ARTH 390
Art and Representation in the Wake of Empire, Europe After 1945
Last Offered Fall 2022
Division I Difference, Power, and Equity
This course is not offered in the current catalog

Class Details

Foregrounding the exhibition as a critical form of aesthetic and political contestation, this course examines the transformation of colonial projects of early modernity to the post-World War II period. It will situate European visual culture within systems of transnational exchange and the art and cultures of other continents, while reflecting upon its economic and political impacts within its own newly reconfigured borders. National identity will be set in relief against a burgeoning cosmopolitanism, migration shifts, and increased tourism worldwide. Work in a variety of media will illustrate the multifaceted nature of these interactions and their engagement with materials, persons, and things in the commodification and use of natural resources. Of the themes addressed in this course–postcolony, anticapitalism, imperialism, neocolonialism, and existentialism–particular attention will be focused upon the history of independence movements in the former European colonies and their reflection in works of art in Europe and abroad. We will consider the role major international and perennial art exhibitions–such as Documenta in Germany and the Venice Biennale in Italy–have played in the reconceptualization of the field of contemporary art, as well as other institutions of art confronting new waves of fascism in Europe. With a transhistorical approach, we will assess the work of international curators and cultural theorists who have remapped the relationship between art and politics, and the Global North and South.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 1568
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Weekly response papers (1-2 pages); participation in class; one 12-15 page paper
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Art History and Studio Art majors, then any interested student
Distributions: Division I Difference, Power, and Equity
DPE Notes: The course examines difference, power, and equity in artistic practice as a means of rethinking European identity within a globalized world. Migration, diaspora, and citizenship--and their differentials of power and movement--are central to course assignments and discussions. It focuses on the lasting impacts of colonialism beyond European borders as a way of understanding the logic of cultural hegemony.
Attributes: ARTH post-1800

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