Spring 2019 Courses

Art and War: Battle Lines of the Graphic Novel

Professor Pato Hebert

ASPP – UT 1046  Undergraduate Section (Sophomores, Juniors, & Seniors)

ASPP – GT 2046  Graduate Section

Mondays, 11am - 1:45pm

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

This course explores storytelling about war through the use of the graphic novel. Students will be introduced to both recent and historically significant comics about war. Our goal is to gain a deeper understanding of the interplay between image and text in sequential art, and the ability to critically analyze graphic novels that deal with challenging subject matter. What are the methodological and ethical issues that arise when constructing sequential narratives of war? What are the varying strengths between war narratives that are autobiographical, documentary or fictional? Is there something unique about the format of graphic novels that enables artists to tell a different kind of war story than filmmakers, musicians or performers? How do comic books circulate culturally, and how might this expand or limit their ability to inform our understandings of war? We will explore these questions through close readings, robust discussions and careful written analysis of well-known works by Art Spiegelman, Marjane Satrapi and Joe Sacco, as well as graphic novels by Keiji Nakazawa, Jason Lutes, Gipi, Emmanuel Guibert and others.

All School Seminar: Cities and Art

Professor Pato Hebert

ASPP – UT 1000  Undergraduate Section (Juniors & Seniors)

ASPP – GT 2000  Graduate Section

Mondays, 3:30 - 6:15pm

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

This course explores how visual artists have worked with the city as a location and catalyst for their work. To inform our creative production and play, we will draw from theories of place, space and the urban as developed by critical geographers and theorists. We will also conduct close readings of contemporary art historians’ examinations into key artistic interventions in cityscapes over the last thirty years. How have artists understood the city itself as material, content, creative convergence? While we will look at artistic projects from various global urban contexts, New York City will serve as a primary ongoing site for reference, investigation and engagement. We will also spend time in the surrounding cityscape to shape our creative practices. Students will engage in weekly readings and discussions, complete writing assignments to hone conceptual skills, and create and evaluate their own original artworks both individually and in groups.

Creative Response: Performance Matters, Between Imagination and Experience

Professor Karen Finley

ASPP – UT 1028  Undergraduate Section (Seniors only)

ASPP – GT 2028  Graduate Section

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.

Marxism and In/Humanism: Race, Queerness, & the Aesthetic

Professor Hentyle Yapp

ASPP – UT 1077  Undergraduate Section (must be a Senior and also receive instructor permission to enroll)

ASPP – GT 2077  Graduate Section

Tuesdays, 3:30 - 6:15pm

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

Following ongoing critiques of liberal humanism from critical race, Afro-pessimist, transnational, queer, and feminist studies, what alternative political projects or visions might now inform our practices and work? What should follow after we question the grounds of modernity, liberalism, and materialism? This class seeks to examine one critical possibility: Marxism, particularly Marxist humanism. Although we will define this political project, we will also question its limits. The legacy of humanism in both liberalism and Marxism becomes a problem when placed alongside recent critiques around the subhuman and inhuman. In particular, what is the figure of the human for Marxist humanism? And how does such a figure sit with and/or against the liberal subject, person, and Man that has come under critique by queer inhumanism (with a focus on objects, animals, and environmental relations), along with the larger ontological turn coming from Black studies, Afro-pessimism, trans and queer theories, and new materialism? This class examines 1) differing notions of the human and subject as informed by liberalism and Marxist humanism, 2) the political limits and possibilities of Marxist humanism, and 3) the history and the continued mediation of Marxism alongside discourses of race, the transnational, disability, queerness, sexuality, and gender. In addition, we will situate how the aesthetic has engaged these larger questions. This course will examine theorists like Sylvia Wynter, Raya Dunayevskaya, Cedric Robinson, Silvia Federici, CLR James, Jacques Derrida, Stuart Hall, Shu-mei Shih, Fredric Jameson, Mario Mieli, and Petrus Liu, amongst others.

Contemporary Activist Art and The Public Sphere: Women, Art & Activism in the 21st Century

Professor Grace Aneiza Ali

ASPP – UT 1051  Undergraduate Section (Freshmen and Sophomores must get instructor permission to enroll)

ASPP – GT 2051  Graduate Section

Wednesdays, 11am - 1:45pm

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

Women, Art & Activism in the 21st Century explores the dynamic role of women artists and cultural workers globally, whose art tackles pressing gender, racial, economic justice and civil and human rights issues of our time. Some of the global artists, which we will delve into via case studies include, Doris Salcedo (Columbia), Tania Bruguera (Cuba), Shirin Nishat (Iran), Bernadette Persaud (Guyana), Sama Alshaibi (Palestine), Rada Akbar (Afghanistan), demonstrate how women harness the power of the arts to inspire change and transformation. Examining key contemporary artistic and cultural movements across the globe, the course explores the ways in which women’s voices have gained newfound power and an emancipatory vision through the arts and through arts activism. The course will pay special attention to the impact of women’s work in the 21st century, examining how women’s arts activism in particular geographic regions has thrived in the midst of political, racial and economic turmoil and has encouraged greater civic participation by women and girls.

