SPRING 2016 CORE-UA 720, Expressive Culture: Images
Prof. Tseng (Institute for the Study of the Ancient World) syllabus
Made in China: Modern Discoveries of Ancient Art and Design. China may boast a civilization several thousand years old, but we did not know much about the images produced at its early stages until fairly recently in the twentieth century. The discovery of over 8,000 life-size terracotta warriors near the mausoleum of the first emperor surprised and dazzled the world. How did ancient Chinese artisans create and mass-produce those vivid terracotta warriors? Such a visual wonder could not burst into existence without prior experiments in aesthetics and technology, just as the ideas and skills embedded in it made an impact on later artistic developments. Drawing on the excellent Asian art collections in New York museums, we explore art and design in ancient China through selected masterpieces in decorated pottery, engraved jade objects, cast bronze vessels, sculpture, architecture, and painting, paying attention to how artisans overcame the limits of various materials with their hands and imagination, as well as the cultural contexts in which those masterpieces were situated.
SPRING 2016 CORE-UA 720, Expressive Culture: Images
Prof. Silver (Art History) syllabus
Avant-Garde New York, from the Armory Show to Andy Warhol. New York became the center of avant-garde art-making in the period just after the Second World War, although the city had been preparing for its modernist ascendancy since the early years of the 20th century. We focus on art and its makers--native New Yorkers and out-of-towners, Americans and foreign-born practitioners--who helped shape and refine New York’s extraordinarily rich avant-garde “tradition.” Painters, sculptors, photographers, architects, graphic artists, and set designers will be studied, including Alfred Stieglitz, Raymond Hood, Charles Demuth, Paul Manship, Piet Mondrian, Joseph Cornell, Helen Levitt, Isamu Noguchi, Jackson Pollock, Louise Nevelson, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Philip Johnson, and Andy Warhol, as will the context in which their work came into being and flourished--museums, galleries, art schools, patrons, artist neighborhoods, professional organizations, ad hoc associations, and artist “hangouts.” Topics include: the Stieglitz Circle and 291; The Armory Show (1913); the Paris/New York connection; the founding of the Museum of Modern Art; Marcel Duchamp and New York Dada; the art of the Harlem Renaissance; Frank O’Hara--poet, critic, curator; Street Photography; the birth of Abstract Expressionism; Avant-gardism in Washington Square--Judson Dance Theater; From Madison Avenue to 57th Street--Pop Art Emerges. Includes class excursions to museums, galleries, and other New York art sites.
SPRING 2016 CORE-UA 721, Expressive Culture: Painting & Sculpture in New York Field Study
Prof. Broderick (Art History) syllabus
New York's public art collections contain important examples of painting and sculpture from almost every phase of the past, as well as some of the world's foremost works of contemporary art. Meets once a week for an extended period combining on-campus lectures with group excursions to the museums or other locations where these works are exhibited.
SPRING 2016 CORE-UA 730, Expressive Culture: Sounds
Prof. Dang (Music) syllabus
The art of listening through close study of musical performances from a wide range of cultures and places, from Kaluli song to Corsican polyphony, from Cuban rumba to Aboriginal rock. We explore the sensory details of musical sounds, the cultural and historical encounters informing those sounds, and their contemporary circulation in the global marketplace. Through our varied musical excursions, we raise questions about homelands, heritage, and belonging; about the diverse genres of music-making, from mimicry of nature to multi-track remixes, song, dance, and drumming; about music’s role in articulating the individual’s relationship to society, the environment, and the metaphysical world; about language, authenticity, and hybridity; and finally, about the complicated politics of global exchange that influence musical production and consumption.
SPRING 2016 CORE-UA 740, Expressive Culture: Performance
Prof. Shimakawa (Performance Studies) syllabus
What “counts” as performance? Does it have to be on a stage? (and what counts as a stage?) Why do performers perform? (and what difference does that performance make?) We consider a wide range of performances—on the stage, page, screen, and street—in order to explore these questions, focusing on performance as a form of cultural expression, as a site of cultural change, and as a building block for “culture” itself.
SPRING 2016 CORE-UA 750, Expressive Culture: Film
Prof. Guerrero (Cinema Studies) syllabus
We screen, read and discuss a range of utopian/dystopian visions of the future as forecast in our popular cinema, and literature. Our screenings explore a range of films from from ‘sci fi’ to fantasy and horror, extending from the 1950s to the present, and far into the future. We explore varied questions and issues including the increasing prevalence of apocalyptic endings to present and future worlds; contrasts between a fragile democratic ‘now’ vs. an authoritarian techno-future; race, gender, and sexuality in the ‘scientifically’ engineered and overdetermined future; class, labor and social privilege among replicants, cyborgs, and humans; the consumption of virtual reality, cyber-sex, and other commodities; post-technological tribalism; future ‘hoods and cityscapes; warnings of cyber-surveillance, techno-collapse, and eco-disaster. And finally, we ask: what is ‘utopia,’ how is it ‘imagined,’ and is it still possible? We develop our seminar discussions, screenings and papers with readings from the likes of George Orwell, Ray Kurzweil, Paul Vrilio, and Aldous Huxley, among others.
SPRING 2015 CORE-UA 762, Expressive Culture: Viva Verdi
Prof. Ertman (Sociology) syllabus
The rich artistic life of Italy between the defeat of Napoleon in 1814 and the consolidation of the fascists in power in the 1920’s. Italy was above all the home of opera, and we explore both the economic side of the “opera industry” and the most important works of the peninsula’s greatest composers of the day: Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Puccini, and above all Giuseppe Verdi, the most dominant artistic figure in 19th century Italy. We follow Verdi’s stylistic development from the “galley years” of the 1840’s through the late masterpieces as well as examine the impact of Italian politics on his operas. We also read works of literature by Stendhal, di Lampedusa, Svevo, and Pirandello, and conclude with Martinetti, Boccioni, and the futurist movement in the visual arts and the relationship of these and other artists to fascism.