OPEN ONLY TO ARTS POLITICS STUDENTS – NO EXCEPTIONS
Mondays 10:45am - 2:45pm
Methods & Criticism I supports you to identify and strengthen the methodologies operating in your practice while developing a critical framework for diverse modes of creative and political action. Weekly presentations and discussions will allow for robust engagement with one another’s work, which may include but not be limited to artmaking, scholarship, activism, curation and pedagogy. Over several weeks, we’ll also do slow, careful readings of two primary texts: Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass, and Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower. Kimmerer will guide us in considering the power of place and the more than human. What vitalities might be cultivated by holding multiple worldviews and ways of being? Butler will help us to consider how fiction – and the novel in particular – offers a space for considering what lessons lie in coalition and the multi-generational. How does science fiction envision new worlds and forms of collectivity amidst dystopian futures? Operating beyond more conventional notions of activism, agitprop or the contemporary, how might such texts help us to reimagine the political and creative dimensions of our practices? Additionally, how might critical readings and contextualization of these works impel us into new possibilities for thinking more critically about the terms and forms of our own work?
Our goal will then be to apply these lessons to the professional pauses and pivots that unfold for you over the course of this one-year program. How is this current historical moment calling you to reflect, shift or lead? What are the frameworks, methodologies, tools, connections and experiences you need in order to evolve and sustain your practice? In addition to our critique sessions, analytical readings and discussions, we’ll also conduct weekly writing reflections, complete individual final essays articulating your relationship to arts politics, and undertake a group exercise to map resources, challenges, synergies and pathways. This course helps to prepare students for the research, creativity, collaboration and convening that will continue in the core Methods and Criticism II course in the Spring Semester, and across your chosen elective courses.