YouTube & Arizona State University Team Up to Offer Online Courses for Real College Credits

A recent Pew Research Cen­ter sur­vey found that near­ly one in five Amer­i­can teenagers is on Youtube “almost con­stant­ly.” Ten years ago, the fig­ure sure­ly would­n’t have been that high, and twen­ty years ago, of course, Youtube did­n’t exist at all. But today, no enter­prise direct­ed at teenagers can afford to ignore it: that goes for pop music and fash­ion, of course, but also for edu­ca­tion. Most kids just start­ing col­lege are on Youtube, but so are those about to start col­lege, those tak­ing time off from col­lege, and those unsure of whether they’re will­ing or able to go to col­lege at all. Hence Col­lege Foun­da­tion, a new exten­sion of Youtube chan­nel Study Hall, the prod­uct of a part­ner­ship between Ari­zona State Uni­ver­si­ty, YouTube and Crash Course.

Crash Course has long pro­duced video series that, both enter­tain­ing­ly and at length, cov­er sub­jects taught in school from his­to­ry to lit­er­a­ture to phi­los­o­phy and beyond. The Col­lege Foun­da­tion’s pro­gram will make it pos­si­ble not just to learn on Study Hall, but to earn real col­lege cred­its as well.

“Stu­dents who are inter­est­ed in for­mal course­work beyond watch­ing the videos may pay a $25 fee to enroll in an ASU online course that includes inter­act­ing with oth­er stu­dents and instruc­tors,” writes Inside High­er Edu­ca­tion’s Susan D’Agosti­no. Upon com­ple­tion of the course, “the stu­dent can decide whether they would like to pay $400 to record the grade and receive ASU cred­it.”

Enroll­ment is now open for the first four Col­lege Foun­da­tions cours­es, Eng­lish Com­po­si­tion, Col­lege Math, U.S. His­to­ry and Human Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, all of which begin on March 7th. (Those who sign up before that start date will receive a $50 dis­count.) “Once you’re in a course, you can con­tact a suc­cess coach via email to get help with assign­ments,” writes TechCrunch’s Aisha Malik. “You can com­plete your course­work when it’s con­ve­nient for you, but you will have week­ly due dates for most of the cours­es. If you want to access addi­tion­al sup­port, some instruc­tors hold option­al office hours.” This sort of learn­ing expe­ri­ence could become a bridge to Youtube life and col­lege life — the lat­ter being the sub­ject addressed, with char­ac­ter­is­tic Youtube direct­ness, in the exist­ing Study Hall course “How to Col­lege.”

Relat­ed con­tent:

1,700 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties

A Crash Course in World His­to­ry

Crash Course Phi­los­o­phy: Hank Green’s Fast-Paced Intro­duc­tion to Phi­los­o­phy Gets Under­way on YouTube

Crash Course on Lit­er­a­ture: Watch John Green’s Fun Intro­duc­tions to Gats­by, Catch­er in the Rye & Oth­er Clas­sics

A Crash Course on Psy­chol­o­gy: A 30-Part Video Series from Hank Green

Crash Course Big His­to­ry: John Green Teach­es Life, the Uni­verse & Every­thing

Based in Seoul, Col­in Marshall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

The Illuminated Manuscripts of Medieval Europe: A Free Online Course from the University of Colorado

Dr. Roger Louis Martínez-Dávi­la and Ana B. Sanchez-Prieto–two aca­d­e­mics work­ing out of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Col­orado and Uni­ver­si­dad Com­plutense Madrid (Spain)–have teamed up to present Deci­pher­ing Secrets: The Illu­mi­nat­ed Man­u­scripts of Medieval Europe. The free course cov­ers the fol­low­ing ground:

Per­haps no oth­er rel­ic of the Euro­pean Mid­dle Ages cap­tures our imag­i­na­tion more than illu­mi­nat­ed medieval man­u­scripts, or those doc­u­ments dec­o­rat­ed with images and col­ored pig­ments. Serv­ing as win­dows unto a lost world of kings, ladies, faith, war, and cul­ture, they com­mu­ni­cate com­plex visu­al and tex­tu­al nar­ra­tives of Europe’s col­lec­tive cul­tur­al her­itage and pat­ri­mo­ny. In this fash­ion, illu­mi­nat­ed man­u­scripts are dynam­ic mes­sages from our com­mu­nal past that are still rel­e­vant today in fields like graph­ic design and typog­ra­phy.

