Where: Toronto Metropolitan University
Instructor: Dr. Irene Gammel
This course explores themes and processes of social change through the theory and praxis of exhibition, curation, and literary cultures. While social change is the frequent topic of sociological studies, it is much less considered in intellectual, literary and artistic spheres. The course engages with the modernist period, exploring how well-known and forgotten artists and public intellectuals curated cultural shifts and historical upheavals. Case studies include the Walter and Louise Arensberg circle, New York Dada, jazz-age domestic salons, and the and the Lost Generation, with an emphasis on cultures of exhibition and curation as agents of social change. The course also probes the avant-garde’s curatorial engagement of Indigenous materials during this period and beyond. The course ends with a focus on more recent social disruption and political turmoil, examining how the trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic, aesthetic practices of Indigeneity, and the profound political unsettlements of the Trump era are exhibited and curated through cartoons, creative writing, and digital culture. Students conduct research and mobilize knowledge through online publishing platforms.