4/30 What’s at stake in a course like this?

This course is predicated on a number of questionable assumptions — a coherent thread that ties together artistic production and cultural identity from Mesopotamia to Gothic Europe (and, of course, if we were to continue for another semester, from the Gothic to the Renaissance to European modernism to the contemporary), a canon of individual works (often called “masterpieces”) (but never by me!) that are the most essential for understanding this thread, particular ways of knowing these artworks, etc. Why has this type of course endured so long? Who gains from its logic — and who loses? What should happen to it in the future?

Here are some stills from the Carters’ video.


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