Carnivals and Third Spaces

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ARTE 501: Carnivals and Third Spaces As Pedagogies of Arts Resistance

Social anxiety about childhood and fears about the achievement gap produce highly regulatory systems that teach, care for and discipline children. Some techniques through which kids are governed and govern themselves include “no excuses” behavior management and standardized testing in schools, as well as “stop and frisk” policing on the streets. But pervasive monitoring that insists on kids’ continuous compliance is not distributed evenly. The education of elites is imbued with possibility. Lax rules, constraints, and punishments teach them that the world is their blank canvas, ready for them to seize. This class considers how to counter disparities in young people’s cultural participation through pedagogies of arts resistance. We will explore how carnivalesque practices and legitimized deviance in “third spaces” offer forms of countercultural production. Fun and funny, loud and irreverent, art/culturemaking practices that cultivate embodied experiences of going beyond social limits will be investigated.

Spring 2014 / Mondays / 4-6:40 pm

Photo by Jesse Banks III .  Courtesy of New Urban Arts.