Art, Religion, and Society

Lillian Goudas
Day/Time Taught: 
MWF 10:00-10:50 am; MWF 1:00-1:50 pm
Course Number: 

This course will explore the role of art and the artist in our world. From ancient times to the present day, humans have used a visual language to communicate their ideas. Long before alphabets were systematized, humans communicated their thoughts through abstract and realistic portrayals of animals, people, and the world around them. Issues as banal as the next meal to cosmic ideologies concerning the nature of God were and continue to be expressed through the visual language of art.           

Throughout this semester we will evaluate how and why art has impacted society. We will discuss the relationship between art, religion and society to see how this multivalent visual language is used, exploited, even censored, but never ignored. Using a topical rather than chronological approach, we seek to understand the meaning of this language for our own lives and society so that we may interpret and use this language more effectively.

Instructor Bio: 

Lillian Nave Goudas encourages her students to change the world for the better
as soon as they set foot on campus. Her Art, Religion & Society First Year Seminar engages the students with the Boone community and the world at large through the visual arts. From gallery shows to student-made documentary films, and from Boone to New York City and Kabul, Afghanistan, students learn what a valuable tool art can be to communicate ideas, culture and emotion.


Lillian has been teaching at Appalachian State since 2007 and has taught in the First Year Seminar program since 2009. She founded the ArtHaus Residential Learning Community and was awarded RLC Partner of the Year in 2012 for her work with the ArtHaus students. Before coming to Appalachian, she taught at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts and the State University of New York in Oneonta, NY. She also enjoys giving public lectures about art from around the world and has lectured at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. She is a member of the International Arts Movement and has recently given talks about innovative teaching strategies and civic engagement in Athens, Greece, South Africa and Australia.

She asserts, "I want to cultivate creativity in my courses and that includes challenging my students to take risks, embrace failure and learn from their mistakes, all in an environment of growth." Each class is a new journey in which Lillian and her students learn and create knowledge together, where Lillian acts more like a curator of information rather than an instructor. In her class, the students lead, and the class itself becomes and instrument of learning, change, development and growth for the student.

Contact FYS

The First Year Seminar is part of the General Education Program located in Anne Belk Hall, Room 250.

Phone: 828-262-2028

Our mailing address:
First Year Seminar
ASU Box 32065
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608

Director of First Year Seminar:
Rick Klima

QEP Global Learning