FEATURED PHOTO: Damien Hirst, “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living,” 1991.

Students might find this unique course of interest right now, whether they make art or not. A great humanities elective! 

This honors seminar, Seeing Beyond Seeing: Reframing Art and Photography in Contemporary Culture (HNR-208-D01), in pre-pandemic “normal times” required visiting many different regional art museum venues. This spring, as we all continue safely learning online, students in this course will utilize VR, AR and other online platforms to experience a wide range of contemporary art and photography. We will also focus on artwork being created during, and in some cases, because of current events, like BLM protests and quarantine life.

Seeing Beyond Seeing:  Reframing Art and Photography in Contemporary Culture

3 credits
No prerequisites
Open to all

Meaningful art, in any medium, can be a life-altering experience, but developing an open mind as to what constitutes art requires practice. This course will challenge the preconceived ideas of art that we form from childhood to adulthood by pushing students to expand their own views of art, and reexamine the critical question of what really art is. 

Students will explore and investigate how they see and experience art during “PandemicTimes” via VR/AR and online platforms. We will probe the social, cultural, economic, and political meanings found in art and photography, and carefully consider the important role of the contemporary artist and photographer and how they help form our pervasive visual culture today. 

Students will be expected to engage in philosophical and theoretical discussions during weekly colloquia. Assignments will include numerous documentaries, readings and written journal responses, a midterm, and final project with a presentation component. 

Students will meet weekly via Zoom. No previous art experience is necessary. 

Credits earned in this course are counted towards the MassTransfer Block Humanities and Fine Arts requirements.


You do not need to be in the STCC Honors Program to take this course. Questions? Contact me directly at  speron@stcc.edu