HISTART 393-005
Undergraduate Seminar: Art and Resistance: Global Responses to Oppression

M W 11:30 AM 01:00 PM
3 Credit Seminar

How can art be a means of resistance? Is the sheer production of art under systems of oppression an act of resistance in and of itself? How does art manage to thrive under systems of oppression? How do we judge the aesthetic and activist aspects of a work of art? This course looks at how art has been used as a form of resistance against oppression and subjugation in the broadest sense: including governmental, societal, and domestic oppression. We will examine contemporary artists and works on a global scale including artist responses to the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S., May '68 in France, Palestinian resistance since 1948, Mexican muralism, international responses to recent wars in the Middle East and other global neo-colonial interventions, global feminist and queer rights movements, and socially-engaged art practices around the world. Additionally, we will also look at attempts by hegemonic powers to censor art deemed subversive. Students will develop skills in visual analysis, critical thinking, and academic writing. These skills will be demonstrated through in-class work, reading responses, an in-class presentation, and a final research paper on an artist, work, or resistance movement of the student's choice.