Course Description

  • Instructor: Tatiana Flores, Ph.D.
  • Description:

    This introductory course on the art and visual culture of the Caribbean covers the time span of the pre-Conquest to the present through a thematic approach. Interdisciplinary in nature, we will examine models from literature, film, theater, and music in relation to visual production. Since there are no prerequisites either in Caribbean studies or art history, considerable time will be devoted to explaining the critical issues involved in both fields.  Among them are the conceptualization of the Caribbean, including its complex history, regional diversity, and popular imaginary, as well as the representation of identities—national, gendered, classed, etc.—and the circumstances that affect those representations. This course emphasizes a non-hierarchical approach to visual objects by examining “high” art, “popular” culture, ethnographic objects, and images from advertising and the media in comparative perspective.  Furthermore, we expand upon the traditional notions of the Caribbean as consisting exclusively of island territories to consider countries along the Caribbean basin.

  • Learning Goals:

    Upon completion of the course, students will be able

    1. To grasp the complex issues involved in the analysis of visual form by building a basic vocabulary for discussing works of art and objects of visual culture.
    2. To consider the ways in which works of art articulate discourses and relations of power through a close examination of the role of agency in the representation and distribution of individual objects.
    3. To identify the critical issues involved in reading visual culture as it relates to Caribbean studies and to relate these to other contexts as a means of establishing comparative models.
  • Required Reading:
    • Krista Thompson, An Eye for the Tropics: Tourism, Photography, and Framing the Caribbean Picturesque. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2007. ISBN-10: 0822337649. Also available on Kindle.
    • Additional readings will be available online, along with the syllabus, announcements, assignments, and schedule changes.
  • Evaluation:
    • Regular attendance and class participation (5%)
    • Map Quiz (10%)
    • 2 in-class exams (40%)
    • 2-3 short papers (45%)
  • Credits: 3
  • Disclaimer: The information in this course description is subject to change. For up-to-date course information, please refer to the syllabus on your course site (e.g. Canvas).