U.S. Arts and Media: Race in American Art

AMST-A 202

illustration of a barbed wire fence between Caucasian woman with an apple and a Hispanic woman with an apple
Phoebe Wolfskill
Course Description

This course examines representations of racial identity in American art and visual culture from the colonial period through the present day with a particular focus on evolving conceptions of Native American, African American, European American, Latino, and Asian American identities.

Objects for consideration will be discussed chronologically within the larger social, cultural, and political history of North America and Europe. We will evaluate the ways in which racial identity and racial conflict are presented in paintings, sculpture, prints, photographs, film/TV, and other popular imagery, focusing on relationships of power, portrayals of “otherness,” and majority and minority self-representation. In our investigation of these objects, we will consider the political and social climate in which they were made, how they were consumed, and their place within visual culture and existing histories. Required readings consist of selected art historical, sociological, and theoretical articles.