Syllabus   |   Calendar   | GAEdA  | GRAE  |  Exhibition Planning  | Exhibition Online

AED 590 poster

Description: Continuing seminars which consist of a series of individual lectures by faculty, students, or outside speakers.

Theme: Subversive Humor in Visual Culture

Subversive humor as an artistic strategy is a form of reflexivity to understand, draw attention to, challenge power systems, subvert systems of oppression and domination, and inspire change or healing from assumptions (self-imposed and those of others), stereotypes, or from historical and personal crisis, urgent issues, and trauma. Deconstruct assumptions and then with metaphor, juxtaposition, and interreferientiality apply subversive humor strategies of reframing, recontextualizing, recoding, and remapping. Other strategies include parody, satire, pun, and irony. (K. Keifer-Boyd, August 28, 2012, colloquium introduction)

"Subversive humor is a strategy to confront political, social, racial, personal, and professional issues using techniques of exaggeration, contradiction, and juxtaposition” (S. Klein, September 11, 2012, colloquium presentation).


Instead of required readings there are communication portals for students to share subversive humor in visual culture, and there will be optional readings provided for colloquium, typically following a presentation. Dr. Sheri Klein's article, which is the basis of her Sept. 11 presentation, is linked to volume 7 (2012) of the Visual Culture & Gender journal @

A FaceBook site at is set up by doctoral student Sue Uhlig is for sharing and discussing subversive humor in visual culture, and for communication about Graduate Art Education Association(GAEdA) workshops and meetings.

Also, colloquium participants may use the GAEdA listserve to communicate. Contact Lillian Lewis, GAEdA president at <> to join the GAEdA listserv.

Also, contact Sheri Klein at to join the wiki "subversive humor" space (see for sharing and discussing subversive humor in visual culture. She has gathered many resources at this wiki site and invites others to contribute resources and comments.

Assignment: Subversive Humor in Your Visual Journal
Subversive Humor Strategies: Reframe, Recontextualize, Recode, Remap

••• Create a visual journal (e.g., as video, comics, graphic narratives, collage, etc.) about your semester —through a critical visual cultural lens of humor. 

••• The Art Education Graduate Association (GAEdA) will organize art workshops between colloquium meetings as desired by grad students.  Create at least one visual journal entry between colloquium meetings about the issues and events of those in-between weeks for a minimum 6 visual journal entries.

••• The last colloquium session will be a Borland Gallery exhibition of the visual journals with an opening event from 1:00-2:15 pm on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012.

Final grades will be based on the following scale of points:
94-100 A, 90-93 A-, 88-90 B+, 83-87 B, 80-82 B-, 79-77 C+, 76-73 C, 72-63 D, below 62 F

Distribution of points toward the final grade is as follows:

60% Visual Journal (a minimum of 6 visual journal entries) displayed by Dec. 11, 1:00 p.m.

40% Active engagement and thoughtful participation in discussions at the Colloquium meetings on August 28; September 11; October 2, 16, 30; November 13, 27; December 11. Participation also includes planning and working with others enrolled in the course beyond the 8 scheduled meetings to prepare an exhibition of the visual journals to open in the Borland Gallery on December 11, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. Set up dates will be Saturday, December 8th and Sunday, December 9th (if need be) and take down date of Saturday, December 15th. The exhibition is Dec. 11-14, 2012. We will also extend the exhibition to the Web, which can function as publicity for the exhibition too. Art Ed grad students in a humor online course taught by Sheri Klein will be invited to comment on your online visual journal exhibition in December.

Facilities & Technology Support:

The Patterson Building computer labs are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All technology classrooms are equipped with a telephone. If you experience problems with computers or printers please call the Hotline at 8-777-0035. This number is staffed Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m.-1:00 a.m.; Saturday &; Sunday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Also Media Commons provides one on one, group, and online technology support.

Attendance Policy:

Attendance is required and very important to learning in this course. However, I encourage you to attend professional conferences, therefore, your absence in class for such attendance is excused with prior arrangements.

This course is in accordance with Faculty Senate Policy 42-27 on Attendance: The faculty senate policy, effective Fall 2002, states that students who miss class due to legitimate, unavoidable reasons such as illness, injury or family emergency should have the opportunity to make up evaluative events. While notifying the instructor in a timely manner is a key expectation, the senate policy does not mandate official documentation of student illness or other unavoidable reasons for absence. In preparing the calendar for an academic year, the University makes every effort to avoid conflicts with religious holidays. However, when conflicts are unavoidable, please notify me to make special arrangements.

Academic Integrity:

University Policies and Rules Guidelines states that academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at The Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the University community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. Consistent with this expectation, the University's Code of Conduct states that all students should act with personal integrity, respect other students' dignity, rights and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts.

Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others.

Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to acts such as cheating on exams or assignments; plagiarizing the words or ideas of another; fabricating information or citations; facilitating acts of academic dishonesty by others; claiming authorship of work done by another person; submitting work completed in previous classes; and/or submitting the same work to multiple classes in which a student is enrolled simultaneously.

Plagiarism is the use of more than three consecutive words, ideas, or images of another author without proper citation. Proper citation formats must follow one of the academic writing style manuals such as APA, Chicago, MLA, or Turabian. All images and text from the Internet, journals, or books must have full citation to be used in your work.

Modifications for Those Experiencing Disabilities:

If you need alternate arrangements or modifications to meet course requirements, please contact me during the first week of classes (see Americans with Disabilities Act, 26 July 1990, Penn State's Nondiscrimination Policy, and the Office for Disability Services).

Click here for information regarding eligibility for services and the procedures for obtaining services.

Health and Safety Information:

Every effort will be made to comply with the intent of state laws or acts and the University Health and Safety Program in an effort to maintain a safe academic and working environment. Information and awareness of safety factors will be included in the course content when applicable.

When using a computer the main safety practice is to keep your arm, wrist, and hand in a straight line as you use the keyboard or mouse to avoid muscle stress, inflammation, and injury. Also take breaks, stretch, and look at objects in the distance periodically. Use Internet Explorer's "View menu" and "Text Zoom" to increase the font size of this and any Web page to meet your vision needs.

Click here for emergency procedures and phone numbers. Dial 911 for emergencies, (814) 863-1111 for University Police, or (814) 231-6110 for Centre Community Hospital Emergency Department. Patterson, room 304, has a phone by the podium to use (when there is not a class in session) to call off campus. Flashing lights and an alarm inside a building mean fire. Exit quickly.

The shop, located at 108 Visual Arts Building, is intended to serve the entire School of Visual Arts and is available to all students enrolled in SVA classes who have completed the appropriate orientation. Students in the School of Visual Arts may find themselves working in the shop or in their studios or classrooms using a variety of power and hand held equipment, which may cause injury. When assisting a person who is bleeding, use disposable gloves which are in the first aid kits in the shop and studio labs. Students should use the shop only after having received an orientation in the use of such equipment and when supervised by faculty or shop personnel. Should any injuries occur, in the shop, studios, or classrooms in the School of Visual Arts please report them to Jerry Bierly, Shop Supervisor, Room 108-A Visual Arts Building, Phone: 814-865-3962, email:

Facilitator: Karen Keifer-Boyd, Ph.D.
Professor, Art Education & Women's Studies
School of Visual Arts, 210 Arts Cottage
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802-2905
Phone:  814.863.7312       Fax:  814.863.8664
Email:        Website:
Office hours—email to make an appointment