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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Sarah Dowling
BIS 470
Bothell Campus

Art, Politics, and Social Change

Explores art forms as windows on changing political cultures and the role of artists as social critics and advocates of political change in diverse historical epochs and societies and in conjunction with selected modern political movements.

Class description

Art, Politics and Social Change considers the roles of artistic production in community formation, and of community formation in artistic production. This course will begin in a seminar style by leading students through a series of key questions and case studies in twentieth- and twenty-first century artistic production, culminating in studentsí participation in a one-day symposium at the Simpson Center for the Humanities in Seattle. The course will then shift to a workshop format, wherein students will undertake a collaborative critical interview project in which they will study the works of and interact directly with a practicing artist-activist.

Student learning goals

Students will understand the differences between various relationships between artistic production and community formation.

Students will be familiar with various politicized artistic movements and artistically oriented political movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and will be able to articulate the differences between their theories and praxes.

Students will be knowledgeable participants in politicized art events.

Students will be able to work collaboratively to produce a densely researched and professionally executed critical interview project.

General method of instruction

During the first part of the quarter, the course will be taught as a seminar. During the second part of the quarter, the course will shift to a workshop as students begin working on their collaborative critical interviews.

Recommended preparation

There are no prerequisites, but students must be available to attend the October 18th symposium at the Simpson Center (Seattle campus), "Affect & Audience in the Digital Age." This event will begin in the morning and end at night, after a full day of roundtable talks and an artistic performance in the evening. Students are required to attend the entire event.

Class assignments and grading

Students will write short assignments such as a manifesto, and will work collaboratively in small groups to research and write/create a critical interview project. This assignment will be workshopped throughout the second half of the quarter.

Grades will be assigned on the basis of class participation, short independent written assignments, and a longer collaborative critical interview assignment.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Sarah Dowling
Date: 04/29/2013