Last updated: November 8, 2016

Art History (ARTH) Course Descriptions (TENTATIVE—Subject to change)

Autumn Winter Spring


N. Atkinson, P. Berlekamp, I. Blom, C. Brittenham, C. Cohen, P. Crowley, D. English, A. Fisher, C. Foxwell, C. Fromont, T. Gunning, M. J. Jackson, S. Keller, A. Kumler, A. Leonard, R. Neer, A. Pop, J. Snyder, M. Sullivan, K. Taylor, A. Thomas, M. Ward, H. Wu, T. Zhurauliova

Autumn 2016

Undergraduate Courses

10100. Introduction to Art. This course seeks to develop skills in perception, comprehension, and appreciation when dealing with a variety of visual art forms. It encourages the close analysis of visual materials, explores the range of questions and methods appropriate to the explication of a given work of art, and examines the intellectual structures basic to the systematic study of art. Most importantly, the course encourages the understanding of art as a visual language and aims to foster in students the ability to translate this understanding into verbal expression, both oral and written. Examples draw on local collections. T. Zhurauliova, J. Konova

14115.  Roman Art I: Republican and Early Imperial Art and Architecture.  (=CLCV 24115)  This course offers an introductory survey of the art and architecture of the Roman world from the legendary founding of Rome in the eighth century BC up through the beginning of the second century AD, when the Empire reached its point of greatest expansion. Students will witness the transformation of Rome from a humble village of huts surrounded by marshland in central Italy into the centripetal force of a powerful Empire that spanned mind-bogglingly distant reaches of space and time. Throughout the course, we will consider how the built environments and artifacts produced by an incredible diversity of peoples and places can make visible larger trends of historical, political, and cultural change. What, we will begin and end by asking, is Roman about Roman art?  P. Crowley

14200. Introduction to Medieval Art. This course explores the challenging world of medieval art. Beginning with the fourth-century fusion of Imperial and Christian images and ending with the advent of print, we trace how images and art-making took on new roles—and re-invented old ones—over the course of the Middle Ages. We consider architecture, sculpture, wall-painting, manuscript painting, stained glass, metalwork, and textiles in their historical contexts, questioning why medieval objects look the way they do and how they were seen and used by medieval viewers. Readings include medieval sources (in translation) and exemplary modern scholarship. A. Kumler

15709.  Twentieth Century Western Architecture.  This class offers a critical survey of the major architectural and urban developments of the 20th century in Europe and America. In addition to learning about key architectural movements, architects and urban typologies, students will gain an understanding of the social, cultural, political and economic contexts from which the former have emerged. Taught in a broadly chronological fashion, the course will address the dominant architectural debates of the period, which include: architecture as political symbol; architecture as a social tool; the relationship between architect and user; the ‘success’ or ‘failure’ of Modernism; the connection between technological innovation and architectural production; and the financialization of architecture and public space. Heavy emphasis will be placed on equipping students with the necessary architectural vocabulary and analytical skills to dissect and describe buildings from a range of typologies, including public institutions, housing, skyscrapers, factories, urban infrastructure and educational establishments.  A. Thomas

16215. Art & Architecture of Tenochititlan/Mexico City.  (=LACS 16215)  This course provides an introduction to the art and architecture of ancient to contemporary Mexico through a case study of Mexico City (formerly Tenochtitlan). Beginning with the ancestral cities of Tula and Teotihuacan, continuing through the Spanish Conquest and Fall of Aztec Tenochtitlan in 1521, and concluding with the legacy of the 1910 Mexican Revolution, the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre and Olympics, we will examine the criteria inhabitants and historians use to define a “city.”
The course asks two questions: (1) how individuals use public monuments and performance to choreograph the urban environment (2) how the creation of historical narratives and cultural exchange impact the practices of daily life in an ancient and modern city. The tension between antiquity and modernity, global and local identities, colonialism and resistance, and the relationship between art and community formation will be major themes.  S. Esquivel
18000. Photography and Film. 18000 is a core course that serves as an introduction to the history of art by concentrating on some fundamental issues in the history of photography and film. The course is divided roughly in half between still photography and film. The central theme of the course concerns the way in which photographs and films have been understood and valued during the past 165 years. There have been profound changes in attitudes and beliefs regarding the nature of photographs throughout the history of photography (this is likewise true of film). The current range of views is very different from those held by the various audiences for photographs and films in the last century and the century before. For instance, photographs were originally conceived of as copies of things that can be seen, but the notion of copy was drawn from a long established set of views about what makes a picture a work of art and copies were said to be incapable of being works of art. This view continues to haunt the writings of some critics and historians of photography and film. The course will concentrate on the work of photographers, theorists of photography and film, and on films by John Huston, Billy Wilder, and Roman Polanski. J. Snyder.
20000.  Introduction to Film-1.  (=CMST 10100, ARTV 25300, ENGL 10800)  This course introduces basic concepts of film analysis, which are discussed through examples from different national cinemas, genres, and directorial oeuvres.  Along with questions of film technique and style, we consider the notion of cinema as an institution that comprises an industrial system of production, social and aesthetic norms and codes, and particular modes of reception.  Films discussed include works by Hitchcock, Porter, Griffith, Eisenstein, Lang, Renoir, Sternberg, and Welles. Staff
28815.  World’s Fairs, 1851-1937: Chicago and Paris.  (=HIST 28805)  The great era of world’s fairs (or universal expositions) lasted about ninety years.  Although this golden age originated in London and took expression on every continent, two of its most significant hosts were Paris and Chicago.  This course will examine the character and impact of expositions in these two cities, concentrating on Paris expositions held between 1855 and 1937 and the two Chicago fairs of 1893 and 1933.  Particular attention will be given to the art, design, and architecture featured, stimulated, and sometimes ignored by the fairs.  But technological, racial, political, institutional, and social themes will be examined as well.  This colloquium is meant to encourage creation if research papers.  It will meet once a week and there will be heavy reliance upon images at each section.  N. Harris

29800. Senior Seminar. Problems and methods in Art History. Required of fourth-year Art History majors. C. Fuldner & B. Woodward


Undergraduate/Graduate Courses

20603/30603.  Image and Text in Mexican Codices.  (=LACS 20603/30603)  In most Mesoamerican languages, a single word describes the activities that we would call “writing” and “painting.” This seminar will investigate the interrelationships between image and text in Central Mexico both before and immediately after the introduction of alphabetic writing in the 16th century. We will also review art historical and archaeological evidence for the social conditions of textual and artistic production in Mexico, and how these traditions were transformed under Spanish colonial rule. We will consider the materiality of text and image by working with facsimiles of Mesoamerican books in the Special Collections of the Regenstein Library. At the end of the course, students will have acquired a basic literacy in Aztec and Mixtec writing systems, and will have refined their ability to look productively and write elegantly about art.  C. Brittenham

