RISD Summer Programs course- Epistemologies of (Self) Care for Artists

Epistemologies of (Self) Care for Artists

This course is a combination of theoretical inquiry into care and self-care as creative and intellectual methodology in art and scholarship and a practical laboratory in which students can reflect on and cultivate the practices that support their work and integrity of well-being. Black queer feminist poet Audre Lorde’s famous words—”Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare”—carry fraught meaning in a moment wherein callousness and a lack of empathy seem to dictate political and social discourse.

The theoretical aim of this course is to unpack the notion of caring, often constructed as an individual concern and practice, which makes it vulnerable to neoliberal co-option, and its expression on a spectrum from Lorde’s radical self-preservation to the empathetic relationship building necessary to maintain (often marginalized) communities. The practical aspects of this course encourage students to consider the different infrastructures that work to encourage self-care and mutual care, and to locate tools that support their artistic and scholarly practices. Students examine the notions of surviving, coping and thriving, pointing not only to case studies in the literature and contemporary art history, but reflect on how these themes appear in our personal experience. Students will be expected to engage in online discussions, work in teams to craft teaching/learning modules, reflect on their personal practice, and develop a “care plan” that offers sustainable support to their lives and creativity.

Photo: Shutterstock

RISD degree students: Satisfactory completion of this course with a ‘C’ or better can count as 3 transfer credits toward the THAD elective requirements. This course offers 3 transfer credits with pre-approval from the Liberal Arts department using the Prior Approval for Liberal Arts Credit Form. Complete the electronic form in etrieve and then complete the online course registration.

Course #9100
Elizabeth Maynard

June 21–July 30, 2021
Online, No required meeting times

Tuition $2,300
3 Credits



Elizabeth Maynard

Liz Maynard earned a PhD in art history from McGill University, Montreal, and an MA in humanities from the University of Chicago. In addition to teaching at RISD, she has been teaching art history and humanities courses at Rhode Island College since 2007. She has published several articles on the social, political and medical constructions of gender and sexuality. Her art historical research on the representation of trauma and the body led her to pursue training in somatic education, and she also works as a yoga teacher, meditation leader and craniosacral therapist. Her current interests include discerning the rich possibilities in being attentive to how intellectual and creative pursuits intersect with somatic awareness.

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