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FALL Course ART 5360 Trans*Identities in Popular Visual Culture
This course will focus on the relationship of the body to identity and how these intersect or are informed by popular visual culture. Everyone has a body. For most, identity is tied to the body. Identities, for the purpose of this course, are embodied, or rather, our bodies inform who we are and vice versa. Bodies are a significant register of cultural fears and anxieties. They make us feel comfortable, uncomfortable, sublime, ridiculous and so on. They provide the arena through which people enact their identities. Bodies are the matter that performs the ceremonial rites of passage and cultural practices through which identities are partially formed. They tell the world if we are happy or sad, rich or poor, lazy or disciplined, healthy or sick--or so we believe. As much as we invest in a fantasy of what bodies should be like, we are often deceived by what our bodies mean, confused by how they operate, and frustrated by their recalictrance to show the world who we really are internally. Popular visual culture informs, alters, and redefines our perception of self and others and can create issues that are a significant part of our lives. In this course we will examine bodies as enigmatic yet readable sites that are inextricable from identity and perception. We will discover/discuss how the materiality of the body grounds our metaphors about identity. We will examine topics of the body in popular visual culture (theater, music, film, television and visual art) in addition to investigating issues of gender, sex, sexuality, race and class.

Andres Peralta


School of Art