21314/31314.  Fluxus and the Question of Media.  (=CMST 27804/37804)  The course investigates the international Fluxus network of the 1960’s and 70’s from a media perspective. Often identified with the concept of “intermedia” launched in a 1966 text by artist, writer and publisher Dick Higgins, Fluxus artists seemed at pain to distinguish their work from the multimedia or gesamtkunstwerk approaches of the Happening artists, seeking instead to formulate a mode of working between or even beyond media. Underpinned by a desire to pass beyond the work of art itself, this was a complex position that had profound implications for their approaches to technologies and practices such as film, video, computing, sound/music, theatre, poetry and image-making. We will try to map the various facets of this position, with particular emphasis on its relation to another key Fluxus concept: the work as event.  I. Blom

22770/32770.  Rhoades Seminar: Conflict & Vision in the Modern Metropolis.  This course is a multidisciplinary exploration of the rapid and fraught evolution of the modern metropolis through images and writings spanning the 19th and 20th centuries. Sited at the Art Institute of Chicago, this course will focus on works in the museum’s permanent collection that focus on cities after the industrial revolution. We will engage with a variety of polemical depictions of the urban in photography, painting, film, architecture, and urban planning in order to develop a dense and synthetic understanding of evolving and contradictory ideas about the modern city. Artworks for the course range from the iconic to the bureaucratic, with the goal of interrogating potent urban visions including Impressionist and Cubist paintings of modern Paris, photographers work in cities from Alfred Stieglitz to Brassai, as well as a wide sampling of architects and planners proposals for ideal, everyday, and utopian cities by Daniel Burnham, Ludwig Hilberseimer, Buckminster Fuller and many others. Although focused on the United States and Europe, this course will include key comparisons from areas outside of the west including Japan and Latin America.

This seminar will emphasize close readings of primary texts such as Georg Simmel’s Metropolis and Mental Life (1903), as well as more contemporary writing on the politics and culture of cities by Walter Benjamin, Lewis Mumford, Henri Lefebvre, the Situationists, Jane Jacobs, and key works of architectural theory by Colin Rowe, Robert Venturi, and Rem Koolhaas that situate the historical city as disciplinary object. Each week we will spend time engaging in close observations of relevant work in the museum’s collection and this exercise will directly inform the structure of research papers produced for the course.  A. Fisher

24110/34110.  Venetian Painting from Bellini to Titian.  The works of Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, and other major figures are studied in the context of the distinctive Venetian version of the Renaissance. The course will explore the patterns of patronage, iconography and practice as they are impacted by the Venetian cult of the state, the role of the great charitable institutions in Venetian society, the conservative Venetian guild and workshop organization. Some of the major art-historical themes will include the understanding of Giorgione and Giorgionism as a decisive turn towards modernity in European art; the complex place of the long-lived Titian throughout the entire period; the role of drawing in an art most noted for its light, color and touch; the complex interaction of Venetian and Tusco-Roman visual cultures throughout the Renaissance.  C. Cohen

28500/38500.  History of International Cinema I: Silent Era.  (=ARTV 26500/36500, CMLT 22400/32400, CMST 28500/48500, ENGL 29300/48700, MAPH 36000)  This course introduces what was singular about the art and craft of silent film. Its general outline is chronological. We also discuss main national schools and international trends of filmmaking.   T. Gunning


Graduate Courses

39900.  Methods and Issues in Cinema Studies.  (=CMST 40000, ENGL 48000, MAPH 33000)  This course offers an introduction to ways of reading, writing on, and teaching film.  The focus of discussion will range from methods of close analysis and basic concepts of film form, technique, and style; through industrial/critical categories of genre and authorship (studios, stars, directors); through aspects of the cinema as a social institution, psycho-sexual apparatus and cultural practice; to the relationship between filmic texts and the historical horizon of production and reception.  Films discussed will include works by Griffith, Lang, Hitchcock, Deren, Godard.  J. Wild

40200. Art History Proseminar. How do we do art history? What is it? What are its premises and where does it come from? This seminar will explore the historical foundations, formulations and applications of current art historical methods, as well as the foundations of the art historical discipline as it emerged from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Both theory and practice will be considered through select texts, with special focus on art history as a distinct scholarly discipline today. Required of all first year ARTH PhD students. A. Kumler

41314.  Media Atmospheres: Art & Biopolitics at the End of the 20th C.  (=CMST 67808)  In the late 1990’s and early 00’s contemporary art seemed to turn towards design, architecture and fashion, leading many critics to claim that the boundaries between the practices of art and design were eroding. This course proposes a different line of inquiry, based on the fact that so many of the artworks in question were in fact hidden media machines, improvisations on a life environment increasingly suffused in the dynamics of networked media technologies and their various modes of time production and -control. Elements of design and architecture were in other words enlisted in the construction of what we may call media atmospheres, everyday sensorial surrounds that addressed the intimate integration of bodies and real-time technologies in the information economy, a new modality of the capture of life forces that Michel Foucault called biopolitics.

The course will be oriented around a close study of a select number of artistic positions, in addition to reading theoretical and critical texts that were important to the artists in question as well as to the larger field of discussion. Ultimately, the course is about a form of new media art less invested in technical invention than in new aesthetic techniques of social production.  I. Blom

42009.  Art, Science, and Magic in the Pre-modern Islamic World.  (=NEHC 40723) This seminar examines relationships between arts and the study of the cosmos in the pre-modern Islamic world. Our objects of study mediated human understanding of the cosmos, and/or offered humans the possibility of manipulating their position within it. The media in which these objects were made include manuscripts, textiles, ceramics, metalwork, and architecture. Recurrent questions of the seminar include the following. How closely can we define historically appropriate theoretical frameworks (eg., Neoplatonic, Hermetic, Aristotelean, Prophetic Medicinal) for particular objects? How do we explain objects of similar forms which might be theorized through divergent models, or objects of divergent forms which might be theorized through similar models?  P. Berlekamp

44005. Pseudomorphosis.  This seminar explores the art historical phenomenon of pseudomorphosis coined by Erwin Panofsky, who defined it as “The emergence of a form A, morphologically analogous to, or even identical with, a form B, yet entirely unrelated to it from a genetic point of view.” Arguably, the history of the concept of pseudomorphosis has its very own pseudomorphoses: Panofsky borrowed it from Oswald Spengler, who borrowed it in turn from the scientific discourse of mineralogy and crystallography, each discipline putting the concept to work towards various rhetorical and methodological ends. It has also become the renewed focus of interest in recent work on the stakes of anachronism, formalism, and anthropological theory in the discipline of art history. To what extent, and according to what criteria, can a comparison of ostensibly distinct works be profitable? What are the stakes of empiricism and what Michael Baxandall has called “inferential criticism” in demonstrating proof of such a genetic relationship (and alternatively, demonstrating a negative proof of its absence)? The seminar will take a capaciously global and chronological perspective on these problems, featuring readings by Spengler, Panofsky, Lévi-Strauss, Kubler, Baxandall, Didi-Huberman, Gell, Nagel, Wood, Bois, and others.  P. Crowley

48709.  Performance Art: Theory and History.  (=ARTV 37000)  Performance-based works not only define several crucial chapters in the history of twentieth and twenty-first century art, they also consistently present the would-be interpreter with complex challenges. In this course we will attempt to map differing theoretical approaches to the history of performance art, while also analyzing performance’s gradual transformation into a decisive object of art historical investigation. This seminar will concentrate on episodes in the history of performance art in Europe and North America.  M. J. Jackson

