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Elijah Pierce's America: Barnes Foundation Curatorial Seminar

ENGL 205.401
also offered as: ARTH 305
Monday 2-5:00pm


This Spiegel-Wilks Curatorial Seminar is offered in collaboration with the Barnes Foundation.  Students will be provided with an immersion in curatorial and museum studies and will have the opportunity to interact with curators, scholars, and staff at Penn and the museum, including Executive Director and President Thom Collins, who will co-teach the course.  The course syllabus will engage the permanent collection at the museum, where the course will meet weekly.  As part of the course, students will also conduct research and contribute to the temporary exhibition opening at the Barnes Foundation that semester, which will feature the work of Elijah Pierce (1892–1984), a self-taught woodcarver whose handcrafted works reacted to life in 20th-century America.  One of the first generations of African Americans born into freedom, his remarkable narratives depict religious parables, autobiographical scenes, episodes from American politics, and figures from popular culture. 

fulfills requirements
Sector 1: Theory and Poetics of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major