Art, Politics, and the Everyday
Aesthetic scripts and norms enter into the organization of everyday cultural existence. They help to shape a politics of form, emotion, sensation, embodiment, space, and time. What follows for the politics of art? Does the notion of the everyday presuppose a normalizing perspective that abjects phenomena such as the detail, the marvelous, the sublime, and the imperfect, or does it include, even celebrate them? How does power materialize as aesthetic style and taste? What part do categories of difference such as race, class, gender, sexuality, and empire play in the aestheticization of what counts as the quotidian? We will investigate these and other questions through texts, artworks, images, and sounds. Readings include work by major figures in the history of aesthetics as well as 20th- and 21st century philosophers and cultural critics such as Benjamin, Adorno, Foucault, Saito, Shusterman, Ahmed, Lugones. This course is reading- and writing-intensive. Engagement with theoretical complexity, abstraction and ambiguity is presupposed.