Illusions in Culture

COLL-S 103 — Fall 2023 — Themester

GA 1112
Days and Times
MTuWThFSaSu 9:00 AM–9:00 PM Intersession 7/30/2023–8/16/2023
Course Description

We spend our lives trying to get a grasp on “reality,” but anyone who has ever seen a rubber pencil, read a Magic-Eye kids book, been tricked by a stage magician’s sleight of hand, or watched a blockbuster film in three-dimensions knows that the “unreal” can be just as meaningful (and certainly just as entertaining) as reality. This course considers the very real roles that perceptual illusions have played and continue to play in a range of humanities topics—including philosophy, art, folklore, music, sports, magic, film, and food. Interdisciplinary at its core, our discussions and coursework will oscillate between scientific and humanistic descriptions of illusory experience as we answer bedrock intellectual questions—What am I? Who are we? What is reality?—manifest as illusions in culture.

This course is part of two Arts + Sciences Undergraduate Research Experience (ASURE) two-course sequences – How We Learn New Languages: Multi-Lingual Behavior and the Brain and Mythic Remakes: Adapting Classical Myths for Novels, Stage, and Screen.

Instructor: Dr. Brandon Barker (Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology)

Interview with Dr. Barker on COLL-S 103