Terra Foundation for American Art in Berlin

Spring / Summer semester courses taught by Terra Foundation for American Art scholars in Berlin

The Terra Foundation Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at the Institute for Art and Visual History of the Humboldt University Berlin for 2018-2020 is Dr. Andrew Witt

 

In the 2019 spring-summer semester Andrew Witt will offer the following course:

Film as Theory | Documents from the American Underground

This course interrogates the ways through which film operates as a unique mode of thought. Featuring a wide range of projects — from the militant image to independent cinema— the goal of the seminar is to rethink the notion of the underground as an evocative terrain for thought and struggle, in particular, the peculiar ways through which images are historically obscured and silenced but emerge, unexpectedly, out of states of latency. The course seeks to make sense of these forms of delay, resurrection and survival. Special emphasis will be placed on the experimental cinema of Maya Deren, Barbara Loden, Agnès Varda, Tamara Henderson, Arthur Jafa and Frederick Wiseman. These films will be screened and read alongside keys texts in contemporary film theory. The writings and work of Nathalie Léger, Theodor Adorno, Georges Didi-Huberman, (among others) will be read and discussed throughout the duration of the term.

In the 2018 fall-winter semester Andrew Witt offered the following course:

Afterlives: Documentary Film and Photography in California, 1870-1970

Tuesdays, 10: 00-12: 00. Georgenstr. 47. First class 23.10, last class 05.12.

This course addresses the rise of documentary film and photography in California from 1870 to 1970. The course is interdisciplinary in nature, measuring the complexity of documentary work in California alongside a larger cultural terrain. This course is dedicated to the weird, the obscure and the comic in documentary practice, all of which has been overlooked by our current histories of documentary. Artists discussed in this course include Eadweard Muybridge, Dorothea Lange, Maya Deren, Toyo Miyatake, John Gutmann, Ed Ruscha, Allan Sekula, Martha Rosler, John Divola, and the LA Rebellion. In concentrating on California, the works analyzed in this course are mobilized to put pressure on histories of the period that all too often privilege documentary works produced out East (namely New York).

To register for the course please email Andrew at  andrew.witt@hu-berlin.de Participants: 24 max.

The Terra Foundation for American Art Visiting Professor John F. Kennedy Institute, Free University Berlin for 2018/2019 is Prof. Laura Katzman.

1898: Imag(in)ing the Caribbean in the Age of the Spanish-American War

Terra Foundation Conference at the Freie Universität Berlin

 

Date: Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Location: John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Freie Universität, Lansstrasse 7-9, Berlin. Room 340, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Contact for more information: Laura Katzman: katzmalr@jmu.edu

This interdisciplinary conference will address visual representations produced in the wake of the Spanish-American War—an understudied yet pivotal conflict in the history of the United States and its relation to the world. While the war only lasted four months, the consequences were profound. The U.S. military seized four colonies from Spain (Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Philippines, and Guam), signaling the end of the vast Spanish Empire and the beginning of American imperial ambition in what would come to be called “The American Century.” (Even during the conflict, the U.S. military, at the urging of President William McKinley, had annexed the independent republic of Hawaii.)

The conference will focus on the Caribbean, illuminating Puerto Rico and Cuba, which represent very different trajectories in the United States’ “first episode in globalization.” Puerto Rico’s ambiguous legal status and lack of sovereignty as an unincorporated U.S. territory continues to fuel critical debates about the island’s identity as a commonwealth, future U.S. state, or an independent nation. Puerto Ricans continue to fight for both greater autonomy and for full rights as U.S. citizens—a dual struggle thrown into sharp relief by crippling debt and by a devastating 2017 hurricane. Cuba, by contrast, a U.S. protectorate for only three years, has since the 1959 communist revolution stood in stark defiance against U.S. power and influence.

Situating their talks in the era of the war and its aftermath, scholars will explore the ways that paintings, sculptures, photographs, architecture, tourist postcards, sheet music, and ethnological and historical artifacts (created and collected by both islanders and mainlanders, locals and outsiders), have pictured, documented, negotiated, critiqued, and resisted that new world order. Speakers will draw on art history, museum theory, anthropology, post-colonial studies, and American and Latin American studies to interpret the work of artists, designers, collectors, and travelers. They will demonstrate how the acquisition, classification, publication, circulation, and display of such material culture has constructed powerful narratives that have shaped popular and often problematic perceptions of Puerto Rico and Cuba, which Puerto Rican poet Lola Rodríquez de Tío called “two wings of one bird.” Speakers will also consider 1898 from the lens of the current political, economic, and environmental crises on both islands, as well as from contemporary diaspora perspectives.

The conference is organized by Laura Katzman, the 2018-2019 Terra Foundation Visiting Professor of American Art at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin. Sponsorship is provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art and the Culture Department, JFKI/FU. See: terraamericanart.org/events and culture@jfki.fu-berlin.de.

