Reading and Writing about Visual Experience: Art and Space: Tian’anmen Since 1911
Yi Yi (Rosaline) Kyo
Since 1911, the area of Tian’anmen Gate and Square has gone through major spacial and architectural renovations. Along with these physical changes, the area has developed into a highly charged space for political theatre and protest. This class will consider artworks in various mediums related to the development of Tian’anmen since 1911. Students will learn to consider the deep interaction between art and politics and discover the gradual production of space that pulsates within a national psyche. We will focus on government-sponsored images as well as artists’ responses to national events at Tian’anmen. Some questions to be considered throughout the course are: How are spaces produced? How do social practices and national histories contribute the production of space? Why are some sites so potent in the collective memory of the people? How do artworks function within and depict spaces?
The goal of this course is to provide students with an introduction to methods of visual analysis and writing in the field of art history. We will also concentrate on developing reading skills. Responding to specific prompts from the teacher, students will learn to identify the main arguments of authors in different styles of writing, follow an argument thread throughout an article, and question the positions of different authors. Students will be assigned short essays that will require an integration of their own visual analysis with the arguments from articles they have read. They will also develop their research and writing skills through the development of a 10-page research paper related to the general topic of art and space. Students will learn how to utilize the research resources available in the campus libraries. In addition, they will participate in the writing process by participating in peer editing sessions and by completing revisions of papers.