Graduate Seminar: Futurism and Futurity
Wednesday | 9:00 - 12:00pm
We art historians know to interrogate "history" and the ways we draw connections between past events, persons, and things, but how might we also interrogate accounts of the future? This course explores a number of future-oriented speculations in the practices and theories of twentieth and twentieth-century art worlds, with a particular emphasis on the ways in which future-making is not an evenly distributed good, yet the futurity of art--configured in a variety of different ways--has time and again been claimed to counter the amnesias of empire, colonialism, and social death. At other junctures, of course, appeals to the future have worked to perform and expand the threat of forgetting, with troubling results. Case studies for consideration will include historical Futurist projects in Italy, North Africa, South America, and elsewhere, 1960s cybernetic projects in both market centers and so-called peripheries, the critical aesthetics of Afrofuturism, and the hallucinatory optimism of Gulf Futurism, among others.