Have It Your Way: The Art of the Critical Review

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Journalism & Design

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

The Art of the Critical Review

Fall 2019

Taught By: Liesl Schillinger

Section: AX

CRN: 5795

Credits: 4

Everyone’s a critic, the saying goes: but some journalists turn their critical proclivities into a profession, publishing reviews that establish their reputations as trusted arbiters. The rise of the internet and social media has heightened demand for such “filters” of culture, and increased the popularity of voice in opinion journalism. As a result, more venues publish reviews than ever before. In this class, students will learn about the form and ethos of cultural criticism by reading famous —and notorious— reviews; and will gain hands-on experience in the craft by writing practice reviews, which will be workshopped in class. We will address at least four separate areas of criticism (e.g., books, film, art, food, music, dance, television, theater), and eminent critics and editors will visit the class to discuss their expertise. Readings include a broad selection of essays reflecting a range of critical voices; and we will address such subjects as: What is the purpose of a review? What are the pros and cons of a pan or a rave? Does a review have to give a verdict? What gives a critic authority? For the first class, students should come prepared to describe one of their favorite (or least favorite…) critics, books, restaurants, movies, art exhibits, concerts, etc. This class requires significant real-world interaction. You will be asked to read a book, watch a new movie or series, dine at a restaurant, or attend a play or a concert, etc., to write your critical drafts. For the midterm, you will revise one practice review, with the goal of making it notionally publishable. For the final, you will write a review from scratch, in whichever discipline appeals to you most.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Journalism & Design (LLSJ)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 18

Enrollment Status: Closed*

*Enrollment status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 9:00pm 9/22/2019

Meeting Info:

Days: Thursday

Times: 4:00pm - 6:40pm

Building: Eugene Lang 65 W11th

Room: 465

Date Range: 8/29/2019 - 12/12/2019