Art and Social Values

An exploration of art as it reflects, reinforces, and challenges society’s values. The course may focus on art from different cultures and historical periods or have a special focus on one culture or time period. Students examine works of art in terms of both form and content, especially content related to political expression, power relations, and representations of race/ethnicity and/or social class, and/or gender.

History of Latin American Art

A study of Pre-Hispanic, Colonial, and Modern Latin American visual culture. Emphasis is placed on social context and politics of art, including issues of race, gender, and social class. Students write a research paper and make an oral presentation to the class.

History of Contemporary African-American Art

An introduction to the importance of artworks created by African-American artists during the period from the Harlem Renaissance to the twenty-first century. In examining the artworks themselves, students learn about topics of form, style, and narrative. In addition, the course introduces the lives and careers of 40 individual artists, including their contributions to American culture, history and politics. Topics of discussion include questions of identity, race, class, ethnicity, representation, sexuality, and aesthetics. Students learn about art-historical knowledge on the important aspect of African-American history while developing skills in seeing and writing about visual materials.

History of Asian Art

A contextual study of the arts of India, China, Japan, and Southeast Asia, spanning the ancient to post-modern worlds. The course explores major movements and schools of art, such as Buddhist sculpture, Chinese landscape painting, and Japanese prints. Readings and discussions focus on the interrelationships among art and religion, identity, and political authority. The course includes study of Western influences in Asia, and of the idea of the “Orient” in Western culture.

Survey of Art History I

A study of the arts of Europe, the Near East, Asia, and pre-Columbian America from prehistory through the medieval period. Attention is given to the essential role of art in the religions and cultures of the world as well as on formal and aesthetic issues. Assignments and examinations encourage students to think and write critically about art.

Survey of Art History II

Study of the arts in Western and non-Western societies from the Renaissance through the 19th Century. The relationships between art, politics, and social identity as well as formal and aesthetic issues are explored as students develop their ability to think and write critically about art.

Seminar in the History of Art

An intensive investigation into one particular period or theme in Art History. Extensive readings and discussions address current theoretical and methodological issues. The course is intended to give junior and senior level students the opportunity to conduct in-depth research, write a scholarly paper, and present their research and findings in a professional manner.

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