Fall 2017 Courses

Course Offerings Fall 2017

Contemporary Caribbean Art, Curatorial Practices and the Politics of Visibility

Professor Grace Aneiza Ali

ASPP-UT 1018 (Undergraduate – Sophomores,  Juniors, and Seniors)

ASPP-GT 2018 Graduate Section

Mondays, 11am– 1:45pm

4 points – will count toward TISCH general education requirements (Humanities)

Contemporary Caribbean Art, Curatorial Practices and the Politics of Visibility explores the current curatorial drive within and for the Caribbean. Critically examining the politics of visibility, the seminar addresses what goes into making Caribbean Art “visible” when facilitating a rethinking of the canon along more global lines, and breaking the silences and silos common to art practices in and about post-colonial spaces. Looking at select contemporary curatorial projects exhibited in the past ten years within the Caribbean as well as in the United States as “Case Studies,” the seminar will analyze how these projects have succeeded, advanced, failed, complicated and troubled the work of challenging stereotypical notions of Caribbean Art, while informing audiences about the region’s complexities, histories, and politics. The course will contextualize the cultural production of Caribbean Art against the background of generational movements of migration across the diaspora. As the course assignment, students will undertake a curatorial research project of their own and develop a proposal for an exhibition on Caribbean Art.

Creative Response: Performance Matters, Between Imagination and Experience

Professor Karen Finley

ASPP – UT 1028 (Undergraduate –Seniors only)

ASPP – GT 2028 (Graduate only)

Crosslisted with PERF – GT 2804 (PERF section only for Performance Studies students)

Mondays 6:20-9:20pm

4 points– will count toward elective credits for TISCH undergraduates

Performance Matters will consider what influences private and public performance, to consider what is performing, what we perform and how we perform. This class will look deeper into varying aspects of staging such as everyday experience, lists, menus, rituals, timing, gathering and collecting.  Performing and communicating the body: gender, race and identification.  Awareness of work in progress, process, such as text, script, online and improvisation will be utilized. The visual aspect of performing:  such as accessories, design and costume. Listening, finding voice and giving and taking commands, and deviation from dominant norms of entertainment and product.  Hopefully with deeper understanding, we will seek to challenge and stimulate our own creative content to produce original, thought provoking performance.  Students will present their own work either individually or in groups, write about the theory and content of their production and have assigned readings to supplement their areas of concentration.

Special Topics: On the Concept of Law: Race and the Reorder of Things

Professors Karen Shimakawa and Hentyle Yapp

ASPP – GT 2006 (Graduate only)

Crosslisted with PERF – GT 2218

Tuesdays, 3:30 - 6:30pm

4 points

This course examines what it means to orient theoretical and artistic work towards the “political” and to critique the idea of the law, father, or order. To do so, we will first analyze different approaches to the notion of law. We will query the broader political possibilities and limits of humanistic and aesthetic interventions into the law. What are the material thresholds of not only the law, but also theory and culture? How do liberal notions like personhood and freedom, embedded in individual laws, begin to unravel through a reordering of the concept of the law? Second, we will consider the broader implications of these interventions, particularly as they relate to questions around minoritarian life and existence. How do race, sexuality, religion, gender, class, and disability help us reorder the law, rather than simply discard it? How might such relations of reordering, as proposed by Roderick Ferguson, direct us to more nuanced understandings of political and artistic movements?

We will focus on a variety of approaches, ranging from psychoanalysis, transnational feminism, affect, postcolonialism, deconstructionism, Marxism, critical race theory, and queer theory. Authors include but are not limited to Hortense Spillers, Lisa Lowe, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Chantal Mouffe, Walter Benjamin, Glen Sean Coulthard, Roderick Ferguson, Moustafa Bayoumi, Kandice Chuh, Saba Mahmood, Jacques Derrida, Elizabeth Povinelli, Colin Dayan, John Rawls, Audra Simpson, Shoshana Felman, Sylvia Wynter, Samera Esmeir, and Saidiya Hartman. Artists include but are not limited to Jacolby Satterwhite, Candice Lin, Bertolt Brecht, Tania Bruguera, Rick Lowe, Tanya Tagaq, Shirin Neshat, and Ralph Lemon.


Art, Artists & Social Change

Professor Marta Vega

ASPP – UT 1002 (Undergraduate - Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors)

ASPP - GT 2007 (Graduate only)

Thursdays, 11am – 1:45pm

4 points– will count toward TISCH general education requirements (Humanities)


In this course we will look at structural and policy components in relation to the role of art and art movements in New York City. The public narrative created by visionary art and art movements shifts understanding. Communities, individuals, artists' collectives and institution building initiatives emerge in diverse and essential forms. These initiatives are critical to shifting a paradigm of exclusion to one of inclusion and responsiveness. The course will focus on the critical and strategic nature of addressing policy and building institutions. The class will visit artists, policy makers, collectives and organizational structures that address questions of equity in an intersectional framework.

