INSTRUCTOR: Jason Calloway
For as long as humankind has gathered in groups, we have sought to express ourselves through various means: music, visual art, dance, speech, literature, and now digital media. Yet nearly as long, the seats of power in societies around the world have sought to co-opt, subvert, muzzle, or obliterate altogether the free expression of culture.
This course will examine these interdependent issues from diverse vantage points, encompassing everything from the influence of the Catholic church during the Middle Ages through the Civil Rights era, from the agitprop of communist countries to the restrictions, explicit or oblique, right here in contemporary America. We’ll discuss how Pussy Riot became a tool of Putin’s Russia and how they militarized their message in response to imprisonment; how actors helped to bring down the Berlin Wall; how Reinaldo Arenas employed a critical literary voice and openly gay lifestyle against the Castro regime; and much more.