Niveau : Graduate
Langue du cours : Anglais
Période : Automne & Printemps
Nombre d'heures : 30
Crédits ECTS : 3
Art for art’s sake? Certainly not! A work of art, be it a painting, a poem, a novel, a photograph, or a film, is the product of an artist, but also of a period, a society, a set of economical factors that have influenced the artist’s choices – and which will be in turn affected by the work of art. We will study famous examples of interconnections between art and politics, from Shakespeare’s time to Gillian Slovo’s The Riots, a play based on the London Riots of August, 2011.
Coursework will be divided into several sections:
Literature: Shakespeare’s Richard II was performed during the Essex rebellion as a call to arms against Queen Elizabeth; Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass was deemed obscene, mainly because of its author’s sexual preferences – so was Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, for the same reasons, a century later; so was Lady Chatterley’s Lover, a novel banned by censorship for many years. As for George Orwell’s 1984, it is an overt critique of socialist regimes, assimilated to dictatorships.
The visual arts: several photographs have publicised events around the world, taking on a political dimension, such as the pictures of the My Lai Massacre, published by Life during the Vietnam War; engravings by Hogarth, or by Blake, function as comments on British society.
Cinema: back in 1979, Apocalypse Now was intended as a critique of the American intervention in Vietnam; more recently, Four Lions introduced the audience to extremist terrorists who are as involuntarily funny as they are committed to their cause.
Songs: from Bob Dylan and his impassioned defence of ‘Hurricane Carter’ to Green Day’s indictment of the Bush government, via John Lennon’s call for a ‘Working-Class Hero’ to arise and U2’s lament over the Bogside Massacre in ‘Sunday, Bloody Sunday’, we will listen to the many ways in which ‘popular culture’ can contribute to the political and social debate.
Evaluation will take the form of one oral presentation + one written assignment + one final exam (sit-in). Participation will be taken into account.
Dernière mise à jour : lundi 2 avril 2012
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