ARTH 512
Why Look at Animals? Some Contemporary Positions Fall 2019
Division I

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This seminar, named for a 1977 essay by the art critic John Berger, considers a recent tendency in contemporary art to see nonhuman animals less as objects for human delectation-to be owned, eaten, or symbolized with-than as subjects, endowed with specific forms of intelligence, agency, and/or cross-species kinship. We will take as case studies the work of artists such as Francis Alÿs, Xu Bing, Sue Coe, Coco Fusco, Pierre Huyghe, Jochen Lempert, Chris Marker, and Lin May Saeed, among others. Readings will come in part from the rapidly growing, multidisciplinary field of animal studies. In the process, we will consider concepts such as animacy; animal ethics; animalization; the anthropocene; biopolitics; and posthumanism. This seminar anticipates two exhibitions concerning animals at the Clark in Summer 2020.
The Class: Type: Seminar
Limit: 14
Expected: 12
Class#: 1953
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: active class participation, presentations, writing assignments
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: MA students, then advanced art history undergraduates
Distributions: Division I

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