Faculty

Paul VonBlum

Sr. Lecturer Emeritus

Contact Information

Email    PVONBLUM@UCLA.EDU
Office  160 Haines Hall
Phone  310-825-7403

My research interests center on art and culture, with special focus on how visual art, film, and literature communicate social and political ideas.  My recent work has centered on African American cultural expression and I have recently finished a short biography of Paul Robeson and have begun a history of the civil rights movement. 

My scholarship for the past forty years has focused on art and culture and its capacity to communicate critical ideas about history, society, and politics.  Although trained originally in law at the University of California at Berkeley (J.D. 1967), I have spent my academic career at the University of California (11 years at UC Berkeley and 33 years at UCLA) researching specifically how the visual arts have been an effective medium of social criticism. I have published four books and more than 75 articles, essays, book chapters, and reviews on this general topic.  My first book, The Art of Social Conscience, concentrated primarily on the European and Mexican traditions of social and political commentary in art.  My next book, The Critical Vision, examined the American tradition of social and political commentary in painting, sculpture, prints, and photography.

In the 1990s, I shifted my focus to contemporary art, publishing a book on Southern California feminist art (Other Visions, Other Voices and in the new century, African American Art (Resistance, Dignity, and Pride).  I have additionally published articles in education, law, politics, and culture and in recent years have focused extensively on African American cultural expression.  My book on Paul Robeson (Paul Robeson For Beginners) will be out in November 2013).  I have recently contracted to write and publish a short history of the civil rights movement.  I have also served as a curator for several art exhibitions, most recently  in the Getty Institute Pacific Standard Time Initiative at the Claifornia African American Museum ("Places Of Validation: Los Angeles African American Art 1945-1980").

Throughout my career, my chief professional focus has been on my teaching and I have received several teaching awards.  Among them have been the Distinguished Teaching Award at UC Berkeley (1974), UCLA (1986), and the Eugen Weber UCLA Honors Collegium Teaching Award (2008).  I continue to divide my instructional efforts in Communication Studies, African American Studies, and Honors.

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Degrees

J.D., University of California, Berkeley

A.B., Political Science, San Diego State University

Publications

A Visual Critique of Racism: African American Art from Southern California,‰ Tikkun, Spring, 2013

African American Visual Representation: From Repression to Resistance,‰ The Journal of Pan African Studies, Vol. 5, No. 8, December, 2012

Toni Scott‚s „Bloodlines‰: Remembering Yesterday, Understanding Today, and Empowering Tomorrow,‰ The Journal of Pan African Studies, Vol. 5, No.3, June 2012

The New Media and the Old McCarthyism: Personal Reflections about Contemporary Assaults on Academic Freedom,‰ Radical Pedagogy, Volume 10, Issue 1, 2012

Racism and the Law, Cognella, 2012

A Life at the Margins: Keeping the Political Vision, The New World African Press, 2011

Resistance, Dignity, and Pride: African American Artists in Los Angeles, Ralph Bunche Center for African American Studies, UCLA, 2004

Other Visions, Other Voices: Women Political Artists in Greater Los Angeles, University Press of America, 1995

Foundations of Freedom, Constitutional Rights Foundation, 1991 (with John Rhodehamel and Stephen Rohde; textbook on U.S. history with a focus on the development and meaning of the Bill of Rights)

Stillborn Education: A Critique of the American Research University, University Press of America, 1986  (Chapter 6, "Student Complicity in Educational Mediocrity," reprinted in Beyond the Conventions: Studies in Prose Writing, Jeanne Gunner, Harper and Row, 1989)

The Critical Vision: A History of Social and Political Art in the United States, South End Press, 1982 (Chapter 1, "Introduction," reprinted as "The Critical Vision" in Peace Review, 5-2 (1993)

Audrey Preissler: An American Humanist Artist of Today, Helikon, 1981

The Art of Social Conscience, Universe Books, 1976

 My new book, Paul Robeson for Beginners, will be out November 2013.

