First Year Seminar in Interdisciplinary Studies: OUTDOOR SCHOOL will introduce students to some of the complex relationships of culture and nature from the perspectives of various disciplines. Our understanding of nature is heavily constructed by various cultural forces, with different interests and values at play – and different outcomes for the environment, the planet, and for us at stake. Together in OUTDOOR SCHOOL we will read and analyze critical texts from contemporary art, cultural geography, indigenous ecology, and literary non-fiction. We will participate in field-based activities, performances and workshops. Some of the places we will work at include The Honey Bee Research Lab, the Bovey Research Greenhouses, the Arboretum, and Wild Ontario along with their researchers, farmers, educators, conservationists and technicians. Students will contribute to a class blog that documents and archives many of our activities. Students will be evaluated on summaries and discussions on readings, participation in class activities and on-campus clubs, collaborative art practices, their contributions to the class blog, and on in-class presentations.
Professor Diane Borsato
Special Topics in Extended Practices/Studio Art OUTDOOR SCHOOL is a unique multi-disciplinary and experiential course where students will participate in activities that examine recent developments in contemporary art, including social practices, site-specific interventions, and the use of ephemeral live materials including plants. The course will include various studio assignments, readings, field trips, visitors, and in-class workshops that offer opportunities to explore aspects of outdoor education and environmental art. OUTDOOR SCHOOL will look at recent examples from contemporary art, and consider the practices of various other cultural practitioners including naturalists, creative activists, farmers, navigators, and horticulturalists. Students will create and participate in Survival Tips workshops, do outdoor reading performances, go on hikes and forays, join a club, and create multi-disciplinary environmentally-themed final projects. We will develop collaborative relationships with other departments and amateur clubs on campus, which may include projects in association with Agriculture, Horticulture/Landscape Architecture, the Honeybee Research Lab, and the Guelph Arboretum. Projects will be in various media, including live performance, event or action based works, video, photography, and artist multiples.
Professor Diane Borsato