Teachers strike in Oakland. Photo credit: Brooke AndersonPhotography. Published on Common Dreams.Used with permission. T. V. REEDBuchanan Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Washington State University As Harvard political scientist Erica Chenoweth has carefully documented, throughout modern history large-scale civil disobedience has been the most effective way to bring about significant social change—including overthrowing authoritarian regimes. If only … More This key point in US history urgently calls for peaceful, art-filled protest.
BY NICHOLAS GASKILL Color has a secret. In one form or another, this has been the message of the recent boom in color studies. Sometimes the secret is psychological. Seeing blue involves not only light waves and retinas, but also an act of interpretation based on lighting conditions and on what, in the past, we’ve … More The Secret of the Secret of Color
BY JOANNA FRUEH Surrealism is an art and literary movement in the early twentieth century. Its best-known work is a painting by Salvador Dali, The Persistence of Memory, in which clocks look like they’re melting in a bleak and blank terrain. In Surrealist painting, distortions of everyday reality, in scale, shape, and space give surreal … More The Big Surreal
BY LISA DIEDRICHProfessor of women’s and gender studies, State University of New York at Stony Brook Next week, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York will launch a major exhibition of the work of David Wojnarowicz, “History Keeps Me Awake at Night.” It notes that Wojnarowicz was “queer and HIV-positive” and an “impassioned … More On David Wojnarowicz, politics, and gestures.
BY MICHAEL TYMKIWLecturer in art history at the University of Essex For many people, events such as the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, with its torchlight parade, eagle-emblazoned shields and Nazi flags, bring with them uncomfortable reminders of fascist visual culture from the 1920s to 1945. While individuals and organisations associated with the … More What Nazi exhibitions tell us about how the far right engages audiences today
CATHERINE M. SOUSSLOFFProfessor of art history, visual art, and theory at the University of British Columbia Last spring, I was in Paris as a Visiting Researcher at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, with a beautiful office just steps from the “old” Bibliotèque Nationale de France (BnF), newly renovated and now containing virtually the entire … More Foucault in the Contemporary Archive
Fritz Kahn, “Der Mensch als Industriepalast” (2d ed, ca. 1929).Artist: Fritz Shüler. © Kosmos Verlag, Stuttgart. National Library of Medicine. BY MICHAEL SAPPOLSwedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Uppsala In recent decades, scholars have begun to reckon with the visual turn in the popular science of the 18th and 19th centuries — the plates of the Encyclopédie … More Fun with Your Modern Head
BY NAMIKO KUNIMOTOAssistant professor of art history at The Ohio State University In 1950, Japanese political parties and grassroots organizations began to stand up and fight back against the Reverse Course, the conservative shift in policies of the American Occupation. Art rapidly became an important avenue for protest, and at the forefront of this intersection … More Art Practice and Protest.
BY MICHAEL CRAMERAssistant professor of film history at Sarah Lawrence College The term “utopia” is most often used to refer to a place (most frequently an imaginary one) as it was in Sir Thomas More’s book of the same name. More’s Utopia (1516), of course, was followed by plenty of other representations of “perfect” societies. … More Imagining Another Television.
Jane Graverol’s Le Cortège d’Orpheé. BY KATHLEEN ROONEY Though the artist René Magritte (1898–1967) wrote extensively throughout his life and career—from aspirations of being a detective novelist to crafting genre-jumping essays, prose poems, lectures, reviews, and more—it’s hard to say why exactly it has taken so long for Magritte’s writings to become available in English. His Ecrits … More René Magritte’s Selected Writings: On Jane Graverol