50101. Teaching Colloquium. Led by a faculty member each fall, this seminar meets weekly for 80 minutes, to address various topics through discussion with visitors (especially department faculty members) and occasionally through discussion of assigned readings. On the premise that one learns the most about teaching not well in advance but rather by reflecting with peer and senior colleagues on techniques and problems when one is in the midst of the challenge, this forum is meant to address participants' specific concerns and experiences, especially those related to art history. The quarter's topics are determined with student input and may include: the structure of the art history college core course program in which all faculty and students teach; the jobs of course assistant and writing intern; instructor authority and classroom dynamics; leading discussion; effective lecturing; strategic use of pictures in classroom teaching; small-group class projects; designing and grading assignments; designing syllabi. From year to year, the colloquium may address similar topics but the emphasis and tips will change depending on the participants. The department requires third-year students to participate fully in the colloquium, register for credit, and earn a Pass. More advanced students who have previously taken the colloquium are welcome to return on an occasional or regular basis to share experiences, strategies, and to seek advice on new teaching challenges. P. Berlekamp


Winter 2017

Undergraduate Courses

10100. Introduction to Art. This course seeks to develop skills in perception, comprehension, and appreciation when dealing with a variety of visual art forms. It encourages the close analysis of visual materials, explores the range of questions and methods appropriate to the explication of a given work of art, and examines the intellectual structures basic to the systematic study of art. Most importantly, the course encourages the understanding of art as a visual language and aims to foster in students the ability to translate this understanding into verbal expression, both oral and written. Examples draw on local collections. J. Shi, B. Woodward

14215.  Roman Art II: Late Antique and Early Christian Art and Arch.  (=CLCV 24215) This course offers an introductory survey of the art and architecture of the Roman world starting from the beginning of the second century AD, when the Empire reached its point of greatest expansion. It then proceeds through a period of relative peace and prosperity before witnessing the effects of a political, social, and economic “crisis” of the third century AD, the adoption of Christianity as the state religion, and the tremendous consequences of moving the capital from Rome to Constantinople. Throughout the course, we will consider how the built environments and artifacts produced by an incredible diversity of peoples and places can make visible larger trends of historical, political, and cultural change. What, we will begin and end by asking, is Roman about Roman art?  P. Crowley

14510.  Northern Renaissance Art, 1400-1570.  This course surveys the art of the Renaissance in northern Europe in the fifteenth and the sixteenth centuries. In a time of relative peace and economic prosperity as well as profound social transformation and religious upheaval, the Burgundian Netherlands (comprised of the Low Countries and parts of Northwestern France) were the heart and center of a thriving artistic cosmos. Special attention will be given to painting, but we will also consider parallel developments in the media of sculpture, print, and drawing. We will explore the work of major artists including Jan van Eyck, Claus Sluter, Rogier van der Weyden, Hieronymus Bosch, Albrecht Dürer, and Pieter Bruegel in a loosely chronological fashion. Themes and questions that loom large in this course are material and technical aspects of painting, pictorial realism as a style and mode of representation, the role of the viewer, vision and devotion, the status and practice of the artist, and the impact of changing social, cultural, and religious circumstances on the meaning and making of images. The chief aims of this course are to train our art historical eye, engender careful looking, and discover the joys and rewards of the close study of works of art. Since this is best done in front of originals, we will make use of the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Smart Museum.  M. Schwarz

14700. Building Renaissance Italy: a Survey of the Built Environment. This introductory course surveys the major patrons, architects, and building programs that defined the spatial contexts of the Renaissance in Italy. Between the 15th and 16th centuries, the political aspirations of governments, popes, princes, and merchants demanded a more articulated architectural environment that would facilitate increasingly complex modes of public and private life. They were aided in this endeavor by the emergence of a newly professionalized class of architects, who turned their eyes towards both a systematic study of the classical past and a critical assessment of their contemporary world. Renaissance urban palaces—both civic and private—and rural villas provided the stages upon which a new art of living could be performed. New inventions in military engineering responded to rapidly advancing technologies of warfare. Urban planning techniques created new topographies of spiritual and political triumph and reform, while treatises on ideal cities laid the foundations for the modern integrated multi-functional city. Between Venice, Florence, Rome, and their rural surroundings, this course will focus on a range of important patrons such as Roman popes, Venetian doges, princely courts, and private merchants, and will explore what made the works of such architects as Filippo Brunelleschi, Giuliano da Sangallo, Leon Battista Alberti, Francesco di Giorgio, Michelangelo, Jacopo Sansovino, and Andrea Palladio so creative, innovative, and influential well into our own contemporary architectural landscape.  N. Atkinson

15600. 20th Century Art. This class provides a critical survey of the major movements, paradigms, and documents of European and American art of the 20th century. Special attention will be given to crucial problems: the relation of art and politics, art’s response to mass media and consumer culture, and the understanding of terms such as “modern,” “avant-garde,” and “postmodern.” More broadly, we will study fundamental tools for examining works of art formally, historically, and critically. The course is not intended as a complete survey of 20th century art; rather, it will address the complex set of aesthetic, philosophical, and political motivations that shaped the artistic production of select figures and movements, including Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Performance Art, and Appropriation Art. M. J. Jackson

16100.  Art of the East: China.  (=EALC 16100)  This course is an introduction to the arts of China focusing on the bronze vessels of the Shang and Zhou dynasties, the Chinese appropriation of the Buddha image, and the evolution of landscape and figure painting traditions. This course considers objects in contexts (from the archaeological sites from which they were unearthed to the material culture that surrounded them) to reconstruct the functions and the meanings of objects, and to better understand Chinese culture through the objects it produced.  H. Wu

16709.  Islamic Art & Architecture, 1100-1500.  (=NEHC 16709, NEAA 10630)  This course surveys the art and architecture of the Islamic world from 1100-1500. In that period, political fragmentation into multiple principalities challenged a deeply rooted ideology of unity of the Islamic world. The courts of the various principalities competed not only in politics, but also in the patronage of architectural projects and of arts such as textiles, ceramics, woodwork, and the arts of the book. While focusing on the central Islamic lands, we will consider regional traditions from Spain to India and the importance for the arts of contacts with China and the West.  P. Berlekamp

16800.  Arts of Japan.  (=EALC 16806)  This course surveys the arts of the Japanese archipelago through the study of selected major sites and artifacts. We will consider objects in their original contexts and in the course of transmission and reinterpretation across space and time. How did Japanese visual culture develop in the interaction with objects and ideas from China, Korea, and the West? Prehistoric artifacts, the Buddhist temple, imperial court culture, the narrative handscroll, the tea ceremony, folding screens, and woodblock prints are among the topics covered.  C. Foxwell

17209.  Art in France, 1598-1661.  France emerged from the 16th century devastated by wars of religion. Sixty years later it was the most powerful state in Europe. This course will provide an overview of French art and in this period. Three themes will predominate: the rise of philosophical skepticism (pyrrhonisme) and the New Science, and their impact on ideas of painting; the relationship between new “practices of the self” and practices of knowledge; and political centralization and the emergence of the police state. We will discuss major artists like Nicolas Poussin, Philippe de Champaigne, Georges de la Tour, Claude Lorraine and Charles Le Brun, as well as lesser-known figures like Laurent de la Hyre, Lubin Baugin, Eustache Le Sueur and Valentin de Boulogne. Readings will be drawn largely from primary sources, all in translation.  R. Neer

