journals - 25 pts.  (3.5 for each)

1.       Creating dialogue from a postcard

2.       Collage

3.       Mapping

4.       Timeline 

5.       Illuminated Manuscripts - images and borders

6.      Period costume

7.      Group letter writing to an artist


Class participation 15 pts.

1.       Class Discussions and participation

2.       Formal Analysis Presentations (Students will aid in composing rubric for evaluation of presentations)