Crisis in the Making: Art and Ecology in Modern and Contemporary Asia
This course is thematic introduction to the arts of modern and contemporary Asia as they relate to landscapes, local ecologies, environmental histories, migrations, and environmental disasters, among other topics related to the concept of “ecology.” Students will examine a broad range of artworks and architectural structures throughout the Asian continent. Questions examined in this course include: What are traditional materials used in Asian art and architecture and how are they adapted (or not) to express modern and contemporary concerns? What kinds of ecosystems/landscapes do these materials come from? How are ecosystems adapted, transformed, processed, and shaped into art? How do artists create and manage their identities as they migrate into and within new globalized “ecosystems?” The course will introduce ecocritical art history concepts such as transnationalism, materiality, environmental history, environmental justice, and cultural heritage/preservation, among others. Through written assignments, students will practice using these ecocritical art history concepts to visually “unpack” the human and nonhuman relationships visible in Asian art and architecture.
All course readings will be accessible online through bCourses.