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Art for Emancipation: Reversing Field in Adversarial Territory

Semester and Year FA 2016
Course Number IDSEM-UG1909
Section 001
Instructor Zahia Rahmani
Days W
Time 9:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Units 4
Level U
Requirement   HUM



How might the production and analysis of literature, art, and cinema help us forge tools for the emancipation of individuals against society's expectations, and those of family and community, as well as prefabricated identity assignments? In this seminar we will study American literature, art, and cinema in order to develop new interpretations for the specific contexts in which we work, think, write and play. Emulating the model of the shot/countershot--the field practice of the cinematographer who sees from one and then the other angle--we will adopt the perspective of an outsider or a minority in order to gain a new approach to the works of authors and artists such as Erskine Caldwell, Richard Wright, Robert Rauschenberg, John Ford, James Agee and Walker Evans. Looking at these closely, we will try to discern the ways in which these American contributions may resonate with minority worlds, which are too often and otherwise rendered invisible. We will see how and why these works--and many others--might foster a desire for emancipation.


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Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)