In this sev­en-week course, stu­dents will explore the mate­r­i­al cre­ation, con­tent, and his­tor­i­cal con­text of illu­mi­nat­ed medieval Euro­pean man­u­scripts. Stu­dents will acquire an intro­duc­to­ry knowl­edge of their dis­tin­guish­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics, their cat­a­logu­ing and peri­odiza­tion (when they were cre­at­ed), the meth­ods uti­lized to pro­duce them, and their his­tor­i­cal con­text and val­ue.

You can take The Illu­mi­nat­ed Man­u­scripts of Medieval Europe for free by select­ing the audit option upon enrolling. If you want to take the course for a cer­tifi­cate, you will need to pay a fee.

The Illu­mi­nat­ed Man­u­scripts of Medieval Europe has been added to our list of Free His­to­ry Cours­es, a sub­set of our col­lec­tion, 1,700 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties.

Relat­ed Con­tent 

Dis­cov­er the Great Medieval Man­u­script, the Book of Kells, in a Free Online Course

The Medieval Mas­ter­piece, the Book of Kells, Is Now Dig­i­tized & Put Online

How Illu­mi­nat­ed Medieval Man­u­scripts Were Made: A Step-by-Step Look at this Beau­ti­ful, Cen­turies-Old Craft

800 Illu­mi­nat­ed Medieval Man­u­scripts Are Now Online: Browse & Down­load Them Cour­tesy of the British Library and Bib­lio­thèque Nationale de France

160,000 Pages of Glo­ri­ous Medieval Man­u­scripts Dig­i­tized: Vis­it the Bib­lio­the­ca Philadel­phien­sis

Free Courses to Maintain Mental & Physical Health During a Pandemic

As I write this, the smoke from the numer­ous for­est fires across Cal­i­for­nia are mak­ing the air qual­i­ty ter­ri­ble, so we are being told to stay inside. How­ev­er, the heat­wave is mak­ing it insuf­fer­able to *be* inside. And we also have to be wary of COVID-19 and wear a mask. You could say this is a slight­ly stress­ful sit­u­a­tion. And a lot of us are deal­ing with even more than that–job sta­bil­i­ty, rent, and on and on. Just typ­ing this made me anx­ious!

Dur­ing this time we should try not to neglect our men­tal health. For­tu­nate­ly Cours­era offers free online cours­es about Men­tal Health and Well-Being.

The Cours­era video above comes from a Face­book live event that fea­tures Yale University’s Lau­rie San­tos, who teach­es Coursera’s Sci­ence of Well-Being course. This 30 minute Q&A dives right in to our cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, with San­tos out­lin­ing a pro­to­col for men­tal health that should be as much a part of your reg­i­men as wear­ing a mask and wash­ing your hands with soap (while singing Hap­py Birth­day to your­self, don’t for­get.)

Here’s a top ten of Cours­er­a’s most pop­u­lar health & well-being cours­es to check out:

  1. Mind Con­trol: Man­ag­ing Your Men­tal Health Dur­ing COVID-19 from Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
  2. The Sci­ence of Well-Being from Yale Uni­ver­si­ty
  3. Find­ing Pur­pose and Mean­ing In Life: Liv­ing for What Mat­ters Most from Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan
  4. Stan­ford Intro­duc­tion to Food and Health from Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty
  5. A Life of Hap­pi­ness and Ful­fill­ment from Indi­an School of Busi­ness
  6. Pos­i­tive Psy­chi­a­try and Men­tal Health from The Uni­ver­si­ty of Syd­ney
  7. Hack­ing Exer­cise For Health. The sur­pris­ing new sci­ence of fit­ness. from McMas­ter Uni­ver­si­ty
  8. Intro­duc­tion to Self-Deter­mi­na­tion The­o­ry: An approach to moti­va­tion, devel­op­ment and well­ness from Uni­ver­si­ty of Rochester
  9. Bio­hack­ing Your Brain’s Health from Emory Uni­ver­si­ty
  10. Man­ag­ing Your Health: The Role of Phys­i­cal Ther­a­py and Exer­cise from Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to