17610. Modernism. This course will explore the development of European and American modernism by concentrating on examples in local collections, especially the Smart Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago. The modernist era, from roughly 1860 to 1960, brought dramatic changes in the conception and making of art. We will analyze these by attending to the media of painting, sculpture and printmaking. The class will meet frequently at the Art Institute, and students will need to be able to arrive at the museum in time for classes beginning there at 3:00M. Ward

17708.  The Plan: Diagramming Modernity in the Twentieth Century.  The twentieth century witnessed a profound spatial re-ordering of society. Our cities, homes, workplaces and public spaces underwent unparalleled transformations to accommodate the modernisation of daily life. At the heart of this process was a two-dimensional visual tool used by architects, urban planners, governments and scientists to predict, propose and project new ways of living: the plan. This course explores changing attitudes to architectural and urban space in the twentieth century, using the plan as our primary source of evidence. Focusing on everyday environments, each week we will discuss/visit a case study from a different architectural or urban typology, ranging from the city, street, and suburb, to the kitchen, office and the shopping mall. The aim of the course will be to think about how radical shifts in architectural form relate to broader societal shifts in politics, economics, technological innovation and social science, raising questions such as: What does the floor plan of a kitchen tell us about changing attitudes towards gender politics? How might the layout of a suburban town reveal a government’s relationship with industry? How do politics, space and race intertwine in the planning of housing projects? Each case study will be grounded in its own chronological and environmental context, and students will gain an insight into the works of some of the most prominent architects and thinkers of the twentieth century alongside a broader understanding of the major historical shifts of that period. Through the study of drawings and first-hand experimentation with producing basic spatial diagrams, the course will also equip students with the necessary skills to read and interpret architectural plans.  A. Thomas

17735.  Art of Post-Revolutionary Mexico.  (=LACS 17735)  This course surveys the landscape of Mexican art from the eve of the Revolution (1910-1920) into the 1940s, exploring the developments, debates, and problems of this particularly rich moment in the history of twentieth-century art. Within the context of post-revolutionary society and politics, we will study the production, circulation, and reception of prints, photographs, easel painting, film, and craft, along with the celebrated work of the Mexican muralists. Issues to be addressed include: the formation of new ideas of nation and citizenship, debates about art, politics, and social efficacy, the relationship of artists to the state, the place of the Indian in the new social order, the incorporation of both old and new media and technologies, and the intersection of gender, class, and national identities. Students will develop their ability to analyze works of art both formally and historically and will learn the fundamentals of art historical writing.  M. Sullivan

18202.  Creative Destruction: War, Violence, and Upheaval in 20th C. Art.   Articulated by Joseph A. Schumpeter in his book Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy from 1942, the term “creative destruction” refers to capitalism’s inherent tendency to destroy existing economic systems through incessantly creating new ones in order to generate additional wealth. In a similar vein, the history of artistic avant-gardes is often told as a succession of radical formal innovations, a string of revolts against existing artistic conventions in search of a new visual language. This course will draw on Schumpeter’s concept of creative destruction, positioning it within a larger cultural context in order to examine the creative potential and ethical limitations of violence and destruction in art. Focusing on visual arts from World War I to the 9/11 attacks, we will question the concept of avant-garde innovation in order to consider the relationship between artistic gesture and social upheaval. Addressing such issues as political violence, radical visuality, and trauma, the class will focus on various forms of creation, from painting and sculpture to performance and photography. T. Zhurauliova

27615.  Landscape Painting in the United States, 1830-1950.  (=AMER 24615)  This course examines how artists engaged with the notions of place, space, and landscape in American visual culture from the Hudson River School to Abstract Expressionism. We will address the dual nature of landscape imagery, considering it as both a representation of human environment and a cultural practice that constantly shapes and re-packages this environment through its intervention into the realm of visual intelligence, geographical knowledge, and spatial imagination. From Thomas Cole’s monumental series The Course of Empire (1833-36) to the mid-twentieth-century narratives of the end of landscape, this course will explore the relationship between the image of American scenery and the histories of imperialism, nationalism, and globalism.  T. Zhurauliova

29600. Junior Seminar: Doing Art History. Required of third-year students who are majoring in art history; open to non-majors with consent of instructor. The aim of this seminar is to deepen an understanding of art history as a discipline and of the range of analytic strategies art history affords to students beginning to plan their own BA papers or, in the case of students who are minoring in art history, writing research papers in art history courses. Students read essays that have shaped and represent the discipline, and test their wider applicability and limitations. Through this process, they develop a keener sense of the kinds of questions that most interest them in the history and criticism of art and visual culture. Students develop a formal topic proposal in a brief essay, and write a final paper analyzing one or two works of relevant, significant scholarship for their topics. This seminar is followed by a workshop in Autumn Quarter focusing on research and writing issues for fourth-year students who are majoring in art history, which is designed to help writers of BA papers advance their projects. P. Crowley


Undergraduate/Graduate Courses

23310/33310.  Renaissance Geographies: Travel and the Geographic Imagination.  In his 15th century diary, the Florentine merchant and traveler, Benedetto Dei, described his encounter with the Sultan in Istanbul.  He noted that if the Ottomans ever invaded the Italian peninsula, its warring states would forget their differences and form a united front to protect their common shores.  This Italian “identity” expressed as a temporal unity against a common enemy betrays the complex and fluid nature of the multiple imagined geographies in which Early Modern Italians lived.  Benedetto also delineated his idea of Europe, while he mapped out each street in his local neighborhood of the Oltrarno.  These are only several of the numerous ways in which travelers came to terms with both familiar and foreign places, mapping out the psycho-geographies of their lives at home and abroad.  Consequently, this course investigates the transactions between the local and the “global” in the spatial imaginations of travelers who created their own micro- and macrocosmic orders in which to live and understand the worlds around them.  Consequently, the course will be looking at travel literature from the Middle Ages to Early modern Europe, in particular how these texts mapped out intercultural relationships in the Mediterranean world through descriptions of cities, their customs and their physical environment.  N. Atkinson

24266/34266.  Polemical Hut.  (=ARTV 24266/34266)  From Vitruvius to Le Corbusier, and from Thoreau’s cabin to prefab micro-houses, the architectural imaginary has been populated by idealized minimal dwellings. As an introductory architectural design studio, this course poses the problem of the “polemical hut” to ask how we live and build today. A range of projects and related readings will provide the context for students’ own designs. Basic techniques of architectural drawing and modeling will also be introduced.  S. Keller

25002/35002.  Rethinking the Social History of Art.  Prior to the Second World War, and again in the wake of the 1968 unrests, a politically committed art history carried out innovative research in the social and political stakes of art with the ambition to offer a comprehensive critique of society. What kind of social history of art does our troubled epoch need (or deserve)? Is the social history of art primarily activism by other means or does it aspire to be a value-free social science? If the latter, what economic, sociological, anthropological, or other foundation should it have? With readings in the Hegelian, Marxist, Feminist, and other art historical traditions.  A. Pop

26005/36005.  The Films of Josef Sternberg.  (=CMST 26000/36000) Description not yet available. T. Gunning

27509/37509.  Reading Artists Writing.  The purpose of this course is to think deeply about the writing of artists and its considerable implications for the practice of art history.  What kind of knowledge is produced when a visual artist writes?  Are making and writing distinctive modes of cultural production?  If every art practice has its own conditions of visibility, what role does an artist’s writing play in establishing them?  How does this writing affect how and what one sees?  What is art history’s responsibility to the artist’s discourse?  Such questions will be guiding ones for this course.  In addition to regular course meetings, several required sessions may be scheduled to accommodate site visits beyond Hyde Park.  Enrollment strictly limited to 15 with instructor consent required. D. English.

