What would be the benefits? What do some cite as the cons of such a move? What is the responsibility of museums?

Topic #1 – Returning Stolen and Looted Artwork  

For this topic, read the following articles to get you started (you’re welcome to also do your own research) about recent moves to return artworks to their home countries after they were stolen or looted. This is called cultural patrimony, restitution, or reparations. In 300 words or more, summarize the debate and include your opinion. Remember to cite your sources. Need help knowing how to cite and use in-text citations? See here. 

Some questions to think about include: Should all artwork be returned to the country where it was created? What would be the benefits? What do some cite as the cons of such a move? What is the responsibility of museums?

Topic #2 – Removal of Statues of Controversial Figures

For this topic, read the following articles to get you started (you’re welcome to also do your own research) about the recent removal of statues of Confederates and others who have controversial histories (such as their enslavement of people, role in colonization, racists beliefs, etc.) across the United States and Europe. This began a few years ago but over the last few weeks, with the momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement, more have been removed from public view either by city officials or protestors. In California and the Southwest, there are few Confederate statues. Instead there are more works of public art connected to colonization and violence against Native Americans via the Spanish Missionaries and Conquistadors which are also coming down. In 300 words or more, summarize the debate and include your opinion. Remember to cite your sources. Need help knowing how to cite and use in-text citations? See here. 

Some questions to think about include: Should these controversial statues be removed? What are some proposals for what should be done with them?  These are now being removed en masse as a result of protests and public outcry that started with the Black Lives Matter movement. What do you think was the tipping point and why do you think it didn’t happen sooner?

Topic #3 – Racial Stereotypes in American Brands 

For this topic, read the following articles to get you started (you’re welcome to also do your own research) about the way large American food companies are addressing racial stereotypes in their brands such as Aunt Jemima, Cream of Wheat, Land O’Lakes, and Uncle Ben’s. Land O’Lakes was one of the first this year to announce the change to their logo and the others have followed suit more recently. Recently, sports teams like the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians are in talks to change their names as well. In 300 words or more, summarize the debate and include your opinion. Remember to cite your sources. Need help knowing how to cite and use in-text citations? See here. 

Some questions to think about include: Like in topic #2, this call to reevaluate racist imagery and connections in these logos and/or names is not new but companies and franchises are more apt now to do something about it now. Why do you think this is?  What are the reasons that support such a change and how can these images and/or names be seen as offensive and connected to racial stereotypes?

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This discussion post will allow you the freedom to select a work from any of the regions we’ve studied in chapters 18, 19, and 20 to learn more about. Please see the options below and I look forward to reading about the pieces you’ve picked!

  1. Choose an artwork from:
  2. Works are first come, first served so there shouldn’t be any overlap within your small groups.
    • You may ‘call dibs’ and reserve a work by commenting with which one you’d like to write on. But remember to be respectful and post within 24 hours of reserving it.
  3. Please select a work of art that is made before to 1900.
    • You’ll have a chance to write about a contemporary work of art in the next discussion post.
  4. In 300 words or more (ok to go over), summarize in your own words what’s significant about your piece, what’s its meaning or use, how it relates to what we’ve studied in these chapters, and/or what you found intriguing about it after you learned about it.
    • Like other posts, this is an exercise in identifying the importance of a piece and it’s important for it to be in your own words.
  1. Remember to:

Note: Again, please make sure that the artwork is from an Asian or Islamic region/culture and not by a Western artist using that culture as a subject. Alternatively, make sure that the artwork is from the indigenous culture of one of these areas (Africa, Native North America, Oceania, Australia, Mesoamerica or South America) not a work of art from the colonizers of those areas. Example: a Catholic artwork from Mexico will be more reflective of European art traditions than it will be of pre-Columbian Mexican artwork, so do not choose that. Please select a work of art that is made before to 1900.