FALL 2016 CORE-UA 9515, Cultures & Contexts: Latin America
Prof. Palmeiro (NYU Buenos Aires)
Over the last 50 years, millions of Latin Americans have experienced extraordinary shifts in their social, political, and cultural landscape, a result of the transformative effects of revolution or insurgency, state repression, popular resistance and social movements. We focus on events that had continental, hemispheric, and even global impact, including the Cuban Revolution of 1959, the military coups of the 1970s, and the Zapatista uprising in 1994. Drawing on a range of primary sources and cultural forms, we listen carefully to the voices of the major social actors of the time. Our sources are drawn from a wide range of media: newsprint, television broadcasts, transcripts, testimony, essay, documentary and feature film, art, and music. We deliberately mix artistic representations with documentary evidence to understand how the arts—music, visual art, literature, film—do not just reflect the reality around them, but are themselves vital sites for shaping and changing that reality and our imagination of it, both then and now.
FALL 2016 CORE-UA 9544, Cultures & Contexts: Spain—At the Crossroads of Europe, North Africa, and America
[Staff] (NYU Madrid)
Analyzes the ways in which historical, geopolitical, cultural, artistic, and popular views function to constitute and continuously transform a national culture. Concentrates on epistemological constructions of Spain—the idea of Spain—that emerge from competing external and internal perspectives. Students examine how this national culture is constructed, first analyzing Spain from North African perspectives through Sephardic nostalgic poetry and the Hispano-Arabic literary traditions. The American perspective pits notions of Spanish imperial power and grandeur against the Black Legend, a term that Protestant circles in Europe and the United States promoted to attack the legitimacy of Spain’s New World empire. A final focus on European views analyzes the depiction of Spain as the embodiment of German and French Romantic ideals beginning at the end of the 17th century and the reemergence of the same notion during the Spanish Civil War (1933–36). Throughout, students examine principal textual and visual images that contribute to the historical and contemporary construction of a national culture that emerged at geographic and cultural crossroads.
FALL 2016 CORE-UA 9549, Cultures & Contexts: Multinational Britain
Prof. Woods (NYU London)
The idea of British national identity has been built around a sense of united statehood within the confines of the four nations comprising the United Kingdom, ruling overseas territories. As such, it conveyed a sense of a multi-national empire ruled by monarchs, but developing over time into a benign, democratic, constitutional monarchy, generally through peaceful, not revolutionary change. The British have seen themselves historically as freedom-loving, independent, industrial, tolerant, Protestant and individualistic. These myths of national image have been forged partly through conflict with other nations over many centuries and reflect a nationalistic pride in military success and the maintenance of the largest empire the world has ever seen. Changes since 1945 have seen the collapse of that empire, membership in the European Union, large-scale immigration, changing gender politics, and the devolution of power to Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales. This has inevitably led to major challenges to traditional British views of their national identity. Includes fieldtrips to key sites.
FALL 2016 CORE-UA 9554, Cultures & Contexts: Italy
Prof. Cao (NYU Florence)
Examines how Italian identity has been transformed through encounters with foreigners. These were not only invading armies and colonizing powers but also artists and scholars, travelers, and tourists. We explore how the Greek, Arab, Byzantine, and Jewish presences reshaped Italian civilization up to the Renaissance, focusing on their cultural consequences from a number of perspectives, from science to language, to political thought, to art and architecture. A field trip to Ravenna (capital of the Western Roman Empire, then of the Ostrogothic Kingdom, and later of the Byzantine Exarchate) offers a vantage point to appreciate the many layers of Italian cultural history. Florence is used as a primary source for the history of Grand Tour as well as the recent development of mass tourism in Italy, and is the setting for a fieldwork project to chart the cultural impact and memory of foreigners in the city.
FALL 2016 CORE-UA 9720, Expressive Culture: Images
Prof. Cherry (NYU London)
Contemporary Art in Britain. Contemporary art raises vigorous debate and criticism. But what is contemporary about contemporary art? We consider some key issues in dealing critically with contemporary art with a focus on work on display in exhibitions in London, both major national collections and private galleries, exploring art produced since the late 1950s through case studies of the work of individual artists and through themes which include photography, representations of the body, gallery display, video practice, and installation art. Topics include how contemporary art came to look as it does, with a focus on British art; the different forms of material and presentation artists have employed; why and how diverse audiences are addressed; and how markets, national prizes, and private collections shape the kinds of art produced and inform public taste. We also look at the collection and display of contemporary art, on a private and a public scale; dealer galleries, and issues of curation. Critical and historical writings by artists and theorists will be considered.
