Fall 2023

Investigating Objects

Listed in: First Year Seminar, as FYSE-111


Douglas Culhane (Section 01)


Our lives are filled with objects. What are our relationships to them, and what is their significance in our culture? In this discussion-based course we will be exploring what objects are, how we define and value them, and what their existence is apart from us. Reading texts from a variety of disciplines including philosophy, literature, art history, and anthropology, we will be investigating a range of perspectives on objects and their significance. In addition to reading about them, we will examine actual objects. Discussions and writing assignments will develop approaches to enrich and inform these encounters through research, visual examination and critical analysis. 

This course will also involve making things. Through a series of studio projects (drawing and sculpture) we will explore how things are made and gain a richer understanding of their physical, visual and tactile qualities. Writing assignments in connection with these projects will help to foster an appreciation of the connections between the visual and the verbal. Some of the objects we will be investigating are: vessels, electronic devices, books, furniture, miniatures, musical instruments and modern sculpture.

No studio art experience is necessary.

Fall Semester. Visiting Lecturer Douglas Culhane.

How to handle overenrollment: FYSE

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Writing (critical and creative), studio art projects, oral presentation, visual analysis, individual research

FYSE 111 - LEC

Section 01
Tu 11:30 AM - 12:50 PM FAYE 117
Th 11:30 AM - 12:50 PM FAYE 117


Other years: Offered in Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024