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Topics In Anthropology (390-0-32)


How Art, Images, and the Senses Shape City Politic


Kyle Benedict Craig

Meeting Info

ANTHRO Sem Rm B07 - 1810 Hinmn: Tues, Thurs 11:00AM - 12:20PM

Overview of class

What does gentrification sound like? What is the role of smell or color in shaping ideas of racial difference in contemporary cities? Does public art challenge or reinforce social hierarchies in urban spaces? This course examines how aesthetic expressions and practices such as urban design and architecture, public art and graffiti, and public performances shape struggles over rights to the city. For example, we will learn how indigenous migrants from Latin America paint murals to challenge anti-indigenous racism and erasure in Los Angeles and how urban developers in Delhi use aesthetic judgments of the working poor to justify their forced removal from public spaces. While aesthetics are commonly associated with the visual qualities of people and things, this course will explore multi-sensory aesthetic experiences and judgments, such as noise control initiatives in Tapei and the racial politics of smell in New York City. Students will have the opportunity to develop arts and media-based final projects that examine urban aesthetics through methods that include but are not limited to sound/smell maps, comics, podcast episodes, performances, or art installations. By the end of the course, students will be able to critically analyze the aesthetic politics of the urban built environment within and beyond dominant visual-centric approaches.

Registration Requirements

Juniors and seniors only

Evaluation Method

weekly discussion posts, participation, one-time discussion facilitation, mid-term and final projects.

Class Materials (Required)

I will upload readings onto Canvas.

Enrollment Requirements

Enrollment Requirements: Reserved for Juniors & Seniors