An Introduction to African Art
This art history course provides an introduction to the visual art traditions of sub-Saharan Africa from ancient cultures to the present. Lectures and readings are drawn from art historical scholarship as well as from other disciplines (anthropology, archaeology, visual culture studies) that provide a sense of the social, political and religious contexts within which the art was created and used. The study of African art from a Western perspective presents questions that are covered in class: When and under what circumstances did “Africa” as a concept emerge? Did Africans consider their works “art” in the same sense that Westerners use that term? How did Western museums acquire African art and how does that inform the way we understand African works? In what ways did colonialism, the spread of Islam and Christianity, pan- Africanism and post-colonial movements affect artistic production? How do we understand modernism in an African context? Fulfills non-Western or cross-cultural art history requirement. Visual Culture Emphasis course.
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