Open to Gallatin first-year students only.
What does it mean to look at an object, image, or practice? How is sight connected to knowledge and power in Western modernity? How might the visual be displaced by other cultural traditions and bodily experiences for apprehending art? And what happens if we slow down our impulse to immediately evaluate works of art and other cultural productions? Drawing on social and visual theorists such as Jonathan Crary, bell hooks, Nicholas Mirzoeff, and Jennifer Roberts, this class will build a critical genealogy of looking as a social, cultural, and political act. Through writing assignments, we will play with the pace and genre of analysis in documenting our experiences of looking at and participating in art, including visual works, installations, and performances, toward an inquiry into the stakes of slow looking. Alongside shorter texts, we will also read three full books that model slow looking as an intervention, which may include Mieke Bal’s Louise Bourgeois’ Spider , Dylan Miner’s Creating Aztlán , and Michael Taussig's I Swear I Saw This .
First-Year Program: Interdisciplinary Seminars (FIRST-UG)