ARTH 460
Repairing a Broken World: Intro to North African Contemporary Art Spring 2022
Division I Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed ARTH 460 / COMP 361 / ARAB 360 / RLFR 360 / ARTH 560

Class Details

How do artists respond to a world in crisis? How does visual art engage violent histories, injured bodies, social injustice and ecological disaster? In this course we will explore the political and ethical concept of repair as it emerges in the work of contemporary North African visual artists. Repair is both a material and symbolic transformational practice of putting together something that is torn or broken. It is never complete, nor does it redeem a history of harm or violence. Rather repair is an invitation: a bringing of people, histories, objects, buildings, feelings and geographies into relation with one another in order to link worlds that have been splintered and separated. It is also a call to imagine other futures. North African contemporary artists have deeply engaged in this type of repair work, attending to colonial history, economies of extraction and environmental damage, race and slavery, housing inequity, gender identity and broken transmission of memory. We will dive into the work of individual artists as well as collectives while reading theoretical texts about broken-world thinking, reparative epistemology, alternative archives, and material reparations.
The Class: Format: seminar; Conducted in English. All students have the option of reading selected texts in either French or English. Students taking the course for RLFR credit will read selected texts in French, participate in occasional French discussion sessions, and write the mid-term paper in French. Grad Art Students will occasionally meet as a group with the instructor and will write a longer final paper.
Limit: 18
Expected: 15
Class#: 3950
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: For undergrads: Active participation, weekly glow posts, 5-page mid-term paper, 12-page final paper and presentation. For grad students: Active participation, weekly glow posts, 5-page mid-term paper, and 20-page final paper and presentation.
Prerequisites: For RLFR students, any RLFR 200-level course or above, or by permission of instructor.
Enrollment Preferences: If over-enrolled, preference will be given to RLFR, ARAB, ARTH and COMP majors, and only 4 spots will be offered to Grad Art students.
Distributions: Division I Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ARTH 460 Division I COMP 361 Division I ARAB 360 Division I RLFR 360 Division I ARTH 560 Division I
DPE Notes: This course critically examines art work that engages colonial history, economies of extraction and environmental damage, race and slavery, housing inequity, gender identity.

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