Pasts and Futures of the Popular Arts
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Level: Graduate
Division: The New School for Social Research
Department: Liberal Studies
Course Number: GLIB 5843
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Liberal Arts
  • Art History, Theory & Criticism
  • Publishing
This course conceptualizes the practices of writing, theorizing, and publishing about the "new popular arts" of the 20th century and emerging forms in the 21st. It asks how new critical traditions are constituted in confrontation with new masterpieces and new dreck, and how avenues emerge to sort and credential popular artworks which do not fit into academy traditions. The orientation of the course is toward case studies of previous forms. How did the most acute critics and thinkers respond to recorded music, cinema, television, snapshot photography? Who today is founding a worthwhile new critical tradition for the digital, and where can we join that enterprise as scholars, theorists, and critics? Authors may include Gilbert Seldes, Siegfried Krakauer, Edmund Wilson, Pauline Kael, Greil Marcus, Stanley Cavell, Roland Barthes, Susan Sontag, Arthur Danto, Pierre Bourdieu, Linda Williams, McKenzie Wark, Lev Manovich. Students are expected to do analytical study of writers of the past as well as original writing about current popular arts.
Course Open to: Degree Students with Restrictions


Not open to Undergraduate students.