San­tos answers ques­tions from view­ers, cov­er­ing top­ics like avoid­ing ten­sion and argu­ments with our loved ones, stay­ing informed on the world with­out cre­at­ing more anx­i­ety, how can frontline/healthcare work­ers com­bat anx­i­ety, how to keep your­self pos­i­tive when liv­ing alone with­out fam­i­ly or friends, how to keep pro­duc­tive and healthy at work with the threat of lay­offs, how to look for a new job after being laid off because of COVID, how to help your child who is miss­ing their school friends, how do we cre­ate good expe­ri­ences to cre­ate good mem­o­ries, what we can do about sleep prob­lems, how to care for fam­i­ly mem­bers with COVID while also work­ing a job, and how to show ran­dom acts of kind­ness dur­ing this time (which is what San­tos cov­ers often in her Hap­pi­ness Lab pod­cast).

Over­all, focus on self-com­pas­sion, San­tos says, which has to be the start­ing point for all of this. When you enroll in these cours­es, Cours­era gives you two options. You can enroll as a paid stu­dent and get a cer­tifi­cate at the end. Or choose to “audit” the course (as shown here) and the course is free. Just like in col­lege! All the learn­ing, none of the blue book essays!

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Free Online Psy­chol­o­gy & Neu­ro­science Cours­es

Cours­era Makes Cours­es & Cer­tifi­cates Free Dur­ing Coro­n­avirus Quar­an­tine: Take Cours­es in Psy­chol­o­gy, Music, Well­ness, Pro­fes­sion­al Devel­op­ment & More Online

1,500 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties

Free Cours­es on the Coro­n­avirus: What You Need to Know About the Emerg­ing Pan­dem­ic

Ted Mills is a free­lance writer on the arts who cur­rent­ly hosts the Notes from the Shed pod­cast and is the pro­duc­er of KCR­W’s Curi­ous Coast. You can also fol­low him on Twit­ter at @tedmills, and/or watch his films here.

The Science of Beer: A New Free Online Course Promises to Enhance Your Appreciation of the Timeless Beverage

The brew­ing of beer is as old as agri­cul­ture, which is to say as old as set­tled civ­i­liza­tion. The old­est recipe we know of dates to 1800 B.C. Over cen­turies, beer moved up and down the class lad­der depend­ing on its pri­ma­ry con­sumers. Medieval monks brewed many fine vari­eties and were renowned for their tech­nique. Beer descend­ed into pubs and row­dy beer halls, whet­ting the whis­tles not only of farm­ers, sol­diers, sailors, and pil­grims, but also of burghers and a bud­ding indus­tri­al work­force. Dur­ing the age of mod­ern empire, beer became, on both sides of the Atlantic, the bev­er­age of work­ing-class sports fans in bleach­ers and La-Z-Boys.

A craft beer Renais­sance at the end of last cen­tu­ry brought back a monk­ish mys­tique to this most ancient bev­er­age, turn­ing beer into wine, so to speak, with com­pa­ra­ble lev­els of con­nois­seur­ship. Beer bars became gal­leries of fine pol­ished brass, pun­gent, fruity aro­mas, dark and seri­ous wood appoint­ments. Craft beer is fun—with its quirky names and labels—it is also intim­i­dat­ing, in the breadth of com­pli­cat­ed con­coc­tions on offer. (Hip­sters and penu­ri­ous rev­el­ers revolt­ed, made a fetish of Pab­st Blue Rib­bon, Milwaukee’s Best, and ye olde malt liquor.)

“Has craft beer peaked?” won­ders The Wash­ing­ton Post’s Rachel Siegel. You can prob­a­bly guess from the ques­tion that most trends point to “yes.” But as long as there is wheat, bar­ley, and hops, we will have beer, no mat­ter who is drink­ing it and where. One last­ing effect of beer’s high­brow few decades remains: a pop­u­lar schol­ar­ly appre­ci­a­tion for its cul­ture and com­po­si­tion. You can study the typog­ra­phy of beer, for exam­ple, as Print mag­a­zine has done in recent years. A new online course applies the tools of empir­i­cal and soci­o­log­i­cal research to beer drink­ing.

