AAS 358 - Topics in Black World Studies
Fall 2018, Section 011
Instruction Mode: Section 011 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Afroamerican & African Studies (AAS)
Department: LSA Afroamerican and African Studies
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Details

Credits:
3
Waitlist Capacity:
99
Waitlist Notes:
Instructor
Repeatability:
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:

Description

What do you know about African art? If you were visiting an art museum and thinking about going to the African gallery, what is it you would expect to see? Chances are most people would anticipate encountering wooden masks and sculpture. Have you visited the African Gallery in the UM Museum of Art? There you have it! So, what about all the other things that African artists make? Where are the textiles, the beadwork, the pottery that has been produced in Africa for millennia? Where is the contemporary art made by artists trained in professional art schools? Why are African masks and sculpture often displayed in a visually sterile environment (a “white cube”) stripped of any context that might offer insights into where the objects were made and how they were originally used? We might ask the (perhaps not so) simple but fundamental question: What is African art?

This semester we will attempt to answer this question, to explore the origins of this category of visually compelling, often beautiful, African things. We will learn that the concept of “African art” was invented not long ago, at the beginning of the 20th century, and that it was not until the 1960s that it began to be studied by historians of art. Seeking an understanding of why and how “African art” was invented and what it is, and is not, will require exploring the political, social, economic and cultural relationships that have been forged among individuals and institutions in Africa, Europe and the United States that make, trade, collect, study and exhibit African art.

A particularly exciting dimension of this course is its association with an important research project recently launched here at UM that considers these interesting issues and will culminate in a major traveling art exhibition. The work that students undertake will contribute to this project. The course is structured as a seminar. There will be weekly readings and video viewings that will serve as the basis for class discussion. A number of scholars and artists have been invited to visit the class during the semester, and several field trips to museums, galleries and private art collections have been organized. Each student will select and pursue a research topic that takes up a key issue associated with the course theme. Students will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with the course instructors during biweekly (once every two weeks) meetings.

Intended Audience:

DAAS Majors and Upper Level Students

Class Format:

Seminar

Schedule

AAS 358 - Topics in Black World Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
31476
Closed
0
 
-
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
003 (SEM)
 In Person
26088
Open
4
 
-
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
004 (SEM)
 In Person
31972
Open
3
 
-
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
005 (SEM)
 In Person
24754
Open
16
 
-
F 11:00AM - 2:00PM
Note: This course will meet in Detroit. Transportation will be provided.
007 (SEM)
 In Person
31971
Open
6
 
-
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
008 (SEM)
 In Person
31778
Open
17
 
-
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
009 (SEM)
 In Person
31780
Open
9
3LSA Jr>
-
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM
010 (SEM)
 In Person
32716
Open
12
 
-
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
011 (SEM)
 In Person
36173
Open
12
 
-
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi

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CourseProfile (Atlas)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)