The (Black) Artist as Historian
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Christina Knight (Section 01)
(Offered as BLST 333 [US], ARHA 355 and THDA 333.) Beginning with theorists Mark Godfrey and Hal Foster, this course will investigate what has been called a historical or archival turn in contemporary art production. Through the lens of black visual art, we will explore the varied ways that black artists have probed the meaning and production of history throughout the twentieth century, but also how these explorations have changed over time and in relationship to particular subject material (e.g., the history of slavery or more local and personal history). We will challenge the periodization that labels the "artist as historian" a recent phenomenon, but we will also pay close attention to experiences voiced by black Americans, whether artists or scholars, that contextualize their concerns with history, the archive, and the politics of representation more generally. We will investigate cultural production from the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights, and Black Power Movements, the era of "identity politics," as well as contemporary art in dialogue with digital media and the internet.
Fall semester. Visiting Professor Knight.