FALL 2019 CORE-UA 711, Expressive Culture: The Graphic Novel
Prof. Borenstein (Russian and Slavic Studies) [Syllabus]
Examines the interplay between words and images in the graphic novel, a hybrid medium with a system of communication reminiscent of prose fiction, animation, and film. What is the connection between text and art? How are internal psychology, time, and action conveyed in a static series of words and pictures? What can the graphic novel convey that other media cannot? Authors include Alan Moore, Art Spiegelman, Peter Milligan, Charles Burns, Carla Speed McNeil.
FALL 2019 CORE-UA 722, Expressive Culture: Architecture in New York Field Study
Prof. Broderick (Art History) [Syllabus]
New York's rich architectural heritage offers a unique opportunity for firsthand consideration of the concepts and styles of modern urban architecture, as well as its social, financial, and cultural contexts. Meets once a week for an extended period combining on-campus lectures with group excursions to prominent buildings. Attention is given both to individual buildings as examples of 19th- and 20th-century architecture and to phenomena such as the development of the skyscraper and the adaptation of older buildings to new uses.
FALL 2019 CORE-UA 730, Expressive Culture: Sounds
Prof. Teyssier (Music) [Syllabus]
Moments of social and political progress throughout history have been linked with musical and artistic sites of resistance. We study musical and poetic techniques used by artists who fearlessly combat oppressive regimes through their creative contributions. Music, through its distinctly abstract language, has the ability to transform how we see, hear or read--truly perceive--the world; through experiencing new perceptions, we are confronted by a need for new perspectives. We focus on how different approaches and methodologies of experimentation and subversiveness allow something new to to emerge in the social, artistic, and political discourse. We reflect on our engagement in the world through listening, analysis, and a group-elaborated final performance project, while learning ways of discussing experimentation and socio-political resistance through new sensory forms.
FALL 2019 CORE-UA 730, Expressive Culture: Sounds
Prof. Samuels (Music) [Syllabus]
Why does sound matter? We explore a number of overlapping arguments about the need to reclaim an ethical human community from the perceived dehumanizing processes of industrial modernity. Shaken by two world wars, a great depression, and a global expansion of industrial power, people in the United States and elsewhere searched for ways to maintain their intergrity as human beings in the face of these upheavals. An important part of this search took inspiration from imagining how people should sound—when they sang, worked, played, worshipped, or socialized. Focusing on movements growing out of that inspiration—in folk music, Medieval and Renaissance music, and world music—we attempt to understand how questions of sound, and definitions of musical sound, occupied so many of the contributors to this discourse about the scope of the human within modern urban industrial capitalism.
FALL 2019 CORE-UA 750, Expressive Culture: Film
Prof. Polan (Cinema Studies) [Syllabus]
Best known as a singer, Frank Sinatra also had an important and extensive career in Hollywood cinema. Many of his stand-out films use his ethnic and working-class background to investigate—and sometimes interrogate—postwar class structures and strictures, especially around projections of masculinity. We approach the culture and politics of post-World War II America through a study of key films starring Frank Sinatra, including On the Town, Suddenly, From Here to Eternity, The Man with the Golden Arm, Young at Heart, Guys and Dolls, Some Came Running, High Society, and The Manchurian Candidate. While focusing on cinema and the meanings of performance within that medium, we also attend to Sinatra’s efforts in other media, such as radio and recording, and analyze pop music as American expressive art. The overall aim is to use Sinatra as a case study for means by which, contrary to stereotypes of postwar conformity and suburban middle-classness, popular American culture in the period could serve in the expression of non-conformity, new projections of masculinity, and liberal examination of ethnic identity.
FALL 2019 CORE-UA 760, Expressive Culture: Art and Social Movements in Europe, 1918-1939
Prof. Lubar Messeri (Institute of Fine Arts) [Syllabus]
Focusing on France, Germany, Russia, and Spain, the interwar period in Europe and the contest of competing ideologies provide an expansive landscape in which to locate the functions and aims of a social history of art. Students are introduced to the writings of some of the key theorists of the period (Walter Benjamin, Sigfried Kracauer, André Breton, José Ortega y Gasset), to the conceptual limits of “modernism,” “modernity,” and the “avant-garde,” and to advanced forms of critical analysis. The ways in which the visual arts make meaning formally is emphasized through a close reading of painting, sculpture, film, and photography. Includes visits to the Museum of Modern Art.