28600/38600.  History of International Cinema II: Sound Era to 1960.  (=ARTV 26600, CMLT 22500/32500, CMST 28600/48600, ENGL 29600/48900, MAPH 33700)  The center of this course is film style, from the classical scene breakdown to the introduction of deep focus, stylistic experimentation, and technical innovation (sound, wide screen, location shooting). The development of a film culture is also discussed. Texts include Thompson and Bordwell's Film History: An Introduction; and works by Bazin, Belton, Sitney, and Godard. Screenings include films by Hitchcock, Welles, Rossellini, Bresson, Ozu, Antonioni, and Renoir. Staff


​Graduate Courses

42905.  Modernism on the Margins.  (=LACS 42905)  This seminar explores approaches to modernism outside of the Euro-American tradition. Focusing primarily, but not exclusively, on Mexico and Brazil, we will attend to how both modern art and modernity have been conceptualized in the region by art historians, anthropologists, historians, and the artists themselves. Questions and themes to be explored include: the distinct relationships between modernism, modernity, and modernization outside of Europe, the applicability of postcolonial theory in Latin America, the temporality and teleology of modernism, the adaptation of European social, political, and artistic forms, the impact of postmodernism and globalization, and the potential dissonance between theories of peripheral or alternative modernisms and the practices of artists. Finally, we’ll ask if and how any of this is pertinent in the twenty-first century. Authors to be studied might include Timothy Mitchell, Néstor García Canclini, Roberto Schwarz, Beatriz Sarlo, Enrique Dussel, Nelly Richard, Arjun Appardurai, George Yúdice, Ticio Escobar, and Eduardo Viveiros de Castro. Although we will concentrate on Latin America for most of the course, comparative studies from other regions will be included and research papers dealing with theories or practices from other world areas are welcome.  M. Sullivan

43010. Art and Ritual in Byzantium. (=HCHR 43010, RLIT 43010) What was the place of architecture, images and objects in the various rituals of Byzantium – public and private, sacred and secular? In what ways did works of art respond to the ritualistic purpose for which they were created? To what extent is the latter reflected in the design of buildings, their urban setting, their pictorial decoration, their furnishings and mobile equipment? These are the key questions underlying this course, to which must be added: What are the limitations encountered by those aiming to reconstruct the function of buildings that have survived in a fragmentary or refurbished state and of artifacts now isolated from their original context? We will approach this topic by critically confronting visual material surviving from Byzantium with various written sources. We will also explore these texts as a key source of information on works of art and architecture that no longer survive. K. Krause

44002. COSI Objects & Materials Seminar. Team-taught between Northwestern, the Art Institute of Chicago and University of Chicago, this course focuses on sustained, close engagement with art objects in the AIC collection and the methods and questions such inquiry raises.  Students will be introduced to basic techniques of stylistic and scientific analysis as well as recent theoretical debates that resituate art history as a study of physical things as well as their disembodied images. Required for all first-year art history graduate students. Open to first year ARTH PhD students. M. Ward

44014. The Veneration of Icons in Byzantium: History/Theory/Practice. (=HCHR 44004, RLIT 44004, RLST 28704) In order to appreciate the pivotal religious significance icons had in Byzantium for private devotion, in the liturgy, in civic ritual, and in military campaigns, we will survey the visual evidence along with a vast array of written sources. We will explore the origins of the Christian cult of icons in the Early Byzantine period and its roots in the Greco-Roman world of paganism. Through close analysis of icons executed over the centuries in different artistic techniques, we will examine matters of iconography, style and aesthetics. We will also have a close look at Byzantine image theory, as developed by theologians from early on and codified in the era of Iconoclasm. K. Krause

45005.  Landscape and Religion in Chinese Art.  (=EALC 45005) PQ: Chinese reading skill is preferred.  This course explores the relationship between landscape and religion in Chinese art. Possible topics include the origins of landscape representations, religious significance of landscape images, landscape environment of religious structures, and landscape aesthetic and the notion of transcendence. Students are encouraged to explore these and other topics, and are expected to produce papers based on focused research.  H. Wu

48010.  Black Gods & Kings: African Arts in the Early Modern Era.  This seminar explores the visual and material culture of African rulership and worship in the early modern period with a special emphasis on the continent’s multivalent connections with Europe and Latin America. Readings, class discussions, and student research will consider the artistic, religious, and political cultures of variety of pre-colonial kingdoms and examine their involvement in and contributions to the making of the early modern world.  C. Fromont


Spring 2017

Undergraduate Courses

10100. Introduction to Art. This course seeks to develop skills in perception, comprehension, and appreciation when dealing with a variety of visual art forms. It encourages the close analysis of visual materials, explores the range of questions and methods appropriate to the explication of a given work of art, and examines the intellectual structures basic to the systematic study of art. Most importantly, the course encourages the understanding of art as a visual language and aims to foster in students the ability to translate this understanding into verbal expression, both oral and written. Examples draw on local collections. J. Konova, C. Zappella

14107. Greek Art and Archaeology. (=CLCV 21807) This course examines the art and archaeology of ancient Greece from ca. 1000 BCE – ca. 200 BCE. Participants will learn a lot of facts about the Greek world; they will see the Greeks emerge from poverty and anarchy to form a distinctive political and social system based on city-states, and they will see that system grow unstable and collapse. They will see the emergence of distinctive forms of sculpture, architecture, pottery, and urban design – many of which are still in use today. Along with these facts, they will acquire a conceptual toolkit for looking at works of art and for thinking about the relation of art to social life. R. Neer

15600. 20th Century Art This class provides a critical survey of the major movements, paradigms, and documents of European and American art of the 20th century. Special attention will be given to crucial problems: the relation of art and politics, art’s response to mass media and consumer culture, and the understanding of terms such as “modern,” “avant-garde,” and “postmodern.” More broadly, we will study fundamental tools for examining works of art formally, historically, and critically. The course is not intended as a complete survey of 20th century art; rather, it will address the complex set of aesthetic, philosophical, and political motivations that shaped the artistic production of select figures and movements, including Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Performance Art, and Appropriation Art. T. Zhurauliova

