Comparative Literature | Activist Artists in Popular Culture
C151 | 14753 | Adrien Pouille


TR 1:00-2:15
fulfills A&H and CS requirements


What is activism? When does an artistís rhetoric and work become
activism? What factors lead an artist into becoming an activist or
engaging in activist actions? Are artists free from cultural and
political oppression? How does the notion of artist vary from one
culture to another? How do todayís artists redefine their status? What
effects do such redefinitions have on their social, cultural and
political environments?

In addition to the required readings, we will analyze how song lyrics,
interviews, documentaries, magazines, newspapers and video clips about
internationally famous artists discussed in depth address the
questions raised above. This class will explore the activist
inclination and work of Anglo-Saxon celebrities such as Angelina
Jolie, Bono, Don Cheadle, George Clooney, Madonna and Bob Geldof
alongside a non Anglo-Saxon component that will allow us to compare
artist activism as it is lived in the US with the way it is
experienced in other parts of the globe.


Required texts:
But Is It Art? The Spirit of Art as Activism --- Nina Felshin
Fahrenheit 451 --- Ray Bradbury
Celebrity Diplomacy --- Andrew Cooper
Not On Our Watch: The Mission To End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond ---
Don Cheadle and John Prendergast
Sozaboy --- Ken Saro Wiwa