Art History 211: Monuments and Memorials

Credits 4

Monuments have become focal points in the struggle for racial justice in the United States, particularly those honoring protagonists of the Southern Confederacy and Westward settlement. Meanwhile, through transnational movements such as #Rhodesmustfall, activists in former colonies around the world and their colonial metropoles have been demanding the removal of stone and bronze statues glorifying colonial legacies. These events have prompted a range of creative interventions that reimagine what it means to remember in and as a public. But how so, and to what end? In this course, we explore the power and limits of monuments today and in the past, and public works that differ from monuments’ conventions. Key questions include: What is a monument? What is a memorial? What histories and communities do different forms of remembrance enable? Which do they make difficult? What models of memory do they imply? And what role have artists and historians played in the life cycle of these public objects and sites? Students will develop skills in visual and spatial literacy, while building historical and conceptual knowledge about this core topic in art history. Discussion-based with short assignments, site visits, and exams.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Fine Arts (FI DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Humanities (HU DIST)

Art History 203; or consent of instructor.