15680.  Art and Language / Word and Image.  From Chicago’s street murals to the fragment of an ancient Greek vase, from painted altarpieces to the Sunday comics, words and images have long conspired to produce artworks that transcend the sums of their parts. Yet how is such collaboration possible at all? Do language and pictures contribute differently to our cognition? Do they occupy incompatible temporalities? Do history, culture, and geography play major roles in how they interact? We will seek answers to these questions both in the classroom and in the presence of real artworks, in the Smart Museum and beyond.  A. Pop

15707.  American Art since the Great War.  (=AMER 15707)  A survey of major figures and developments in visual arts and related fields since roughly 1920. Chronological in progression, this course affords students a wide view of consequential developments in and beyond major art centers and occurring across mediums and national borders. Themes to be considered will include American metabolizations of cubism and Dada, as well as more homegrown manners including regionalism, abstract expressionism, color field, happenings, neo-Dada, pop, op Art, minimal art, process, performance, Situationism, conceptual art, experimental film and video, earth and land art, neo-geo, and others.  D. English

16211.  Introduction to African Art.  This course is an introduction to the arts of Africa and its diaspora. It surveys selected monuments of African expressive culture from a variety of places and times. Lectures, readings and discussions explore the relationship between art and leadership, religion, and society on the continent and in African diasporic communities in the Americas. Class meetings and assignments make use of local collections such as the Art Institute of Chicago and the Field Museum.  C. Fromont

16413.  Maya Art and Architecture.  (=LACS 16413)  This course provides an introduction to the art of the ancient Maya of Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras from the first millennium BC to the time of the Spanish invasion. Beginning with the earliest developments of monumental art and architecture, studying through the competition between flourishing city-states, and examining moments of contact with other regions of Mesoamerica, this course examines topics such as architecture and urbanism, courtly and sacred arts, word and image, and the relationship between art and identity.  C. Brittenham

16460. Modern Latin American Art.  (=LACS 16460)  This course offers an introductory survey of the art of modern Latin America from the first wave of independence in early nineteenth century to the present day. Through the study of key artists, movements, and works of art, we will attend to a set of central problems: the formation of collective identities in these new nations, the impact of revolution, dictatorship, and political violence on the development of art in the region, the incorporation of both foreign styles and indigenous traditions, and the shifting definitions of Latin American art. Special emphasis will be placed on developing the skills needed to analyze a wide variety of modern and contemporary art, including painting, sculpture, photography, performance art, and site-specific installations.  M. Sullivan

16910.  Modern Japanese Art and Architecture.  (=EALC 16911)  This course takes the long view of modern Japanese art and architecture with a focus on the changing relationships between object and viewer in the 19th and 20th centuries. Beginning in the late eighteenth century with the flowering of revivalist and individualist trends and the explosion of creativity in the woodblock prints of Hokusai and others, we will then turn to examine Western-style architecture and painting in the late nineteenth century; socialism, art criticism, and the emergence of the avant garde in the early twentieth century. Also covered are interwar architectural modernism, art during World War II, and postwar movements such as Gutai and Mono-ha. No familiarity with art history or Japan is required.  C. Foxwell

17000.  Introduction to Architecture.  This course aims to equip students with the basic skills and knowledge required to analyze architecture and the urban environment. It offers an introduction to the methods and procedures of the architectural historian. These include practical tasks such as understanding architectural terminology, reading and interpreting architectural drawings, engaging with buildings ‘on site’, and studying buildings in context through urban design issues, such as street networks and public spaces. At a broader level, the course will involve critical discussions about the relationship between architecture and society, the building as a historical object, cultural representations of architecture, and modes of perceiving/experiencing the built environment. The course will operate through a combination of in-class seminars and site visits to buildings in Chicago.

NOTE: On Fridays the class will often meet off-campus at sites throughout the city. Students will need to be able to get to these sites in plenty of time, and therefore should not have other classes directly before or after.  A. Thomas

17310.  Between the Agora and the Shopping Mall.  Centrally located open urban spaces have been dominant architectural and social features of western cities. By focusing on these urban gathering sites, this course explores a range of key historical moments in which different formations of the city square emerge (political, communal, royal, imperial, colonial, modernist, privatized, etc.) Its goal is to define a set of criteria for analyzing what constitutes a city square, how “public space” also has a history, how public monuments function over time, and how understanding the urban environment is always dependent on the intimate relationship between physical structures and spatial performances. It will consider, therefore, both the design morphology and the social configurations that infuse such spaces with meaning in any given context.  N. Atkinson

17311.  Art of the Book in the Middle Ages.  Many of the greatest works of art from the Middle Ages come in the form of illuminated books. This course will introduce students to the history of the art of the book in medieval West, exploring what kinds of books were made by medieval scribes and artists, how they were made, and what they meant to the men and women who gazed at their pages. We will meet in the Special Collections of the Regenstein Library, allowing us to explore the history of medieval book arts through close examinations of original medieval books and rare facsimiles. A wide range of illuminated books will be discussed--from those used in church rituals to those made for private aristocratic amusement. This course meets the Art, Music, Drama Core requirement.  A. Kumler

17700. 19th Century French Art in the Art Institute. In this course, we will closely examine 19th century paintings and other media in the Art Institute of Chicago and seek to understand how and why art changed during this period. Topics to be considered include the meaning of stylistic innovation in the 19th century, the development and dissolution of the genres of landscape and portraiture, and varying conceptions of realism and abstraction. Most class sessions will be devoted to looking at works in the galleries of the Art Institute. Because attendance is mandatory, students should consider whether their schedules will allow time for traveling to and from the museum for class meetings. Assignments include three papers and a variety of written homework exercises. M. Ward

18305.  Art in Context: New Art in Chicago Museums.  Through very regular, required site visits to museums, galleries, and experimental spaces in the greater Chicago area, this course introduces students to the close consideration—in situ—of works of art created in and for our time, as well as to pertinent modes of critical and historical inquiry. Sites visited can include our own Smart Museum of Art, the Hyde Park Art Center, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and private collections and galleries. Enrollment strictly limited to 12 with instructor consent required.  D. English

23802.  COSI: How Photographs Look.  The processes, techniques, and formats for making and presenting photographs have evolved continuously since photography’s public debut in 1839. This course provides an introduction to the dynamic appearances of photographs through history. Rather than focusing on questions of style and subject matter, we will explore the visual “syntax” of photographic prints, exploring how the material aspects of their making can shape, alter, or determine meaning.

