Introduction to Identity, Diversity, and Aesthetics
This weekly lecture series introduces students to the study of identity, diversity, and aesthetics through the work of leading artists and scholars affiliated with the Institute for Diversity in the Arts (IDA). This year’s course highlights the educational impact of arts and culture. How can arts and culture help to advance pedagogies of liberation? Among other things, we will examine hip-hop education and how it illuminates ideas around culturally relevant and culturally sustaining pedagogies, indigenous knowledges, embodied knowledges, hip-hop feminisms, and community engaged research. We will look at case studies from East Palo Alto, CA and Cape Town, South Africa.
In this course we will look at the work and techniques of visual and performing artists of color who utilize ritual practices in their art making and performance work to evoke spirit and/or social change. Drawing from the instructor’s working definition of “Conjure Art”, we will discuss the work of artists who bring spiritual ritual in their art making while addressing issues of spiritual accountability and cultural appropriation. Some of the artists whose work we will examine include, Sharon Bridgeforth, Ana Mendieta, Dohee Lee, and Fahamu Pecou. Throughout the quarter we will welcome guest artists who make work along these lines, while exploring the creation of our own individual and collective rituals utilizing movement, writing, singing and visual art making. This course will culminate in a performance ritual co-created with students and instructor.
Societies never know it, but the war of an artist with his society is a lover's war, and he does, at his best, what lovers do, which is to reveal the beloved to himself and, with that revelation, to make freedom real.