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The Assemblage Mode

Instructor(s): Bill Brown
Fall 2021

Assemblage names a compositional practice in the material, visual, and literary arts. It also names a way of conceptualizing non-aesthetic forms (markets, cities, nation states). This course begins by focusing on the different semantic and pragmatic values of assemblage (in anthropology, urban geography, and social theory); turns its attention to two art exhibitions, The Art of Assemblage (MoMA, 1961), and 66 Signs of Neon (1966), led by Noah Purifoy and consisting of assemblage work made from the detritus of the Watts riots (Aug. 1965); and ultimately concentrates on a history of how and why African American writers and visual artists (such as Jean Toomer, Zora Neal Hurston, Romare Bearden, Ntozake Shange, and Betye Saar) have deployed the assemblage mode.

ENGL 65007 | CCCT 65007