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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2017-18

AMES 42.13 Art and Industry: The Visual and Material Culture of South Asia, 1800 to present

This course examines the relationship between art and industry through the visual and material culture of South Asia from 1800 to the present. It begins with the fraught colonial discourse on the relationship between art and economy, and the fear that industrial production would destroy indigenous craft and design. This instigated a colonial system of education, and the creation of museums, that taught both the European ‘fine arts’ of painting and sculpture, and the Indian ‘applied arts’ of craft and design in practice and in objects. The course further focuses on specific media as physical and intellectual conduits in the economy. We will pay particular attention to the explosive effect of the technologies of print and photography in colonial control and nationalist agitation. We will also examine the materiality of textiles, clay, wood, metal, stone, and food in their production, exhibition display, and cultural and political context. The course will conclude with contemporary artists’ consideration of craft and the formation of national museums. In parallel to the focus on visual and material objects, we will read selections from primary sources on art and industry, such as George C. Birdwood’s Industrial Arts of India (1880), The Journal of Indian Art and Industry, and Mahatma Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj (1909).

Cross Listed Courses

ARTH 17.14

Distributive and/or World Culture

Dist:INT or ART; WCult:NW

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.


Not offered for the period of 17F through 18S