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IDSEMUG 2048 - New York City Women in the Arts from Dorothy Parker to Patti Smith

This course will consider the cultural scene of New York City in the middle of the 20th century with special focus on the role of women, particularly writers.After World War I, many women who were unmarried, non-white, and/or non-heterosexual, moved to New York to escape hometown limits on creative opportunities and personal freedoms.Our discussions may cast doubt on whether New York was the sanctuary of creativity and emancipation it was rumored to be, but the output of New York women artists between World War I and the Vietnam War era was prolific and often critically and commercially significant.How do the stories, music, and images of New York artists represent the city as different from or emblematic of American culture and politics beyond the Hudson?How do their characters, real and imaginary, negotiate sexual, racial, and professional identities?To what extent do these narratives and images speak to the 2020’s?We will explore works by Dorothy Parker, Fannie Hurst, Zora Neale Hurston, Mary McCarthy, Lillian Hellman, Dawn Powell, Ann Petry, Agnes de Mille, Billie Holiday, Patricia Highsmith, Sylvia Plath, Susan Sontag, Yvonne Rainer, Diane Arbus, Elaine de Kooning, Yoko Ono, and Patti Smith. Add Consent: Department Consent Required.
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Spring 2021, Spring 2020
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