CRS300.5 Who’s Collecting Who? (Fall, Spring)

Warning: your inbox has reached 89 percent capacity; how did all those emails accrue? In a moment where so much of the world demonstrates its unmanageability, what is the instinct to hold on to something, to gather [sometimes to hoard] like items in a group, to show the precious collection to others? This course will range wide as we wander from site of collection to site of collection in London thinking together about what we want to keep and why.  About the objectification inherent in the collection, the relation then of those things we might have called objects, animals, plants, humans and the ‘subject’ of collecting: the role of the collection, the role of the collector.

In this course we also explore the not necessarily collectable, collections of ephemera, as well as arguments against collection. We will consider projects exploring anti-collection or resistances to collection; continually thinking also through fragility, insurance, and loss.  What happens when destruction is no longer an aesthetic tool of art but a catastrophe happening in the world all around us?

Department: Communications and Rhetorical Studies

Location: London

Semesters: Fall, Spring

Credits: 3