Current Courses by Term

2017 Spring Quarter

Race, Racism, and Law

Honors Contracts

Directed Research or Senior Project in Communication Studies

2017 Summer Session

Films of Persuasion: Social and Political Advocacy in Mass Society

Previous Courses by Term

2016 Spring Quarter

Race, Racism, and Law

Survey of Political Repression: How State Conveys Its Message

2016 Winter Quarter

Critical Vision: History of Art as Social and Political Commentary

2015 Fall Quarter

Criticism and Public Arts

2015 Spring Quarter

Race, Racism, and Law

Directed Honors Studies

2015 Winter Quarter

Critical Vision: History of Art as Social and Political Commentary

2014 Fall Quarter

Agitational Communication

2014 Spring Quarter

Freedom of Communication

Agitational Communication

2014 Winter Quarter

Variable Topics Research Seminars: Afro-American Studies

Special Topics in Afro-American Studies

Critical Vision: History of Art as Social and Political Commentary

2013 Fall Quarter

Criticism and Public Arts

2013 Spring Quarter

Variable Topics Research Seminars: Afro-American Studies

Special Topics in Afro-American Studies

2013 Winter Quarter

Critical Vision: History of Art as Social and Political Commentary

2012 Fall Quarter

Agitational Communication

2012 Spring Quarter

Variable Topics Research Seminars: Afro-American Studies

Special Topics in Afro-American Studies

2012 Winter Quarter

Critical Vision: History of Art as Social and Political Commentary

2011 Fall Quarter

Criticism and Public Arts

2011 Spring Quarter

Variable Topics Research Seminars: Afro-American Studies

Special Topics in Afro-American Studies

Critical Vision: History of Art as Social and Political Commentary

2011 Winter Quarter

Agitational Communication

2010 Summer Session

Films of Persuasion: Social and Political Advocacy in Mass Society

Criticism and Public Arts

2010 Winter Quarter

Critical Vision: History of Art as Social and Political Commentary

2009 Fall Quarter

Variable Topics Research Seminars: Afro-American Studies

Special Topics in Afro-American Studies

Agitational Communication

2009 Summer Session

Films of Persuasion: Social and Political Advocacy in Mass Society

2009 Spring Quarter

African American Art

Graffiti: Art of Civil Disobedience

Visual Communication and Social Advocacy

Individual Studies for USIE Facilitators

2009 Winter Quarter

Criticism and Public Arts

2008 Fall Quarter

Variable Topics Research Seminars: Afro-American Studies

Special Topics in Afro-American Studies

Agitational Communication

2008 Summer Session

Films of Persuasion: Social and Political Advocacy in Mass Society

2008 Spring Quarter

African American Art

Visual Communication and Social Advocacy

2008 Winter Quarter

Criticism and Public Arts

Critical Vision: History of Art as Social and Political Commentary

2007 Fall Quarter

Variable Topics Research Seminars: Afro-American Studies

Special Topics in Afro-American Studies

Agitational Communication

2007 Spring Quarter

African American Art

Visual Communication and Social Advocacy

2007 Winter Quarter

Criticism and the Public Arts

Critical Vision: History of Art as Social and Political Commentary

2006 Fall Quarter

Variable Topics in Afro-American Studies

Special Topics in Afro-American Studies

Agitational Communication

2006 Spring Quarter

African American Art

Visual Communication and Social Advocacy

2006 Winter Quarter

Criticism and the Public Arts

Critical Vision: History of Art as Social and Political Commentary

2005 Fall Quarter

Variable Topics in Afro-American Studies

Special Topics in Afro-American Studies

Agitational Communication

2005 Spring Quarter

African American Art

Variable Topics in Communication Studies: Humanistic Approaches to Mass Communication

2005 Winter Quarter

Criticism and the Public Arts

Critical Vision: History of Art as Social and Political Commentary

2004 Fall Quarter

Variable Topics in Afro-American Studies

Special Topics in Afro-American Studies

Agitational Communication

2004 Summer Session

Agitational Communication

2004 Spring Quarter

African American Art

Special Topics in Communication Studies: Humanistic Approaches to Mass Communication

2004 Winter Quarter

Criticism and the Public Arts

Critical Vision: History of Art as Social and Political Commentary

2003 Fall Quarter

Special Topics in Afro-American Studies

Agitational Communication

2003 Summer Session

Agitational Communication

2003 Spring Quarter

African American Art

Critical Vision: History of Art as Social and Political Commentary

2003 Winter Quarter

Criticism and the Public Arts

Women and Art in Contemporary U.S.

