ARTH 500
Clark Visiting Professor Seminar: writing TO art Fall 2019
Division I
Cross-listed ARTH 500 / ARTH 400

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In this seminar, we will think about writing TO art and for it, rather than merely about it; but first, we will think about how we think. I intend that we read essays and stories that confront the ways in which we think. That might sound abstract, but in fact it is rather concrete: we bring to works of art our predilections or tastes, psychologies, politics, habits of mind, in short, our subjectivity. We are not blank slates, art is not, either. Art is layered with its own history, and histories, criticisms, reactions, rejections, movements. Art is not static. How do we writers move with art, confront our reactions, and ask why we have them. To me, one of the most important aspects in writing is judging one’s own reactions, for instance, in the choice of words. To that end, that of confronting our thinking, we will read, among other things: Adorno’s “Coming to Terms with the Past;” Joan Scott¿s “The Evidence of Experience;” Kafka’s “Josephine the Mouse Singer and the Mouse People,” and “The Hunger Artist;” Freud’s “Notes on War and Death,” and Craig Owens’, “On Speaking to Others” and “Feminism and Post-Modernism.” We will also read some of my anti-art art criticism, or what I call stories written in relatinship to art. Some of these employ fictions, some not. We will read a few of my “Madame Realism” pieces, as well as essays on Warhol and some other contemporary artists. We will do some writing. We will visit with or be visited by critics and/or artists. We will look at art in galleries, and write about what we have seen.
The Class: Type: Seminar
Limit: 16
Expected: 16
Class#: 2043
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: writing assignments, participation
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: graduate students get preference; places for 8 undergraduates and 8 graduate students assured
Distributions: Division I
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ARTH 500 Division I ARTH 400 Division I

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