Prof. Katz is offering the following courses during the spring 2019 term:

Commemoration and Controversy: Public Art in the United States

MA seminar, Summer Semester 2019

This seminar examines the artistic, social, historical, political, and philosophical issues

in public art at critical moments in the history of the United States, from the early Republic

to the present day. We will investigate the nature of public art, its uses and functions, as

well as civic and official attitudes towards art in the public sphere. Particular attention will be given to issues of censorship, propaganda, and the “culture wars” that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s, as they relate to on-going, heated debates over government support of the arts. Many of our sessions will focus on commissioned monuments and memorials, looking at the ways in which Americans remember, articulate, and memorialize their past. Given the highly contentious debates that have exploded in recent years around Confederate monuments and Civil War commemoration, we will probe the multi-faceted national discussion about America’s slave history and the legacy of racism in contemporary U.S. culture. As Berlin is a city with a renowned memorial culture, cross-cultural comparisons between German and American public monuments will be an essential part of this seminar, as will field trips to iconic memorials in the German capital.

New Deal Art: The Visual Culture of Thirties America

BA seminar, Summer Semester 2019

This seminar examines the visual culture of thirties America, in the context of the economic crisis of the Great Depression and the rural devastation wrought by the Dust Bowl that ravaged much of the American South and the Midwest. We will investigate the unprecedented role the New Deal government played as art patron, with the establishment of federal art programs that commissioned artists to create public murals, sculpture, graphic art, design, photography, literature, film, theatre, dance, and music, which aimed to bring art to the “masses” and construct a distinctive national culture. Contemporaneous debates about government support for the arts, cultural democracy, and national identity, will also be studied, along with recent scholarly approaches to New Deal art that consider perspectives of race, ethnicity, class, and gender. Other topics of discussion will include: the political radicalization of artists; art as weapon against war and fascism; and art and the labor movement. We will analyze artistic approaches associated with the broad phenomenon of American scene painting, ranging from regionalism to social viewpoint. Particular attention will be given to the pervasive documentary impulse of the era, as exemplified by the iconic photography commissioned by the now legendary Resettlement Administration/Farm Security Administration (RA/FSA).

 

Prof. Katzman offered the following courses during the winter 2018 term:

A Social History of Photography in the United States (BA)

This course examines the history of photography in the United States, considering the aesthetic, technological, social, cultural, and political factors that contributed to the development and practice of photography from its beginnings in 1839 through the mid‐twentieth century. Particular emphasis will be given to the relationship between photography and society, the role that photography has played in shaping ideology and informing popular thought, as well as the ways that photographs have been used to raise political awareness, inspire civic and global engagement, and promote social change. Photography’s complex status as art and document, and how the medium has been theorized by critics, scholars, and artists, will also be studied. The ultimate goal of this course is to encourage critical looking, thinking, and writing about photographic images, texts, and institutions. Fields trips to museums in Berlin with strong photography collections and/or photography exhibitions will be required.

Please register at: culture@jfki.fu‐berlin.de with your name, matriculation number, study program, home university, zedat email address or email address of home university, and type of exchange program (if applicable). Deadline for registration is November 1, 2018. Enrollment without registration here is not possible. A final list of participants will be published on November 5.

The Museum in America: Histories and Controversies (MA)

This seminar examines the history, functions, and meanings of museums in society, focusing primarily on the art museum in the United States. Drawing on the ever‐growing literature on museology, the course critically addresses the ways in which museums—through their policies, programs, exhibitions, technologies, and architecture—can define regional or national values, shape cultural attitudes, and inform social and political views. The intersection between museum theory and practice will be investigated. Students are encouraged to analyze the ways in which American museums present, display, and interpret the art of the United States as well as that of non‐American and non‐Western cultures. Using the 20th‐ century American art collections at the Hamburger Bahnhof and the Neue Nationalgalerie, the seminar also considers how contemporary American culture is presented through a European lens. Field trips to the plethora of museums on Museuminsel and throughout Berlin will be required.

Please register at: culture@jfki.fu‐berlin.de with your name, matriculation number, study program, home university, zedat email address or email address of home university, and type of exchange program (if applicable). Deadline for registration is November 1, 2018. Enrollment without registration here is not possible. A final list of participants will be published on November 5.

