Reworking the Subject: Writing and Drawing As Experimental Practice


Spring 2015 quarter

Taught by

fiction, nonfiction, and contemporary literature
visual arts, painting, drawing

“Beginning again and again is a natural thing,” wrote Gertrude Stein in her 1925 lecture, "Composition as Explanation." In this program we will begin again and again, practicing the arts of writing and drawing by means of continuously returning to the same objects and methods in order to generate, through repetition, a series of interconnected and centripetally formed drawings and texts. This creative writing, critical thinking, and visual art program is for students who are ready to concentrate on working and reworking a series of works of visual art, or writing, or both. Our focus is on practice–the subject is less important than our disciplined return to it. We will be guided by a range of artists and writers who take an experimentalist and recursive approach to composition, as well as philosophers and critics, Elizabeth Grosz in particular, whose book Chaos, Territory, Art: Deleuze and the Framing of the Earth will anchor and orient our thinking about aesthetics in a richly exploratory and cross-disciplinary manner. We'll take inspiration from the repetitive methodology of Expressionist Maria Lassnig, the formal restraint of Giorgio Morandi, and Wassily Kandinsky’s continuous return to St. George and the Dragon . The serial minimalism of musicians such as Julius Eastman and Steve Reich will form a portion of our auditory index, and we’ll also make a study of the insistent return T.J. Clark performs in his book The Sight of Death , an extended, recursive, ekphrastic meditation on Poussin’s Landscape With a Man Killed By A Snake and Rilke's Letters On Cezanne as exemplars for our own ekprhastic writings. We'll work and re-work our methods and objects, and turn and re-turn to oft-repeated forms such as the refrain, the loop, the drill, and the anecdote. Students should be prepared for intensive reading and writing as well as independent project work in practice and research.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

arts and literature.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


Buy books for this program through Greener Bookstore.

Online Learning

No Required Online Learning: No access to web tools required. Any web tools provided are optional for students.

Required Fees

$200 for entrance fees and art supplies.


Date Revision
April 23rd, 2014 New opportunity added.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Spring)

Class standing: Junior–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 40


Course Reference Numbers

Jr - Sr (16 credits): 30312
Jr - Sr (1-16 credits): 30570

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