Arts & Resistance - Fall 2023 Theme Semester


LSA Theme Semester
Fall 2023

Presented by UMMA and the U-M Arts Initiative in collaboration with the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

Explore the Power of the Arts to Shape Society

Visible all around us, and deeply embedded in our day-to-day lives, the arts play a central role in shaping cultural and political narratives, as well as challenging and criticizing dominant regimes. Some recent examples include the worldwide reproduction of George Floyd’s likeness on city walls to underpin BLM protests; the toppling of public monuments and the invention of new statues; the reactivation of Barbara Kruger in a post-Roe v. Wade era; and the boycott of Russian performers in the West after the invasion of Ukraine. Creative processes have been used time and again to reveal under-told stories and to resist simple narratives. Regardless of one's personal politics, a collective consideration of the arts potential to change hearts and minds seems both urgent and necessary.

In a cross-campus partnership between the U-M Museum of Art, the U-M Arts Initiative, and the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, this campus theme semester will reflect on how creativity and making can arise out of oppression and destruction. All schools and colleges are invited to participate in this campus-wide engagement. Even when people are stripped of their agency and humanity, they turn to creativity as a way to reclaim some of this agency and resist dehumanization. “Arts & Resistance” will generate public performances, courses, lectures, conferences, exhibitions, workshops, and mini-grants for students, creating an immersive experience that engages the U-M community and broader public in the power of the arts to shape society.


Additional featured projects to come!


All across U-M’s three campuses students will be learning about the forms, methods, histories, influence, design, implications, and future of arts being used as resistance. There are more than 80 courses available in conjunction with the Theme Semester across most U-M schools and colleges. 

Featured Courses


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Make sure you keep your calendars open for the following dates! Join the community and find different ways to engage with “Arts & Resistance”

Featured Events


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Get Involved

Connect an existing course or event to the Theme Semester and receive marketing and communications support across campus and throughout the region. Or, apply for funding to support the development of new opportunities, fund an idea you’ve always had, or expand an existing course or event. 

What we’re looking for:

  • Courses: either existing, adapted, or completely new that explore the theme of arts and resistance
  • "Marquee" events: major events such as exhibitions, performances, panels, discussions, and guest speakers
  • Student-led projects of all kinds
  • Art-making opportunities

Apply for Funding


Promote Your Program

List or Propose an Event, Project, or Program

Programs are hosted and implemented by units, individuals, students, or student groups. The theme semester planning group provides marketing and promotional support. We expect a diverse array of programming such as performances, exhibitions, service projects, art making experiences, publications, panels, symposiums, screenings, lectures, and artist visits.

If you would like your project or program to be listed and promoted as part of the "Arts & Resistance" theme semester (Fall 2023), please complete the appropriate form below. You may also use this form to propose project ideas for further exploration and discussion, and a member of the theme semester planning group will be in touch with you. 

Early deadline to list a program or event: March 24, 2023! 
Rolling submissions accepted after this date.



Looking to find ways to give your program a boost? Find everything you need to promote your event as part of the Arts & Resistance theme semester here.

Need something else? Contact us!
If you are interested in any other resources, please feel free to reach out at

Get Updates!

Sign up to receive periodic updates on important deadlines and events related to the Arts & Resistance Theme Semester. 


Arts & Resistance Steering Committee

Jim Leija, Co-Chair; Deputy Director for Public Experience and Learning, UMMA

Chris Audain, Co-Chair; Managing Director, Arts Initiative

Laura De Becker, Co-Chair; Chief Curator, UMMA

Mark Clague, Associate Dean For Collaborations And Partnerships; Director, U-M Gershwin Initiative; Co-Editor-In-Chief, Musa; Professor Of Musicology And Entrepreneurship & Leadership, SMTD

Jason Young, Associate Professor of History

Kelly Maxwell, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education, LSA

Amanda Krugliak, Arts Curator & Assistant Director Creative Programming, Institute for the Humanities

Srimoyee Mitra, Director, Stamps Gallery

Julie Herrada, Curator of the Labadie Collection, UM Libraries

Katie Richards-Schuster, Director of Undergraduate Minor Programs and Associate Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work (CASC - Community Action and Social Change)

Mike Gould, Director, Center for World Performance Studies

Debby Covington, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Equity Initiatives, Office of Student Affairs, Michigan Engineering; Washtenaw County African American Cultural and Historical Museum representative

Makeda Easter, Knight-Wallace fellow and visiting fellow at Center for Racial Justice, Ford School

Andrew Herschel, Professor of Architecture, Taubman College

Ethriam Brammer, Assistant Dean Rackham Graduate School

Jessica Jenks, Arts Communications Strategist, Arts Initiative

Aunrika Tucker-Shabazz, Doctoral Candidate, Sociology

Nora Krinitisky, Prison Creative Arts Project, Residential College (LSA)

Sasha Crasnow, Lecturer, LSA Residential College

Bethany Hughes, Assistant Professor American Culture

“Arts & Resistance” is sponsored by the U-M Museum of Art, the U-M Arts Initiative, and the College of Literature, Science and the Arts.