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ARTH 663 Art History and Social Justice: Dark Aesthetics

  • Mondays, 2:45-5:45pm
  • EV 3.760
  • Instructor: Dr. Balbir K. Singh

This seminar will explore the concept of “dark aesthetics” as an intersectional and internationalist mode of engaging art and visual culture using critical ethnic studies methods. Critical ethnic studies, emerging as a field formation out of the student-led social movement that founded ethnic studies in the late 1960, is founded on theories and practices that center the historic and ongoing struggles of Black, Indigenous, and Third World peoples. Specifically, we will explore theory, film, visual art, and direct action projects that center struggles for global racial justice, including those against surveillance, policing, prisons, borders, and war; as well as struggles for abolition and decolonization, in all of their expansive potential. Units in the class will span a number of fields, including foundational texts in anti-colonial theory; documentary film; Black studies in art and visual culture; Asian and Arab diasporic art and theories of embodiment; as well as futurist orientations in art and culture writ large.

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