Archive for the ‘Readings’ Category

Final Readings of The Semester

Posted: November 28, 2020 in Readings

You guys, these are the final readings for this strange remote semester. There’s so much more I wanted to show to you. For better or worse, I drastically slowed our pace so as not to lose those persons who chose to keep up. I have so much admiration for everyone who put in a genuine effort.

Beatriz Colomina is one of the most intelligent and engaging persons with whom I have ever spoken. Her writing can be challenging, but she’s not deliberately obscure. These are materials that I hope will resonate with you. Colomina’s thoughts on a world composed of screens certainly resonate with me, especially at this moment. All these pieces draw from both the thoughts of both Benjamin and Nochlin, so please keep those authors in mind as you read.

Try to enjoy these, and best wishes to you all!

Beatriz Colomina
Princeton University
Architecture and Planning
Director of Graduate Studies

Split Wall: Domestic Voyeurism (1991)
(part 1 and part 2)

Domesticity at War (1991)

Enclosed by Images: The Eameses’
Multi-Media Architecture

Photographers and reporters gather near Frenchman Flat
to observe the Priscilla nuclear test, June 24, 1957

Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev
American National Exhibition, Moscow, 1959

This is our penultimate reading of the semester. It’s longish and fairly challenging, but hugely influential. You can do it!

Walter Benjamin
(1892 – 1940)
The Work of Art in The Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1936)

Readings for March 3rd

Posted: November 14, 2020 in Readings

As most of you know, we are quickly running out of time, and the President of the U has opted to forego fall break and end the semester earlier.  This means we’ll have to continue to jettison important readings.  A number of you have made a real effort to keep the pace, while others of you have scarcely made an effort at all.  That’s your own business; just know that you’ll be graded accordingly.

Here is a set of three massively influential feminist statements, each of which is quite different from the other two.  I only expect you to read the second, by Linda Nochlin, though the other two are there for youy perusal.

Simone de Beauvoir
The Second Sex (1949)

Linda Nochlin
(b. 1931)
“Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” (1971)


Laura Mulvey
(b. 1941)
“Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” (1975)

Reading For November 4th

Posted: November 4, 2020 in Readings

As the semester has bogged down due this mode of asynchronous, I’m finding myself forced to pick and choose which readings to retain and which to jettison. This piece by Fanon is a landmark statement in the history of post-colonial studies and critical race theory. I hope you will find it both interesting and relevant to our times. I certainly do.

Frantz Fanon
“The Wretched of The Earth”

Readings For October 19th

Posted: October 19, 2020 in Readings


Susan Sontag
(1933 – 2004)
“Against Interpretation” (1964)
“Notes on Camp” (1964)


Susan Sontag with Jasper Johns

Readings For February 4th

Posted: October 3, 2020 in Readings

Jackson Pollock Makes A Painting



Harold Rosenberg
(1906 – 1978)
“The American Actions Painters” (1952)


Leo Steinberg
(1920 – 2011)
“Contemporary Art and The Plight of Its Public” (1962)

Reading For September 17th

Posted: September 14, 2020 in Readings

OK, I’m finally posting new readings. I didn’t want to leave anyone without electricity in the lurch, but I believe power has been restored in most places. Because we lost a whole week, we really need to get moving now and make up for lost time.

Here is our next author, Clement Greenberg. As was the case with Eliot, these readings will be somewhat challenging, but I hope you will find them worthwhile. An important thing to learn in college is that you don’t necessarily have to agree with a writer to find their work intriguing and instructive. Perhaps that will be so for you as your attempt to make sense of Greenberg. Good luck!

Clement Greenberg

“The Avant-Garde and Kitsch” (1939)
“Towards A Newer Laocoön” (1940)
“The Pasted-Paper Revolution” (1948)
“The Plight of Culture” (1953)

(click here for all four essays)


Mark Tansey (American)
The Triumph of The New York School
oil on canvas, 74″ x 120″
The Whitney Museum of American Art
New York City, New York

(click image for names of artists depicted)

Readings for September 8th

Posted: September 2, 2020 in Readings

I was very pleasantly surprised and pleased by your apparent interest in Wordsworth and Coleridge. Many students in the past, though hardly all students, have shown far less curiosity and endeavor. So, good for you. While upcoming readings will get more difficult, they will also get more unexpected and fascinating. Let’s keep up the effort and try to enjoy future assignments as much as possible. Good luck with this new material!