Concordia University

ARTH 626 - Nationhood and Identity in Canadian Art

What is Settler-Colonial Art History?

J - 13:00-16:00

This seminar will explore "settler-colonial art history" as an emerging art historical method.  The questions it asks are historical, ethical and theoretical.  How has Canada's history as a settler colony shaped the development of art history in this country? What links tie us to other settler nations and do these shared histories have anything to teach us? Faced with the urgency of the decolonization project, can settler identity be productively mobilized as a position from which to write art history today?  And what might be the limitations of that position.  What is the relation between indigenous art history and settler-colonial art history?  Students will explore these and other related questions through a series of thematically organized readings, lectures, and discussions on topics such as guilt and responsibility, standpoint epistemology, the ethics of cultural translation, and nationalism and internationalism.  Starting from New Zealand scholar Damian Skinner's ten propositions for settler-colonial art history, participants in the course will have the opportunity to develop their understanding of these propositions in the Canadian context, and also to propose new propositions of their own. 

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