Undergraduate Seminar: Global Surrealisms
This seminar explores surrealist ideas and practices 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, Egypt, and Serbia in the 1930s, in Martinique, Japan, and Syria in the 1940s, and beyond into pop culture in the 1950s and 1960s. By this expanded archive of surrealist practice, we will engage 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.