My teaching experience of the past twenty five years in arts schools and art departments in universities has included both undergraduate and graduate level courses in contemporary art history, theory and writing; exhibition and museum histories; curatorial methodologies and practices as well as classes for MFA programs including critique seminars, production studio and professional practices. Below are some selected course descriptions.


Acting Vice Dean (2017 - 2018) and Faculty, MA Curatorial Program, (1989 and 1995; 2005 – present)
Teach graduate seminars in art history, contemporary theory and curatorial practice for the M.A. Program in Art and Curatorial Practices in the Public Sphere and advise on M.A. theses. In previous years taught undergraduate art history survey, upper division lectures; graduate seminars in art history and theory for the M.F.A. and M.P.A.S. (Public Art Studies) program.

Curatorial Practicum
This course is the first component of a three-semester sequence of Practicum curatorial seminars designed to provide a historical, theoretical, and practical framework for students to work collaboratively to conceptualize, research, and organize a curatorial project for he final semester of the M.A. program. During the course we examine different typologies/sites of exhibition-making and other curatorial formats, focusing on the conception, organization, presentation and reception of each project. After an introduction to museum and exhibition histories, during the first part of this course we focus on curatorial methodologies and strategies for various kinds of exhibitions (monographic, thematic and collection shows, artists projects, performances, media-based and interactive projects, etc.) institutional critique and museum interventions, performance and re-performance. After the mid-term, we examine biennials, other large-scale curatorial formats and their discursive platforms, alternative or artist-run spaces and social practice and public projects in urban contexts. Through readings and discussion, viewing assignments and journals, field trips, studio visits and guest lectures, we critically analyze the role of curators and cultural producers from distinct generations, positions and ideologies, particularly those that expand upon or push against the normative definitions of curatorial practice. Throughout the semester students develop your initial ideas and parameters for your group curatorial project, culminating in a final presentation that includes a proposal, preliminary checklist of artists and work plan for the subsequent semester.

Art and Curatorial Practice in the Public Realm: Organizational Models
This course explores contemporary critical issues in curating and presenting art in the public realm. We define this broadly––from artistic production that intervenes into the urban environment and other sites, to public programs in artist run spaces, museums, and other institutions that aim to engage audiences. The class sessions covers various projects that engage the public realm and the fundamental methodologies needed to work with artists, organizations, communities and their specific stakeholders. Some of the core areas of investigation include: case studies of institutional and exhibition histories; new curatorial methodologies and models for public engagement; curatorial projects that emerge from situation, circumstance and event; artist residencies, partnerships, alliances, and collaborations as well as engaging controversy and managing conflict in project development. To better understand curatorial practice and public engagement, in addition to the lectures by the instructors, we have guest lecturers, dialogues with artists in residence and critiques from professionals in the field.

For the final project, students work in small groups to do an intervention into one of the exhibitions currently on view at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) or Orange County Museum of Art. While projects are executed in collaborative teams, each student writes an individual 6 – 8 page final paper. This should be a critical analysis articulating your own individual ideas about the conception and development of the project, the best practices or critical/theoretical ideas that informed your work and an evaluation of the successes and challenges of its final execution.

USC MA Curatorial students at Radio Break performance, For Your Art
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OTIS COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN, LOS ANGELES (1992 - 1995 and 2008 - present)

Adjunct Professor, MFA Program (2008 - present)
Teach courses on Histories and Strategies of Public Art, Production Studio Critique Seminars and Thesis in the Graduate Public Practice graduate program, conduct studio visits and advise on M.F.A. exhibition.

Acting Chair, Graduate Public Practice Program (2012 and 2013)
While the Chair was on sabbatical, assisted in overseeing the Graduate Public Practice MFA program including graduate admissions and working with the Otis faculty and senior management.

