What is the relationship between art and politics? How has visual culture shaped and been shaped by social movements? What is the role of art in society? How has art been mobilized as a form of protest or movement-building? In this course, we will explore the ties between art and activism in its myriad forms. Using both an historical perspective and a contemporary lens, this course explores the ways in which artists have engaged with political causes and social movements, and how their artwork was, in turn, shaped by its historical landscape. The course privileges first-hand engagement with works of art and primary source materials, making use of Stanford’s extensive art resources, special collections and archives, along with the Bay Area’s art institutions. Students will complete a research project, short writing assignments, along with creative projects and collaborative exercises.