In fall 2020, students examined modernist and avant-garde experiments in word and image in the 20th century in the course, “Language to Be Looked At,” co-taught by Joshua Kotin, associate professor of English, and Irene Small, associate professor of art and archaeology. The course was crosslisted in the Program in Humanistic Studies, English, and art and archaeology.
Students in the fall 2020 course “Language to Be Looked At” examined modernist and avant-garde experiments in word and image, including engaging with Princeton University Library (PUL)’s Special Collections. For the final assignment, students were asked to identify gaps in PUL’s “concrete poetry” collections — particularly works by women, gender nonconforming, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian artists — and make acquisition recommendations. After the course ended, PUL acquired all the recommendations that were available for purchase in support of its goal to expand collections to reflect historically underrepresented groups.