History and Strategies of Public Art
This course focuses on the history of artistic production in the public arena since the 1960s, with an emphasis on projects from the 1990s to the present. Encompassing various practices across disciplines, we begin by examining the histories and theories of site-specific installation, earthworks and land projects. We study performance, from post-war Happenings and Fluxus to contemporary community-based and socially engaged interventions. We analyze case studies of sites for presentation and production, ranging from international biennials and festivals to alternative space and discursive platofrms in Southern California. Throughout the course we read contemporary critical discourses on relational aesthetics, participation, institutional critique and spectatorship by artists, critics and historians to understand the multi-valent and disparate methodologies in public practice. Each class begins with a lecture on a thematic topic followed by a class discussion of the weekly readings. Every student is responsible for preparing questions and leading the class discussion of readings at least twice during the semester. In addition to the course lectures and readings, we will have guest lecturers and field trips. During the last two weeks, students do a class presentation and written paper of your final research project.

Production Studios, the core of the MFA program, are critique courses that lead to a student’s final project.
Production Studio I is a large-scale collaborative projects that allows the students to work with a professional artist on a project from beginning to completion. Students consider the processes that range from research, design, production and collaboration to installation, documentation, cultivating media relations and considering audience/public reception.
Production Studio II supports students to conceive the basic plan for their final thesis project. Critique is the central purpose of this studio – students learn how to frame questions in their practice, receive and offer constructive feedback on their work and that of their colleagues, exposing their ideas/work to lengthy review by instructors and visiting critics. Utilizing various critique methodologies, students also learn how to critique each other’s work and this class prepares them for the final review of their first year, and the more intensive and rigorous critique processes of their second year.
Karen Moss with Otis Public Practice graduate students
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Adjunct Faculty, School of the Arts (2008, 2011 and 2014)
Currently teaching an Art History Methodologies and Writing course for art history and museum studies students. In previous years have taught an undergraduate/graduate art history lecture course on Exhibition and Museum Histories; undergraduate and graduate lecture courses on Art Since 1945 and the Interdisciplinary Critique Seminar for the M.F.A. program.

History of Exhibitions and Museums
This course focuses on the history of exhibitions and museums, beginning with 15th and 16th century precedents in private collecting and display, followed by the subsequent establishment of the first public institutions during the Age of Revolution. After this historical introduction, we examine contemporary case studies of exhibitions, museums and curatorial practices from modernism to the present day in a series of thematic lectures. Including both historical exhibitions of the post-war period and more contemporary revisionist projects, we read critical, theoretical and curatorial writing to contextualize the case studies.

During the second half of the semester, students work on a final research project that critically analyzes a specific exhibition, curatorial project, or museum history of an institution in the greater Los Angeles area. (Senior art history majors or grad students may wish to choose a more historical or theoretical topic, per approval or the instructor.) The final consists of both an in-class oral presentation summarizing your research at the last regular class sessions and final exam day.

Art History Writing and Methodologies
This course focuses on writing and research in art history and presents an introduction to a diverse range of methodologies, theories and debates that have changed the discipline in recent decades. We will begin with an analysis of theory itself and how we use theories as a tool in writing. We will then study methodologies and debates within the discipline including, formalism, iconography and semiotics; Marxism and historical materialism; feminism and queer theory; cultural studies and post-colonialism; psychology, perception and psychoanalysis, stucturalism, post-structuralism and deconstruction theory.

Each week class includes a lecture on a particular methodology and accompanying readings: all students are responsible for preparing questions for class discussion and short writing assignments on these texts. The final project is a research paper that students work on during the entire semester. For undergraduates, this paper could be used as a sample of your writing and research skills for either a prospective graduate school, an internship or a job. For graduate students, the project may serve as an advancement paper to go on to the next stage of writing or may become a chapter in your M.A. thesis. Either way, the final paper is a piece of writing with a solid argument backed up by evidence for claims provided by research into different methodologies and theories. At the end of the semester each student will give a 20-minute class presentation summarizing the research project for class feedback before turning in the final written paper.
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Visiting Faculty, San Francisco Art Institute (2002 - 2004)
Taught undergraduate courses and graduate seminars in art history and critical studies including Art Meets Life: Social Interaction & Relational Aesthetics. Developed and taught pilot graduate curriculum in Exhibition and Museum Studies and Theory and Practice Professional Practices for the Artist and Curatorial Studies.

