Proseminar in the History of ArtBrigid Doherty
A proseminar that examines the conceptual foundations of art history as a modern discipline and explores questions and methods vital to the discipline today.
The Graduate SeminarAndrew Watsky
This course is intended to ensure a continuing breadth of exposure to contemporary art-historical discourse and practices. It requires attendance and participation in the department lecture/seminar series. Students must take the course sequentially in each of their first four semesters and take the appropriate letter version of the course (A,B,C,or D) based on their semester of study. The course is taken in addition to the normal load of three courses per semester and is for first- and second-year graduate students only. Topics discussed cover all fields of Art History and address current questions and practices.
Social Identities in Ancient EgyptDeborah Vischak
Ancient Egyptians, like all people, had multiple, intersecting aspects to their identity that were linked profoundly to their social communities. What kinds of objects, images, and material traditions linked ancient people together? What material forms acted as crucial modes of communication within communities and among them? We examine a wide range of material culture considering various sections of society, and we then look in-depth at several ancient sites to examine how these various groups intersected in shared spaces and across time.
Seminar in Medieval Art: Viewpoints on Medieval SculptureBeatrice Kitzinger
The seminar engages a suite of new books on medieval sculpture that particularly address the relationship of plastic works to their viewers, and the role of sculpture in spaces shaped both by multiple media and by ephemeral performance. We read the latest work in concert with landmark studies in the format of a research workshop: each 4-week unit requires participants to prepare a research agenda, present initial findings, and submit a short paper. Students contribute to the course bibliography. In lieu of a single final paper, participants are encouraged to compile a portfolio of the short critical essays with a general introduction.
Seminar in Central European ArtThomas DaCosta Kaufmann
The Prague Court of Rudolf II (1576-1612) has gained recognition as one of the most important sites in the history of European cultural history. This seminar considers the voluminous literature and related exhibitions on Rudolfine Prague since c. 1970. Topics include the relationship of art and collecting to politics, religion, science, the occult and the wider world.
Seminar in Modernist Art and Theory: Modernism and SocialismHal Foster
This seminar explores various connections between modernist art and socialist politics from the 1848 revolutions to the present. How were these links forged, and why were they broken? What (if anything) can we deduce about the relationship between vanguard aesthetics and politics then and now?
Seminar in Japanese Art and Archaeology: Appropriation and the Arts in Pre-Meiji JapanAndrew Watsky
Appropriation - of style, iconography, and actual objects - contributed substantially to shaping the arts of Japan. Japanese artists borrowed from China and Korea, from the West, and from within Japan itself. Whether the thing borrowed was a mode of depiction or an object, the appropriation was an active engagement with the source and a response to it that involved conceptual transformation. A range of examples are studied, including ink painting, chanoyu (tea ceremony), and Floating World prints, exploring appropriation as impediment or stimulus to innovation, assertion of cultural dominance, and mediation of the past.