ARTH 531
19th-Century American Performance and Popular Culture Spring 2024
Division I

Class Details

This course will study a wide variety of performances and emerging popular culture in 19th-century America, many of which, although not unique to the United State, reflect the U.S. back to itself in complex ways. Topics will include blackface minstrelsy, circuses and humbugs, male impersonators and burlesque, ethnic caricature, allegorical paintings on tour, vast panorama painting, anti-slavery imagery, late 19th-century theatre and spectacle, wild west shows as well as other mythologizing of indigenous Americans and the American landscape, the birth of the American art museum, and representations of significant moments of popular resistance, from the Lakota to the Great Railroad Strike of 1877. The central questions animating this course will be around the nature of performance and the popular. What can these two concepts tell us about the nature of art?
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 18
Expected: 12
Class#: 3501
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Reading/writing assignments and class participation
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: Grad students, undergrads must have approval from Professor Schmenner
Distributions: Division I
Attributes: ARTH post-1800 Courses

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