Art and Activism

Tamara Roberts (Music) Cecilia Lucas (International and Area Studies)
  • W 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • 250 Morrison Hall
  • 4 Units
Letters and Science C138 (class number 41059)
Music C138 (class number 41339)

Breadth: Arts and Literature

This course explores the intersections between aesthetic practice and social change. Students will investigate—in both theory and practice—the capacity of art making to cultivate transformation of themselves, their relationships, their practices, their institutions, and the larger economic and socio-political structures in which they function, locally and globally. Focusing on historical and contemporary artists and political issues, we ask: 1) How is art impacted by social change? 2) How has art been used toward social change? and 3) How can we, as course participants, use art to bring about social change? Rooted in interdisciplinary scholarship, students will engage theoretical debates and historical analyses regarding the role of the arts in social change and examine the particular capacities of the arts to negotiate across and between cultures, languages, and power-laden lines of difference. Taking a broad view of activism, we will consider the ways in which artistic practices foster radical imaginations that can expand our sense of the possible. Case studies will span media including visual arts, theater, dance, poetry/spoken word, literature, and music.

Enrollment in this course is by instructor approval. Please note that no previous arts or activism experience of any kind is necessary to be considered for admittance to this course. Students who apply by November 1 will be given priority. All applicants will receive an email by the November 14 (the start of Phase II) informing them of the results.

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