What are the politics of art? How do race, gender and sexuality (that of the artist or that depicted in a given art work) affect our response to a work of art? How does the embodied identity of actors—their gender, race and sexuality—affect the performance of a play? How are casting decisions also interpretive decisions about a play’s relationships, power structures and political resonances? How does performance art, which makes the
performers’ bodies the medium, draw our attention to the embodied dimension of art, theater and literature? In this course, we explore these questions by studying a range of artistic and dramatic works, from classical antiquity through the present, in conversation with feminist, queer and critical race theory on identity and performance. We visit museums and art galleries and attend theatrical performances to serve as material for analysis of the complex relationship between art and politics.