“The Sci­ence of Beer,” taught by a cadre of stu­dent teach­ers from Wagenin­gen Uni­ver­si­ty in Hol­land, explores “how [beer is] made, the raw mate­ri­als used, its sup­ply chain, how it’s mar­ket­ed and the effect of beer con­sump­tion on your body.” (This last point—in a world turned against sug­ar, carbs, and gluten—being part­ly the rea­son for craft beer’s decline.) Should your voice qua­ver when you approach the upscale reclaimed wal­nut bar and sur­vey unfa­mil­iar lagers, ales, stouts, bocks, porters, and hefeweizens… should you hes­i­tate at Whole Foods when faced with a wall of bev­er­ages with names like incan­ta­tions, this free class may set you at ease.

Not only will you learn about the dif­fer­ent types of beer, but “after this course, tast­ing a beer will be an entire­ly new sen­sa­tion: you will enjoy it even more since you will bet­ter under­stand what’s inside your drink.” Enroll­ment for the 5‑week course began this past Mon­day and the class is cur­rent­ly open and free. (Make sure you select the “Audit” option for the free ver­sion of the course.) You should expect to devote 2 to 4 hours per week to “The Sci­ence of Beer.” Please, study respon­si­bly.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Dis­cov­er the Old­est Beer Recipe in His­to­ry From Ancient Sume­ria, 1800 B.C.

The First Known Pho­to­graph of Peo­ple Shar­ing a Beer (1843)

The Art and Sci­ence of Beer

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

Take Seven Free Courses From the Museum of Modern Art (aka MoMA)

If you would like to know more about mod­ern art, but have dif­fi­cul­ty wrap­ping your head around the Futur­ists, Neo-Impres­sion­ists, Abstract Expres­sion­ists, and the myr­i­ad oth­er ‑ists and ‑isms  of this vast sub­ject, per­haps you should unteth­er your­self from time­lines.

Mod­ern Art & Ideas, a free online course from the Muse­um of Mod­ern Art (aka MoMA), shifts the focus away from peri­od and move­ment, instead group­ing works accord­ing to four themes: Places & Spaces, Art & Iden­ti­ty, Trans­form­ing Every­day Objects, and Art & Soci­ety.

It’s an approach that’s worked well for MoMA’s Edu­ca­tion Depart­ment. (Anoth­er upcom­ing online class, Art & Ideas: Teach­ing with Themes, is rec­om­mend­ed for pro­fes­sion­al edu­ca­tors look­ing to devel­op the ped­a­gog­i­cal skills the depart­ment employs to get vis­i­tors to engage with the art.)

The course, which begins today, is taught by Lisa Maz­zo­la, Assis­tant Direc­tor of the museum’s School and Teacher Pro­grams and a vet­er­an of their pre­vi­ous for­ays into Mas­sive Open Online Cours­es.

An ear­ly les­son on how artists cap­ture envi­ron­ments con­sid­ers three works: Vin­cent van Gogh’s The Star­ry Night (1889), Piet Mondrian’s Broad­way Boo­gie Woo­gie (1942–43), and Gor­don Matta-Clark’s Bin­go. Vin­tage pho­tos and footage con­spire with peri­od music to whisk stu­dents to the set­tings that inspired these works—a bucol­ic French men­tal hos­pi­tal, New York City’s bustling, WWII-era Times Square, and a derelict house in down on its luck Nia­gara Falls.

Reg­u­lar read­ers of Open Cul­ture are like­ly to have a han­dle on some of the ways art stars Fri­da Kahlo and Andy Warhol explored iden­ti­ty, the course’s third week theme, but what about Glenn Ligon, a liv­ing African Amer­i­can con­cep­tu­al artist?

Ligon may not have the renown or tote bag appeal of his lesson­mates, but his 1993 series, Run­aways, is pow­er­ful enough to hold its own against Kahlo’s Self-Por­trait with Cropped Hair and Warhol’s Gold Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe.

In fact, teach­ers look­ing to expand their Black His­to­ry Month cur­ricu­lum could spark some live­ly dis­cus­sions by show­ing stu­dents the extreme­ly accu­rate fac­sim­i­les of 19th-cen­tu­ry run­away slave ads fea­tur­ing phys­i­cal descrip­tions of Ligon, solicit­ed from friends who’d been told they were sup­ply­ing details for a hypo­thet­i­cal Miss­ing Per­son poster.

