2019 SPRING GRADUATE COURSES

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GU 4080/ Section 001                Topics in the Black Experience: Epic Black
A study of long form works by Black artists that seek to give depth and dimension to Black history and culture.  We will explore works by a number of important artists including, but not limited to, Alvin Ailey, Romare Bearden, Beyoncé, Duke Ellington, Toni Morrison, Derek Walcott and August Wilson.
 
Farah J.  Griffin , fjg8@columbia.edu ; Wednesdays 2:10-4:00pm



 
GU4080/ Section 002      Topics in the Black Experience: With New Eyes: Visual Culture and Critical Social Analysis
 
How do artists, curators and performers engage, challenge and navigate visual representations of the social world? How have cultural practitioners created counter-narratives against stereotyping to produce alternative imagery thus shifting potential identies and politics? How does creative expression produce radical strategies to negotiate or to transgress the subjective binaries of sexuality, gender and further offer queer and transgender frameworks to understand race, culture and society? With a focus on the cultural production of the 20th and 21st century, this inter-disciplinary course examines the social construction of race, gender, sexuality and class within cultural and historical contexts. Applying a critical Ethnic studies framework, we study visual culture through the historical origins of world fair displays and museums (bodies and art objects as ethnographic study), fashion (dress, style, culturally-coded representation, and photography), popular culture and mainstream entertainment (film, television) to policy, social protest and cultural movements
 
Johanna Almiron, iraas@columbia.edu,  Thursdays 2:10- 4:00P,
 

 
GU 4080/ Section 003                 Topics in the Black Experience: 20 and Odd: The 400-Year Anniversary of Africans Landing at Jamestown in 1619
 
This course is designed as a research seminar focusing on the examination of images, documents, and ephemera that highlight the African presence in Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the United States.  The first Africans arrived in the British colony in 1619, and were recorded as “20 and odd Negroes,” who disembarked from an English pirate ship flying a Dutch flag. These Africans represent a small part of the lucrative, international slave trade dominated by the Portuguese, Dutch and English in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. They would come to signify the start of slavery in the United States that would transform the region into a center for agriculture, commerce and trade.
 
Using the collections at the Columbia Rare Book and Manuscript Library, New York Public Library, New York Historical Society, Museum of the City of New York, New York State Archives and the Library of Congress, we will identify key materials that provide insight on what the texture of life would have been like for Africans in colonial Virginia. This research will also be the foundation from which to consider documents that reflect attitudes, legal agreements, popular culture and personal accounts toward the general system of slavery that would fuel the economic engine of the United States until the late 19th century. The research generated from this seminar will support the development of an exhibition at Columbia in Fall 2019.
 
Kalia M. Brooks, kb3102@columbia.edu