The Situationists

Term: Spring 2012

Subject Code: GLIB

Course Number: 5819

They were perhaps the last of the great avant gardes, in the tradition of dada,

the futurists, the surrealists, and, like those predecessors, their approach

to art and life was total and uncompromising. They open a revealing

perspective on postwar art, writing, and culture in general. This course

covers the writing, art, cinema, and the politics of the Situationist

International and its interlocutors, offering a perspective on the great debates

and conflicts of the 1950s and 60s, many of which resonate today. We look

at seminal work by Guy Debord, Asger Jorn, Michele Bernstein, and others.

Themes include the end of art, the commodification of everyday life, and

the critique of media and modern architecture. Students acquire a thorough

knowledge of the post World War II period from this

perspective, as we consider how these ideas prefigure many contemporary



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