Using materials from the Art Institute of Chicago’s Photography Collection, we will learn how to identify various kinds of photographic objects based on their visual and material attributes, building on that knowledge as a basis for art historical analysis, connoisseurship, and conservation. The course will follow a loose chronological structure, starting with early daguerreotypes and salted paper prints and ending with contemporary color and digital techniques. Along the way, we will consider: what makes photography a unified “medium”? How do the technical and aesthetic traditions of photography interact with one another? What makes some processes better suited to certain purposes than others? What variables do photographers consider while choosing a process or format? How have the changing material and visual qualities of photographs influenced ideas about photography in a general sense?  C. Fuldner


Undergraduate/Graduate Courses

21205/31205.  From the Non-Object to the End of Art: the South American 1960s.  (=LACS 21205/31205)  Beginning with the 1959 publication of the “Neo-Concrete Manifesto” in Rio de Janeiro, this course traces the radical transformations of art objects and artistic practices in South America (especially Brazil and Argentina) over the course of the 1960s. Through the study of both works of art and the writings of artists and critics, we will investigate new definitions of the art object, revolts against existing institutions of art, and the emergence of performance, media, and conceptual art. These developments will be read against social and political changes in the region, including the impasse of mid-century modernization efforts and the rise of repressive dictatorships. We will make extensive use of the Hélio Oiticica exhibition and related programming at the Art Institute during the quarter.  M. Sullivan

23003/33003.  The Past Resurgent in Nineteenth-Century Art.  This course will interrogate the various senses of the past that emerge from European (particularly French) art of the nineteenth century, which has been called the great age of historical revivalism.  No doubt the turbulence of contemporary events—replete with revolutions as well as rapid social and technological change—had something to do with the unprecedented ways in which nineteenth-century artists regarded and represented history, with a protean embrace of past styles. Themes and topics to be considered include Homer and the classical past; Joan of Arc and medieval revivalism; Napoleon; modern life and the uses of history; monuments; and primitivism. Engaging closely with the Classicisms exhibition on view at the Smart Museum in winter/spring 2017, the course will also examine objects from the Smart’s permanent collection and draw upon a series of critical and theoretical readings.  Interested students will have the option to help organize a small, collection-based response exhibition.  A. Leonard

24002/34002.  Advanced Nonfiction Workshop: Writing About the Arts.  (=CRWR 24002/44002)  PQ:  Submit nonfiction writing sample when applying to register for the course.  Writing about the arts has long been a way for writers to investigate the wide world, and to look inward.  In this course, we’ll be focusing on the visual arts, and we’ll try to see how reflecting on painting, photography, installation art, and those arts that get called “decorative” gives us ways to consider the object in space, and also history, war, friendship, education, material culture, aesthetics, and coming-of-age.  In writing, we will practice all kinds of forms: lyric fragments; polemics; reviews; catalog essays; museum wall texts; personal meditations on a single work; documentation of lost techniques and lost works; and history, criticism, and biography written for readers outside the academy. Students will also write a longer essay to be workshopped in class.  We’ll read and discuss writers such as Susan Sontag, Geoff Dyer, Claudia Rankine, Tiana Bighorse, Rebecca Solnit, Zbigniew Herbert, Donald Judd, Octavio Paz, Mark Doty, Hervé Guibert, Kevin Young, Lawrence Weschler, and Walter Benjamin.  Students will make some guided and some independent visits to museums including the Art Institute, the DuSable Museum of African American History, the Smart Museum of Art, the Oriental Institute, and the National Museum of Mexican Arts.  R. Cohen

24350/34350.  Art and Colonialism.  This course investigates the role of colonialism in the shaping of European discourses about non-Western peoples and their visual and material culture from the early modern period to the present. It is organized around three themes: colonization and the birth of the museum, the role of art in the colonial project, and world art in the post-colonial era.  C. Fromont

24812/34812.  Museums and Art.  This course considers how the rise and development of the art museum in the 19th and 20th centuries affected the production of modern art and the viewing of past art. This is not a survey course but a historically oriented investigation of certain issues relating to museums, modern art and art history. We will concentrate on these matters: various debates about what happens to past art and to objects when they are uprooted and moved into the museum; how and why museums have changed display practices in the interests of getting viewers to look differently at past art; what artists have understood to museums to represent and how they have responded in their work and display preferences. Though reference will be made to the contemporary art world, we will focus on materials and case studies drawn from the French Revolution to the 1960s. French, German, English and American museums will be featured.  M. Ward

25003/35003.  Symbolism between Universality and Solipsism.  Symbolism in Western European literature and visual arts is usually seen as a triumph of the psychological, the navel-gazing, in the words of James Ensor, the “Moi universel”. But it is as much a dogged search for objective grounds of expression and intelligibility amidst a sea of subjectivity: from Van Gogh’s letters and Mallarmé’s poems to the new logical symbolism of Frege and the stream of consciousness of William James, the epoch saw an unprecedented effort to rationalize the private, the incommunicable, experience itself. This is a broad revisionist look at a transitional but key era in intellectual history, featuring some new material from the instructor’s own work in progress.  A. Pop

25940/35940.  The Artist as Ethnographer.  (=ARTV 20940/30954)  This interdisciplinary seminar considers the idea of the artist as ethnographer in contemporary art and curatorial practice. Through lecture, screening and group discussions, we will trace the historical relationship between visual culture and the social sciences, uncovering how this has impacted ways of viewing objects, people and cultures within the Western tradition. Armed with this knowledge, we will consider how the ethnographer’s commitment to the study of Others has been challenged by an increasingly globalised and post-colonial world. We will explore questions of authority and subjectivity in ethnographic fieldwork. Finally, we will look to contemporary artworks and exhibitions that have reinvested in the image and practice of the ethnographer to uncover the politics and poetics of their work. You will be introduced to the practices of Brad Butler and Karen Mirza, Paulo Nazareth, Marine Hugonnier, Camille Henrot, Kapwani Kiwanga et. al. Sessions will include close reading and discussion of texts by Hal Foster, James Clifford, Clementine Deliss, Okwui Enwezor and Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, amongst others.  This course is open to advanced undergraduates and graduate students.  Y. Umolu

27304/37304.  Photo/Modernism/Esthetic.  The course presents the history of photographic practices in the United States, beginning in the late nineteenth century and extending into the 1980s, aimed at gaining an audience for photographs within museums of art. The issues under study include the contention over claims about medium specificity, notions of photographic objectivity, a peculiarly photographic esthetics, the division of photography into two categories—art vs. documentary— and the role of tradition and canon formation in the attempted definition of the photographic medium.  J. Snyder   

29150/39150. Veiling the Image: Sacred & Profane – Antiquity to Modernity. (=RLIT 39150, RLST 28716) This course will explore the fascinating culture of covering and veiling sacred icons,  or images that were thought to cause trauma or outrage in the European tradition. It will begin in the ancient world and explore medieval, Renaissance and modern art – both paintings and sculptures, as well as images that represent the covering of images…   It will attempt to restore the sensual, the tactile and the performative to the experience of viewing art and engaging with its powers, by contrast to the prevailing regime of disinterested contemplation encouraged by the modernist art gallery.  The course will be taught in an accelerated format twice per week for the first five weeks of the quarter, with much encouragement to students to experiment and think against the grain. J. Elsner

29400/39400.  Feminine Space in Chinese Art.  (=EALC 27708/37708)  "Feminine space" denotes an architectural or pictorial space which is perceived, imagined, and represented as a woman. Unlike an isolated female portrait or an individual female symbol, a "feminine space" is a spatial entity---an artificial world comprised of landscape, vegetation, architecture, atmosphere, climate, color, fragrance, light, and/or sound, as well as selected human occupants and their activities. This course traces the construction of this space in Chinese art and the social/political implications of this constructive process.  H. Wu


