ARH 389 Afro-Atlantic Visual Arts

This course is designed to engage students in the contemporary visual arts of regions variously termed the “Afro-Atlantic,” “Black Atlantic”, and “circum-Atlantic” – and the ways in which artists engage with socio-cultural and political histories of slavery, colonialism, and identity within imbalanced cultural dynamics. The class will emphasize a broad understanding of Afro-Atlantic visual arts over the past century through art-historical and socio-cultural approaches. Areas of focus will be the cultural underpinnings of art production, and the movements and circulations of objects and ideas between various cultures and regions including the art market and museum display practices. Students will be introduced to course content through case studies from Africa and the Atlantic diaspora that include both “traditional” and “contemporary” examples, as well as an interrogation of those terms. The course is designed to deepen students' understanding of the dynamic history of material and visual cultures of the Afro-Atlantic world with a focus on how objects, people, and ideas circulate.