Program Seminars 2013-2014
IHUM sponsors several Program Seminars each year, all with an interdisciplinary agenda, many team-taught. A list of this year’s courses follows on this page; click on the titles for more detailed information. Program seminars are open to all graduate students.
The Itinerant Languages of Photography (ENG 571/HUM 571/COM 578/MOD 571) E. Cadava
Considering a set of literary and theoretical writings on photography, and Ibero-American archives that have remained neglected within canonical histories of photography, The Itinerant Languages of Photography traces different modes of photographic itinerancy from the 19th century to the present and offers an alternative, more dynamic, transnational history of photography. The course coincides with an exhibition on the same topic at the Princeton University Art Museum, and focuses on the circulation and exchange of images across cultural, social, and national borders, the diagogue between photography and other media, and the ways in which visual archives enact relationships among memory, history, and a “photographic poetics.” (Syllabus)
Benjamin’s “Artwork Essay” or, Cultural History as the Rigorous Study of Art & Media (HUM 581/GER 581/MOD 581/ART 593) B. Doherty and M. Jennings
Seminar explores W. Benjamin's "Artwork Essay" as an experiment in and a critique of modernist cultural history. Through its exacerbation of the antinomies of analyzing cultural production in historical terms and its theorization of technological media in relation to the history of art, the artwork essay interrogates both the very possibility of writing cultural history and the conditions of its necessity as a form of knowledge. Seminar focuses on the artwork essay's refunctioning of sources in a wide variety of disciplines and discourses, as well as on a number of exemplary exercises in cultural history and media theory in its aftermath. (Syllabus)
Contemporary Art and the Amateur (HUM 598) J. Scanlan
How has the idea of the amateur, or "lover of things," exerted influence on and been contested by contemporary visual art? At various moments the amateur has embodied aesthetic ambition, political rights, and social degradation, all in pursuit of an art that is more pure, more real, more corrupt. Select readings will be augmented by studio projects that engage the class in amateur art-making, from drawing to performance to conducting faux research. Throughout the term, an impressive list of guest speakers - Dean David Dobkin, Professor Jeff Dolven, and art critic Roberta Smith - will bring their experience and wisdom to bear on the subject.