A new podcast hosted by Associate Professor of Visual Arts Linda Steer will guide listeners through the canon of Western art with provocative critiques.
“Unboxing the Canon,” which launched Sept. 9, will connect the past to the present through critiques of the canon and explore what might not be immediately apparent in Western art.
“We might be seduced by the pretty packaging, such as soft brush strokes, brilliant colours, grand gestures, expert carving, even traditional iconography of art,” says Steer. “But what happens when we take a deeper look? When we open the packaging and see what might have been invisible, or what is a cultural blind spot?”
The podcast is part of Steer’s course material for VISA 1Q99: Introduction to the History of Western Art, but is also publicly available on Apple, Google, Podbean and Spotify.
The course contemplates big questions about art, such the connections between museums and the history of Western colonization and imperialism, and who gets left of the history of western art. Steer will be using the work of contemporary artists, such as Cree artist Kent Monkman and Black American artist Titus Kaphar, alongside traditional Western art to investigate themes of power, imperialism, race, gender and appropriation.
Steer was concerned about the amount of time students may spend in front of their computer screens during remote learning.
“The podcast provides students with a much needed break from computer screens,” she says. “A podcast is portable. Students can take a walk while listening. Moving away from the screen allows us to contemplate, a necessary activity when considering those big questions about course material.”
The podcast will be included in Brock Library’s digital repository, along with episode notes and transcript, so it can be found through Google Scholar and OMNI search.