FALL 2016 CORE-UA 9722, Expressive Culture: Architecture in London Field Study
Prof. Powers (NYU London)
The history of London architecture as exemplified by surviving buildings, which can be seen and visited, principally from the 17th to the 20th centuries, considered through an equal mixture of classroom lectures and field study visits to the sites and buildings, and types of buildings, discussed in the lectures.
FALL 2016 CORE-UA 9723, Expressive Culture: Museums in Washington Field Study
Prof. Grossman (NYU Washington D.C.)
With its vast array of institutions dedicated to distinct cultural groupings and its formation inextricably linked to the halls of power, the museum culture in our nation’s capitol unique. Taking advantage of behind-the-scenes access to some of the most prestigious museums in the world and their staff, students explore various approaches to interpreting art and develop tools for appreciating their aesthetic experiences. We also look critically at the ways in which museums—through their policies, programs, exhibitions, and architecture—can define regional or national values, shape cultural attitudes, inform social and political views, and even affect one’s understanding of the meaning of a work of art.
FALL 2016 CORE-UA 9731, Expressive Culture: Music in Prague Field Study
Prof. Ackerman (NYU Prague)
The unique power and magic of music explored by informed participation in live music experiences and in connection to other phenomena in its surrounding culture, encountered through architecture walks, sound walks, and experiences with other art forms, such as photography and film. Combines lectures and listening sessions with attendance at seven music performances in difference styles, at venues of special cultural significance.
FALL 2016 CORE-UA 9750, Expressive Culture: Film
Prof. Azulys (NYU Paris)
By putting the films into their social, historical and philosophical context, the students will get to study, across a diverse range of examples, the relation existing between French films and French culture. It deals for example with the formal and thematic relationships among the Avant-garde artistic movements (futurism, cubism, expressionism, surrealism, etc.) and the cinematographic Avant-garde (Buñuel, L’Herbier, Cocteau), those between the cinema of Renoir and classical French theatre (Marivaux, Beaumarchais, Musset), the troubled period of the occupation and the filmmakers who deliberately chose to stay in France to work there (Clouzot, Carné) and the influence of Saint Germain des Prés’s existentialism (Sartre, Camus) on the Nouvelle Vague, etc. The students will thus discover that cinema is a cultural agent that reflects a period all the while produces a critical point view on said period.
FALL 2016 CORE-UA 9750 Expressive Culture: Film
Prof. Carrigy (NYU Sydney) syllabus*
How has Australian cinema engaged with significant and often contested historical, political and cultural events in the nation’s past? We take a critical perspective on the history of colonisation in Australia, the legacies of the Stolen Generations, the controversies surrounding Australia’s role in World War One and the Vietnam War, as well as Australia’s relationships with its Pacific Asian neighbors, through films that have marked significant shifts in public consciousness about the past such as Gallipoli (1981), Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002) and Balibo (2009). We also consider films that have employed innovative narrative and aesthetic strategies for exploring the relationship between the past and the present such as Two Laws (1982) and The Tracker (2002). Students develop their understanding of the basic methods and concepts of cinema studies and a critical vocabulary for analysing how filmmakers have approached the use of memory, testimony, re-enactment, researched detail, allegory, and archives across a diverse range of examples, including restorations, revivals, and re-imaginings of Australian cinema history such as the controversial restoration of Wake in Fright (1971) as an Australian classic; the reconstruction of Australia’s first feature film, The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906); and the revived interest in Ozploitation after the release of Not Quite Hollywood (2008).
FALL 2016 CORE-UA 9763, Expressive Culture: Art and Politics in 20th Century Germany
Prof. Hückmann (NYU Berlin) syllabus*
Examines the relation between cultural narratives and radical shifts in German national identity, focusing on the 20th century, which is shaped by both the diversity of modern art and the violent politics leading to Auschwitz. How did the World Wars change art and literary forms? What divides art from propaganda? What kind of cultural identity does Modernism construct in opposition to dominant culture? Berlin offers an ideal context to study the complex relations between Modernism and politics. We consider the “scandalous” past of texts and art considered canonical today, with special attention to modes of socio-political censorship as well as the subversive power of art and literature. Includes walking tours and visits to museums and art galleries.