New Course: Fall 2020

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Special Topics in Art History - ART ACTIVISM FOR SOCIAL CHANGE

Kristine Stiles

Course description: This course surveys the multiple ways in which artists in the United States have approached social change through the lens of art as a form of activism from the 1960s to the present. We will consider artists’ activism from the  perspectives of Native Americans, African Americans, Feminists, LBGTQIA artists and collectives like ACT UP, groups such as GAAG (The Guerilla Art Action Group), artists working for climate change, disabled artist activists, and the multi-cultural movement for social change in Black Lives Matter. We will also think about how individual artists have critiqued the “military industrial, congressional, complex,” as well as the art establishment, museums, and more. We will examine major theoretical frameworks, key movements, and concepts, and explore how the personal, the social, and the political change in art over time.

Course Goals/ObjectivesBy the end of this course you will be able to…

  1. Identify and analyze works of activist artists;
  2. explain the social, political, cultural, and aesthetic importance of such art;
  3. understand critical theoretical approaches used to interpret works of activist art;
  4. discuss how the social and political roles of art change through time;
  5. talk and write with confidence about works of art.