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Division: Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts
Department: Cultural Studies
Course Number: LCST 3043
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: Yes
- Cultural Studies
- Gender and Sexuality Studies
- Art History, Theory & Criticism
Shaped as much by the “real world” as by the art world, activist art represents a confluence of the aesthetic, socio-political, and technological impulses of the past twenty-five years or more that have attempted to challenge, explore, or blur the boundaries and hierarchies traditionally defining the culture as represented by those in power. This cultural form is the culmination of a democratic urge to give voice and visibility to the disenfranchised, and to connect art to a wider audience. - Nina Felshin, But is it Art? The Spirit of Art as Activism This course has two main goals. The first is to familiarize students with the diverse ways that “performativity” and “power”—two of our most overwrought critical concepts—have been mobilized in the past 50 years of cultural theory. The second is to provide students with the opportunity to consider the ways that political performance—including installations, demonstrations, occupations, glitterventions, and other practices of social action—embodies the condition that Saskia Sassen identifies as “complex powerlessness” and mark moments when “powerlessness is … consequential” through small-scale actions that may include only one body and large-scale actions, which mobilize many bodies. The work of this course will include seminar workshops, archival study and cultural intervention.
Open to Undergraduate students.