For several centuries artistic and literary works were considered the product of the individual creative genius of artists and writers. More recently, scholars have argued that these works are also social products, that they are shaped by the economic, social, and cultural forces of their societies. To what extent and in what ways do socioeconomic and cultural forces influence the arts and literature? This course explores this and related questions as we examine issues such as the relationship between artists, writers, patrons, and clients; the social and cultural functions of different works of art and literature; the role of gender and power relations in the creation, production and reception of art; the education and training of artists and writers; the influence of globalization on artistic production and practice; and the organization of labor in the production of art. Who is in and who is out of the process of artistic and literary creation, production, and reception? And what implications does this have for participation in the various art markets that have emerged over time? Finally, how can an understanding of the social and economic processes influencing the arts and literature help us become more informed creators and consumers of art today? Drawing on key cultural and socioeconomic theoretical frameworks to ground our understanding, this course focuses on artistic and literary works from different time periods and locales, and ranging from popular and to elite traditions, in order to explore in greater depth a diversity of styles as well as interpretive perspectives.