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Introducing MoAD's Cultural Critic-in-Residence Dr. Artel Great. A cultural critic examines a variety of materials from different disciplines to question the assumptions about society that overlook contributions from marginalized people, as well as cultural products that are not considered high art, such as pop culture.
Drawing upon the success of his 2022 lecture series on Black Cinema & Social Change, Dr. Great will present a 4-week virtual lecture series SOUL CINEMA: 1970s Black Film and Culture
This lecture series will explore the highly contested, compelling, influential, and often misunderstood expansion of Black cinema during the 1970s. Beginning in the late 1960s, focusing on the emergence of the Black Power movement, this series will chart the cultural changes taking place in American society and the industrial changes occurring in Hollywood that eventually led to the birth of a new style of Black cinema in the 1970s. We will focus on a number of significant historical events and films that have come to define the landmark decade including: Motown, New Hollywood, the Civil Rights movement, the L.A. Rebellion, and Blaxploitation. Participants will gain a broad understanding of the historical, political, social, cultural, and stylistic issues that defined America during this significant transitional period, while connecting selected films to important examples of 1970s popular culture, including music, sports, and television.
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Week 1: Introduction to course material and a cultural examination of the film Dutchman and the Black Arts Movement.
Week 2: Explores the influential and highly contested notions of the Blaxploitation movement through the lens of the film Cooley High.
Week 3: Interrogates the social and political impulses and context of 1970s soul cinema using Angela Davis as a central figure and case study. The film will be Free Angela and All Political Prisoners.
Week 4: Concludes the series with a look at representations of the working class and the social issues and forces that overdetermine the lives of Black women and Black families in the film Claudine.
Dr. Artel Great is the inaugural Cultural Critic-in-Residence at MoAD and an Independent Spirit Award-nominated filmmaker and scholar of Black cinema and media culture. His work has appeared in major publications including The New York Times, The Guardian, and The New Republic. His praxis as a public scholar and critically informed film director transcends boundaries and defies conventional categorization, approaching cinema and culture as a form of creative activism that addresses the myriad links between art and politics. He is the George and Judy Marcus Endowed Chair in African American Cinema Studies and Assistant Professor of Critical Studies at San Francisco State University. He is also the first Black valedictorian at UCLA Film School, where he graduated summa cum laude, before earning his PhD at New York University. In addition to his work as the director of the noteworthy "Love Cycle" film series, Dr. Great is the co-editor of the forthcoming book: Black Cinema & Visual Culture: Art and Politics in the 21st Century (Routledge), slated for publication in April 2023.
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