Courses / Spring 2023

Spring 2023

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    Course Number: HA 285 | CCN: 33053

    Graduate Seminar: Economy, Energy, Exhaustion: Modernism’s Unstable Bodies

    Aglaya Glebova

    Wednesday, 2:00-5:00pm

    The human body was central to the modernist project. At the same time, the body itself was being undone, remade, and reimagined: think, for instance, of the invention of the X-Ray in 1895, the technologized violence of World War I, and the ensuing development of prosthetics and reconstructive surgery. Think, too, of Taylorism, biomechanics, and the ideal of the “New Person.” In this seminar, we will explore the modern(ist) treatment of the body and the visual forms it took in dialogue with technological, scientific, and philosophical imaginaries. We will examine the relationship between the human body, labor, and the environment across mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, film, and architecture.

    The seminar will focus on the first half of the twentieth century in Europe, the US, and Soviet Union; student projects that engage with the themes of the seminar outside these chronological and geographical boundaries are welcome and encouraged. The seminar can be taken for 4 units (with final paper) or 2 units (no final paper).

    Texts will include landmark and recent scholarship, including by Buck-Morss, Colomina, Rabinbach, Cartwright, Vronskaya, and others.

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