New Courses for Fall 2011: Topics in Art and Revolution and Art Theory

As registration for Fall 2011 academic courses begins, I have once again been fielding questions regarding new courses I will be teaching in September. In addition to previously taught courses which I will be instructing again, FPA 167: Visual Art and Culture I (SFU) and ARTH 1130: Introduction to Film Studies (Kwantlen), I will also be involved with teaching two new courses—see detailed descriptions below. Once again I am looking forward to a dynamic and engaging term in both classes!

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Wednesdays 7:00-9:50pm, Fir D128)
This course provides an introduction to the complex ways in which social and political change, and ideologies of gender, class, race and ethnicity, worked to shape aspects of 19th and early 20th century visual culture in Europe and North America. Emphasis will be placed on the roles played by industrialization, political ideology, rapid urban growth, global commerce, and the new media technologies of an expanding consumer culture in defining a wide range of visual culture. Throughout the term we will also examine different representations and debates around the idea of modernity and the “modern,” exploring the dynamic relationship between image and event. 
Alexander Rodchenko, Revolutionary Poster (1924)
Since the time period under investigation has often been called “The Age of Revolution”, we will also pay particular attention to shifting ideas related to labour and leisure, urban social space and spectacle, and issues bearing on empire expansion in relationship to key historical moments of radical political and social transformation (including but not limited to the French, American, Austro-Hungarian, and Russian Revolutions). Importantly, this seminar will also consider the constructed nature of the discipline of art history within the context of revolutionary discourse in order to trouble assumptions, both historical and contemporary, regarding the nature of art, its relation to different social and political institutions, and issues of patronage and viewing publics.

Simon Fraser University (Tuesdays 2:30-5:30pm, Harbour Centre 2510) 
*note that registration in a tutorial is also necessary
FPA 210: Artworks, Theories, Contexts
This course offers a critical examination of selected art works in connection to key theoretical and historical turning points in art history and critical theory. Focusing on international visual art and culture from 1945 to the present, each class will be anchored around a specific theme and connected body of critical theory writing together with a close and interactive reading of one chosen artwork. This format will provide a launching off point to explore the range of associated historical events, factors of patronage and institutions, as well as changing attitudes to making and approaching art in modern and postmodern contexts. Throughout the course, we will consider traditional media forms alongside the addition of new media practices of recent decades. 
Doris Salcedo, Shibboleth (2007)
From photography to video, collage to assemblage, installation to performance, such media have extended notions of what art could materially consist of, but have also affected the anticipation of audiences for that work, having social as well as aesthetic implications. Ultimately, our attention will be on the network where art is made, presented to and reacted to by different parties, and to the ways that portions of the art system―such as art history and critical theory―have conceived of and explained the workings of such a system and the society it exists within.