Alex Moore

Undergraduate Discipline

Art History

Undergraduate Courses 2021-2022

Art History

Critical Landscapes of the Atlantic World

Open, Lecture—Fall

This course brings together methods and texts from art history, environmental humanities, Black studies, and human geography to look critically at how communities see and understand land and how that informs their relationship to the Earth, to other humans, and to nonhuman lifeforms. We will take a rigorous, but experimental and creative, approach to these topics. The geographical focus is the Atlantic world, encompassing North America, Europe, and Africa. We will spend the first half of the course on historical examples from the period of the transatlantic trade in enslaved Africans and European and colonial expansion. In the second half of the course, we will look at the contemporary legacies of those histories, particularly as engaged by artists. Given the temporal and geographical scope of the course, it does not aim to be comprehensive but, instead, to provide multiple examples that demonstrate the historical and contemporary stakes of conceptualizing and representing land across spaces. Some of the themes that we will take up include: race, class, and empire in the English countryside; extractive colonialism in Namibia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and plantation and carceral landscapes in the United States. Alongside hegemonic practices, we will look at visual expressions of sovereignty, freedom, and interdependence produced by individuals and communities in critique of dominant visual regimes.

Faculty