Cult films and divine art
Kim Abunuwara, humanities professor, will be teaching “Divine in Art” and Wendell Nielson, also of humanities, will be the professor for “Cult Film and Culture.”
This semester, Abunuwara and Nielsen co-taught “Cult Film and Theater,” and Nielsen explained that his course in the spring would continue to explore the themes and films introduced this fall.
“This last semester, we focused on the absurd and the outliers of theater and drama,” Nielsen said. “In the spring, we’ll be looking at those smaller films with devoted fan bases that push the limits and really have revolutionary potential.”
The films include “Reservoir Dogs,” “Dawn of the Dead,” “Taxi Driver,” “Fight Club” and “Coonskin.” Nielsen said these “cult films” have a huge impact on us as a culture, and that his goal is to help students see that impact and be able to analyze their meanings.
“In some ways, these films are people searching for ways to define themselves,” Nielsen said. “I want [students] to think about the meaning, and get past their responses. This semester, students are becoming better at stepping back and analyzing.”
“Divine in Art” is a topics in humanities class Abunuwara has taught before, and she said she is excited for the upcoming course.
Students will be analyzing and learning about different art forms across different religions. The class will explore how different peoples have represented deity in different ways, ancient and modern. Abunuwara said that a challenge of the class is discovering how cultures represent something they believe to be infinite, and what representing the divine means.
“I’d like [students] to really challenge their notion of the divine in a positive way,” Abunuwara said. “I really want their idea of God to get bigger. Hopefully students can have a greater understanding.”
Both Nielsen and Abunuwara say they are excited about helping students expand their views and gain a better understanding of others through analyzation.