Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Writing through Culture and Art

ENGL 165.301
instructor(s):
Thursday 1:30-4:30pm

This yearlong course, presented in collaboration with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, will focus on the vital contributions that women have made to the 20th-century avant-garde. Women were essential participants in male-dominated movements such as Dada, Surrealism, Futurism, and Constructivism; they made art in every conceivable genre and media including literature, performance, film, painting, movement, and design. Our focus will be global, exploring the roles that women have played in experimental art movements across Europe, Africa, the Americans, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia, with an emphasis on how these works intersected with and responded to art produced by indigenous cultures. We will mine this rich vein of artistic production as the inspiration for our own weekly creative writings and reflection. We will have access to the treasures of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as well as personal interactions and class visits from the curatorial and educational staff of the museum. In addition, we’ll be making trips to New York to visit the studios of contemporary women artists—musicians, dancers, painters, performers—to find out how they connect with the tradition of women in the experimental arts. The class will culminate in a paper-bound publication to be copublished by the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Note: This is a two-semester course. Students will enroll in 165 in the fall and then re-enroll in 165 in the spring.