Ligon’s series is also a good start­ing place for dis­cussing con­cep­tu­al art with a friend who thinks  con­cep­tu­al art is best defined as White Cow in a Snow­storm.

Offered on Cours­era, the 5‑week course requires approx­i­mate­ly 2 hours of study and one quiz per week. Enroll here, or browse MoMAs oth­er cur­rent offer­ings also on Cours­era.

Note: To take the cours­es for free, selec­tion the Audit (as opposed to paid) option dur­ing the enroll­ment process.

Note: Open Cul­ture has a part­ner­ship with Cours­era. If read­ers enroll in cer­tain Cours­era cours­es, it helps sup­port Open Cul­ture.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Tree of Mod­ern Art: Ele­gant Draw­ing Visu­al­izes the Devel­op­ment of Mod­ern Art from Delacroix to Dalí (1940)

The Muse­um of Mod­ern Art (MoMA) Puts Online 75,000 Works of Mod­ern Art

What to Say When You Don’t Under­stand Con­tem­po­rary Art? A New Short Film, “Mas­ter­piece,” Has Help­ful Sug­ges­tions

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine.  Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

The MoMA Teaches You How to Paint Like Pollock, Rothko, de Kooning & Other Abstract Painters

Some may find her insuf­fer­able, but most read­ers adore her: the insou­ciant lit­tle pig Olivia—New York­er, art lover, and Calde­cott Medal winner—has for­ev­er embed­ded her­self in children’s lit­er­ary cul­ture as an arche­type of child­hood curios­i­ty and self-con­fi­dence, espe­cial­ly in scenes like that of the first book of the series, in which the fear­less piglet pro­duces her own drip paint­ing on the wall of the family’s Upper East Side apart­ment after puz­zling over Jack­son Pollock’s work at the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Muse­um of Art. (Olivia also admires Degas, aspires to the bal­let, and dreams of being Maria Callas.)

Olivia’s head­strong chal­lenge to Pol­lock is infec­tious, and enacts a notion com­mon among ama­teur view­ers of Abstract Expres­sion­ism—“I could do that.” Her “Jack­son Piglet Wall Paint­ing” fea­tures in a book that gives chil­dren their own set of instruc­tions for mak­ing a pseu­do-Pol­lock (on paper, of course). As you will see, how­ev­er, in the video above—a guide for grown-ups who may wish to do the same—Pollock’s process is not so eas­i­ly dupli­cat­ed, and can­not be done on the wall. As the Ed Har­ris-star­ring biopic dra­ma­tized, Pol­lock made his huge can­vass­es on the floor—drawing the lines and ges­tur­al fig­ures in the air rather than on the can­vas.

In these videos from the Muse­um of Mod­ern Art’s upcom­ing free online course on Post­war paint­ing, edu­ca­tor and inde­pen­dent con­ser­va­tor Corey D’Augustine demon­strates that, we can, with some degree of sta­mi­na and ath­leti­cism, approx­i­mate Pollock’s tech­nique. We can­not, how­ev­er, recre­ate his tem­pera­ment and emo­tion­al state. And, as view­ers of the film based on his life will know, we would not want to. Pol­lock was a vio­lent­ly abu­sive, depres­sive alco­holic, and while there may be no nec­es­sary rela­tion to cre­ativ­i­ty and suf­fer­ing, New York Abstract Expres­sion­ists seemed to wrest the inten­si­ty of their work from wells of per­son­al pain.

It is no won­der that the longest video in D’Augustine’s series cov­ers the meth­ods of Agnes Mar­tin. The enig­mat­ic Mar­tin used her work as a dis­ci­pline that took her beyond despair and defeat. Like Gertrude Stein or Samuel Beck­ett, she insist­ed that art, though a form of self-expres­sion, must emerge imper­son­al­ly, such that the artist “can take no cred­it for its sud­den appear­ance.” On the oth­er side of failure—she told her audi­ence in a poignant and pow­er­ful 1973 speech called “On the Per­fec­tion Under­ly­ing Life”—“we still go on with­out hope or desire or dreams or any­thing. Just going on with almost no mem­o­ry of hav­ing done any­thing.”

