Regionalism, Nationalism, Globalism
This seminar will focus on critical models of place and its influence developed in the twentieth and twenty-first century – an era in which many have nostalgically lamented the demise of the local. Considering various ways we might productively position our subjects and ourselves geographically, this course will explore topics ranging from Lewis Mumford’s 1930s calls for a new mode of US regional planning to Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s recent plea to pluralize a continent in Other Asias. We will look closely at the visual arts of the United States, particularly in the mid-twentieth century, to reflect on the ways location functions in categories such as “American Scene Painting,” “New York School” or “Bay Area Figurative Style”. Examining questions of boundaries and belonging, collectivity and common sense, our readings will be drawn from diverse fields, including art history, architecture, geography, political science, international relations and diaspora studies.
Seminar participants may choose to develop a research paper that considers the impact of our course’s themes in any area or era.