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Course Information

Instructor Info:Wilson Valentin-Escobar
Office Extension x5102
TA Info:Ava Samuel
Term: 2014F
Meeting Info: Monday
04:00 PM - 06:50 PM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 108
Description: In this interdisciplinary course, we explore how artists have historically responded to the call for social change, whether through political or activist art (or other creative strategies), and the overall ways in which artists and/or art collectives "socially enact" their imagination(s) across various historical and social circumstances. Drawing from a wide array of perspectives, such as history, sociology, cultural studies, performance studies, and others, along with analyzing a range of art forms, we will also investigate a variety of themes and issues, including artistic citizenship, feminist art, art and social movements, public art, the avant-garde, the role of artistic institutions, how artists invoke new social imaginations, the role of artists in cultivating social change, the relationship between art and new or alternative public sphere(s), the tensions between the socially "real" and the "imaginary," political art vs. activist art, and the impact of artistic expressions and movements in transforming collective mentalities or consciousness. We will also consider how artists and art collectives articulate numerous forms of activism while simultaneously challenging the formal aesthetic frameworks and strategies of various art forms. While a close analysis of various art texts and practices may occur throughout the semester, the course largely centers on the multi-dimensional social, cultural, economic, gender, geographic and racial processes that constitute the production and reception of artistic practices and objects. Finally, throughout the semester we will consider how creative (art)iculations vary through time and circumstance, offering opportunities to examine how art mediates between those who are heard, seen, and silenced within particular social conditions.