“Art” is usually a word that invokes images of beauty. We think of museums, hushed words, and names like Picasso, Dali, or Renoir. This, however, is only half the story of the art world. Professor Nina Mikhalevsky tells this darker side in her Freshman Seminar class, “Banned & Dangerous Art“, offered this semester and hosted on UMW Blogs.
Dr. Mikahalevsky brings a philosophical perspective to this subject: Students are required to read classic works by Plato, Aristotle, and Hume, and apply their research to understanding what makes a piece of art “dangerous.” They also tackle the question of why we ban art, and even more difficult, the question of what art really is.
The website is stocked with links to books, music, and artwork that have come under fire by various institutions and countries over the years. Check out the lists, if only to be surprised by what makes the list. Dr. Mikalevsky has included the main questions her students are expected to answer about each piece, which may stimulate your own philosophizing.
Dangerous, beautiful, or both, art never fails to incite conversation.