Reading and Writing about Visual Experience: Representing Urban Modernity
MW 1230-2P, 104 MOFFITT
In this course we will study art and architecture as mediations on the struggles inherent in urban modernity. We will work from the premise that one of the fundamental aspects of modernity is persistent transformation of society and space - and that these are always experienced unevenly. Modernity’s history is of some people and spaces benefitting tremendously and others experiencing waves of marginalization and dislocations. This course will focus on the ways in which artists and architects have represented the unevenness of modernity, using their work to critically comment upon these transformations. We will look at a range of art and architectural practices, from painting and photography to film, sculptural installations and architectural interventions. Our subjects will span from the mid-nineteenth century through to the contemporary moment, and include sites in European, American and African cities.
As this is the second course in the Reading and Composition series, the syllabus also places an emphasis on the acquisition of the skills required for researching and writing a 10- to - 15 page undergraduate term paper. Each student will be asked to research one object and its significance as a critical commentary on urban modernity.