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ARTH 503
Clark Visiting Professor Seminar: Art and Law Spring 2021
Division I
Cross-listed ARTH 503 / ARTH 403

Class Details

In the 1960s, artists began to engage conspicuously with legal ideas, rituals, and documents. The law–a primary institution subject to intense moral and political scrutiny–was a widely recognized source of authority to audiences inside the art world and out. Artists frequently engaged with the law in ways that signaled a recuperation of the integrity that they believed had been compromised by the very institutions entrusted with establishing standards of just conduct. These artists sought to convey the social purpose of an artwork without overstating its political impact and without losing sight of how aesthetic decisions compel audiences to see their everyday world differently. Addressing the role that law plays in enabling artworks to function as social and political forces, this course explores the question of an “applied art history,” namely, how art history might intervene or inflect extra-artistic institutions such as the law. Topics to be considered include: artists’ rights, human-animal relationships, globalism as extraterritoriality, what “agreement” means in concept and practice.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 16
Expected: 16
Class#: 5007
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: research paper, class presentations
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: second-year graduate students, then first-year graduate students, then advanced undergraduate students; places for 8 undergraduate and 8 graduate students assured
Distributions: Division I
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ARTH 503 Division I ARTH 403 Division I

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