Summer 2024 Course Highlight | Seeing Through Conspiracy Theories

Abby Armstrong Check (Ph.D. Candidate) will be teaching ART HIST 102 Seeing Through Conspiracy Theories asynchronous online during the DHH session, June 17th–August 11th. NO PREREQS! | First Year Friendly! | Humanities Breadth | L&S Credit | Comm B Option. Enroll here.

Description: Fake news is not a new problem. This class takes a trendy issue and moves it back in time before living memory. How do conspiracy theories work? Do they fall into consistent patterns? How can we recognize them? If they are empowering, how should we think about that power?
This course examines case studies from around the world from the Egyptian pyramids to the avant-garde birth of “modern” art in the twentieth century. We will examine how stories about the making of an artwork or architectural site has been replaced by a (usually more interesting) story about the true, hidden nature of the object or place. This story usually purports to reveal the “conspiracy” of an empowered institution or group to keep the truth away from average people. Of course, the reality is usually much simpler, and the dynamics of power more complex.
Students will be expected to engage with the course on a daily to weekly basis. Assignments will consist of discussions boards, activities, and a final project-based assessment.