CCST 227:  Art and Soul Of Social Change
  Art, Activism and New Media in Popular Resistance

Course Description
In this Course students will explore and develop an understanding of the ways in which art can facilitate positive change, public dialogue, and build community. Students will explore the relationship between ahimsa, (nonviolence)   art, activism and social movements  for positive social change. First, we will analyze the theoretical underpinnings of the ahimsa/nonviolence paradigm. Next  we will examines how art can address pressing social, political, ecological and material issues and look at the works and the recent outpourings of artists/activists’ protests and resistance that are addressing issues of the environment, civil rights, freedom and equality, globalization, human rights, health care, and social justice among others. We will analyze how, the transformation of southern spirituals into freedom songs during the civil rights movement, ACT UP's use of visual art in the campaign against AIDS, and the literature of environmental justice, vividly demonstrates that cultural work has been a vital medium for imagining and advancing for social change, and that social movements affect cultural and aesthetic practices. We will also focus on some of the recent racial and political conflicts that have been significantly reshaped by the proliferation of digital media and the Internet as a means of instant dissemination of images, texts, and audiovisual expressions. The focus will be on considering the ways in which the cultural texts generated by resistance movements have reshaped/reshaping the contours of specific cultures. The course aims to address some important questions like, how do artists address social issues? How can art serve as a force for creating public dialogue? Are there different aesthetics for art with a social or political message? And, can art transform lives? Through class assignments, class participation and research projects students will address the above questions.

Goals and objectives:
The primary goal of this course is to explore and develop understandings of the ways in which art can facilitate positive change, public dialogue, and build community. Through active participation in course activities and assignments, students will be able to:

1. Learn how nonviolent social movements have worked in countries around the world and to be able to use basic vocabulary, concepts and principles of conflict management and resolution in the practice of nonviolent action in  social movement.
2, Identify artists who are creating work in these arenas and describe the aesthetic, social, and cultural significance of their work

2. Understand some of the issues related to public art
3. Discuss the aesthetic implications and challenges of art that straddles the realms of the political, social, or cultural spheres
4. Explore the changing role of the artist in society
5.Collaborate with others to affect positive change
Required Readings:
1. T.V. Reed, The Art of Protest (Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2005)
2.  Zinn, Howard, Artists in Times of War (2003)
3.  John Paul Lederach, the Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace
4.  The Power of Non Violence: e- books
Suggested Readings
  1. Zinn Howard , The power of Non Violence, 2002 Beacon Press
  2. Bacon, Barbara S., Animating Democracy: The Artistic Imagination as a Force in Civic Dialogue (1998)
  3. Felshin, Nina, But Is It Art? The Spirit of Art as Activism (1995)
  4. Glaser, Milton, The Design of Dissent (2005)
  5. Grande, John, Art Nature Dialogues: Interviews with Environmental Artists (2004)
  6. Kester, Grant, Art, Activism, and Oppositionality (1998)
  7. Lacy, Suzanne, Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art (1995)