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ARTH 136

Histories of American Art

This course surveys U.S. American art and visual culture from 1619 (the year enslaved Africans first arrived in British North American colonies), to the present. It explores the dynamic transnational circulations of people, objects, and images that fundamentally have shaped art in the United States. Taking a broad definition of "art," the course examines fine art production such as painting and sculpture, as well as a wide range of vernacular expression including murals, quilts, and protest materials. It investigates how these diverse artistic practices have emerged from the border-crossing trajectories of trade, travel, migration, war, diaspora, and colonialism. Throughout the semester, we will consider how the terms "American" and "art" each have been used to justify exclusions along lines of class, race, gender, sexuality, and citizenship. A motivating goal of the course is to enable lively analysis of how artists and artisans have wrestled with the multiplicity and hybridity of American identity. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities- or -Privilege, Power And Diversity 1 course