Spring 2016

Contemporary Art Since 1989

Listed in: Art and the History of Art, as ARHA-252

Moodle site: Course


Brianne C. Cohen (Section 01)


This course focuses on contemporary art in an age of globalization. In the past 25 years, the breadth and range of contemporary artistic production has expanded in surprising ways, reflecting social, political, technological, and economic upheavals on a global scale. In this course, we will examine major developments in contemporary art as they both speak to different local, regional, and international transformations (i.e., momentous events such as Tiananmen Square or the dissolution of the USSR up until the Arab Spring) as well as address significant institutional, discursive, curatorial, and aesthetic shifts in the field. The opening up of not only geopolitical borders, but also frontiers between artists, curators, critics, and visual thinkers, has challenged contemporary art in creative ways. Readings in the course will reflect this diversity of artistic and cultural thought. Largely theme-based, specific topics to be considered will include the rise of new media in a digital age, questions of identity and social visibility, and art’s relationship to ecology. Two 80-minute classes per week. 

Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Cohen.

If Overenrolled: Priority to ARHA majors, then seniors, with the aim to engage a diversity of students from across disciplines and the Five Colleges.


2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016