What can a photograph tell us about a moment in history? How can a building teach us about something more than an architectural style? What can a vacant lot reveal about the social life of a city? Artifact STL will explore the history, culture, and people of St. Louis using the city's visual, material, and structural artifacts as our primary lens of study. Through critical, interdisciplinary examination of artifacts such as images, objects, buildings, and landscapes, we will seek to understand the persistence of inequity in our region, be it on the basis of race, class, gender, or sexuality. Together, we will forge connections between the visual, material, and structural artifacts of the past to debates that persist today. As an added element of critical inquiry, this course will also consider the way such artifacts are (or are not) preserved, collected, and displayed in order to contemplate the ability of an artifact's memory to reflect and/or refute the persistence of inequities. To achieve these goals, this course will be guided by critical investigation of published manuscript selections and articles, rich primary documents, site visits, and guest speakers, ranging from historians to archivists and librarians to artists.
Course Attributes: BU Hum; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM; EN H