Terra Visiting Professorship at the Kennedy Institute
Joshua Shannon’s Courses in the Winter Term 2019/20

BA

The Americans: Photography in the United States since 1950
(course number: 32101)

Wednesdays 10 a.m. – noon, Kennedy Institute (Lansstr. 7-9, 14195 Berlin) room 319;

first session on November 6, 2019

In this course, we will consider the many uses and meanings of U.S. photography over the last seventy years. A broad variety of photographic practices will be considered, including street photography, figure and portrait photography, and the recent boom in photography of the environment. In addition to this focus on work conventionally understood as artistic photography, the course will consider the increasingly prominent roles that photography has played in other recent artistic practices, including pop art, performance, conceptual art, sitespecific sculpture, and painting. We will also critically analyze American photojournalism as well as the ascendancy and changing roles of amateur snapshots. Some meetings will introduce particular themes and movements, while others will focus intensively on small bodies of work.

Please register at: culture@jfki.fu-berlin.de with your name, matriculation number, study program, home university (if applicable), zedat email address or email address of home university, and type of exchange program (if applicable). Deadline for registration is

November 1, 2019. Enrollment without registration here is not possible. A final list of participants will be published on November 4.

MA
The Future is a Rectangle: American Modernist Architecture in its Global
Context (course number: 32114)

Wednesdays 2 – 4 p.m., Kennedy Institute (Lansstr. 7-9, 14195 Berlin) room 319; first session on November 6, 2018

This course offers a history of modern architecture in the United States, with an emphasis on its ideological aspirations and socio-political contexts. The course emphasizes the period 1945-1985, focusing especially on the adaptation of modernism to serve as the default style for new schools, post offices, university campuses and other ordinary civic building projects. We will investigate in particular the political meanings of this vernacular use of “International Style” modernism.

Please register at: culture@jfki.fu-berlin.de with your name, matriculation number, study program, home university (if applicable), zedat email address or email address of home university, and type of exchange program (if applicable).

Deadline for registration is November 1, 2019. Enrollment without registration here is not possible. A final list of participants will be published on November 4.

Previously, the Terra Foundation Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at the Humboldt University Berlin for 2016-2018 was Larne Abse Gogarty

In the summer semester 2017-2018, Larne Abse Gogarty offered the following course:

American art and the stakes of criticism 1933-1975.

Thursdays, 13.00-16.00. Room 3.42, Georgenstr. 47. First class 19.04, last class 21.06.

This course addresses American art and criticism from the New Deal to the end of the Vietnam War, exploring a range of practices from 1930s realism, to the rise of Abstract Expressionism and subsequent developments in Minimalism, Happenings, Pop and Conceptualism. Throughout the period, there were various ways to interpret new modes of artistic production, and explore the various allegiances to Marxism, formalism, existentialism, cold war liberalism, feminism and the Civil Rights Movement. From the very beginning of the 1950s to the claims made by formalists critics during the ascendancy of American art in the 1950s, this course aims to uncover the stakes of criticism-especially as autonomous-during a volatile and transformative period.

The Terra Foundation for American Art Visiting Professor John F. Kennedy Institute, Free University Berlin for 2017/2018 Lauren Kroiz (UC Berkeley)

Lauren Kroiz’s courses in the summer semester 2018:

BA History of American Art: 1607 to the Present 

Wednesdays 10 am – noon, Kennedy Institute (Lansstr 7-9, 14195 Berlin) room 319; first session on April 18, 2018

This course aims to examine the history of American art from the period of earliest European settlement through the present. Works of art and other forms of material culture will be explored and discussed within the context of philosophical, historical, social, and cultural developments. The past, but rather the passive agents are “in the process of reflection”, “the past, but rather the”, Attention, therefore, seeks to be given to the writings of artists and critics, as well as canonical texts in the formulation of the discipline by art historians, historians, and other scholars. and material culture.

Please register at: culture@jfki.fu-berlin.de with your name, matriculation number, study program, home university, zedat email address or email address of home university, and type of exchange program (if applicable). Deadline for registration is April 15, 2017. Enrollment for the course is capped at 40 students. A final list of participants will be published on April 17.

MA American Art and Diaspora 

Wednesdays 2 – 4 pm, Kennedy Institute (Lansstr 7-9, 14195 Berlin) room 319; first session on April 18, 2018

This seminar will introduce students to theories of diaspora, using them as a lens through which to examine the relationships of American art’s audiences, authors, and objects. We want to consider diaspora broadly as heterogeneous movements that scatter individuals and populations. Our study aims to compare multiple groups within the context of the United States, drawing especially on theorizations developed in African diaspora studies and Jewish studies. In doing so, we want to be aware of the varied forms of voluntary and involuntary migration as they occur within transnational networks of power. Case studies on creative expression wants to include exile, self-determination, cooperation, trauma, display and narrative. Introducing “otherness” and “difference” as key terms, our focus on diaspora will be the idea of ​​a singular American art.

Please register at: culture@jfki.fu-berlin.de with your name, matriculation number, study program, home university, zedat email address or email address of home university, and type of exchange program (if applicable). Deadline for registration is April 15, 2017. Enrollment for the course is capped at 40 students. A final list of participants will be published on April 17.

www.terraamericanart.org