Postcolonial Displacement: Memoir and Memory

Professor Ella Shohat

ASPP – UT 1049  Undergraduate Section (Seniors Only)

ASPP – GT 2049  Graduate Section

Wednesdays, 2-5pm

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

With the growing numbers of immigrants/refugees in cities such as London, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, New York, Los Angeles, Montreal, belonging no longer corresponds to one geography, simplistically imagined as “over there.” This seminar will study questions of displacement as represented, mediated and narrated in a wide variety of texts. It will focus especially on memoirs, whether in written or audiovisual form, which confront exclusionary and essentialist discourses with a rich cultural production that foregrounds a complex understanding of such issues as “home,” “homeland,” “exile,” “hybridity” and “minorities.” How are identity and history performed in these colonial, post­colonial and diasporic contexts? What is the status and significance of the oral, the visual and the performed within the context of memory? We will examine different narrative forms of memory­making, analyzing how post/colonial authors and media­makers perform “home,” “homeland,” “diaspora,” and “exile.” How does memory become a filter for constructing contemporary discourses of belonging, especially in the context of post ­independence and transnational dislocations? We will also address questions of genre, and the socio­political ramifications of certain modes of writing and performances of memory that create new hybrid genres such as the poetic documentary and experimental autobiography. We will analyze works where a fractured temporality is reassembled to form a usable past where the body serves as an icon of migratory meanings. We will also examine contemporary cyber diasporic practices, problematizing such issues as “nostalgia” and “return” in the context of new communication technologies.

Writing the Artist Statement: Representing your Work for Funding and Beyond

Professor Elizabeth Mikesell

ASPP – UT 1009  Undergraduate Section (Sophomores, Juniors, & Seniors)

ASPP – GT 2009  Graduate Section

Thursdays, 11am – 1:45pm

4 points

In this course, you will develop the skills you need to write about your own work. A series of guided reading, research, and writing exercises will help you think about what your work is, what it means, and why it matters, so that you will be able to craft language that accurately and effectively represent you as an artist and thinker. We will study a variety of personal statements, project descriptions, manifestos, and other artist writings, examining them for their relative strengths and weaknesses with an eye towards the most effective expressive strategies.

You will use the writing you’ve generated as the groundwork for your final projects. After we explore the variety of public and private sources of funding, fellowships, and residency opportunities in the US, you will use search resources (such as the Foundation Center and various philanthropic databases) to research and identify several opportunities that would be appropriate for your work. You will prepare applications for two opportunities of your choosing (three for graduate students).  After we examine a range of artist websites, you will learn to make your own artist website (using WordPress). You will also prepare an elevator pitch for the project of your choice. You will exit the course with writing that you might revise and reuse for many different purposes in your professional creative life.

This course will count towards elective credit for undergraduate students.

Imagination and Change: Arts, Culture, and Public Policy

Professors Caron Atlas and Gonzalo Casals

ASPP-UT 1048  Undergraduate Section (Sophomores, Juniors, & Seniors)

ASPP-GT 2048 Graduate Section

Wednesdays, 6:15 - 9:05pm

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

The course will explore arts and culture as part of public policy, public space, and public participation in decision making.  It will consider the values and relationships that underlie cultural policy: Who makes it? How is it made? How does it intersect with other public policy areas? How is it changed? The course will consider what it means to advance equity—both by operationalizing cultural equity and by incorporating arts and culture into equity efforts across other sectors. It will also address the relationship between activism and policy, including cultural methodologies for civic participation and community change. It will draw on timely examples from New York, nationally, and internationally and a diverse group of guests - policymakers, advocates, and cultural practitioners - will bring the pressing issues of the day into the classroom. Dialogue, inquiry, and on-the-ground experience will be emphasized. Students will gain access to the diverse networks of the instructors and guests to build relationships in the field.

Art in/as Politics

Professor Laura Harris

ASPP-UT 1010 (Undergraduates Only)

Fridays, 11am – 1:45pm

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

This seminar aims to give students both a conceptual and practical grounding in the range of issues and approaches by which arts politics can be understood. The course will be framed by the following considerations: What are the institutional, discursive, and ideological contexts that shape the objects, images, sounds or texts we call “art?” What are the links between cultural spaces - the museum, the movie-theater, the gallery, the music/dance hall, the bookstore, the fashion runway, the public street, television, cyber space - and the larger realm of politics? And how do these relationships impact, implicitly or explicitly, the ways we create, curate, or study the arts? How do consumers play an active role in the reception of cultural products? What is the relation between formally promulgated cultural policy and the tacit knowledge that artists call upon to get their work into the world? What dimensions of the broader cultural terrain are made legible through artistic practice? What are the means through which art intervenes in the political arena? “Art” will be studied as a site of contested representations and visions, embedded in power formations - themselves shaped by specific historical moments and geographical locations. Given contemporary global technologies, cultural practices will also be studied within the transnational transit of people and ideas. Such issues as the legal and constitutional dimensions of censorship, the social formation of taste, the consumption of stars, the bio-politics of the body, transnational copyrights law - will all necessarily entail intersectional analyses incorporating the insights of critical race, postcolonial, feminist, queer, disability and ecological studies. We will read texts that offer theoretical formulations of key concepts and consider case studies that give us an opportunity to revise and/or extend these concepts.  Students will also be invited to explore the questions raised in this class in the context of their own artistic and political practices.

Seminar in Cultural Activism

Professor Karen Finley


Tuesdays, 9:30am - 2pm (some weeks 11am - 2pm)

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.