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  • Otis Fine Arts hosts a Visiting Artist lecture series featuring John Houck, a Los Angeles-based artist. Read more about him here.
    Contact: Soo Kim, skim@otis.edu
  • Jesse Benson (b. 1978) is an artist based in Los Angeles. Benson's complex practice is driven by the perversion of roles and representation that characterize his generational moment. In obsessively "skillful" objects like the Bureau Paintings, Catalog Page Paintings, Future Sculptures, and Repaintings, Benson constantly questions the authenticity of the document, the function of style, and the value of both art and artist. Benson is equally committed to a curatorial/organizational practice that openly overlaps and inspires his object production.

  • The Architecture/Landscape/Interiors Department at OTIS College of Art and Design is pleased to announce a lecture by Nick SeierupPrincipal | Design Director of Perkins+Will, Los Angeles, on Thursday, December 3, 2015.


  • Marisa Silver is the author most recently of the New York Times bestselling novel Mary Coin. Her other books include the novels No Direction Home and The God of War (a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize), as well as two story collections, Babe in Paradise and Alone with You. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker and been included in many anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Silver lives in Los Angeles.

  • Jesse Lerner is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles.  His short films Natives (1991, with Scott Sterling), T.S.H. (2004) and Magnavoz (2006) and the feature-length experimental documentaries Frontierland/Fronterilandia (1995, with Rubén Ortiz-Torres), Ruins (1999) The American Egypt (2001), Atomic Sublime (2010) and The Absent Stone (2013, with Sandra Rozental) have won numerous prizes at film festivals in the United States, Latin America and Japan.

  • Otis faculty member Dana Berman Duff will present a program of short 16mm and digital films in her "Catalogue" series.

  • Performing the Grid is an exhibition that brings together an intergenerational group of artists and cultural producers that utilize the grid as a performative strategy to examine, challenge and position philosophical, political, social, domestic, corporeal, and mythical perspectives. Rosalind Kraus famously wrote that the grid “functions to declare the modernity of modern art” in her 1979 essay, Grids.


English Composition

Step 1: Pick Your Terms

Your assignment will vary depending on your instructor, but you will probably be asked to research a subject and compare what you learn about it with its film treatment. The first step should be to get clear on the terms you want to search. This may not be an easy task. Ideas can be expressed in many ways. For instance the topic of "gender" could be researched using terms such as feminism, feminist theory, masculinity, gay, women, woman, men, sexuality, homosexuality, androgyny, etc. Depending on the database used and how it searches, you may have to do multiple searches trying various keywords.

To begin, brainstorm and create a list of possible terms you may use in researching. First, try a preliminary search in a database and look carefully at the results. From the first set of results, you can find other terms you may not have thought of. Add them to your list. Then modify your keywords and your strategy to clarify your topic.

A definition of a term could be a good way to start off a paper. The Oxford English Dictionary would be a good starting point for that.

Step 2: What Kind of Information Do You Want?

Identifying the type of information that you need will help in formulating a search strategy. Think about this and get as specific as you can. Here are some examples:

Information Needed: Try terms like these in various combinations: You could look for: Recommended Database:

A psychological interpretation of the horror film genre Horror, horror tales, cinema, movies, films, interpretation, history, criticism, analysis, morality, morality tale(s), psychoanalysis, psychological, gender, sexuality, feminism, feminist, masculinity, Gore Verbinski, Alfred Hitchcock, etc. Articles in psychological journals, scholarly film journals, or journals about popular culture or chapters in books For articles:

For Books:

Moral or religious tales implied within Westerns Western films, Westerns, heroes in motion pictures, allegory, myth, mythology, Clint Eastwood, morality, masculinity, cinema, movies, films, interpretation, history, criticism, etc. Articles in mythology journals, scholarly film journals, history journals or chapters in books For articles:

For Books:

Analysis of the portrayal of suburbia in popular culture suburban life, suburb(s), suburbia, urban sprawl, social life and customs, America, 1950s, postwar, popular culture, Los Angeles, history Articles in history journals, scholarly film journals, or journals about American studies or chapters in books For articles:

For Books:

Step 3: The Annotated Bibliography

You'll need to create an annotated bibliography or "works cited page" similar to the one you created for Introduction to Visual Culture. There's an excellent guide to Citing Sources online.

Many faculty at Otis require annotations in bibliographies. They're looking for brief descriptions that evaluate the quality and credibility of your sources. Include the following information:

  1. Description of the author's credentials
  2. Type of information the source represents
  3. How the source was located. (database, search engine, terms)
  4. Specifically how the source will be useful in writing your paper. Give examples.

Example of an annotation:

Arnault, Lynne S. "Cruelty, Horror, and the Will to Redemption." Hypatia 18:2 (Spring 2003) 155-88. Wilson OmniFile Full Text Select. Otis College Library. Los Angeles. 11 Sept. 2003.

How located: As a research tool, I used OmniFile through Wilson Web to find this citation. Author's credentials: I first clicked on her name to see if she had written other articles that appear in this database. But there weren't any others. So I looked her up on Google. There's a professor by this name, a Phd. in the Communications Department with a specialty in Feminist Theory at Leymoyne College in NY.

Type of information: This article would be considered "scholarly" because it's long, in-depth. It was somewhat difficult to read and seems to be directed towards educated readers. Also, there were many footnotes. Why what's written will be of benefit in your paper: From the abstract it says that "Americans cherish the idea that good eventually triumphs over evil" and that she argues that "a proper understanding of the moral harm of cruelty calls into question the credibility of popular American idioms of redemption." This seems to be directly related to the role of horror films in Americans culture.

Run Your Paper through Grammarly

Grammarly will assist you with grammar, but also help prevent plagiarism!


The librarians and the library staff are available. Ask for reference/research assistance at any time. It's our job. You're not bothering us.

The LAS department also has tutors available to assist you with the writing or word processing. Start early so that you will have time to avail yourself of these services. We all want to support your learning experience.