Activating the Archive: Contemporary Practices in Historical Re-imagination

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Culture & Media

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
Activating the Archive
Spring 2024
Taught By: Suneil Sanzgiri
Section: AX

CRN: 15059

Credits: 4

What do images of the past want? If we were to listen to them, what would they say? This course examines artistic production and moving-image media in relationship to questions of “the archive”. Through readings, screenings, field trips, discussions, class projects, and guest visits, we will ask how images of the past change our relationship to notions of our present condition, and by extension the future. How do artists and filmmakers navigate, activate, and re-imagine our relationship to archival material, and how can such activations work to undo the history of the archive as rooted in its formations of racist, colonial, state-making forms of propaganda? Through an examination of histories of the ethnographic gaze in photography and film, to the history of the archive as a repository for racial profiling and modern policing, this course will examine the ways the archive has served as a tool for maintaining forms of racial hierarchy and oppression. Conversely, this course will also ask how we might re-imagine the archive as a possible site for resistance, thinking through archival images as what scholar Ariella Aïsha Azoulay calls “comrades in time”? Readings and screenings include works by Jacques Derrida, Allan Sekula, Ariella Aïsha Azoulay, Saidiya Hartman, Avery Gordon, John Keene, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Teju Cole, Black Audio Film Collective, Onyeka Igwe, The Otolith Group, Renée Green, Ja’Tovia Gary, Stephanie Syjuco, Walid Raad, Emily Jacir, Bouchra Khalili, and more. In addition to writing assignments, students will have the opportunity to make their own artworks in response to the questions raised throughout this course.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Culture & Media (CAM)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: February 4, 2024 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 16, 2024 (Tuesday)

Seats Available: No

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 7:34am EST 2/28/2024

Meeting Info:
Days: Monday
Times: 9:00am - 11:40am
Building: Academic Entrance 63 Fifth Ave
Room: 617
Date Range: 1/22/2024 - 5/13/2024