ASPP-UT 1010-001 (undergraduates only)
Monday 3:30pm - 6:15pm
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.