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Art in Critical Theory

Semester and Year FA 2019
Course Number IDSEM-UG1730
Section 001
Instructor Joshua Shirkey
Days T
Time 9:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Units 4
Level U
Requirement   HUM


Open to sophomores only.


What is “critical theory,” and how did it gain its profound and conspicuous traction in the art world? What does theory have to do with the experience of visual art? Does it change how we look at and respond to art? Theory and critique are not only expected from academics, but are also being produced and consumed by artists, students, historians, critics, and curators. This course will begin with a brief look at the foundations of critical theory, and move on to the primary aim of studying the development of critical theory in the field of art. Our emphasis will be on what it means to be “critical,” and how critical theory has been used in scholarly writing about art, in artworks themselves, and in the work of artist-scholars such as Gregg Bordowitz, Andrea Fraser, Hans Haacke, Mary Kelly, Adrian Piper, and others. These artists have integrated writing their creative practice, and continue to do so with persistence and rigor. In addition to investigating the emergence and impact of critical theory in the field of Art, students will be challenged to make theory into action: to theorize.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)