Art History 353: Blackness and the Arts

Credits 4

What does blackness look, sound, and feel like? To whom does it belong? When and how has it generated value, reinforced power structures, or remade the world? This seminar investigates racial blackness through the lens of modern and contemporary art, broadly conceived. Moving between expressive objects, archives, and critical scholarship in Black Studies, Art History, and Black Visual Culture, we will study how blackness has been imagined and experienced through artistic practice since the early 20th Century. We will ask how these practices have negotiated Euro-American canons, state violence, industrial and post-industrial capitalism, environmental harm, and the politics of gender and sexuality. And we will explore and assess the possibilities of art as a channel for Black people's liberation. Topics may include: The Harlem Renaissance, black abstraction, The Black Arts Movement, Digital blackness, and Diasporic aesthetics. Discussion-based classes with presentations, regular Canvas posting, and short papers. May be taken for credit toward the Indigeneity, Race, and Ethnicity Studies major or minor or the Gender Studies major or minor.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
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.