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Thresholds of Art and Activism Since the 1960s
AMST 361
Spring 2015
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: ARHA 361

Since the 1960s, a period marked by war and social upheaval, artists have navigated the contested boundaries of art and activism by turning to the street and inventing new strategies of performance, distribution, and collaboration. Exploding the familiar protocols of agitprop, they advanced a politics of representation as much as a representation of politics. Philosophical texts (Adorno, Benjamin, Debord, Habermas, Ranciere, etc.) support our engagement with recent debates in art historical scholarship (Bishop, Bryan-Wilson, Lambert-Beatty, McKee, etc.) as we consider contexts as diverse as the social movements of the 1960s, queer liberation, eco-critical activism, and Occupy Wall Street. Extending the twentieth-century avant-garde's project to break down the division between art and life, our case studies (focused primarily but not exclusively on the U.S.: Emory Douglas, the Art Workers Coalition, Gran Fury, Women on Waves, etc.) provoke this seminar's central questions: Where is the line between art and activism? What value might that boundary continue to hold, and why? How must we assess the efficacy, ethics, and aesthetics of such practices? And what historical conditions have made them timely for artists?
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA AMST
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(ARHA-MN)(ARHA)(ARST)
Past Enrollment Probability: 50% - 74%

Last Updated on JUL-20-2024
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