RCHUMS 334 - Special Topics in the Humanities
Section: 009 Bad in a Good Way: The Art of Failure
Term: WN 2018
Subject: RC Humanities (RCHUMS)
Department: LSA Residential College
Credits:
3
Requirements & Distribution:
HU
Repeatability:
May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

What do we mean when we call something ‘bad,’ and when did being bad become a good thing? How are we to make sense of a world in which value can no longer be understood in “black and white” terms, if it ever could?

This course explores contemporary art and media—from popular blogs to avant-garde theater to glitch aesthetics—that challenge accepted notions of mastery, proper decorum, and just plain good taste. Spanning the high and low, the popular and experimental, the slick and the ribald, such artistic and pop cultural texts make up a recognizably contemporary visual vocabulary. Together, we’ll examine failure’s embrace as a creative and critical strategy by paying special attention to the important impact the emergent disciplines of queer theory, performance studies, and digital studies have had on the production and evaluation of such work. We’ll consider in particular how experimental artworks—which, divesting from notions of mastery and virtuosity, have thematized amateurism, breakdown and malfunction, and deliberately lo-fi aesthetics—might be read alongside the turn to negativity in recent work in cultural studies. We’ll ask not only what failure is but also what it does and what it might be made to do.

The course explores the following questions:

  • What are the implications of judging something as good or bad, beautiful or ugly, right or wrong?
  • How does the category of 'success' function to naturalize certain norms? Who and what does this category exclude?
  • How have artists, performers, and media interventionists sought to recuperate self-conscious performances of failure to politically subversive ends?

    Course Requirements:

    No data submitted

    Intended Audience:

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    Class Format:

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RCHUMS 334 - Special Topics in the Humanities
Schedule Listing
002 (SEM)
P
25523
Open
10
10Jr>
-
W 3:00PM - 6:00PM
004 (SEM)
P
21260
Open
12
5RC Ugrd
-
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
005 (SEM)
P
27838
Open
20
 
-
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
007 (SEM)
P
19885
Open
14
 
-
Tu 2:00PM - 5:00PM
Th 7:00PM - 10:00PM
009 (SEM)
P
25892
Open
10
 
-
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
010 (SEM)
P
26257
Open
80
 
-
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
011 (SEM)
P
28380
Open
10
 
-
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
013 (SEM)
P
28939
Open
10
 
-
TuTh 8:30AM - 10:00AM
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