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  • Elective: Taking Stakes in the Unknown- Tracing Post-Black Art in three Chapters ( Spring 2021)

  • Proseminar: Histories and Theories of Curating ( Spring and Fall since 2019)

  • Seminar: MA Research (Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020)

  • Elective: Melancholia as Critical Practice ( Spring 2021)

  • Introductory Survey Art History 18th and 19th Century (Fall 2018)

  • Introductory Survey Art History 20th Century to Contemporary (Spring 2019)

  • From Freestyle to Fore- What is post-black art? (Spring 2019)

This seminar will trace the term post-black from its emergence, introduces accompanying debates around Black Aesthetics and will discuss changes in artistic styles and discourses. Students will be introduction to the idea of the Black Arts Movement and its difference to queries deriving from the curatorial framing of Thelma Golden's 2001 exhibition 'Freestyle' at the Studio Museum in Harlem. How to make sense of a term that has stirred so much controversy in the early 2000s sixteen years past its invention, a term that was used for a generation of black artists that seemed to distance themselves from previous generations, who utilized the term black in order to define their practices as a form of political resistance. Through recent activist work (i.e. Black Lives Matter) and media attention to persistent systemic racism as well as the rise of rightwing populism, “post-black” appears more than obsolete and is seldom used in the arts or in wider social discourse. However, the claims that the post-black generations made and the influence of their work is part of an ongoing debate in Black Diasporic Art.

  • „In the Eye of the Beholder, Gazes and the Representation of Race and Gender in Visual Cultures“

The Seminar with the title „In the Eye of the Beholder, Gazes and the Representation of Race and Gender in Visual Cultures“ focuses on the analysis of images through theories of visual culture, which are interlinked with feminist, post-colonial and art-historical theory. The course aims to identify different methodological and thus disciplinary approaches in respect to the analysis of visual material. Interdependent categories like race, class, sexuality and gender will be eluded and simultaneously reflected.

The course aims to offer students a broad range of readings on Critical Race Theory and Visual Cultures in order to connect contemporary socio-political examples of racialized and gendered representations from. Through a transdisciplinary approach we will have a critical contemplation on the various disciplinary knowledge productions and the interdependencies of race, gender and class.

  • “Who knows tomorrow” (1) - Chronopolitics in Art

The seminar Chronopolitics engages with questions of time, temporality and duration through the lens of post-colonial, decolonial and queer theoretical discussions.

The body of work that has been produced on the notion of time and temporality is constantly growing, not only is time a central aspect to our existence, which raises philosophical questions for centuries, it is also a socio-political instrument, which orders our (every day) life and biographies. Through critical scholarship and activism from post-colonial, gender and queer studies has the political dimension of time become the focus of critique as a way through which normative orders are produced. Contemporary queer and postcolonial studies have investigated the way in which biographies, their temporal courses  and canonizations are responsible for the appraising of some biographies, historical or cultural narratives over others. This scholarship seeks to produce alternatives to a developmental concept of time, alternatives which counter the temporal cycles of nation states and capitalist markets, which also finds its articulation through arts and aesthetic strategies. This coalesces with the desire to displace colonial concepts of non- coevalnesss and normative ideas about the body by which some groups are characterized as progressive and others as regressive.

The seminar thus lays special emphasis on the notion of time as a political tool. It will not only offer insides into the already mentioned body of work that accords the discussion of temporality, it will equally investigate hegemonic concepts of time, linearity, its affects on bodies, social normative orders, racial divides, processes of subjectification, economic logics and production of value.

These investigations demand an engagement with the concept and aesthetics of modernity (Hal Foster) its post-colonial critique of modernity (Bhabha/Hanchard) its discursive entanglements with power and knowledge (Fabian) and gendered chrononormativities (Halberstam). But also the notion of speed (Virilio), deceleration (Hewitt), synchronicity (Bergson), the notion of Utopia (Munoz), past potential futures as Afrofuturism (Eshun) and the narration of the past that produces utopic presents (Foster) will be part of our discussions.

The Seminar will be structured through group discussions, theoretical debates, guest lectures, practical exercises, excursions and use a wide range of media.


[1] “Who knows tomorrow“ is borrowed from the Nigerian Highlife Song Aki by Prince Nico Mbarga from 1976.

  • “The art of looking”- Description, Analysis, Interpretation, Judgement?

Do you know how to look at art? Does an artist’s identity matter or do we only have to focus on form? What can understanding the context of the artist do for a reading of a piece? In which way do your own experiences/identity influence the way in which you read and create art?

Identity Politics in contemporary art have left the realm of representation (epistemologies). This means that identity is now also discussed through new materialist approaches (ontologies). Although identity politics are at the core of questions of i.e. decolonization- it is difficult to use the term. How is it possible that framings such as Queer Art, Black Art and Post-Black Art are a strong currency whilst identity politics and questions of representation are so often neglected?

This seminar will discuss the dispelling of the universal through exercises in critical analysis of contemporary as well as historical art-works in order to question the limits of our gaze. It will also give a historical perspective on how identity politics shifted from a focus on representation in art to institutional diversity politics.

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