This course examines key themes in visual and verbal art since the 1960s: beauty, reproduction, the model, consumerism, interactivity. Texts will include literary works (M. Shelley, Pynchon, Morrison, Bram, Chevalier); art catalogues (Picasso, Lee Miller, Warhol, Wilke, Dumas); and theoretical articles (Jakobson, Barthes, Baudrillard). Works from the early and late twentieth century will sometimes be paired to help us construct a picture of contemporary culture by understanding its salient differences from modernism.
Assignments will be a seminar presentation to the class and a 15-page paper based on that presentation. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of this course, students are welcome from English and other national literature departments, Comparative Literature, Art History, Fine Arts, and Women's Studies.