College Of Arts And Sciences | Magic, Science & Art in Africa
E103 | 0069 | McNaughton

11:15-12:05 MW FA 102
Why do so many Americans and Europeans see science as being very different
from art while so many Africans find those differences negligible?   This
class will explore the complex and extremely interesting interconnections
between science, magic and art in Africa, and examine how they have become
disconnected in the West.  Our point of departure is the vast array of
African art types that so many books and museums call fetishes and spirit
manifestations.  All those sculptures with nails and knife blades sticking
in them seem like magic to Westerners, but they are something quite like
Western science to Africans, and this class will explore why.  We will meet
a spectacular array of deities and spirits and hopefully gain a richer
comprehension of how humans deal effectively with life's important
experiences.  In the process we will expand our sense of art's roles in the
world, and see how complex societies plan social and spiritual strategies
and make sense of the world and respond to intellectual and social
challenges aesthetically.