2024-2025 University Catalog [UNDER REVIEW] 
    
    Apr 23, 2024  
2024-2025 University Catalog [UNDER REVIEW]
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ARTH 230 - Harlem Renaissance Art


FDR: HA Fine Arts Distribution
Credits: 3

The Harlem Renaissance, also referred to as the New Negro Movement, stands as a towering and defining cultural moment in 20th-century American history. It was in some respects the period in which African American artists, writers, poets and others tabled bold new agendas for the ways in which they, as individuals, and as a nation-within-a-nation, might advance in what was to become the American century. This class will consider the multiple factors that gave rise to this astonishing and compelling cultural moment. The mixed results of the reconstruction era; the Great Migration, which saw very large numbers of African Americans move from the South to other parts of the country, namely the West coast and the great northern industrial centers; the defining contribution of Howard Professor Alain Locke, and so on. The class will also look at the variety of cultural expressions and artistic practices emerging out of the new epicenter of Black American life, Harlem. The Harlem Renaissance is of course something of a misnomer. It was not limited to Harlem, but in effect took place in many different parts of the US, from San Francisco to Chicago. Furthermore, it was perhaps a cultural birth, as much as it was a cultural rebirth, hence the important differentiation between the New Negro and the Old predecessor. Setting the Harlem Renaissance into a multiplicity of contexts, from African American art practices of the 19th century, to the reception African Americans received in European cities such as Paris, the class will be hugely informative, not just on what African American artists were doing in the early 20th century, but also the ways in which so many of today’s debates and questions on race matters in the US can be traced back to what was happening in the country a century ago. 



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