Course Title:  01:082:226  Art and Visual Culture of the Caribbean

Academic Credits:  3 credits

Mode of Instruction:  Lecture

Course Prerequisites and Corequisites:  None

  Credit not given for this course and:  595:226

Core Curriculum:  None

Course Description:  

This is an introductory course in the art and visual culture of the Caribbean covering the time span of the pre-Conquest to the present.  It focuses on a series of case studies rather than attempting to weave a coherent linear history.  Since there are no prerequisites either in Caribbean studies or art history, considerable time will be devoted to explaining the critical issues involved in both fields.  Among them are the Caribbean as the site of first sustained contact between Europe and the New World, the visual culture of colonialism, the idea of region as a crucible of modernity, and the representation of local identities. 

The class is interdisciplinary and will look comparatively at models from visual culture, literature, film, theatre, and music.  It will emphasize a non-canonical approach to visual objects by considering “popular” production within the same rubric as “high” art.  Furthermore, the course expands upon the traditional notions of the Caribbean as consisting exclusively of island territories to consider countries along the Caribbean basin.

Learning Goals:

  • To grasp the complex issues involved in the analysis of visual form by building a basic vocabulary for discussing works of art and objects of visual culture.
  • To consider the ways in which works of art articulate discourses and relations of power through a close examination of the role of agency in the representation and distribution of individual objects.
  • To identify the critical issues involved in reading visual culture as it relates to Caribbean studies and to relate these to other contexts as a means of establishing comparative models.

Course Website:

Readings will be available online through Sakai:

The syllabus will also be posted there.  Check periodically for announcements, assignments, and schedule changes.

Extracurricular Activities:

Extracurricular activities may include: 1) attendance at lectures and conferences to be announced; 2) visiting exhibitions as required for assignments.


Attendance is mandatory.  If you expect to miss one or two classes, please use the University absence reporting website to indicate the date and reason for your absence.  An email is automatically sent to me.  Please note that simply reporting an absence does not excuse you from class. Unexcused absences may result in a lower grade.  More than five unexcused absences may result in failure.

Please note that I have a no tolerance policy for missed exams except in cases of documented emergencies.

Requirements and Grading:

  • Regular attendance and class participation (10%)
  • Map quiz (10%)
  • 2 exams (40%)
  • 2 short papers (40%)


Professor Tatiana Flores

Disclaimer:  These course descriptions/synopses pages have been provided as sample 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.