Spring 2022 – Minicourses

“Romanesque Art and Architecture”
Dr. Rita Keane, Professor of Art History, Drew University
2 hours, 5 Thursday afternoons 1:30-3:30 pm
March 3, (skip 10), 17, 24, 31 and April 7, 2022

The term Romanesque describes art and architecture produced in medieval western Europe from the tenth to the twelfth centuries.  In this 5-week course, we will consider the major monuments of Romanesque art in western Europe, such as the art and architecture of pilgrimage, monastic art including portal and cloister sculpture, the enamels of Limoges and other metalwork sculpture, and the innovations of Cistercian architecture. We will conclude with a study of the monuments produced for William the Conqueror, including one of the most famous textiles surviving from the Middle Ages, the Bayeux Embroidery. 

Dr. Rita Keane is a Professor of Art History at Drew University.  She earned an M.A. in art history from Williams College, and a doctorate in art history from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  At Drew, she teaches medieval, Islamic, and classical art.  A specialist in medieval art, her research is on the material culture of the fourteenth century in France, with a particular focus on manuscript painting, ideology, and gender studies.  Her most recent publication includes a book on the testament of the medieval queen, Blanche of Navarre, and articles on medieval women and collecting and painting in illuminated manuscripts. 

This summer, with a colleague from the French Department at Drew, she will teach ‘The Art and Culture of Provence’ with Drew students on a journey through southern France beginning in Nice with Matisse and Chagall, then along the Mediterranean through medieval villages and Roman sites.  They will explore, a university town, Aix, the French National School of Photography in Arles, and attend the International Film Festival in Cannes.

*****

“Environmental Psychology” Dr. Graham Cousens, Associate Professor of Psychology, Drew University
2 hours, 5 Tuesday afternoons 1:30-3:30 pm
March 22, 29, April 5, 12, and 19, 2022

This course examines the interdependence of human behavior and the environments in which we live, work, and play. We will consider our emotional connections to the places we know, as well as our perception and evaluation of built environments of different spatial scales, including the architectural features of buildings and the social and physical landscapes of neighborhoods and cities.  We will consider what psychologists and other behavioral researchers have learned about wayfinding and spatial cognition in these environments, as well as ways to promote the effective use of residential and public spaces as we age. 

We will focus particular attention on the relationship between built environments and physical and mental health through discussion of physical activity, environmental stress, and habitual behavior. Also, we will examine our relationship to the natural world by considering the restorative benefits of nature, green space, and wilderness, by documenting some of the ecological consequences of human behavior, and by evaluating ways to promote more environmentally sustainable behavior. 

The course adopts an interdisciplinary approach to the study of environment-behavior interactions and has an applied focus, examining how principles derived from research can be used to improve human health and quality of life and mitigate the impact of human behavior on natural systems.

Dr. Graham Cousens is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Drew University. He earned a Ph.D., M.A., and B.A. in Psychology from Rutgers University, and he conducted research in neuroscience as a post-doctoral fellow at Yale School of Medicine and at the University of California, San Francisco.

Graham’s research uses electrophysiological and behavioral techniques to examine how the brain represents sensory information, focusing particularly on the sense of smell. Areas of current research interest include assessing the contribution of olfaction to our multisensory experience of place and to the perception of wine aroma compounds.  He is currently working on publications related to the remote sensing of sniffing behavior and to instructing undergraduate students about the chemical senses. He has published numerous articles in neuroscience journals and has presented at many conferences and workshops.

Graham also has strong interests in psychological and public health approaches to health behavior and the impact of environmental factors on physical health, brain health, and subjective well-being. This summer he will explore “Environmental Psychology” in Australian socio-cultural and public policy contexts through a journey with Drew students around New South Wales and Queensland, taking advantage of accessible urban centers, natural areas, and unique wildlife. Students will also learn about the individual and cultural importance of ties to the land for Indigenous Australians, as well as the impact of displacement from traditional land on social and emotional well-being. 

*****

“War and Peace: Music of the 40s” Dr. Robert Butts, Conductor, Composer, Educator – Montclair State University, Drew University, and Saint Elizabeth University
1 ½ hour, 5 Wednesday afternoons 1:30-3:00 pm
April 6, 13, 20, 27, and May 4, 2022  

Of all decades of the 20th century, the 1940s seems to be the least studied, with fewer books and/or articles.   Yet, the decade produced a lot of great music, as well as masterpieces in other arts.  Many musical works of the period have become standards of the concert and popular music worlds.  The 1940s were actually two cultural decades in one.  1940-1945 was marked by World War II.  1945-1950 was marked by the post-war boom in America and reconstruction in the rest of the world.  As the 1890s saw the major impact of technological change, so did the late 1940s – especially in transportation (new cars, diesel trains, jet airplanes) and communication (radios, 33 1/3 and 45 rpm records, drive-in movies, television).    

As soon as World War II ended, a new form of war emerged as The United States and The Soviet Union dominated world politics in what came to be called “The Cold War.”   Musically, jazz changed from big band swing to small band “cool” through a fresh style called “Bebop,” created by artists such as Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker.  Country music 

became a major style through radio broadcasts and new artists – most notably singer/songwriter Hank Williams.  Singers replaced instrumentalists as star artists with the rise of artists such as Frank Sinatra.  Leonard Bernstein began his meteoric rise to fame and influence.  Aaron Copland became the sound of American composition.  Dmitri Shostakovich became the sound of Soviet composition.  European composers such as Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen explored extreme modernism while technology led to the beginnings of electronic composition.  Classic film scores were created by composers such as Max Steiner, Bernard Herrmann, Miklos Rozsa, Dimitri Tiomkin, and others.  Rodgers and Hammerstein developed the Broadway Musical into its classic form and began what came to be known as “The Golden Age of Broadway.”

 Dr. Robert Butts has won acclaim as conductor, composer, and educator.  He is the director of the Baroque Orchestra of NJ, now in its 26th season.  He teaches/lectures at Montclair State University, the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies at Drew University, NJ Council for the Humanities, and Saint Elizabeth University.  He has conducted major orchestra and opera performances throughout NJ and the US, as well as guest appearances in Romania, the Czech Republic, Russia, Italy, and England. Dr. Butts received his M.A. in Musicology from the University of Iowa with a specialty in 17th and 18th-century music and a D.M.A. in conducting from the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago.  He also studied conducting at Julliard with Maestro La Selva. 

His awards include the 2019 Artist of the Year Award by the New York Classical Music Society; the 2019 Exemplary Leader Award from the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, the 2016 Tourism Award from the Morris County Tourism Bureau, the 2015 Comcast Newsmaker Award from Comcast, and the 2015 Honored Artist Award.

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