Course Descriptions

688 Topics in Contemporaneity, Spring, 2023

Course Title:  16:082:688  Topics in Contemporaneity

      Themes will vary by instructor

Course Description:

This seminar introduces a new genre of course that will become part of the curriculum of CHAPS and Curatorial Studies moving forward. Recognizing that present-day conditions and concerns are an integral aspect of both fields, Topics in Contemporaneity will be a seminar focused on the intersection of theory and practice. It is designed for students with interests in curatorial studies, cultural heritage, and aesthetics more broadly. In this iteration, we will broach the subject of representation, a topic of central concern in Art History, thinking through its multiple meanings across time and space. The course begins with a discussion of classic theories of mimesis, addressing its centrality in Western culture, before turning to examine the range of issues raised by representation and its corollaries. Topics to be addressed include mimicry, iconoclasm, absence, humanism, decolonization, self and other, and environmental advocacy, as well as the institutions and conventions that organize, generate, and reproduce knowledge.

Course Objectives:

1. To recognize the multiple and diverse ways of understanding “representation,” both historically and as a construct that continues to generate relevant insight.
2. To learn to apply critical theory to think through present-day problems.
3. To reassess institutional structures of knowledge and challenge conventional wisdom.
4. To model new approaches to longstanding questions by decentering the West.

Course Details:

Website Readings and announcements will be posted on Canvas: https://canvas.rutgers.edu/. Please log in regularly for updates.

Course Expectations:

Students are expected to maintain active class participation, read assigned texts in advance of class, attend every class session, orally present readings and other assignments, and turn in writing assignments by their deadline.

Course Instructor:

Spring, 2023: Professor Laura Weigert

Disclaimer:  These course descriptions/synopses pages have been provided as samples and the information should not be considered accurate or current.  For actual course information, refer to the course site hosted by a Rutgers Learning Management System (Sakai, Canvas, etc.) as of first day of class.

Contact

Laura Weigert, Chair

Carla Yanni, Undergraduate Program Director 

Tamara Sears, Graduate Program Director

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