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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Spring 2010

AMS 370 • Politics of Creativity

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
29830 TTh
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
MEZ 1.120

Course Description

This course is an interdisciplinary investigation of artists in American society, including (but not limited to) Anne Bradstreet, Kara Walker, Walt Whitman, Michael Moore, Dorothea Lange, Marlon Riggs, Bob Dylan, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Spike Lee, and David Lynch. In addition to studying individual photographers, musicians, writers, and filmmakers who have made powerful statements about American culture and its history, we will be looking at the changing function of art in our society over the past 400 years. Our fundamental questions will often explore the intersection of art and politics: How have American artists conceptualized the United States visually, aurally, and in literature? How have they envisioned American identities? What mythologies about the United States they endorsed or defied? The course will investigate these and other questions about the roles that artists have played in our cultural history.


Possible Texts Ed Guererro, Do The Right Thing Robert Rodriguez, Rebel Without A Crew: Or How A 23-Year-Old Filmmaker With $7,000 Became A Hollywood Player Charlotte Gordon, Mistress Bradstreet: The Untold Life Of America's First Poet Leaves Walt Whitman, Of Grass Malcolm Cowley, Exile's Return Robert Coles & Dorothea Lange, Dorothea Lange: Photographs Of A Lifetime Joan Didion, Slouching Toward Bethlehem Bob Dylan, Chronicles Eleanor Coppola, Notes On The Making Of Apocalypse Now Miranda July, No One Belongs Here More Than You Bart Beaty, David CronenbergÂ’s A History of Violence Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Dangerous Border Crossers: The Artist Talks Back


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