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Cornell University    
  Feb 18, 2018
Courses of Study 2017-2018
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COML 4221 - Modern Primitives

Fall. 4 credits. Student option grading.

Enrollment limited to: 15 students. Core Course for COML Majors.            

N. Melas.

What is “modern”? What is “primitive”? How can one tell the difference?  This course will examine the complex conjuncture of  art, literature, anthropology and colonialist racism in the early decades of the twentieth century, from Cubist painting to surrealism.  Of central concern will be the figure of the “fetish” in its economic, psychic and artifactual dimensions and also the richly paradoxical position of  artists and thinkers of color caught in the nexus of “primitivism” and “modernism.”   Authors may include Pablo Picasso, Jospehine Baker, Lydia Cabrera, Claude McKay, Levy-Bruhl, Joseph Conrad, Langston Hugues, André Breton, Pierre Mabille, Wifreo Lam, Leopold Senghor.

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