PEX Arts

GenEd Arts courses develop artistic literacy. Courses may be centered on one of the arts (e.g. dance, fine arts, music), may be interdisciplinary in nature (e.g. creative writing and theater, film and dance), or may address larger themes (e.g. creativity, the arts and political statement, technology and the arts), but all Arts courses make some connection to other perspectives, disciplines, or subject areas.

Gen Ed Arts courses are intended to teach students how to:

  • Experience and respond to a work of art or creative process;
  • Recognize and interpret a work of art or creative process in a societal, historical or cultural context;
  • Describe or evaluate a work of art or creative process using appropriate terminology;
  • Demonstrate “appreciation” for the value of art in our lives and society; and
  • Function as a member of an audience.

PEX ARTS Courses (GA)

Art in Cultural Context

ARABIC 0871, HEBREW 0871, KOREAN 0871, RUSSIAN 0871
View the arts as an expression of cultural identity as it occurs across the globe. Each semester, we will focus on a particular world region or country, including but not limited to Russia, Japan, and Latin America. The exploration of cultural identity begins with an overview of the region or country’s historical and religious influences and then studies the culture’s arts, including the visual arts (painting, sculpture), musical traditions, literature (folktales, national mythology), the vernacular arts (crafts, storytelling), film and theater. You will take field trips or have experiences that will allow you to encounter the region’s arts firsthand, and to develop a blended understanding of a people’s cultural identity and the larger world.

The Art of Listening

MUSIC STUDIES 0802, 0902
Are you an active or passive listener? What kind of music do you enjoy? How do you compare different musical styles, and what qualities make one performance different from another? Be challenged to rethink your entire conception of music by focusing on how to listen to music to deepen your appreciation of what you are hearing, and to ponder the importance of music in your life and to society. You will not be required to become a performer yourself, but you will become a more discriminating consumer of music through attendance at live concerts in the local area, by observation of in-class performances, rehearsals, and music lessons, and through guided listening exercises in and outside of class. Repertoire selected from Classical, Jazz, Broadway, and World Music will engage your intellectual and emotional response as a concert-goer, listener, researcher, critic, and communicator.

Arts of the Western World: The Visual Experience

Philadelphia has extraordinary resources in the arts. This course will give you direct exposure to the visual arts, and help you understand their relationship with music, dance, theater, and the other artistic expressions that also form our heritage. Through visits to museums and performances, guest speakers, lectures, films and discussions, you will be introduced to the great monuments and the major movements that place the visual arts of the western world in a broad cultural framework. You will learn about the concepts that connect the progression of ideas in artistic communication and expression from the ancient world to modern times.

The Creative Spirit: A Multidisciplinary View

THEATER 0807, 0907
Human is the animal who creates, but why and how? Whether we are making art or making dinner, creativity ultimately makes a difference in our lives and the lives of others. In this course we will view creativity through the lens of the arts and explore the broader manifestations of the creative spirit in a variety of related fields and disciplines. Students will learn the fundamental concepts of creativity and engage with artists, performers and working professionals exploring the central role creativity plays in their work. Explore your creativity in weekly hands-on group sessions augmented by periodic field visits to see performances, concerts, galleries, etc. Be creative, follow your bliss and develop a passion for life-long learning!

The Dramatic Imagination: The Performing Arts in Society

Theatre, dance, and opera–our imaginations give us the natural ability to accept the make-believe worlds they create on stage. While it is the imagination that ultimately allows us to enjoy the performing arts, imagination also plays a role in creating these worlds. Take advantage of our rich local arts community as you experience live performances in Philadelphia! We will use our imaginative capacities to deepen our own experience, while learning about the value of the arts, the controversies surrounding them, and differences in people’s perceptions of the performing arts as compared to other forms of entertainment.

Jazz Century in America

DANCE 0806
What is jazz? Students will explore its roots and reinventions in Ragtime, Hot Jazz, Blues, Swing, Bebop, Free Jazz, Rhythm & Blues, and Hip Hop throughout the 20th century in America. We’ll experience its manifestations across media, screening dance films, listening to music, viewing visual art works, and reading poetry. Then we’ll move into the studio to experience first-hand its rhythms, moods, dynamics, creative expression and improvisation. A key theme will be how the individual and the collective nurture each other in jazz. Intellectually, we’ll examine the historical and social backdrop and analyze the essential components of jazz.