On Site: Production, Reception and Discursive Strategies in Recent Art
In recent years, various practices of contemporary art have decisively shifted from the individual object to the actual experience and conditions or situation of viewing. Regardless of whether artists are making objects, time-based videos, or installation pieces, now more than ever they are focusing on the mis-en-scene of the gallery itself. More and more, artists seek to control conditions of reception by creating works, which offer themselves not simply as objects, but as environments, extended discourses, architectural spaces, and time-based immersive experiences. Artists today are also concerned about issues of public display, mapping the conditions of reception into the structure of their artworks and into their exhibitions.

This course focuses on how art is conceptualized and practiced today at the moment of reception. How do site and context, presentation and display, and viewing and reception affect artistic production as it continues to move from the studio to the gallery into the public domain? And how does this change the artist’s central role either with or without the collaboration of a curator, or the strictures of a site or institutional space? What are some of the discursive strategies of contemporary art? How is it related to the larger society and to our information consumption habits and desires? Will or could it ever change?

The class is structured around issues and investigations that are presented in lectures with accompanying readings and discussion. The first part of the course will provide a historical and critical context. Topics investigated include the histories of site-specific sculpture and installation; earthworks and land projects; performance, conceptual art and ephemeral works in the public sphere’ the use of moving image in the gallery, including the internet and the role of networked art. Classes incorporate off-site meetings in local galleries and museums, lectures by visiting artists and a field trip scheduled around Spring Break. During the final part of the course students work together curating their own projects in different sites and writing about each other’s production. This course served as pilot curriculum for the SFAI Exhibitions and Museum Studies Program.

Art Meets Life: Social Interaction and Relational Aesthetics 
Visiting Artists Seminar in conjunction with Nicolas Bourriaud and artists in the exhibition
Touch: Relational Art Since the 1990s
This seminar covers the history, theory and practice of relational art and performative practices that involve everyday activities and ordinary objects to produce social interaction. It begins with an historical introduction to the art-meets-life agenda of early modernist and post war avant-garde artists. We then look at more contemporary work, focusing on the artists in the exhibition TOUCH: Relational Art from the 1990s to Now, on view in the Walter and McBean Galleries, 10/18 – 12/14. During the second part of the course, Nicolas Bourriaud, guest curator of Touch and visiting critic at SFAI, will teach several class lectures, while some artists in the exhibition including Joseph Grigely, Christine Hill, Ben Kimont, and Rirkrit Tiranvanija, will do performances or short-terms residencies on campus.
For the mid-term each student will do research and write a biography about one of the artists in Touch for the exhibition publication. During the final portion of the seminar, students make presentations and/or produce their own work based on their experience and understanding of relational aesthetics or other artistic practices that produce social interaction and audience participation.

Theory and Practice for the Professional Artists
This graduate seminar presents different theories and practices for professional working artists and working arts professionals. It begins by providing historical background and theories about institutions and current discourses about the sites and systems of contemporary artistic practice. Next it focuses on practical tools and opportunities to facilitate the transition from art student to independent artist working in various contexts: ie; to help you better navigate after you graduate. The first part of each meeting includes a lecture by the instructor and/or a visiting arts professional, a field trip or workshop; the second part includes questions and answer sessions with speakers and/or a class discussion. Course reading assignments and student participation are integral to our ongoing conversations. During each month we focus on a particular area:
September Part I: Sites and Systems of Contemporary Art
October Part 2: Artistic Practice, Production and Documentation
November Part 3: Professional Opportunities
December Part 4: Presentation of Final Research Project

Karen Moss and Nicolas Bourriaud in conversation at San Francisco Art Institute
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