Art and Politics in Paris: Reading Power in Space and Image
May 23-June 5, 2013; 3 credits
This program focuses on the ways in which royal, national and popular power can be read in the built environment and image collections of the French capital. Because art and architecture have historically served as primary vehicles for the consolidation and projection of authority, close in situ analysis of buildings, urban spaces and museum collections in which French rulers and their antagonists have staged their claims will shed light on larger trans-cultural questions. In particular, by “reading” the visual environment of a major European capital whose rich culture continues to hold sway in the modern world, students will engage important questions about the complex capacity of the visual arts to both serve and challenge those in power. The course is intended for a general undergraduate audience and will hold special appeal for students interested in art, architecture, visual culture, history, and politics.