Colonialism and the Visual Arts
Designed as a seminar for Division II students in art history, cultural studies and/or studio arts, this course will explore aspects of the visual and cultural representations of colonialism and expansionism in the arts of western Europe and the United States. Topics will include: Napoleon's Egyptian Campaign of 1798-1799; 19th-century travel literature; Japonisme and the introduction of a Japanese esthetic into western art; manifest destiny in the U. S. and the changing image of the Native American; propaganda imagery of colonialism; the gendering of expansionist imagery; primitivism in modern art; cinematic and popular culture representations of Africa and the Middle East. Throughout, our goal will be to trace the ways that, over the past two centuries, Western cultures have represented themselves in depicting their colonial others. To receive an evaluation, students must do the assigned readings, attend film screenings and special lectures, complete written assignments, and a class presentation. Background in art history is essential.