Featured Courses

The Immediacies Course Cluster Colloquia

Spring 2022

Immediacies is an interdisciplinary course cluster developed in response to urgent discussions of race, environment, and (global) community. Associated colloquia will be coordinated by the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies and will be open to all students enrolled in Immediacies courses, across departments. Discussions will be inspired by the collective course content and will emphasize directed dialog among students and faculty.

Immediacies occurs within the great cesura caused by COVID-19, which is bringing rapid and unprecedented changes to society and its institutions. Immediacies asks what is asked of us in ways of urgent action, even while experiencing a collective “stop” that, according to Paul Preciado in a recent Artforum, has precipitated an “aesthetic crisis.”

These courses are interdisciplinary and we encourage enrollment by graduate students from across all departments and graduate constituencies.

  • ARTHI 5022: The Social Chromaticism of the Color Black (Sampada Aranke)
  • ARTED 5028: Collaboration: Art as a Social Force (Sarah Ross)
  • PHOTO 5105: Land as Material (Jonas Becker)
  • VCS 5050 / MFA 5050: Space Concept/Ideology/Synthesis (Kamau Patton)

Detailed listings below

  • Sampada Aranke, “The Social Chromaticism of the Color Black”  ARTHI 5022: Tuesday 1:30 - 4:30 pm  (In-Person)    The title of this class comes from Fred Moten’s 2008 article “The Case of Blackness” in which he suggests that black is, does, means, and exceeds the visual field. Taking Moten’s notion of blackness’s social chromatism to work, this graduate seminar explores Black cultural theory and its interventions on aesthetic theory. Working primarily out of anticolonial and antiracist politics, the scholars and artists we will examine take as skin, color, sound, and touch as their primary mediums in order to further understandings of antiblackness and other afterlives of slavery. Some of the scholars we will study include Sylvia Wynter, Kamau Braithwaite, Edouard Glissant, Frantz Fanon, Hortense Spillers, Huey Copeland, Fred Moten, and Leon Wainwright. Paired with exhibitions like the Brooklyn Museum’s 2007 Infinite Island: Contemporary Caribbean Art and the Tate Museum’s 2010 Afro Modern: Journeys through the Black Atlantic, we will ask ourselves: what constitutes blackness? What is the art-historicity of black aesthetics? What radicality exists within and despite of the ongoing violence of antiblackness? These questions might lead us to further theoretical and aesthetic explorations how Blackness extends tactile, audible, and imaginary qualities to the visual field. Assignments include a key concept presentation, object-based written exercises, and a final paper.
  • Sarah Ross, “Collaboration: Art as a Social Force” ARTED 5028: Monday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm  (In-Person)    The objective for this course is to enable students to collaborate with diverse populations and to broaden their ability to make art with people. A combination of lecture, discussion, and community fieldwork will provide an opportunity to link teaching philosophy with experience. Topics include social theory, identity formation, political activism, critical pedagogy, 'public art,' and art as a force for social transformation. Course requirements include: research, project proposals, curriculum development, participation in an approved collaborative community-based project, and documentation. Students will be expected to spend at least three hours per week at their community field site. This course counts as studio credit.
  • Jonas Becker, "Land as Material," PHOTO 5105: Tuesday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm  (In-Person)   Through an intersectional framework of environmental injustice, land can be better understood as a material nexus where race, class and gender intersect. These have entwined such that land and body can no longer be separated; our lungs are full of the dust of industry, bodies made of polluted water, and all of these impacts disproportionately affect already marginalized individuals and communities. Artists have long used earth elements as material, from cobalt pigment to earthen clay, but through greater examination we can expand the use of the materials around us to more than just their material properties, and instead engage their histories and political potential.
  • Kamau Patton, “Space Concept/Ideology/Synthesis”  VCS 5050 / MFA 5050: Thursday 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm  (Online)    This seminar will focus on the ideologically driven construction of space. The course will explore space as concept and alternately concept(s) as space to occupy- as a generative entity which establishes an environment for thought and action. Site, as space performed through shared social and psychic schemata, as actual space, as sacred space and as virtual space. Information as a landscape in cyberspace governed through an operational construct and developed as a scalable virtual world. We will consider earth formed sites and human approaches to environmental design. This course encourages inter-disciplinary methodology and cross-media production of objects informed by the concepts engaged. At midterm students will submit project documents as proposals and produce final work as outlined. Final project may be submitted in the form of a research-based text or as a substantial creative project that blends academic and creative production.