Course meets Wednesdays 6-7 PM in Dwinelle 205.
1 or 2 units. 2 units requires a brief final paper/project assignment.
The way we view art matters. Analyzing a work, regardless of an artist’s original intent, is undeniably a subjective encounter, heavily reliant on individual values and experiences. But external sociopolitical conventions can often have just as much, if not more, influence on the conclusions we draw from art – and not always for the better. Colonialism can take different forms in our international sphere of art: perhaps subtly but directly built into a piece, created from alteration of a work, or warping scholarship to diminish ties to marginalized communities. This course will take an interdisciplinary approach to exploring decolonization in arts and culture. Drawing from work in anthropology, gender studies, ethnic studies, and other fields, we will discuss the importance of decolonizing art history, especially in the contexts of the university and the museum. Through film, photography, painting, monuments, music, performance and more, we will collectively learn to identify the myriad of ways in which colonialism manifests itself and formulate a decolonial method of viewership and analysis. There are no prerequisites to this course but a willingness to explore new perspectives.
This course has no papers or exams, but keep in mind there will be in-class short writing assignments and weekly reading responses. For those taking 2 units, there will be a short final project or paper on a topic of your choice (to be approved by a course facilitator).
No prior art history experience is necessary but an interest in art, learning, and decolonization history is recommended.