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HMS-663A Postcoloniality and Aesthetics

3 Credits

Through film, dramatic texts, performance, visual art, and theory, this course will explore the legacies of colonialism, as well as the sites of exclusion and exploitation created by global capital today. We will ask how aesthetic tools may challenge binary systems of value (first World/Third World, developed/underdeveloped, center/periphery) and allow for the emergence of art and politics of “borderlands” and “in-between worlds.” We will begin by delving into the discourses, film and performance works of prominent artists (circa 1960s-1960s) of independent nations of Asia and Africa to understand the distinguishing characteristics of postcolonial aesthetic praxis (canonical counter-discourses, non-linear temporality, carnival logics, and various “languages” of resistance-hybridity, folklore, silence, rhythm etc.) We will also study the relationships between art and memory following years of sustained political violence and dictatorship in Latin American. Then we will turn our attention to more recent works of performance and theory from within the US/North America engaging Black feminist theory/The Movement for Black Lives and indigenous resurgence. Course materials includes reading and artworks by such global, interdisciplinary scholars and artists as Trinh T. Minh-ha, Aimé and Suzanne Césaire, Edward Said, Frantz Fanon, Amir Baradaran Solanas, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Manjula Padmanabhan, Zanele Muholi, amongst others.