Fall Class Schedule: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 9:30 – 3:00 pm

Comments No Comments »

This program will focus on community-based conceptions of the arts and politics, with attention to how artistic production can reflect the “visions and voices” of communities and cultures. Students will be introduced to the foundations of cultural and literary studies, media and visual studies, and community studies, with an emphasis on the alternative visions and forms of cultural expression of often marginalized groups seeking to preserve land and cultures faced with colonization and globalization. We will explore themes such as the connection between native peoples, land, resources and struggles for self-determination; the power of story and artistic expression in illuminating hidden histories; and the role that public art, literature and media can play in community struggles and organizing.

With an emphasis on multiculturalism, identity, and especially Native American and Arab cultures, this program will explore the histories of colonialism and Empire and how art, media and narrative have been used as tools of both conquest and resistance. We will draw on critiques of Orientalism, colonialism and the male gaze through indigenous and feminist cinema, literature and art. We will examine how the visions and voices of indigenous and diasporic communities challenge the western cult of individualism, the masculinist notion of the solo artist, and the consumerist system of media production.

We will emphasize the participatory, communal and public aspects of art and narrative, situating them within larger, shared cultures and within the historical and socio-political contexts of struggles for self-determination. We will also explore perspectives, points-of-view and the politics of representation, as well as the tensions between individualism and collaboration in the production process. With attention to the role of spectator and consumer, we will examine the reception, circulation and marketing of art forms, and the dangers of their political and cultural co-optation, as we envision community-based alternatives to capitalist production and consumption of art.

Students will learn to read cultural texts, including film, visual art and literature, to understand the relationships of people and communities to their environments and their sense of shared identity. Students will develop skills in visual and media literacy, creative and expository writing, analytical reading and viewing, literary analysis, and the terminologies and methodologies of cultural and gender studies, film history and theory, and art history. Through workshops, students will also learn a range of community documentation skills, including photography, video, radio-audio documentary, interviewing and oral history, ethnography and auto-ethnography. Students will have the opportunity to work individually and collaboratively in the contexts of cultural and community engagement.

Fall and winter quarters will focus on representations of the histories of colonization and resistance through art, media and literature. In spring quarter, students will build upon these foundations by participating in visual and written documentation of local community work. Students are also encouraged to participate in community-based internships in spring quarter.

Comments No Comments »