Undergraduate Seminar: Global Surrealisms
Wednesday | 9:00 - 12:00pm
This seminar explores surrealist ideas and their legacy in the visual arts of the global twentieth century. We will take advantage of a recent proliferation of documentary studies of surrealism outside the West to consider a wide distribution of historical cases: works in France in the 1920s, in Mexico and Egypt in the 1930s, in Martinique, Japan, and Syria in the 1940s, and beyond, including a second-wave formation of Surrealism in Egypt and Turkey and its intersections with folk and mystical religious practice. By following this expanded archive across several trajectories of influence and inspiration, the course engages with theories of representation, desire, critique, and aesthetic revolution. We will also think through methodological problems related to circulation and reception, both mapping the transnational networks of publication, exhibition, and political activism that affiliated farflung surrealist artists to one another, and exploring the possibility that the transmission and visual translation of surrealist ideas followed routes other than mappable, directional models of influence.
This course fulfills the following Major requirements: Geographical areas (D) or (E), and Chronological period (III), based on the topic of the final research paper or project.