Classes, Reading Assignments

Introduction – Issues, Terms, Questions

9/4. Introduction to ourselves and our approaches

9/6. Range of perspectives on public art

Read: W.J.T. Mitchell, Introduction in W. J. T. Mitchell ed., Art and the Public Sphere, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1992, pp. 1-5

J. F. Baca, “Whose Monument Where? Public Art in a many-Cultured Society,” in S. Lacy ed., Mapping the Terrain New Genre Public Art, Seattle, Washington: Bay Press, 1995, pp. 131-138

Nina Felshin, Introduction in But is it Art? The Spirit of Art as Activism, Seattle: Bay Press, 1995

Zainab Bahrani, “Iraq's Cultural Heritage: Monuments, History, and Loss,” Art Journal, Vol. 62, No. 4 (Winter, 2003), pp. 10-17

Lambert Zuidervaart, Lecture Outline and Notes, from a lecture on March 17, 2011 at the Grand Rapids Art Museum (see also interview from March 19, 2011)

9/11. The Public and Public space

Read: Rosalyn Deutsche, excerpt from "Agoraphobia" in Evictions: Art and Spatial Politics, PLEASE Note While this link will get you the whole chapter - you are only required to read up to page 282

 Nancy Fraser, “Rethinking the Public Sphere,”

Neil Smith and Setha Low, "Introduction: The Imperative of Public Space," in The Politics of Public Space

Occupy and the definition of public space…

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Another video on

Nick Mirzoeff’s site -

9/13. Memory, History, Identity

Read: Andreas Huyssen, Introduction and Chapter 1Present Pasts Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003


Historical Perspectives in the United States

9/18. City Planning and Public Art in the Progressive Era

Read: Doss, Introduction and pp. 18-30

M. Christine Boyer, Dreaming the Rational City, The MIT Press, Cambridge, 1997, pp.3-8; 43-56.

Michele H. Bogart, “The Rise and Demise of Civic Virtue,” in H. F. Senie., ed.,  Critical Issues in Public Art: Content, Context and Controversy, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington and London,1992, pp.175-188


9/20. New Deal

Read: Marlene Park and Gerarld E. Markowitz “New Deal for Public Art,” in Critical Issues in Public Art, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington and London, 1992, pp. 128-141  


9/25. Continue New Deal

Read: Jonathan Harris, Federal Art and National Culture: The Politics of Identity in New Deal America, Cambridge University  Press, Cambridge, 1995, pp. 64-84

Review Park and Markowitz


 9/27. The City as Site

Read: Doss, Cahpter 1, pp. 31-60 and Finkelpearl, City as Site


Case Studies

10/2. New York

Read:  Rosalyn Deutsche, “Uneven Development: Public Art In New York City in Evictions: Art and Spatial Politics, MIT Press, 1996, pp. 49-107 and "Ambigous UpSparkles from the Heart of the Park" October 10, 2011

 10/4. Detroit - For this class please note that we're going to be analyzing a city in transition so we are going to be looking at some raw data in order to develop our own ideas about how the theories and notions of public space and state-sponsored social practices that we have been studying are now playing out in a contemporary US city.

Read: "Another Detroit is Happening..." 19 June 2010 and look at the following two urban development websites: woodard corridor initiative and Midtown Detroit

 Review description of "Transcending" 2001

Additional reading (not required) S. Marotta, Analysis of Detroit

10/9.  Cairo

Read: Yesser Elsheshtawy, "Urban Transformations: Social Control at al-Rif'i Mosque and Sultan Hasan Square," pp. 295-312 and Vincent Battesti, “The Giza Zoo Reappropriating Public Spaces, Reimagining Urban Beauty," pp. 489-511 both in Cairo Cosmopolitan Politics, Culture, and Urban Space in the new globalized Middle East, Cairo and New York: The American University in Cairo Press, 2006.

Yasmine El Rashidi, "Art or Vandalism?" in Index on Censorship accessed 20 September 2012

Tahrir – public/spontaneous art of commemoration See webarticle and Cairo Street Art


Memory and Memorials Across Cultures

10/11. Temporary Memorials

Read:  Doss, Chapter, 2

10/18. Fear

Read: Doss, Chapter 3 and Martia Stuken, "The Wall, The Screen and the Image"

10/23. 9/11 memorial

Read: Martia Stuken, "Memorializing Absence"  and A. Garvin, “Ground Zero: The Rebuilding of a City,” Perspecta, vol. 36, (2005), pp. 92-99 and Martin Filler "At the Edge of the Abyss"

10/25. Research Day - work on your projects

10/30. No Class - Storm

11/1.  Memorializing WWII

Read: Doss, Chapter 4 and Gerd Knischweski and Ulla Spittler, “Competing Pasts: a Comparison of Nationalist Socialist and German Democratic Republic Remembrance in Two Berlin Memorial Sites,” in L. Perbrick et al, ed.s, Contested Spaces Sites, New York: Palgrave, pp. 166-190

11/6. Iraq

Read: Makiya, pp. 1-48 - copies of pp 1-33 here and pp. 34 to 79 here

11/8. Iraq continued

Read: Makya, pp. 49-78 and Steven Lee Myers, “Iraq Restores Monument Symbolizing Hussein Era,” The New York Times,  February 5, 2011

11/13. Iraq continued

Read: Makiya pp. 79-134

11/15. Shame

Read: Doss, chapter 5

11/20. Anger

Read:   Doss, chapter 6


11/ 27. Student choice of readng

11/29. Student choice of reading

12/4. Student presentations



Additional Readings on Specific sites and subjects:

9/11 Memorial - Memorial Website

Y. McKee, “Suspicious Packages,”October, Vol. 117 (Summer, 2006), pp. 99-121

Kirk Savage, Introduction,  Monument Wars

Anna Krylova, “Dancing on the Graves of the Dead: Building a World War II Memorial in Post-Soviet Russia,” in D. J. Walkowitz and L. M. Knauer, eds., Memory and the Impact of Poltical Transformation in Public Space, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2004, pp. 83-102

Iraq's Cultural Heritage: Monuments, History, and Loss 

Last modified: Saturday, December 8, 2012, 8:51 AM