ARTH 950 - Problems in the the History of Art

None Class Notes: Problems in Art History: The Art of the City. This seminar explores the urban from a variety of theoretical, philosophical, artistic, geographic, and historical perspectives. Each student will pursue a research project that is grounded in her or his own field of study (period of interest); these projects might focus on particular urban environments, the way cities shape an artist¿s production, representations of cities in artworks, the artistic interconnections between two (or more) urban sites, or the increasing significance of urban centers for the international circulation of art (among other possible topics). At the same time, members of the class will examine together a series of thematically organized readings. For example, considering the rhythms of a city through the walking of the flâneur or the music of hiphop, we come to understand how movement within a city creates that city, how the uses of the city shape it, and how, at the same time, the city shapes its inhabitants, as well as what metaphors are available to express those experiences. By turning attention to the ways urban areas are imagined and/or represented, and the way they inform creative artistic production, we gain insights into larger issues: of rural-urban migrations (Jacob Lawrence¿s The Migration Series); colonialism and its aftermath (the architecture of Calcutta); economics (Diego Rivera¿s murals); or identity (Akinbode Akinbiyi¿s Lagos: All Roads), to name a few possible examples. This class, thus, attends to ways such issues are manifest by thematically investigating the myriad ways artists express or audiences engage the emotional, physical, psychological, economic, or philosophical experiences of urban environments.
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