welcome!

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Six Crimee (1982)

Dear Students,

Welcome to the online home of RELG 332 Contemporary Thought: Black Aesthetics! I’m happy to have you in the course.

Our work together in this course will be guided by a few core questions: What can black contemporary art tell us about the nature and meaning of religion? How do black visual art aesthetics reflect and interrogate key categories in black religious thought, such as divine justice, cultural belonging, ecstasy, spiritual possession, embodiment, and sacrality? Do visual images enable us to access dimensions of religious thought and practice in ways that are not otherwise available through literary and oral forms? In this course we will explore these and other questions related to the interplay between religious thought, aesthetics and visual art. Through a specific focus on works by black contemporary artists, including Renee Cox, Jack Whitten, Shikeith, Julie Dash, Juliana Huxtable, and Carrie Mae Weems (among others), we will consider not only how religious thought is demonstrated in black aesthetic practices, but also how it is produced through them. In addition to the ability to identify black contemporary art aesthetics, students will also come away with an understanding critical role of the visual in religious thought.

This site provides you with all of the pertinent information related to the course. All assignment details and course updates will be posted here throughout the semester. So keep your eye on this place. If you have questions, feel free to contact me or submit a comment on any of the pages on this site.

Once again, welcome to RELG 244!

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exploring black religious thought in/through black contemporary art and aesthetics

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