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Academic Year: Fall/Winter 2014/2015

Term: 1

Day/Evening: E

Instructor: Prof. Sally McKay


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 417

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23675

Office Hours: Mondays, 1:30-2:30 pm, TSH 417

Course Objectives:

Utilizing sketch books, collage and creative research, students will gain widely applicable skills in manipulating and analyzing the communicative power of images. This course offers students from all programs the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with art making and materials while engaging in critical analysis of art and visual culture. Students will gain skills in creative self-expression, effective mark-making, composition and form. Hands-on projects will be linked to assigned readings, class discussions and lectures. Students will gain widely applicable skills in both manipulating and analyzing the communicative power of images. . No previous artistic experience is required.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:


A required Custom Course Pack is available at Titles Bookstore. Additional required readings will be posted on Avenue to Learn.



A required kit of art supplies is available at the Currys art supply store at 610 King St. West in Hamilton. Ask for the McMaster kit for the first year art course.

This kit contains the basic supplies that you will need for the course. Students are required to bring all supplies in this kit to every class.


additional supplies will be required for some classes (these can be previously used):

            set of coloured pencils




            paperback book that you can modify/destroy, something small and easy to carry

Method of Assessment:

In-Class Assignments                       Due Weekly                                    10%


Daily Drawing                                    Due. Nov. 20                                    10%


Drawing in the Museum                    Due Oct. 2                                       15%

Detailed guidelines will be provided in class and posted on Avenue to Learn.


Self Portrait/Still Life                         Due Oct. 23                                     20%

Detailed guidelines will be provided in class and posted on Avenue to Learn.


Drawing Across Disciplines             Due Nov. 20                                    20%

Detailed guidelines will be provided in class and posted on Avenue to Learn.


Exam                                                  TBA (During Exam Period)           25%           

Detailed guidelines and study guide will be provided in class and posted on Avenue to Learn.


Grading Scale:

A+  90-100             B+  77-79             C+  67-69            D+  57-59

A   85-89                B   73-76              C   63-66             D   53-56

A-  80-84                B-  70-72             C-  60-62             D - 50-52             F   0-49

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

It is the responsibility of each student to attend all classes and exams and meet the requirements of submission for coursework. Missed assignments and exams will automatically be assigned a grade of 0. A penalty of one full letter grade will be imposed for every academic day assignments are late.


McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

This is a self-reporting tool for undergraduate students to report absences DUE TO MINOR MEDICAL SITUATIONS that last up to 5 days and provides the ability to request accommodation for any missed academic work. Please note, this tool cannot be used during any final examination period. You may submit a maximum of 1 Academic Work Missed request per term. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up with your Instructor immediately (NORMALLY WITHIN TWO WORKING DAYS) regarding the nature of the accommodation. If you are absent for reasons other than medical reasons, for more than 5 days, or exceed 1 request per term, you MUST visit your Associate Dean's Office/Faculty Office). You may be required to provide supporting documentation. This form should be filled out immediately when you are about to return to class after your absence.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Sept. 4 - Intro: Drawing Defeats the Mind-Body Split


• David Rosand, Drawing Acts, (excerpts), pp.1-3, pp. 13-17 (Course Pack)

• Scott McLoud, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, pp. 24-41 (Course Pack)

• Lynda Barry, Picture This, pp. 53-65 (Course Pack)


Sept. 11- Intro: Culture, Context, Contingency


• Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright, “Images, Power, and Politics,” Practices of Looking, pp. 9-48  (Course Pack)

• Glossary of Key Terms and Concepts (Avenue to Learn)


Sept. 18 - Vision as an Active Process  


• Semir Zeki, “The Neurology of Ambiguity,” The Artful Mind, Mark Turner, ed., pp. 243 -246, pp. 250-270 (Course Pack)


Sept. 25  - Visual Codes & Knowledge Forms


• Hans Belting, "Perspective: Arab Mathematics and Renaissance Western Art," European Review, Vol. 16, No. 2, 183–190 (Avenue to Learn)

• Elizabeth Stephens, “Inventing the Bodily Interior: Écorché Figures in Early Modern Anatomy and von Hagens’ Body Worlds,” Social Semiotics, vol. 17, no. 3 (September 2007): 313-326 (Avenue to Learn)


Oct. 2 - Realism & Representation

*Drawing in the Museum project due in class


• Terry Barrett, “Realism,” Why is That Art?,” pp. 19-28 (Course Pack)

• Orhan Pamouk, My Name is Red (excerpts), pp. 68-73, 75-81, 62-65 (Course Pack)


Oct. 9 - Representation & Self-Representation


• Marcia Crosby, “Construction of the Imaginary Indian,” Vancouver Anthology, Stan Douglas, ed., pp. 266-291 (Course Pack)

• tekanji, “FAQ: What is the Male Gaze?” Finally Feminism 101 blog, (Online:

• tekanji, “Obscuring the Male Gaze” Official blog (Online:


Oct. 16 - My Kid Could Make That!


•  Artist Senga Nengudi on Vasily Kandinsky's Impression III (Concert)(1911), Museum of Modern Art, New York

(Online Audio:

•  Artist Frank Stella on Kazimir Malevich's Suprematist Composition: White on White (1918), Museum of Modern Art, New York

(Online Audio:

• Museum of Modern Art, Invention Abstraction (intro text) (Online:

• G. Roger Denson, "Colonizing Abstraction: Moma Show Denies It's Ancient Global Origins" Huffington Post, 02/15/2013 (Online:


Oct. 23 - Stop Making Sense

*Still Life/Self-Portrait project due in class


• Herschel B. Chipp, ed., “Dada, Surrealism and Scuola Matafisca: The Irrational and the Dream,” Theories of Modern Art, pp. 366-396  (Course Pack)

• Paul-Émile Borduas, “Global Refusal & Global Refusal Ten Years After,” in Documents in Canadian Art, Douglas Fetherling, ed. (Peterborough: Broadview Press, 1987) pp.112-27 (Avenue to Learn)


Oct. 30: NO CLASS Mid-Term RECESS


Nov. 6 - The Grid


• Lucy Lippard, “Eva Hesse: The Circle,” From the Centre, pp. 155-166 (Course Pack)

• Additional reading to be announced


Nov. 13 - Topic To be Announced


To be announced


Nov. 20 - Topic To be Announced

* Drawing Across Disciplines Project due in class

* Daily Drawing Project due in class


To be announced


Nov. 27  - Review


Exam - to be scheduled during Examination Period

Other Course Information:

Email Communication:  The instructor may take up to 48 hours to read and/or respond to student emails.

Avenue to Learn: In this course we will be using Avenue to Learn.  Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course.  The available information is dependent on the technology used.  Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure.  If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.

Support Services: The University provides a variety of support services to help students manage their many demands. Reference librarians can provide invaluable research assistance. The Student Accessibility Services Centre (SAS) provides assistance with personal as well as academic matters. MUSC B107 and

Academic and writing skills support is offered by the Student Success Centre located in Gilmour Hall, room 110. For more information on the Student Success Centre please call (905) 525-9140 [ext. 24254], email or visit