Spring 2013 Graduate Courses

Updated on November 30, 2012.


(AHIS G4085) Andean Art and Architecture
E. Pasztory
M 2:10-4:00, 930 Schermerhorn Hall
Survey of the art of the Andes from earliest times until the Spanish conquest. Emphasis on the nature of Andean tradition and the relationship between art and society.

(AHIS W4110) Modern Japanese Architecture
J. Reynolds
M/W 1:10-2:25, 103/4 Diana Center LL
(Description to come)

(AHIS G4385) Renaissance Architecture, History & Theory
F. Benelli
T 10:10-12:00, 832 Schermerhorn Hall
A survey of Renaissance Architecture in Italy through its buildings and its theory, from Brunelleschi to Palladio and the influence to other European country.

(AHIS W4480) Art in the Age of Reformation
K. Moxey
T/R 10:10-11:25, 504 Diana Center
Artistic production in Germany and the Netherlands in the 16th century and the transformation of the social function of art as a consequence of the development of reformed theories of art and the introduction of humanist culture: Albrecht Dürer, Hans Baldung Grien, Hans Holbein the Younger, Albrecht Altdorfer, Quentin Massys, Lucas van Leyden, Jan Gossaert, Jan van Hemessen, and Pieter Aertsen.

(AHIS W4601) Origins of Modern Visual Culture
J. Crary
M/W 10:10-11:25, 501 Schermerhorn Hall
Major developments in the emergence of modern visual culture in Europe and North America 1750-1900. Topics include the panorama, diorama, museums, photography, world expositions, and early cinema; issues in technology, urbanization, and consumer society. Attention to texts by Debord, Agamben, Bakhtin, Elias, Lefebvre, Caillois, Kluge, Gunning, Foucault, and others. This is a no laptop, no e-device course.

(AHIS W4626) Tourism and the North American Landscape
E. Hutchinson
T/R 4:10-5:25, 103/4 Diana Center LL
Examines the relationship between 19th-century landscapes (paintings, photographs and illustrations) and tourism in North America. The semiotics of tourism, the tourist industry as patron, the tourist as audience, and the visual implications of new forms of travel explored via the work of Cole, Moran, Jackson, and others.

(AHIS G6651) Art, Media and Avant-Garde
N. Elcott
W 2:10-4:00, 934 Schermerhorn Hall
At the center of the avant-garde imagination-and the interwar period in Europe more broadly-were photography, film, and other technological media. Long relegated to the margins of art history and rarely studied together, photography and film were often the guiding lights and vehicles for mass dissemination of avant-garde images and techniques. This lecture course delves into interbellum art, photography, film, and critical writing as it surveys a range of avant-garde movements and national cinemas; seminal artists and theorists; and topics such as montage, abstraction, advertising, sites of reception, and the arrière-garde.

Seminars and Colloquium

(AHIS G8094) Mamallapuram & the Development of South Indian Style
V. Dehejia
T 2:10-4:00, 934 Schermerhorn Hall
This seminar seeks to arrive at a well-grounded "reading" of the enigmatic site of Mamallapuram, port of the Pallava dynasty, that holds the key to the origins of the South Indian style. It then examines the development and flowering of South Indian architecture and sculpture under the aegis of the Chola monarchs.

(AHIS G8102) Chinese Paint and Decorative Arts
R. Harrist
M 4:10-6:00, 934 Schermerhorn Hall
Representations of small fragments of nature, especially in the genre known as bird and flower painting, constitute one of the major traditions of Chinese art.  In addition, images of similar motifs on decorative arts such as ceramics and lacquers, as well as representations of gardens in various media, open onto a vast domain of religious, political, and erotic symbolism, all of which will be addressed in the seminar.  Focusing on works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this seminar will explore various aspects of bird and flower imagery and will introduce basic research procedures in the field of Chinese art history that could be applied to the study of any genre. 

(AHIS G8170) Assyrian Art
Z. Bahrani
R 4:10-6:00, 934 Schermerhorn Hall
This seminar will investigate Assyrian art and architectural forms and practices.

(AHIS G8319) Japanese Photography
J. Reynolds
T 2:10-4:00, 832 Schermerhorn Hall
This course will examine the history of Japanese photography from the middle of the 19th century to the present. The seminar will be organized both chronologically and thematically. Throughout its history, photography has been a powerful medium for addressing the most challenging issues facing Japanese society. Among the topics under discussion will be: tourist photography and the representation of women within that genre in the late 19th century, the politics of propaganda photography, the construction of Japanese cultural identity through the representation of “tradition” in photography, and the interest in marginalized urban subcultures in the photography of the 1960s and 1970s. Although the course will be focused on Japan, the class will read from the literature on photography elsewhere in order to situate Japanese work within a broader context.

(AHIS G8474) The Invention of Oil Painting: Fifteenth Century Art in the Netherlands
D. Freedberg
R 2:10-4:00, 934 Schermerhorn Hall
This course, often taught under the rubrics of “Early Netherlandish Painting” or even “Northern Renaissance Painting” might also be described as “Art in the Age of Van Eyck” or “Painting from Van Eyck to Bosch”.   It will begin with manuscripts, and deal with the contribution of great sculptors like Sluter as well.    The claim implicit in the title is that the techniques pioneered and perfected by the Van Eycks affected all the other arts too—even though the most original and compelling achievements of the century are probably those of painting, which will form the chief focus of this class.  Attention will also be paid to the social and historical contexts of the main works discussed.    Several museum visits will be included.

