Decolonial Approaches to Settler Colonialism in American Visual Arts (AH4124.01)

Jordan Reznick
In this upper-level seminar, we will study the history of American art and visual culture in light of decolonial thought produced by Indigenous peoples in their ongoing resistance to the colonization of so-called North America. This approach will teach us to see the arts’ entanglements in the operations of colonial power and sustain our goal to decolonize the practice of art history. Through a critical examination of settler colonial ideology over time, we will consider significant examples of the following: the role of visual imagery in advancing national mythologies; landscape art and the occupation of territory; the role of photography in establishing a settler perspective as “objective”; the formation of race and gender in settler societies; encounters between settler and Indigenous artists; the spiritual and political aesthetic strategies employed by Indigenous peoples; and the practical lessons that an examination of the history of settler colonialism holds for twenty-first century American society. You will learn to how to look, read, write, and talk about decolonization and visual culture. This class invests in activism as a valuable scholarly and artistic practice. To that end, we will collaboratively produce a decolonial campus tour and a visual activist intervention. You will also experiment with decolonial methods to write a research paper and collaboratively create a class workshop.

Learning Outcomes:

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Toward a Rigorous Art History or another 2000 level course in Art History; permission of instructor.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
F 2:10PM - 5:50PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 12
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: All courses , Art History , Fully In-Person , Updates