Art of Alterity: Representation and Otherness in American Visual Culture, 1839-1939 (AH2347.01)

J. Vanessa Lyon

From the advent of photography to the start of the second World War, American art, the cultural product of a former British colony younger than many of its foreign-born citizens, had what many perceived as “otherness” to contend with. Immigrants, enslaved and later freed, blacks, women of all sorts, sexual “deviants,” religious outsiders, the disabled, among other and overlapping subcultures and groups—were deemed both unworthy of representation and useful to represent. This course investigates canonical and lesser-known artists and artistic and critical approaches to situating “otherness” in American Art. Artists we will (likely) consider: Thomas Eakins; Edmonia Lewis; Harriet Hosmer; James Van der Zee; Georgia O’Keeffe; Arthur Dove; Diego Rivera; Marie Cassatt; John Singer Sargent; Augusta Savage; Grant Wood; Jacob Lawrence; Arthur Rothstein; cartoons and caricatures; minstrelsy; lynching photographs; Brer Rabbit; Gees Bend quilters, etc. No previous study of art history is required for this intermediate course. But students must be willing to undertake the skills required: attentive reading, annotating, and close looking—as well as participation in class discussions and short screen-shared presentations. In addition to the readings, films, weird TV shows, and youtube videos may be assigned.

Learning Outcomes:

Delivery Method: Entirely remote (synchronous)
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
W 2:10PM - 5:50PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 14
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: All courses , Art History , Entirely Remote