This course seeks to investigate what history, & particularly recent history, tells us about the role of art in contemporary culture. We will look at the concept of the avant-garde & the notion of “criticality” that dominates the current art system & how that shapes art making, education, patronage, dissemination, & canonization. Mostly, we will ask ourselves questions like, what, if any, is the artist’s (& writer’s) responsibility as a producer of culture? What role does art play in global culture? How do politics affect aesthetics?