The atti­tude, Mar­tin said, is a dis­ci­pline, the dis­ci­pline of art—one that saw her through a life­long strug­gle with schiz­o­phre­nia. Inspired by Tao­ism and Zen Bud­dhism, Martin’s “lumi­nous, silent” paint­ings are stud­ies in patience and delib­er­a­tion. We see a very dif­fer­ent tech­nique in the ges­tur­al paint­ing of Willem de Koon­ing—anoth­er Abstract Expres­sion­ist with a seri­ous drink­ing prob­lem. Do these bio­graph­i­cal issues mat­ter? While it may do Martin’s work a dis­ser­vice to reduce it to “the prod­ucts of a per­son com­pelled by men­tal ill­ness,” as Zoe Pil­ger writes at The Inde­pen­dent, de Koon­ing’s even­tu­al sobri­ety led to a “dra­mat­ic shift,” Susan Cheev­er notes, “in the way he saw and paint­ed the world in his last decade or so.”

We need not psy­chol­o­gize the work of any of these artists, includ­ing that of the bipo­lar Mark Rothko, above, to learn from their tech­niques. And yet it remains the case that—even were we to dupli­cate Pol­lock, Mar­tin, de Koon­ing, or Rothko on can­vas, we would nev­er be able to imbue it with their pecu­liar per­son­al­i­ties, pains, and move­ments, with the depth and inten­si­ty each artist brought to their work. Great art does not require suf­fer­ing, but many artists have poured their suf­fer­ing into art that only they could make.

But mim­ic­ry is not the goal of MoMA’s class. Instead “In the Stu­dio: Post­war Abstract Paint­ing” intends to give stu­dents “a deep­er under­stand­ing of what a stu­dio prac­tice means and how ideas devel­op from close look­ing. They’ll also “gain a sen­si­tiv­i­ty to the phys­i­cal qual­i­ties of paint,” a key fea­ture of this mate­r­i­al and tex­ture-obsessed group, and the course will exam­ine the “broad­er cul­tur­al, intel­lec­tu­al, and his­tor­i­cal con­text about the decades after World War II, when these artists were active.”

The eight-week course cov­ers sev­en artists, includ­ing those above and Ad Rein­hardt, Yay­oi Kusama, and Bar­nett New­man. Stu­dents are free to do quizzes and writ­ten assign­ments only, or to par­tic­i­pate in the option­al stu­dio exer­cis­es, pro­vid­ed they have the space and the mate­ri­als. (For those stu­dio prac­ti­tion­ers, D’Augustine offers brief tuto­ri­als on tools like the palette knife and mate­ri­als like stains.) Watch the trail­er for D’Augustine’s course above. Like the irre­press­ible Olivia, stu­dents will be encour­aged “to exper­i­ment quite wild­ly” with what they might learn.

“In the Stu­dio: Post­war Abstract Paint­ing” has been added to our list, 1,700 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Jack­son Pol­lock 51: Short Film Cap­tures the Painter Cre­at­ing Abstract Expres­sion­ist Art

How the CIA Secret­ly Fund­ed Abstract Expres­sion­ism Dur­ing the Cold War

MoMA Puts Pol­lock, Rothko & de Koon­ing on Your iPad

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness


Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Launches Free Course on Looking at Photographs as Art

Not con­tent with ban­ning self­ie sticks, the Muse­um of Mod­ern Art (MoMA) is bring­ing visu­al lit­er­a­cy to the mass­es via its first for­ay into the world of MOOCs (aka “mas­sive open online cours­es”).

Cura­tor Sarah Meis­ter will be draw­ing on MoMA’s expan­sive pho­tog­ra­phy col­lec­tion for the free 6‑session, self-paced See­ing Through Pho­tographs class on Cours­era.

You won’t learn how to make duck lips in a mir­ror, but by the course’s end, you should be able to cast a crit­i­cal eye, with a new appre­ci­a­tion for the “diverse ideas, approach­es, and tech­nolo­gies” that inform a pho­tograph’s mak­ing.

The first week’s assign­ments include a video inter­view with Mar­vin Heifer­man, author of Pho­tog­ra­phy Changes Every­thing, below. Yes, there will be a quiz.

