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Testimonial: Abdiel Lopez, Grinnell College

Abdiel Lopez

The London half of ACM London & Florence: Arts in Context offers an indispensable education that builds upon the foundational art historical methodologies learned in the Florence half. The methodologies to critically think about patronage and art history in Florence helps students engage with London as an environment that utilizes visual culture to represent a multitude of narratives from people from around the world. In particular, Professor Kennedy's "London as a Visual Text" course helps students interrogate and challenge hegemonic notions of heritage vis-a-vis visual culture. Students from any educational training have a chance of understanding how to look at the built environment and art history to understand how the global city of London constructs authorized and subaltern heritages, represents the postcolonial/decolonial subject or community, and writes or rewrites history of colonialism and imperialism. All of the themes explored in this course are complemented through the various site visits permitted through the course, which also helps any young traveler understand how to better travel around the world after the course because of the sheer curiosity fostered in the course to critically think about different cities and locations. My training in this course not only sharpened my ability to talk and write about visual culture through a sociopolitical lens but also inspired me to pursue a project about nationalism and heritage through visual culture in graduate school. 

—Abdiel Lopez, art history and sociology major

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