2002 Fall Quarter

Special Topics in Afro-American Studies

Agitational Communication

2002 Summer Session

Agitational Communication

2002 Spring Quarter

African American Art

Critical Vision: History of Art as a Social and Political Commentary

2002 Winter Quarter

Criticism and the Public Arts

Mutual Reflections: History of African/Jewish Cooperation, Conflict, and Coexistence

2001 Fall Quarter

Special Topics in Afro-American Studies

Agitational Communication

2001 Summer Session

Criticism and the Public Arts

2001 Spring Quarter

African American Art

Critical Vision: History of Art as a Social and Political Commentary

2001 Winter Quarter

Criticism and the Public Arts

Constitutional History of the U.S.: Constitutionalism since the Civil War

2000 Fall Quarter

Special Topics in Afro-American Studies

Agitational Communication

2000 Summer Session

Constitutional History of the U.S.: Constitutionalism since the Civil War

Principles of Oral Communication

2000 Spring Quarter

African American Art

Critical Vision: History of Art as a Social and Political Commentary

2000 Winter Quarter

Special Topics in Afro-American Studies

African American Art

1999 Fall Quarter

Agitational Communication

Criticism and the Public Arts

1999 Summer Session

Constitutional History of the U.S.: Constitutionalism since the Civil War

Principles of Oral Communication

1999 Spring Quarter

African American Art

Critical Vision: History of Art as a Social and Political Commentary

1999 Winter Quarter

Criticism and the Public Arts

1998 Fall Quarter

Special Topics in Afro-American Studies

Agitational Communication

1997 Fall Quarter

Previous Courses by Course

COMM ST 88S
Survey of Political Repression: How State Conveys Its Message

2016 Spring Quarter

COMM ST 176
Race, Racism, and Law

2016 Spring Quarter

2015 Spring Quarter

COMM ST M169
Critical Vision: History of Art as Social and Political Commentary

2016 Winter Quarter

2015 Winter Quarter

2014 Winter Quarter

2013 Winter Quarter

2012 Winter Quarter

2011 Spring Quarter

2010 Winter Quarter

COMM ST M179
Critical Vision: History of Art as Social and Political Commentary

2016 Winter Quarter

2015 Winter Quarter

2014 Winter Quarter

2013 Winter Quarter

2012 Winter Quarter

2011 Spring Quarter

2010 Winter Quarter

COMM ST 175
Criticism and Public Arts

2015 Fall Quarter

2013 Fall Quarter

2011 Fall Quarter

2010 Summer Session

2009 Winter Quarter

2008 Winter Quarter

COMM ST 199
Directed Honors Studies

2015 Spring Quarter

COMM ST M165
Agitational Communication

2014 Fall Quarter

2014 Spring Quarter

2012 Fall Quarter

2011 Winter Quarter

COMM ST M175
Agitational Communication

2014 Fall Quarter

2012 Fall Quarter

2011 Winter Quarter

COMM ST 101
Freedom of Communication

2014 Spring Quarter

COMM ST C291
Special Topics in Afro-American Studies

2014 Winter Quarter

2013 Spring Quarter

2012 Spring Quarter

2011 Spring Quarter

2009 Fall Quarter

2008 Fall Quarter

2007 Fall Quarter

2006 Fall Quarter

2005 Fall Quarter

2004 Fall Quarter

COMM ST C191
Variable Topics Research Seminars: Afro-American Studies

2014 Winter Quarter

2013 Spring Quarter

2012 Spring Quarter

