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
Spring 2023
Taught By: Liesl Schillinger
Section: AX

CRN: 10717

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. This course satisfies the Reporting and Craft Elective requirement for the Journalism+Design major.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Journalism & Design (LLSJ)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: February 5, 2023 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 16, 2023 (Sunday)

Seats Available: No

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few 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: 9:24pm EDT 3/24/2023

Meeting Info:
Days: Wednesday
Times: 12:10pm - 2:50pm
Building: Eugene Lang 65 W11th
Room: 465
Date Range: 1/25/2023 - 5/10/2023