Graduate Courses

40010. Ruins. (=CDIN 40010, CMLT 40010, RLIT 40010) “Ruins” will cover texts and images, from Thucydides to WWII, via the Reformation. We will include films (e.g. Rossellini’s “Germany Year Zero”), art (e.g. H. Robert, Piranesi) archaeology, the museum (Soane).  On ruins writing, we will read Thucydides, Pausanias from within antiquity, the Enlightenment responses to the destruction and archaeological rediscovery of Pompeii, Diderot, Simmel, Freud on the mind as levels of ruins (Rome) and the analysis as reconstructive archaeologist as well as on the novel Gradiva and the Acropolis, the Romantic obsession with ruins, and the firebombing in WWII. We will also consider the photographing of ruins, and passages from the best-known works on photography (Benjamin, Sontag, Ritchen, Fried, Azoulay). The goal is to see how ruin gazing, and its depictions (textual, imagistic, photographic, etc.) change from the ancients (Greek and Roman), to the Romantic use of ruins as a source of (pleasurable) melancholy, to the technological “advances” in targeting and decimating civilian populations that describe the Second Word War. J. Elsner & F. Meltzer

40310.  The Discovery of Paganism.  (=CDIN 40301, LACS 40301, KNOW 40301, CLAS 44916, HIST 64202, HREL 40301, ANCM 44916).  How do we know what we know about ancient religions? Historians of religion often begin by turning to texts: either sacred texts, or, in the absence of such scriptures, descriptions of belief and practice by observers from outside the faith. Archaeologists focus their attention on the spaces and traces of religious practice—or at least those that survive—while art historians begin by examining images of deities and religious rites. Yet we often fail to see the extent to which the questions which we ask of all of these diverse sources are conditioned by Christian rhetoric about pagan worship. In this course, we compare two moments when Christians encountered "pagans": during the initial Christian construction of a discourse on paganism (and, more broadly, a discourse on religion) during the late Roman empire and during the Spanish discovery of the New World. Our course examines silences and absences in the textual and material records, as well as the divergences between texts and objects, in order to further our understanding of ancient religious practice. We will begin to see the many ways in which, as scholars of religion, we are in effect still Christian theologians, paving the way for new approaches to the study of ancient religion.  C. Brittenham & C. Ando

41610. Between East and West: Venice in the Pre-Modern Period. (=RLIT 41610, HCHR 41610) Venice’s long-standing ties with the Byzantine Empire have left their visible trace in the city’s art and architecture and have had an equally strong impact on Venetian myth-making in the pre-modern period. Until today the appropriation of Byzantine style is especially evident in the church of Saint Mark the Evangelist, as well as in the decoration of less- well known medieval churches of the Venetian Lagoon. During the so-called Fourth Crusade, the Sack of Constantinople has led to large-scale pillaging of the Byzantine capital and the transfer to Venice of countless Byzantine artifacts, among them are liturgical items, reliquaries, icons, and architectural spoils. How were these artifacts employed in the Venetian Lagoon for religious and political ends after being disassociated from their original contexts? What transformations did they experience with regard to usage and appearance? What kinds of new ceremonies, both religious and secular, did they inspire? What was their impact on artistic creativity and religious life in their new environment? How were they perceived intellectually, and what kinds of narratives evolved around them in Venice over the centuries? These are some of the key questions to guide our research. On a broader scale, we will investigate various phenomena of cultural transfer and ‘hybridity’ from the Middle Ages to the Baroque era. Reading comprehension of scholarship published in foreign languages, especially German, is essential (other language skills are desirable, esp. in Latin, French, and Italian). Undergraduates who have these skills are welcome to attend after obtaining consent from the instructor. K. Krause

42250.  Materiality & Medieval Art History.  In recent years the role played by materials and concepts (both implicit and explicit) of materiality in relation to European medieval culture have preoccupied medievalists working in a wide range of disciplines: this seminar aims to critically confront this scholarly work with a range of medieval objects and practices. Questions of how materials might "mean" in the Middle Ages, as well as how works of art and material culture were informed by and also contributed to medieval understandings of "materia," materiality, and processes of material making will be central to the seminar's work. The seminar will critically consider not only the varied scholarly perspectives often dubbed "the new materialism," and we will also return to several important "old" materialisms that might yet have insights to offer the study of medieval material and intellectual culture. Readings will be drawn not only from the discipline of art history but also from the history of ideas, of science, medieval literature, law, theology, etc. In addition to collective discussion of medieval artifacts and works of art, we will also confront a range of medieval texts. Reading ability in French &/or German is essential. The seminar is open to PhD Students; MAPH students and undergrads must contact the instructor in advance if they wish to seek consent to take the seminar.  A. Kumler

42911. 21st Century Art. (=ARTV 39901)  This course will consider the practice and theory of visual art in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries. M. J. Jackson

44909.  Japanese Handscroll Paintings.  (=EALC 42609) With pictorial and verbal narratives that unfold before the viewer, Japanese picture handscrolls (emaki) of the 12th through early 20th centuries fulfilled a variety of aims: to tell a story, propagate a Buddhist teaching, commemorate famous persons living and dead, and to locate divinity within a specific landscape. Focusing on masterworks such as the Tale of Genji, Miraculous Origins of Mt. Shigi, and the Illustrated Biography of the Monk Xuanzang, this course considers the scrolls’ diverse narrative strategies and spatial constructions, paying special attention to the pictorial expression of social status, gender roles, and divinity. We will also consider modern handscrolls from the early 20th century and scrolls in local collections.  C. Foxwell

48201. Florentine Topographies: Art, Architecture, and Urban Life (Traveling Seminar). The site of some of the most widely recognizable monuments of western art history and the home to some of the most famous artists, writers, designers, thinkers, and cultural patrons of early modern culture, Florence has long occupied a central place in a larger pan-European discourse of Modernity, Beauty, and the Individual Subject.  As a result, the city itself has come to occupy a mythic position as a central hub of Western intellectual culture: uprooted from its geographical specificity by the circulation of such proper names as Machiavelli, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and unmoored from its historical heritage by the disorienting complexities of modern mass tourism.  Therefore, this course seeks to re-integrate the “Renaissance” into the urban context from which it emerged, to defamiliarize it so that it can be looked at from other perspectives.  It focuses on the city itself as the protagonist of some of the most important experiments in art, architecture, and urban development and shows how they were intimately connected to a lively and engaged social body. By approaching images and monuments through the spatial practices by which they were encountered by Renaissance society (rituals of conflict, contests, economic exchange, religious devotion, urban politics, identity formation, among others), students will gain a more nuanced understanding of the links between a localized urban culture and a larger intercultural and cross-temporal exchange of ideas.  Rather than diminishing the cultural achievements of its artistic giants, or de-legitimating the rich, varied, and sophisticated intellectual heritage of Renaissance scholarship, this course works toward a critical dialogue between historiography, the historical monument, and the urban context.

NOTE: This is a traveling seminar, and students can only register with instructor consent.  N. Atkinson

50200. Dissertation Proposal Workshop. This course is conducted by a faculty member every spring to introduce third-year students to the tasks of preparing grant proposals and applications. The aim of the workshop is to help you produce a finished proposal by the early autumn of your fourth year and to prepare you to apply for grants at that time. The department requires third-year students to participate fully in the workshop, register for credit, and earn a Pass. P. Berlekamp