COM 222
Media Aesthetics & Creativity

Regular Fall/Spring Session Syllabus | Project Assignments
Hybrid Summer Session Syllabus | Project Assignments


Course Description

In this class, students will be asked to explore their own creative processes and develop identities as creative thinkers and producers of media. Students will explore aesthetic principles relating to two-dimensional, interactive, and time-based media.


Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:
identify and explain theories about creativity;
identify and explain aesthetic principles involving two-dimensional, time-based, and interactive media;
research and synthesize ideas from outside resources;
experiment with a variety of media and formats to develop creative concepts; 
produce projects that demonstrate creativity and apply aesthetic principles for effective communication in chosen media for a given audience and purpose;
interpret and evaluate visual imagery.

Course objectives version 5/2015


Interesting Kinds of Art
Creative Self
Creative Process
Media and Techniques
Creative Self-Portrait
"The Gaze"
Visual Elements and Principles Flash | PPT
Conceptual Elaboration
Evaluating Creative Work
Time-based Media
Viral Video
Web Design | PPT | Video


Meredith Allen: “Can You Learn Creativity?”
Carolyn Gregoire:"18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently"
Matt Fussell: “Types of Visual Art:
Representational, Abstract, Nonobjective”

Leslie Owen Wilson: "Types of Creative Thinking"

Representation: Disability
Victoria Modesta: Prototype
Charlie Swinbourne:  “Disabled People Aren’t Here to Inspire You”
Melissa Finefrock:  “Is it okay to call disabled people ‘inspirational?’”
Terri Peters:“'It's sacred': Woman who photographs terminally ill children sees love daily”

Representation: The Male Gaze
Kelsey Lueptow: “Four Ways to Challenge the Male Gaze”
tekanji: “What is the ‘male gaze?’” (summary of theory)
John Berger: Ways of Seeing, “The Naked and the Nude”
(Plus media viewings and critiques)

Representation: Class
Joe Bageant: “Poor, White and Pissed:
A Guide to the White Trash Planet for Urban Liberals”

Alec McGillis and Propublica: “The Original Underclass"
(Plus media viewings and critiques)

Representation: "Race"
Emanuel L. Lusca: “Race as a Cultural Construct”
“The Danger of a Single Story,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (TED)
John Hartigan: Race in the 21st Century:
Anthropological Perspectives,
"Chapter 1: Recognizing Race."
(Plus media viewings and critiques)

Representation: Gender
Terminoliogy: PPT
Terminology: “Ending Gender,” Scott Turner Schofield (TED Talk)
Monica Hesse: “When No Gender Fits:
The Quest to be Seen as Just a Person”

Hari Ziyad: "3 Reason Why Folks Who Don’t Look Nonbinary Can Still be Nonbinary”
(Plus media viewings and critiques)


Free e-book:
Gardner, Howard. Creating Minds: An Anatomy of Creativity Seen Through the Lives of Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Graham, and Gandhi. New York: Basic Books, 2011.