Vision & Justice: Art and Activism in a Contested Democracy
Central Library, Dweck Center
This 3 part course will focus on the crucial interplay of art, justice, and the contestation for citizenship in a radicalized America, from Civil War to the Black Lives Matter Movement, from WWI to the Muslim Ban.
Inspired by Frederick Douglass’s ideas about the role of images for American progress, topics will include: the role of aesthetics for the invention of race, the abolition of transatlantic slavery, the creation of and destabilization of U.S. segregation, the long Civil Rights movement, and the Black Lives Matter movement.
This course will also focus on other contemporary topics of great urgency today—the role of images for the creation of national policy, such as the Muslim ban, and its ties to images of Japanese internment.
Ultimately, this course aims to develop skills of visual literacy—an increasingly vital skill for citizenship in the 21st century.
Sarah Lewis is an Assistant Professor of History of Art and Architecture and African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Before joining the faculty at Harvard, she held curatorial positions at The Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Tate Modern, London and taught at Yale University School of Art. Lewis’s research interests focus on representations of race in contemporary art and nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America culture and across the Black Atlantic world. She is the guest editor of the landmark "Vision & Justice” issue of Aperture Magazine which will serve as the text for this class.
To apply for a seat in this series, please send a brief email to firstname.lastname@example.org that details in 100 words or less why you think these topics are important and why you would like to take this course. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 10. Applicants must commit to attending all three lectures.
All lectures take place in the Dweck Center at Central Library.
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Aperture 223: Awol Erizku, Untitled (Forces of Nature #1), 2014
Sarah Lewis photo ©Annie Leibovitz