Cultural Equity and the Community Arts Imperative

Professor Marta Vega

ASPP – UT 1060 (Undergraduate - Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors)

ASPP - GT 2060 (Graduate only)

Fridays, 11am – 1:45pm

4 points– will count toward TISCH general education requirements (Humanities)

This course provides the opportunity for students to historicatalogy contextualize the growth of the community cultural arts movement grounded in the social and cultural equity activists movements that grew out of the Civil Rights Movement.  The continuing mission and work of multidisciplinary community based cultural arts organizations challenge cultural and social inequities framing their creative work and organizational practices to assure equitable inclusion of the varying aesthetic criteria and expressions that reflect the multiethnic communities that are integral to the nations cultural identity.

The first section of the course will take place in advocacy cultural arts community based organizations in the city. Community arts leaders in the field in collaboration with the class instructor will teach the course.  This team teaching approach will afford students direct exposure and learning experiences with practitioners in the field within the communities they serve. In the second section of the course students will develop a project in collaboration with staff of one of the participating institutions. Students will have direct immersion within the community and the community organization understanding the operational and programmatic realities of the field as well as direct engagement in advocacy creative work. Students will be exposed to teaching strategies for working within communities that include readings, open discussions, as well as working on multidisciplinary collaborations in the field.

Issues in Arts Politics

Professor Hentyle Yapp

ASPP – GT 2001 (Graduate only)

Crosslisted with PERF – GT 2312 and ELEC-GG 2680

Tuesdays, 11:00am - 1:45pm

4 points

This course expands the methodological, theoretical, and discursive possibilities of situating culture and the arts in relation to the political, tracking this relationship in a transnational world. By privileging analytics from transnational feminism, critical race theory, disability discourse, and queer studies, this course specifically reimagines the issues of arts and politics in relation to questions of power and survival. However, rather than perpetuating a dominant discourse of art merely being resistant to the state, we aim to expand other narratives and analytics that seek to complicate not only the political, but also the aesthetic.

This course will first establish working definitions of aesthetic theory and practice and political discourse. While tracking shifts in visual art in relation to performance, social practice, and the intermedial, we will also find grounding in concepts from political economy like neoliberalism, biopolitics, and Marxism. By doing so, we will establish methodological approaches to how we analyze legal texts, policy documents, art objects, and moving bodies. From this theoretical and practical grounding in arts and politics, we then engage different legal, “material” sites – including but not limited to native sovereignty, immigration, citizenship/personhood, “War on Terror,” intellectual property, and labor. We will ask what analyses of culture and art reveal about such sites. In offering multiple texts, the goal is for us to track intellectual conversations that are occurring across disciplines and fields. In situating art in relation to theory and legal cases, we will examine and destabilize the disciplinary boundaries around what we take/privilege to be fact, truth, ephemera, and merely interesting. By looking at legal cases and theory, critical theory, and cultural production, our meetings will study what it means to critique the law from a “left/progressive” standpoint(s), seeking to challenge the liberal frames that inform many of our normative claims. What are the limits of both politics and art in describing and addressing bodily injury, pain, and power?  The artworks we will draw from come from the Global South, along with Europe and the US. Theorists include Hortense Spillers, Sylvia Wynter, Saba Mahmood, Sue Schweik, Mel Chen, Saidiya Hartman, Michel Foucault, Shannon Jackson, Giorgia Agamben, Jasbir Puar, Dean Spade, Hannah Arendt, and Mark Rifkin, amongst others.


Seminar in Cultural Activism

Professor Karen Finley


ASPP-GT 2002-001 

Wednesdays, 12:30 – 3:30pm

4 points

This seminar will focus on developing our work, theory, and art into a realized production.  Each student will start with presenting his or her ideas and goals of creating a public project.  This may take the form of public art, exhibition, performance, narrative but bringing it to a goal of actualizing the work out of the school student world.  But the class is more than just bringing the art into the public light.  We will scrutinize and examine intent and where to bring a production.  Media, reviews, current events, intent, audience, controversy, economics, politics and other issues and challenges that is vital to a successful professional life.  These connections and awareness of the outside world out of school will be a reality check of all the responsibilities of participating in culture.  

The class is interested in original and dynamic thought, provoking associative thinking and awareness.  The class is designed to transform and consider challenging your process and opinion.  You are encouraged to bring awareness of different approaches to create new and borrowed strategies in cultural activism.  The class is considered process oriented and the professor is encouraging conceptual principles.  Process is encouraging original thought over guaranteed knowns.