Center for Latter-day Saint Arts

College and University Courses on Latter-day Saint Arts

Would you like to teach a course on Latter-day Saint arts in a college or university?  Do you need assistance with reading or approach?  We would like to help.

The Center is assembling examples of college syllabi as an aid to teachers who are contemplating a course on Latter-day Saint art.

Posts tagged C. C. A. Christensen
Issues and Themes in the Visual Arts of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

 The purpose of this course is to examine some of the issues and themes in the visual arts of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from its restoration in 1830 to the current day, as well as to explore the position of Latter-Day Saint artwork within the wider historical and cultural context of western art history.

Each of the thirteen units will interrogate the assumptions in this purpose statement.  There are many unanswered questions: What is Latter-Day Saint art? Who makes it? Who has the right to label an artist or an artwork as Latter-Day Saint?  Is it appropriate to categorize artists and artworks according to religion? The attempt to categorize or interpret artists by a single trait, such as race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, risks flattening and simplifying their artwork.  Worse still, artists who are sorted into such subgroups are rarely considered within the wider historical and cultural context of their time and among the full range of their artistic peers.  Students should remember this throughout the course, which attempts to consider the problem of “Latter-Day Saint art” from many different angles and perspectives.

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Saints & Cinema: Mormons, Modernity, and Moving Images

This course is designed around the concept of Latter-day Saint cinema as a "minor literature," constructed within a major language. In this sense, Latter-day Saint motion pictures can be seen as showcasing and shaping religious practice, belief, identity, and culture within the major and established language of cinema. From its earliest years cinema became a site to debate the prospect of fitting Mormons into the modern world. Could it also facilitate the modernization of Mormons? With an increasing awareness of public image and the medium's potential, Latter-day Saints entered the public sphere of cinema to express their worldview. As it did for other minority groups, cinema offered Saints opportunities to celebrate, critique, and work through their culture and religious tradition.

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