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60908-01 - Seminar: Ways of Reading: Contemporary Art and African Studies 3 KP

Semester Frühjahrsemester 2021
Angebotsmuster einmalig
Dozierende Sindi-Leigh McBride (s.mcbride@unibas.ch)
Julia Rensing (julia.rensing@unibas.ch)
Inhalt In this course, we will explore a selection of artworks by contemporary artists from across Africa to present and practice three critical approaches that are increasingly important in African Studies: decoloniality; race and gender; and environmentalism. Students will engage with these methods of analysis through selected artworks and critical texts while gaining insights into important intersectional issues. Using selected artworks as a window for accessing these key discourses will broaden students' understanding of African Studies as an interdisciplinary discipline, as well as offer them an opportunity to engage with both current issues and contemporary creative practices from the continent.

In section one, we present ways to read art through the lens of decoloniality by looking at colonial histories and futures. Tuli Mekondjo (Namibia), who uses archival photography to renegotiate the past, is one of the artists studied in this section.
Example of compulsory reading:
Odumosu, T. (2020) “The Crying Child. On Colonial Archives, Digitization, and Ethics of Care in the Cultural Commons.”

In section two, we focus on bodies and representation to foreground critical approaches to race and gender. Here, we will study paintings by Lady Skollie (South Africa), who addresses current discourses around sexuality, social stigma and violence.

Example of compulsory reading:
Butler, J. (2015) “Gender Politics and the Right to Appear”

In section three, we present ways to read art through the lens of environmentalism by focusing on climate and spatial politics. One example is looking at the video work of Zina Saro-Wiwa (Nigeria) which focuses on food politics in the environmentally-degraded Niger Delta.

Example of compulsory reading:
Makhubu, N. (2018) “The Poetics of Entanglement in Zina Saro-Wiwa’s Food Interventions”.

In each of the three sections of the syllabus, one artist will join our seminar session to discuss their work in relation to the critical issues that the course will tackle.
At the end of the Spring semester, a public workshop will be held to continue the engagement with selected artists. Students are invited to present at this event and/or attend and contribute the conversation with artists and other scholars.


Unterrichtssprache Englisch
Einsatz digitaler Medien kein spezifischer Einsatz


Intervall wöchentlich
Datum 02.03.2021 – 01.06.2021
Zeit Dienstag, 10.00-12.00 - Online Präsenz -
Datum Zeit Raum
Dienstag 02.03.2021 10.00-12.00 Uhr --, --
Dienstag 09.03.2021 10.00-12.00 Uhr --, --
Dienstag 16.03.2021 10.00-12.00 Uhr --, --
Dienstag 23.03.2021 10.00-12.00 Uhr --, --
Dienstag 30.03.2021 10.00-12.00 Uhr --, --
Dienstag 06.04.2021 10.00-12.00 Uhr --, --
Dienstag 13.04.2021 10.00-12.00 Uhr --, --
Dienstag 20.04.2021 10.00-12.00 Uhr --, --
Dienstag 27.04.2021 10.00-12.00 Uhr --, --
Dienstag 04.05.2021 10.00-12.00 Uhr --, --
Dienstag 11.05.2021 10.00-12.00 Uhr --, --
Dienstag 18.05.2021 10.00-12.00 Uhr --, --
Dienstag 25.05.2021 10.00-12.00 Uhr --, --
Dienstag 01.06.2021 10.00-12.00 Uhr --, --
Module Modul: Fields: Knowledge Production and Transfer (Master Studiengang African Studies)
Modul: Fields: Media and Imagination (Master Studiengang African Studies)
Modul: Profil: Bildtheorie und Bildgeschichte (Master Studiengang Kunstgeschichte und Bildtheorie)
Modul: Profil: Moderne (Master Studiengang Kunstgeschichte und Bildtheorie)
Modul: Werk und Kontext (Master Studiengang Kunstgeschichte und Bildtheorie)
Modul: Werk und Kontext (Master Studienfach Kunstgeschichte)
Leistungsüberprüfung Lehrveranst.-begleitend
An-/Abmeldung zur Leistungsüberprüfung Anmelden: Belegen; Abmelden: nicht erforderlich
Wiederholungsprüfung keine Wiederholungsprüfung
Skala Pass / Fail
Wiederholtes Belegen nicht wiederholbar
Zuständige Fakultät Philosophisch-Historische Fakultät, studadmin-philhist@unibas.ch
Anbietende Organisationseinheit Zentrum für Afrikastudien