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American Culture Studies

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Contemporary Art of the US-Mexico Board and Beyond

American Culture Studies 4926 - Spring 2020

The question of the materiality of borders has attained new urgency with the resurgence of nationalist and anti-globalist movements. Calls for a "big, beautiful wall" on the U.S.-Mexico border are but one striking example of this phenomenon. A wall, a fence, a line, or zone may focus attention on a narrow space, yet does so at the expense of broader narratives of structural inequality, the lingering violence of colonialism and the rapid scale of climate change. The simplicity of a barrier is a particularly damaging fiction, one that avoids examinations of the larger forces that divide us. This upper-level and graduate seminar will delve into the history of "border art" as a category, whether public art, sculpture, installation, new media, or performance, using the U.S.-Mexico border as an extended in-depth case study. Analysis will not be limited to this region, as the course encourages a comparative approach that places disparate regions into dialogue with each other. In addition, we will also consider the issue of divides and borders locally, within the St. Louis area and its suburbs. Prerequisites: Intro to Western Art or Intro to Modern Art, plus one 300-level course in Art History
Course Attributes: FA AHEN HBU HumBU ISAS HUMGF AHFA HUMAR HUMFA CPSC

Section 01

Contemporary Art of the US-Mexico Board and Beyond
INSTRUCTOR: Sheren
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