Ann Murray

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8-Week Course on War in Art since 1900 commencing on 31 January 2019 at University College Cork

War in Art: War and Visual Culture since 1900 provides an introduction to the impact of war on visual culture from the first years of the 20th century to the present.  The course will take place in UCC’s Centre for Adult Continuing Education, Thursdays 7-9 pm. Registration details are on UCC’s Adult Continuing Education website here

Course Outline

This course introduces students to the visual culture of war, from the art of the World War I battlefields to the public memorials commemorating the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s. The ongoing World War I centenary commemorations have revived public interest in the famous works of art it generated by the conflict, and through this course, students will learn how the art of World War I and that of the century that followed has shaped, reshaped – even misshaped – the public perception of war by engaging with key works of art, photography and popular art forms such as film and illustrated magazines. By focusing on key historical moments, students will gain insight to the social, political and cultural factors that prompted artists to create some of the most enduring, provocative images of the violent 20th century and since. Each class is divided into two sections – Lecture 1 provides an overview of the art of a specific conflict or historical moment, and Lecture 2 is a case study that enables students to focus in more detail on a key topic or figure related to the content of Lecture 1. In addition to class handouts, a reading list of materials accessible online will be provided.

Week 1: Lecture 1: The First World War in European Visual Culture Lecture 2: Case study: British and German war artists

Week 2: Lecture 1: Propaganda and the Rise of Fascism in art and popular culture in the 1930s Lecture 2: Case Study: Anti-Fascism in German visual culture

Week 3: Lecture 1: World War II Lecture 2: Case Study: The art of the Holocaust

Week 4: Lecture 1: The Korean and Vietnam Wars Lecture 2: Case Study: Press photography and the Vietnam War

Week 5: Lecture 1: Ireland during the Revolutionary years, 1913-1923 Lecture 2: Case Study: John Lavery’s High Treason: The Appeal of Roger Casement, The Court of Criminal Appeal, 17 and 18 July 1916

Week 6: Lecture 1: Northern Ireland – the art of the Troubles Lecture 2: Case Study: Willie Doherty – witness and artist of the Troubles

Week 7: Lecture 1: Contemporary wars in visual culture 1 Lecture 2: Case Study: Contemporary official war artists

Week 8: Lecture 1: Contemporary wars in visual culture 2 Lecture 2: The Memory of the Balkan Wars in Croatia


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