Norm and Storm: Rebellion in Art
This is a course about rebellion in art. By "rebellion" is meant the questioning, breaking or subversion of norms as expressed in art or in action. The image of the rebel is a familiar one in the modern world, being employed in the entertainment industry, in political platforms, and in international culture wars. This course seeks to offer a critical, historical basis for assessing claims in contemporary media by tracing the histories of rebellion in China and in Europe, with one portion being devoted specifically to the early modern dialogue between China and Europe. Most of the reading will focus on how individuals have challenged authorities in the past, but periodically we will read recent editorials and cultural criticism. The aim is that students should acquire a sense of the complexities of cross-cultural comparison by examining works celebrating maverick social or political behavior; artists whose reputation is associated with such behavior; and works which question or subvert racial, gender or class/occupational norms. We will also consider how rebellion itself can be pressed into service as a special kind of norm.
Requirements include: An annotated bibliography of selected readings, two short quizzes and a blog essay on a contemporary topic related to course materials.
No cost for materials.
HISTART category for concentration distributions: C. Asia (includes China, Japan, India, South and Southeast Asia and the Pacific), 3. Early Modern.