Mapping Asian/Americas Art

Syllabus

Mapping Asian/Americas Art is a practice and research-based graduate studio course. Students will learn to use various digital mapping software to theorize and map the material, sensorial, and imagined borders of Asian diasporic art. With the interdisciplinary aim of bringing mapping studies into conversation with critical race theory and visual studies, this course will be a mixture of workshop and studio, discussion seminar, fieldwork and archive visits. Students in this class will acquire diverse digital literacy skills. This course is cross-listed with the Center for the Study in Ethnicity and Race (CSER).

Students enrolled in this course will receive training in mapping software and analysis from a cultural studies and critical race and ethnic studies perspective. No prior experience is necessary, but all students will leave with a fluent grasp in working with software that will engage a spatial approach to the study of aesthetic practice and performance.

Course readings, discussions, site visits and mapping projects will examine how we may map the contours of Asian diasporic artistic practice. By bringing together studies about race and ethnicity with mapping theory about borders and spatial divides, we will explore what constitutes an Asian diasporic artistic practice. We will interrogate the definition of racial and ethnic borders as they intersect with the networks of Asian diasporic spaces and cross national boundaries. Through practicum, we will create and read spatial information as population density or physical borders to see what they may reveal about the density of social relations that cannot be limited to identity. We will question the possibility and stakes of mapping histories of racialization and racial formation. We will test the limits of using data visualization for tracking these kinds of questions. Through using mapping technology, we will create data sets and new archives, and make map-based arguments to see where the constructs of race are produced and destroyed. We will also discuss how the transnational circulation and commodification of race, sexuality, and ethnicity through terms like diasporic art, music, and performance disrupt or reinforce these understandings.

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