California university has students take final in the nude

Controversy Over Nudity in Visual Arts Class at UCSD
Controversy Over Nudity in Visual Arts Class at UCSD

If you've ever been nervous about presenting to an audience, chances are you were advised to imagine everyone in their underwear.

Well now imagine that you are an undergraduate student at the University of California San Diego, and are told that in order to pass the class, you'll have to stand naked in front of your peers and professor.

The class is an upper division elective titled, "Performing the Self," taught by associate professor Ricardo Dominguez. It is described on the visual art department's website as, "using autobiography, dream, confession, fantasy, or other means to invent one's self in a new way, or to evoke the variety of selves in our imagination. The course experiments with and explores the rich possibilities available to the contemporary artist in his or her own persona."

In an interview with ABC 10, Professor Dominguez said he does perform in the nude with students, but they are not forced to strip down. They have the option to perform fully clothed.

"There was a few years ago a Muslim student who for religious/ethical reasons could not do the nude gesture so instead she did a naked gesture where she was fully dressed."

He also stated that students know full well what they are getting into when they sign up for the class. Everything is spelled out in the syllabus. In addition, he says nearly 80% of his students choose to do the assignment nude.

What do you think?

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