Spring 2008 Undergraduate Courses


(AHIS V3203) The Arts of Japan
J. Reynolds
Introduction to the painting, sculpture, and architecture of Japan from the Neolithic period through the 19th century. Discussion focuses on key monuments within their historical and cultural contexts.

(AHIS W3208) The Arts of Africa
Z. Strother
Introduction to the arts of Africa, including masquerading, figural sculpture, reliquaries, power objects, textiles, painting, photography, and architecture.  The course will establish a historical framework for study, but will also address how various African societies have responded to the process of modernity.

(AHIS V3250) Roman Art & Architecture
F. de Angelis
The architecture, sculpture, and painting of ancient Rome from the 2nd century B.C. to the end of the Empire in the West.

(AHUM V3340) Arts of China, Japan & Korea
D. Delbanco, S. Larrive-Bass, Y. Chen
Introduces distinctive aesthetic traditions of China, Japan, and Korea—their similarities and differences—through an examination of the visual significance of selected works of painting, sculpture, architecture, and other arts in relation to the history, culture, and religions of East Asia. Discussion Section Required.

(AHIS W3407) Early Italian Art
W. Hood
An introduction to the origins and early development of Italian Renaissance painting as a mode of symbolic communication between 1300-1600.  Artists include Giotto, Fra Angelico, Masaccio, Mantegna, and Leonardo da Vinci.  Emphasis on centers of painting in Florence, Siena, Assisi, Venice and Rome.

(AHIS W3650) 20th Century Art
B. Joseph
Major developments in 20th-century art, with emphasis on modernist and avant-garde practices and their relevance for art up to the present.

(AHIS W3780) African American Artists in the 20th & 21st Centuries
K. Jones
This course is a survey of visual production by North Americans of African descent from 1900 to the present.  It will look at the various ways in which these artists have sought to develop an African American presence in the visual arts over the last century.  We will discuss such issues as: what role does stylistic concern play; how are the ideas of romanticism, modernism, and formalism incorporated into the work; in what ways do issues of postmodernism, feminism, and cultural nationalism impact on the methods used to portray the cultural and political body that is African America?

Seminars and Colloquia

(AHIS W3817) The Byzantine Monastery; Ascetic Ideals, Communal Realities
N. Bakirtzis
We will study the values and habits of Byzantine monastic life and the ways communities experience, construct and use their natural and built environment in pursuit of their spiritual goals. Since the early beginnings of monasticism in Late Antiquity monks and nuns made a conscious effort to create an environment suitable to host the toils of daily life and to sustain its spiritual goals. From the examples of ascetic practice in caves to the establishment of monastic states like that at Mt. Athos, a series of important case studies will introduce us to the development and the organization of monastic life in the Byzantine tradition.

(AHIS W3848) Michel Foucault and the Arts
J. Rajchman
In this seminar, we will explore the work of Michel Foucault in its relations with visual art, its criticism and its history.  We examine the development of his historical work, his critical aims, and his methods in and through their relations with the visual arts and art institutions: first, through his own criticism or analysis of Raymond Roussel, Manet, Velasquez, and Magritte, and views on the museum; then through his invention of new sorts of archival work, fictions and other documentary forms, and finally through his reflections on the question of artistic work as a 'technique of subjectivisation' or as 'critical act of enlightenment'.  We then consider attempts to extend these aspects of his work today in new ways or in relation to new problems.

(AHIS W3852) The Spanish Renaissance
J. Escobar
This seminar will explore sixteenth-century Spanish painting, sculpture, and especially architecture through a comparative lens with contemporary developments in Italy and Flanders, as well as Spain's complex medieval legacy. Buildings, altarpieces, fresco cycles, cartographic imagery—all of the arts will be investigated to help place Spain within the context of the Renaissance in Europe and beyond.

(AHIS W3895) Major's Colloquium
H. Klein
Must sign up in 826 Schermerhorn. Required course for all majors. Limited enrollment: seniors get first priority, juniors get second priority. Introduction to different methodological approaches to the study of art and visual culture. Majors are encouraged to take the colloquium during their junior year.

(AHIS W3904) Aztec Art & Sacrifice
E. Pasztory
This seminar explores the issues of art and sacrifice in the Aztec empire from the points of view of the 16th century and modern times.

(AHIS W3908) Topic in the Mediterranean Bronze Age: Archaeology and Exhibition
J. Smith
This seminar investigates the Mediterranean Bronze Age through the topic of museum exhibition. Students will engage in research and discussion about how museum's approach the display of Mediterranean Bronze Age subjects and will help to complete the preparation of a body of excavated material from the site of Phlamoudhi, Cyprus, for an exhibition in the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia that is planned for 2009.

(AHIS C3948) 19th Century Criticism
J. Crary
Selected readings in 19th-century philosophy, literature and art criticism with emphasis on problems of modernity and aesthetic experience. Texts include work by Diderot, Kant, Coleridge, Hegel, Emerson, Flaubert, Ruskin, Baudelaire, and Nietzsche.

(AHIS W3952) The Iconography of Belief: Art and Religion in 19th C. Europe
C. Grewe
The course focuses on the production of religious imagery in nineteenth-century France, Germany, England and America.  It focuses on questions of communication, examining style, historical sources and religious context as well as strategies of promotion, dissemination and circulation.  Topics covered include Mary, Eve and gender; landscape and belief, and anti-Semitism and Jewish self-representation.

(AHIS W3993) Investigations into Contemporary Art 
B. Joseph
Travel Seminar.  This course examines minimal sculpture, particularly that of Donald Judd and Dan Flavin.  It will examine its emergence and transformations to the present day, including its place within the museum and how the museum itself has transformed.  The course will examine criticism, patronage, and installation and involve a trip to Houston's Menil Collection and the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Tx.

(AHIS BC3948) The Harlem Renaissance
E. Hutchinson
Attendance at the first class is mandatory. Introduction to the paintings, photographs, sculptures, films and graphic arts of the Harlem Renaissance and the publications, exhibitions, and institutions involved in the production and consumption of images of African-Americans. Focuses on impact of Black northward and transatlantic migration and the roles of region, class, gender, and sexuality.