Jun 14, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
2023-2024 University Catalog

AHST 311 A History of Art Censorship

3 credits 45.0 hours
300 level undergraduate course

For centuries, works of art have been deemed offensive for moral or religious reasons, among others, and thus altered, destroyed, or suppressed. Censorship can be severe and often entails restricting audiences, revoking necessary funding, or closing exhibitions as well as fining, imprisoning, or harassing creators. The purpose of this course is to understand the principles on which censorship rests and to investigate the implications of canceling or effacing an exhibition or an artist’s work. Students will have the opportunity to explore complex issues regarding the censored work of a diverse array of artists: what constitutes censorship; under what circumstances might censorship be justified; should different criteria be applied to potentially controversial art versus the art displayed in art galleries and museums; how have ideas about censorship changed over time? Artists and exhibitions may range from feminist Anita Steckel’s Fight Censorship Group to the Sensation Exhibition or to more recent discussions of censorship in the work of contemporary artists like Kara Walker.

Prerequisites WRIT*102 or WRIT*102H

This course is not repeatable for credit.
This course can fulfill a discipline history elective, critical studies elective, or general elective requirement.