Expect assigned read­ings from John Szarkowski’s Intro­duc­tion to The Photographer’s Eye, and MoMA’s Chief Cura­tor of Pho­tog­ra­phy, Quentin Bajac.

There’s a lot of ground to cov­er, obvi­ous­ly. Meis­ter has lined up quite a hit parade: Ansel Adams, NASA’s moon pho­tog­ra­phy, Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Moth­er,” Susan Meise­las’ “Car­ni­val Strip­pers” project, Cindy Sherman’s “Unti­tled Film Stills,” and Nicholas Nixon’s 40-year doc­u­men­ta­tion of the Brown sis­ters.

Prove your knowl­edge at the end of the six weeks with a final 30-minute project in which you’ll select an image that would be a good addi­tion to one of the course’s themes, below:

See­ing Through Pho­tographs

One Sub­ject, Many Per­spec­tives

Doc­u­men­tary Pho­tog­ra­phy

Pic­tures of Peo­ple

Con­struct­ing Nar­ra­tives and Chal­leng­ing His­to­ries

Ocean of Images: Pho­tog­ra­phy and Con­tem­po­rary Cul­ture

Enroll in this fas­ci­nat­ing free course here.

via Petapix­el

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Take a Free Online Course on Mak­ing Ani­ma­tions from Pixar & Khan Acad­e­my

Take a Free Online Course on Mak­ing Com­ic Books, Com­pli­ments of the Cal­i­for­nia Col­lege of the Arts

MOOCs from Great Uni­ver­si­ties (Many With Cer­tifi­cates)

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

Take a Free Online Course on Making Comic Books, Compliments of the California College of the Arts

Gath­er round, chil­dren and lis­ten to Grand­ma rem­i­niscin’ ‘bout the days when study­ing comics meant chang­ing out of your paja­mas and show­ing up at the bursar’s office, check in hand.

Actu­al­ly, Grandma’s full of it. Graph­ic nov­els are enjoy­ing unprece­dent­ed pop­u­lar­i­ty and edu­ca­tors are turn­ing to comics to reach reluc­tant read­ers, but as of this writ­ing, there still aren’t that many pro­grams for those inter­est­ed in mak­ing a career of this art form.

The Cal­i­for­nia Col­lege of the Arts is a notable excep­tion. You can get your MFA in Comics there.

Even bet­ter, you need not enroll to sam­ple the 5 week course, Comics: Art in Rela­tion­ship, led by Comics MFA chair and Eis­ner Award-nom­i­nat­ed author of The Home­less Chan­nel, Matt Sila­dy.

You might write the next Scott Pil­grim.

Or ink the next Fun Home.

At the very least, you’ll learn a thing or two about lay­out, the rela­tion­ship of art to text, and using com­pres­sion to denote the pas­sage of time.

It’s the sort of nit­ty grit­ty train­ing that would ben­e­fit both vet­er­ans and new­bies alike.

Ready to sign up? The free course, which starts in Feb­ru­ary, will require approx­i­mate­ly 10 hours per week. The syl­labus is below.

Ses­sion 1: Defin­ing Comics

Iden­ti­fy key rela­tion­ships in sam­ple texts & demon­strate the use of var­i­ous cam­era angles on a comics page

Ses­sion 2: Comics Rela­tion­ships

Cre­ate Text-Image and Image-Image Pan­els

Ses­sion 3: Time And Space

One Sec­ond, One Hour, One Day Comics Chal­lenge

Ses­sion 4: Lay­out And Grid Design

Apply mul­ti­ple pan­el grids to pro­vid­ed script

Ses­sion 5: Thumb­nails

Cre­ate thumb­nail sketch­es of a mul­ti­page scene

Enroll here.

via io9

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Kapow! Stan Lee Is Co-Teach­ing a Free Com­ic Book MOOC, and You Can Enroll for Free

Lyn­da Barry’s Illus­trat­ed Syl­labus & Home­work Assign­ments from Her New UW-Madi­son Course, “Mak­ing Comics”

In Ani­mat­ed Car­toon, Ali­son Bechdel Sees Her Life Go From Puli­tiz­er Prize Win­ning Com­ic to Broad­way Musi­cal

Down­load 15,000+ Free Gold­en Age Comics from the Dig­i­tal Com­ic Muse­um

1,700 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine.  Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

More in this category... »
Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.