Historically, criticism has evoked in the artist a myriad of reactions from antagonism to apathy and everything between. Yet despite the inherent vulnerability that comes with having one's work criticized, it is possible to constructively engage with and learn from criticism. This proseminar is designed for students interested in the visual, literary or performing arts. It is primarily intended for practicing artist/scholars who wish to explore how criticism may productively influence their creative process as well as understand their artwork and the role of criticism in a broader historical and theoretical context. In this class we will survey a range of readings that reveal issues about the history and changing purposes of criticism. Central to our exploration, however, is the requirement that each student create a piece of art (a screenplay, musical composition, painting, theatre performance, or other medium determined by the student’s concentration), which will receive criticism at various stages of development from a wide hierarchy of sources: peer, faculty, critics and experts in the field. Over the course of the semester, students will further develop their artwork in response to critique, while concurrently writing critically about their own work and work of their classmates. This iterative process of creation and criticism will provide an opportunity to deeply examine, through both theory and practice, the intersections between artist, audience, scholar and critic. Readings may include: John Berger’s Ways of Seeing ; Hans Hofmann’s Search for the Real ; George Bernard Shaw’s The Sanity of Art ; Tolstoy’s What is Art? ; Oscar Wilde’s The Critic as Artist ; Liz Lerman’s Critical Response ; Richard Schechner’s Between Theatre & Anthropology ; W.M. Shrum’s Fringe and Fortune: The Role of Critics in High and Popular Art.