Lesson 05: Counter Poses

This class will be held off campus. We will convene instead at MoMA PS1 where we will tour the exhibit Theater of Operations: The Gulf Wars 1991-2011. For the first hour, we will be joined and guided by the exhibit’s curator, Ruba Katrib.  As you seek to expand your knowledge about the places and geopolitical events you will cover, consider also consuming the cultural production of the peoples from these places and around these events. The visual arts, music, literature, theater, film — these are all mediums where you can interrogate the lived experiences, perspectives, and memory (collective and individual) of the people and places you will cover.


Reading assignment:

(Please note, we are not reading from Hansen’s book this week.)

Written assignment

  • Complete Part 3 of the Beat Memo, and bring in printed out to turn in at the start of class.
Introduce Exhibit and Explain Assignment for Next Class

This exhibit reminds me very much of this quote in Hansen’s book: “Over the course of our conversation I asked him what Iraq was like in the 1980s and 1990s, when he was growing up. He smiled. “I am always amazed when Americans ask me this,” he said. “How is it that you know nothing about us when you had so much to do with what became of our lives?” p. 25 

This exhibit presents the work artists in Iraq, Kuwait, and Palestine created during the first Gulf War, the sanctions era, and the second Gulf War as well as what US artists were creating in the same time periods. 

As you gather sources to get to know your beats, make sure you are also consuming the artistic production of the implicated communities. Just as you should be consuming academic materials, you should read the novels, see the plays, hear the music, watch the movies, attend the exhibits and so on of the countries/communities you will be covering.

For next class’s assignment, create a list of the artistic works that you would ideally consume from your beats.

Guided Tour of Exhibit