African Visual Cultures: Akan/Kongo/Yoruba
This edition of the course focuses on the art and visual culture of the Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria. Yoruba has been a powerful cultural force not only in West Africa, but also throughout the Western Atlantic: in Cuba, Brazil, Trinidad, Haiti, the U.S., and other sites. Immersing ourselves in this vast and varied cultural complex through image, sound and language, we'll introduce and explore historical, philosophical, social, aesthetic, and even spiritual issues foundational also to the broader study of African and African Diaspora cultures. The images in question will be diverse: sculpture in several media, beadwork, architecture, ceramics, textiles, medicines, museum displays, photographs, films, digital images and spectacular performances. How do such images call viewers to remember a complex and fragmentary past; to behave according to principle in an unstable present; and to model the possibility of an extraordinary future?
HISTART category for concentration distributions: B. Sub-Saharan Africa, 3. Early Modern, 4. Modern and Contemporary