The Pennsylvania State University

School of Visual Arts

Janet Hartranft

Assistant Professor of General Education
Area of Study: 
Office Address: 
104 Borland Building
M.S. and Ph.D. in Art Education from The Pennsylvania State University. My research interests center on the sociocultural functions of art in contemporary society and I am particularly interested in the relationships of art, artists, and society. The primary course that I teach at The Pennsylvania State University, "Commentary on Art," is an undergraduate, writing-intensive course for art majors in which students examine the different roles of artists and audience in contemporary society. I have also, most recently, begun to focus on curriculum development at the university level. In 2002, I received an Incentives and Innovations Fund Grant to develop a new course in digital art criticism. The course, New Media: Digital Art Criticism, is currently under review by the School of Visual Arts. In May 2003, I received a second Innovations Fund Grant to write another technology-based course, this time in critical web studies. This course will explore various intersections of cyberculture with art, artists, and art institutions. Topics that will be examined include cyber-identity and the virtual body, artists' websites, cultural/art websites, mapping and visualization, entertainment and playing on the web, the web as source for news and commerce, and cyber communities. I am also deeply involved in the development and writing of a proposal for a new major in the College of Arts and Architecture, an interdisciplinary BA in Electronic Media Design. This major, if adopted, will be administered through the Department of Integrative Arts. My service responsibilities to the University include membership on the General Education Committee (School of Visual Arts), the Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) Committee (Education Technology Services), and the Applied Pedagogy Sub-committee of the TLT. I have given presentations at conferences of The National Art Education Association and from 1995 to 1996 was a member of a national team of scholars that evaluated Getty Education Institute professional development programs and assisted in the development of The Quiet Evolution: Changing the Face of Arts Education (1997), a publication that chronicled the influence of discipline-based art education programs.