Controversy in the Arts
The subject of controversy is one that has figured centrally in debates, discussions, and studies of the arts in public settings. Led by Andreea Ritivoi of the English Department and Judith Schachter of the History Department, this three year project joins faculty and graduate students in the arts and humanities in the exploration of a variety of questions: What is a controversy, and how have understandings and theories of controversy varied from time to time and place to place? How are controversies created or expressed in cultural production, and how and when do they turn into “conflicts” with opposing sides, that demand interpersonal, intercultural, or political resolution? How have artists prompted, accentuated, or reacted to controversy, and for what purposes? Participants in this project have explored such questions in public talks and events, and in a book-length edited collection of essays on controversy in the arts, now in preparation.