(AHIS G8495) Modern and Contemporary in China
J. Rajchman
W 4:10-6:00, 832 Schermerhorn Hall
(Description to come)

(AHIS G8559) The Enchanted World of German Romantic Prints, 1750-1850
C. Grewe
F 2:10-4:00, 934 Schermerhorn Hall
The Enchanted World of German Romantic Prints 1770-1850 will open in Philadelphia in late 2013 and travel to several venues. Drawn entirely from Philadelphia Museum of Art’s uniquely rich holdings of more than 8,000 prints by 800 German School painters and printmakers of this period, the exhibition will feature 125 works by leading Austrian, German, and Swiss artists working at home and abroad, including Josef Danhauser, Caspar David Friedrich, Ludwig Emil Grimm, Carl Wilhelm Kolbe, Ferdinand Olivier, Johann Christian Reinhart, Ludwig Richter, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, and Philipp Otto Runge, and Adrian Zingg.
Spanning eight decades, from the first stirrings of a Romantic sensibility among German-speaking writers and artists in the 1770s to the pan-European uprisings of 1848/49, the selected works mirror many of the sweeping social and political changes that occurred during these turbulent times, reflecting such significant new trends in the arts as the growing appreciation of late Gothic and early Renaissance art—especially Dürer and Raphael—and the widespread enthusiasm for recently rediscovered medieval sagas, age-old fairy tales, popular ballads, and folk songs. The prints of the period document important shifts in taste in contemporary art circles, including the rise to prominence of landscape, informal portraiture, and scenes of everyday life alongside the more highly-ranked academic art categories of history and religion. The exhibition and catalogue will also treat a number of important printmaking innovations, among them the introduction of new technology (lithography and steel engraving) and new methods of print distribution (print albums, illustrated books and almanacs, annual print club editions), all of which served a rapidly expanding world of print collectors made up of a newly flourishing segment of the population, the cultivated citizenry known as the Lesepublikum, or reading public.

(AHIS G8621) Black British Art & Theory
K. Jones
T 6:10-8:00, 832 Schermerhorn Hall
This course considers the development of visual culture in this European outpost of the African Diaspora. Of interest is the way the discipline of cultural studies, which evolved in postwar Birmingham, intersected with the rise of black consciousness throughout Britain in the 1980s. How did the interactions of intellectuals and artists at this moment in the late 20th century lead to the creation of strong postcolonial theory and practice? Readings include works by Bhabha, Carby, Gilroy, Hall, Maharaj, and Mercer. We will look at visual production by Bhimji, Boyce, D-Max, Fani-Kayode, Julien, Kempadoo, Piper, and Pollard among others. We will also discuss selected exhibitions and publications that supported this movement.

(AHIS G8701) Late Style
D. Rosand
M 12:10-2:00, 934 Schermerhorn Hall
The central issue to be addressed in this seminar is the late work of individual artists, testing the notion of "old-age style." Preliminary topics for discussion will include: concepts of "style" and models of stylistic development and the "life" of styles; biography, pyschology, and physiology of the artist; the role of medium in determining style and its potential; social context and reception. The focus will be on artists who have left a significant body of late works that have challenged interpretation: including Michelangelo, Titian, Rembrandt, Poussin, Goya, Monet, Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso, de Kooning. Students of East Asian art in the seminar are invited to study aging masters of Chinese and Japanese painting.

(AHIS G8704) Modes of Spectatorship, Participation and Interactivity in Contemporary Art
Alberro, Alexander
R 11-12:50, 832 Schermerhorn Hall
This course will investigate what spectator “participation” and“interactivity” in art might mean today. What have these terms come tosignify? Why have they proliferated in recent years? What is theirrelationship to the prevalent modes of spectatorship in the period? Isthere a coherent body of thought or artistic practices that theydefine? We will also explore the history of these terms within thevisual arts, the social and intellectual conditions from which theyoriginated, and the ethical implications and ideological stakes of anart of “participation” or “interactivity.”

(AHIS G8707) Periodizing the Seventies
B. Joseph
M 4:10-6:00, 832 Schermerhorn Hall
This course focuses on the artistic practice of the 1970s as it has been delimited and defined within art history and criticism.  Particular attention to the emergence of new movements and genres, the legacy of political radicalism, and the transformations of post-structuralist and autonomist theory.

(AHIS G8751) Abstraction Across Media
N. Elcott
T 9:00-10:50, 930 Schermerhorn Hall
Precisely one hundred years ago, abstraction became a major force in the art of Europe and North America. Although its place in the history of modern art is secure, its modulation across a range of media and practices—painting, photography, film, sculpture, theater, dance, and exhibition design—remains a matter of fierce dispute. This graduate seminar will probe the practices, discourses, and theories the undergirded the rise of abstraction through close analyses of wide-ranging works in seminal avant-garde movements. Specifically, the seminar will take advantage of the concurrent major MoMA exhibition, “Inventing Abstraction, 1910–25,” through frequent gallery visits.

(AHIS G8992) Yamato-E Traditions
M. McKelway
T 4:10-6:00, 934 Schermerhorn Hall
Examines painting and calligraphy associated with Japan's courtly culture and the ways in which Yamato-e has been defined throughout the ages.

(AHIS G8991) Curatorial Colloquium
K. Jones
W 12:10-2:00, 832 Schermerhorn Hall
The Curatorial Colloquium is taken in the second semester of study and is required for the completion of the MA in Modern Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies. The course introduces students to the history, theory and practice of object collection and display as well as to exhibitions such as Documenta and the various international biennials. The course is designed to allow for guest presentations on particular issues by curators and museum professionals, just as it draws on the expertise and participation of Columbia faculty. The aim is to develop students' critical thinking and for them to learn directly from leading practitioners in the exhibition and display of modern and contemporary art. In addition to department faculty, curators from MoMA, the Whitney, the International Center for Photography, and other institutions regularly participate in the colloquium.