Controversies in the Visual Arts (Millsaps College, Junior/Senior methods seminar, Fall 2018): This seminar is focused on major art works that have elicited a range of scholarly responses in order to provide an in-depth study of the variety of methodological approaches utilized by art historians. Through the study of just five works of art, we will undertake close analysis of critical texts that utilize different methods of analysis stemming from formalism, semiotics, marxism and social histories of art, psychoanalysis, structuralism, feminist and postcolonial approaches, etc. In doing so, students will understand critical approaches to constructing a scholarly argument in order to make a clear case about these complex art works from a particular perspective. This close reading will be utilized as practice for each students’ own formal research paper and presentation, which will be centered on an artwork of their choosing and will offer an advanced and nuanced art historical analysis from a particular methodological lens.
Differencing the Canon: Women, Art, and Representation (Millsaps College, Fall 2018): This course introduces students to key issues and theoretical approaches associated with the study of women and art across the globe from the Renaissance to the present day. Rather than presenting an inverted history, privileging the achievements of women over men, students will be given the tools to deconstruct intersectional mythologies of representation and explore critical issues of gender, race, sexuality, class and nationalisms in relation to visual culture. Throughout the course, we examine the social, political and cultural conditions in which women artists have produced artwork, while at the same time uncover the ways in which gender and race have always been encoded within art history.
Contemporary Art (Millsaps College, Spring 2018): This course is a global study of contemporary art from the 1970s through to today. Through in class discussions, readings, and the visual and written analysis of artworks, we will examine the unique character and experience of global contemporary life, paying close attention to its social, cultural, and political contexts. Key frameworks to this study will be issues of: gender and sexuality, race and identities, trauma and exile, the environment, dissent and activism, authorship and originality, memory, space, and the body. After taking this course, students will be able to identify strategies of artistic decision-making as well as evaluate the function of artistic expression by reflecting on the ways in which art may affirm, challenge, or alter a viewer’s perspective. Our class will also partner with the art collective, Bordeamos por la paz, an experience that will inform class discussion and be incorporated into a final CEL project.
Art & Politics: Twentieth-Century Latin America (Spring 2018, Millsaps College): The study of Latin American art today is more relevant than ever. With the burgeoning population of Spanish speakers in the US, and Latin American political and cultural influence spreading throughout the world, it is imperative we better understand the culture of this diverse region. This course will introduce you to some of the most pivotal works of 20th century Latin American art. We will approach this study via the critical intersection of art and politics. Under this lens, you will learn to analyze works of art not only for their formal qualities, but also for their interconnected relationship to social, political, and cultural contexts. While we will begin with muralism in the 1930s, our primary focus will be works made after 1960. Throughout the course, you will understand the ways in which artistic development occurred in tandem with, and often in direct response to, moments of revolution, dictatorship, uneven development, and social upheaval, as well as make connections to critical issues of US-Latin American relations. We will engage with texts, ideas, and perspectives from various disciplines that incorporate concepts of gender, race, ethnicity, class, and sexuality into our analysis of art from this exciting period of history.
Modern Art (Millsaps College, Fall 2017. Virtual exhibition curated by students: Shifting Focus): This course offers a survey of avant-garde modern art from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Rather than tracing a “progression” of traditions solely from Europe and the US, this course critically acknowledges the existence of multiple modernities around the globe. Under this lens, students will come to understand the ways in which modern art emerged and changed both within, and outside of, traditional “centers” of artistic production. Students will be introduced to key concepts that shape the study of modern art history, as well as continually challenged to utilize these methodologies in their own independent and comparative analysis. Some issues that will be addressed include: the role of the artist and work of art in society; the influence of gender, race, class, sexuality, histories of colonialism and diaspora on both art-making and interpretation; the intersection of art and politics; and the shift towards experimental approaches to the art object. The course content and assignments will leave students with the ability to persuasively analyze works of modern art in ways that address key social, cultural, and political histories that influenced their making and contemporary interpretation.
Centers and Margins: Modern and Contemporary Art from Latin America (Tufts University, Spring 2016): This course is designed to introduce students to the major artists, objects and themes of Latin American art history from roughly 1930 to the present day. Historically positioned at both the center and margins of critical discourses, course material focuses on the global interconnectedness of art from Latin America, revealing how histories of colonization, modernization, politics and economic relationships have influenced the region’s stylistic developments. Students engage with both the formal transformations of the art object during this period, as well as the various socio-political and artistic contexts under which these transformations took place. While art from the region is the primary vector of exploration, the inevitable intersections of gender, race, class and sexuality are regularly drawn into discussions.
Visualizing a Nation: Twentieth Century Art from Mexico (Tufts University, Fall 2016): This course introduces students to the major artists, objects and themes of Mexican art history from the late 19th Century through to the present day. Visual art has historically been both directly and indirectly engaged in the collective formation of national identities in Mexico. While students may be able to name the most famous artists associated with Mexican nationalism – such as the muralists – this course expands their conceptualization of national narratives through the inclusion of a wide variety of producers and discourses. We continually consider “official” visual narratives of citizenship and national identity, as well as counter-narratives posed by artists along the lines of gender, sexuality, race and belonging. Students will also engage with the global interconnectedness of art from Mexico, understanding its long history as a political, intellectual and artistic center.
Survey of Art II: Renaissance to Present (Tulane University, Fall 2015/Spring 2016)
Introduction to Latin American Studies II (Tulane University, Spring 2014)
Introduction to Latin American Studies I (Tulane University, Fall 2013)