Course Offerings


The Beauty, Mystery and Terror of Color

Through the ages, color has been used as an expression of one’s passion, an outward display of values, a demonstration of one’s commitment level, a statement of belief, a manner of bestowing honorific status or even a symbol of exclusion, terror, banishment and the utmost degradation. This interdisciplinary examination of color, its development, manufacture, uses, meanings and history will allow us to learn more about its impact on trade and politics, governmental restrictions, psychological and scientific perceptions and their overall influences on art and culture. By looking at the history of color and its use, its chemical make-up, our perceptions about it, the role it plays in our lives, the response it elicits through the ages, and our use of it to define aspects of our selves and our shared humanity, we take a traditional liberal arts interdisciplinary approach to learning that allows for thoughtful decision making, critical thinking and free inquiry. The course serves as a forum for approaching these concerns as well as posing some interesting questions students can explore independently and collectively about their passions, sense of purpose, choices they make, consequences of those choices and perhaps even their role in civic engagement as they experiment with the notion of color and what it has come to mean through the ages as an expression of our humanity.

James B. Thompson

Course taught by

James B. Thompson