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THEA 35300 Cultural Policy & Politics
Juniors & Seniors
FALL 2014: Tu & Th 9:25-10:40
How is it possible that words on a page or images on a canvas can be the center of international political debate?
The work of Robert Mapplethorpe, Ai Weiwei or *censored* Riot is as much known for what it represents politically as for its formal or aesthetic qualities. What does national cultural policy say about that nation’s values, priorities and sense of shared identity? This course explores the intersection of cultural policy and politics, particularly in the United States during the last hundred years. Students will look through the lens of cultural policy and politics at national eras such as the New Deal, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and the “Culture Wars”. Students will consider issues of cultural authorship and economics while learning about policy concerning piracy, downloading, sampling, and copyright. Students will synthesize their learning by producing a final research project about a current, seasoned cultural practitioner whose life and work has intersected with cultural policy and politics.