2011 Spring Quarter

2009 Fall Quarter

2008 Fall Quarter

2007 Fall Quarter

COMM ST 141
Films of Persuasion: Social and Political Advocacy in Mass Society

2010 Summer Session

2009 Summer Session

2008 Summer Session

COMM ST 165
Agitational Communication

2009 Fall Quarter

2008 Fall Quarter

2007 Fall Quarter

2006 Fall Quarter

2005 Fall Quarter

2004 Fall Quarter

2004 Summer Session

2003 Fall Quarter

2003 Summer Session

2002 Fall Quarter

2002 Summer Session

2001 Fall Quarter

2000 Fall Quarter

1999 Fall Quarter

1998 Fall Quarter

COMM ST 176
Visual Communication and Social Advocacy

2009 Spring Quarter

2008 Spring Quarter

2007 Spring Quarter

2006 Spring Quarter

COMM ST CM112D
African American Art

2009 Spring Quarter

2008 Spring Quarter

2007 Spring Quarter

2006 Spring Quarter

2005 Spring Quarter

2004 Spring Quarter

2003 Spring Quarter

2002 Spring Quarter

2001 Spring Quarter

2000 Winter Quarter

1999 Spring Quarter

COMM ST 188SB
Individual Studies for USIE Facilitators

2009 Spring Quarter

COMM ST 88SC
Graffiti: Art of Civil Disobedience

2009 Spring Quarter

COMM ST CM212D
African American Art

2008 Spring Quarter

2006 Spring Quarter

2005 Spring Quarter

2004 Spring Quarter

2003 Spring Quarter

2002 Spring Quarter

2001 Spring Quarter

COMM ST 29
Critical Vision: History of Art as Social and Political Commentary

2008 Winter Quarter

2007 Winter Quarter

2006 Winter Quarter

2005 Winter Quarter

2004 Winter Quarter

2003 Spring Quarter

COMM ST 175
Criticism and the Public Arts

2007 Winter Quarter

2006 Winter Quarter

2005 Winter Quarter

2004 Winter Quarter

2003 Winter Quarter

2002 Winter Quarter

2001 Summer Session

2001 Winter Quarter

1999 Fall Quarter

1999 Winter Quarter

COMM ST C191
Variable Topics in Afro-American Studies

2006 Fall Quarter

2005 Fall Quarter

2004 Fall Quarter

COMM ST 191N
Variable Topics in Communication Studies: Humanistic Approaches to Mass Communication

2005 Spring Quarter

COMM ST 197N
Special Topics in Communication Studies: Humanistic Approaches to Mass Communication

2004 Spring Quarter

COMM ST C101
Special Topics in Afro-American Studies

2003 Fall Quarter

2002 Fall Quarter

2001 Fall Quarter

2000 Fall Quarter

2000 Winter Quarter

1998 Fall Quarter

COMM ST C201
Special Topics in Afro-American Studies

2003 Fall Quarter

2002 Fall Quarter

2001 Fall Quarter

2000 Fall Quarter

2000 Winter Quarter

COMM ST 139
Women and Art in Contemporary U.S.

2003 Winter Quarter

COMM ST 29
Critical Vision: History of Art as a Social and Political Commentary

2002 Spring Quarter

2001 Spring Quarter

2000 Spring Quarter

1999 Spring Quarter

COMM ST 198N
Mutual Reflections: History of African/Jewish Cooperation, Conflict, and Coexistence

2002 Winter Quarter

COMM ST 151B
Constitutional History of the U.S.: Constitutionalism since the Civil War

2001 Winter Quarter

2000 Summer Session

1999 Summer Session

COMM ST 1
Principles of Oral Communication

2000 Summer Session

1999 Summer Session

COMM ST CM112E
African American Art

2000 Spring Quarter

COMM ST 175

1998 Winter Quarter

COMM ST C201

1998 Winter Quarter

COMM ST C101

1998 Winter Quarter

COMM ST 165

1997 Fall Quarter