The Stanford Arts Institute offers interdisciplinary arts curricula and research programs, drawing on the wide-ranging intellectual resources of Stanford University.

Featured Spring Courses

Screen Shot 2019-02-19 at 3.04.32 PM

Spring 2019 | 3-5 Units
Tuesday / Thursday 12-2:50pm
Course Instructor: Kerry Tribe

Appropriate for MFA candidates in Documentary Film or Art Practice or for advanced undergraduates working in visual art or time-based media, "Practice and Critique" is designed to enhance students' understanding of critical issues within their own work and the work of their peers. The artist and instructor will collaboratively direct feedback on work in progress. Feedback of finished work (or a completed component of a larger / thesis project) will follow a critique method developed by feminist artist and educator Mary Kelly in which the artist doesn't speak until the end of the session.

We begin by reflecting on the affective, perceptual and phenomenological experiences engendered by the work. In doing so, we slow down our natural inclination to seek answers about what the work (or film) means by paying close attention to how it goes about producing meaning. In time, we proceed towards the denotative, referential and connotative meanings available to be read within the work. Finally we invite the artist to ask questions of the class and reflect upon their experience of the critique. Students will come away with a deeper and more nuanced understanding of how their work affects an audience. Optional one-on-one meetings with the instructor will provide opportunities for directed problem-solving and, depending on the goals and interests of students enrolled in the course, additional class time may be dedicated to screenings, field trips, studio visits or other activities.

Screen Shot 2019-02-19 at 9.21.22 AM

Spring 2019 | 4 Units
Monday / Wednesday 1:30-2:50 PM
Course Instructor: Margaret Ramírez

Climate change is a defining factor of this generation, and yet while scientists unanimously warn of the inevitability of climate change, it remains a looming specter. This course builds an intersectional and structural understanding of climate change, and explores how art activates the intangibility of climate change, making it visible, visceral, and political. We will examine how the geographies of colonialism, racial capitalism, and migration produce climate change inequities, and how the climate justice movement addresses these through creative forms of resistance. We will undertake this exploration in three parts: first, by engaging with the cities of New Orleans and San Juan, to understand how climate catastrophe aggravates existing inequalities, and how residents creatively respond to disaster.

From there we will consider how art serves as a form of politics, how it is taken up in social movements to provoke shifts in political consciousness. Lastly, we will engage directly with political art forms that address climate change, with a particular focus on those that centralize the experiences of populations most at risk of climate catastrophe. These art forms call attention to who bears the disproportionate burden of climatic shift, which geographies are most at risk, and how these creative interpretations envision climate futures. The course will culminate in a collective creative project in which students address climate change and climate futures from their own lived experiences.

Looking to diversify your schedule this quarter? Take a look at our Interdisciplinary Course Guide to find courses that explore the arts in your discipline.

Inter-Departmental Mail Code



(650) 725-0058


(650) 723-8231


Stanford Arts Institute
Littlefield Center
2nd Floor
365 Lasuen Street
Stanford, CA 94305