The New Avant-Gardes: US Avant-Garde Performance after World-War II
The New Avant-Gardes
Since the 1960s, when the so-called historical avant-garde began to be seriously examined, scholars have proclaimed the avant-garde dead on many occasions. Equally frequently, other scholars have countered that the death of the avant-garde has been announced prematurely. Yet, the optimism of the second group may stem from the fact that performance that theorists such as Martin Puchner or Kristine Stiles would consider radical or experimental has been perhaps imprecisely described as avant-garde. This course examines how the definition of the avant-garde has changed in the US since WWII. Key moments include the Paris student riots of 1968, which many critics have endowed with the status of the first neo-avant-garde performance, and 9/11, which others view as the beginning of a conservative avant-garde. This course is particularly interested in the intersections among avant-garde art and performances of gender, race, and religion.