Spring 2024 Course Highlight | Art of Indigenous Activism

This spring, Dr. David Norman will be teaching ART HIST 403: Art of Indigenous Activism. TR 3:30–4:45pm | Sophomore Standing | Humanities Breadth | L&S Credit. Enroll here.

Description: This course examines how Indigenous artists, activists, culture bearers, and communities have used visual culture to assert their rights to ancestral homelands in North America and beyond, focusing on the roles art has played in Native American and First Nations activist movements throughout the twentieth century. Cases we will consider include architecture built during a takeover of Alcatraz Island, a weaving produced to commemorate a struggle over water rights, the return of sacred songs to a community’s lineal descendants, as well as round dances, flags, mirror shields, and a wide range of objects and symbols that have been used within protest camps and occupation movements. In addition to exploring key events and concepts drawn Indigenous rights movements of the past hundred years, students will gain an introduction to histories of art that paved the way for contemporary activist movements, studying, for instance, how the raising of a totem pole or customary beading practices have supported historical land claims.