What is cultural criticism? Why do we care?
This course will review the various forms and methods of cultural and artistic criticism, from the Romantics, the Moderns, the Dada, the Situationalists, the postmodern, the schizoid and digital forms of criticism… to name a few. We will read critics and examine their underlining assumptions. We will write our own criticisms and ask: Why do most people fear criticism? What does criticism do? Do criticisms have consequence? What are criticisms for?
Walter Benjamin argues that good criticism allows one to reform our understanding of history, so much so, that for the Romantics, “criticism is valued more highly than works of art.” Michele Foucault and Roland Barthes argue that the critic is the “author,” the artist, the creator, while Bruno Latour claims that “critique has run out of steam. In this course we will examine what criticism is and how it works.