Courses of Study 2013-2014 
    Dec 06, 2021  
Courses of Study 2013-2014 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ASRC 4406 - African Aesthetics

(also ARTH 4642 )
Spring. 4 credits.

Co-meets with ARTH 6506 /ASRC 6506 .

S. Hassan.

This seminar focuses on the wonder and the danger tied to the textualization of gesture, sound, and performance. The crisis of the textual production of black aesthetics will be studied alongside recent theoretical work on gesture and words and recent theoretical work on the archive and the repertoire. As we explore the textualization of the ephemeral, we will consider the role of both mimesis and abstraction in the production of space for black aesthetics. The conceptual art of the 1960s will matter as much as the word and image texts of Glenn Ligon and Kara Walker. Visual art, music, and literature will be brought into dialogue as we study the aesthetics of improvisation in books that dramatize tensions between the state of becoming and the textual production of containment or closure. Possible literary texts are Langston Hughes’ Ask Your Mama, Jean Toomer’s Cane, Ellison’s Invisible Man, Toni Morrison’s Jazz, Gayl Jones’ Corregidora, John Keene’s Annotations, Harryette Mullen’s Sleeping with the Dictionary, Amiri Baraka’s In Our Terribleness, and Five Poems, Toni Morrison’s collaboration with Kara Walker. Possible theoretical texts are Fred Moten’s In The Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition, Diana Taylor’s The Archive and the Repertoire, Darby English’s How to See a Work of Art in Total Darkness, Noland and Ness’ Migrations of Gesture, and Paul Miller’s Sound Unbound.

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