Proseminar in the History of Art
Wednesday | 2:00 - 5:00pm
The Proseminar is required of first-year PhD students in History of Art; it is open to first-year students in other programs by permission of the instructor. In a mixture of lectures, discussion of readings, and student presentations, the seminar engages some of the main writers, movements of thoughts, and institutional, professional, and cultural developments in the formation of art history as a discipline. Though its focus is largely historiographic—looking back at key developments, such as the formation of “formalism” as the history of vision, the rise of iconology, and the interventions of the sociology and social history of art—it also deals with contemporary intersections (visual culture studies, world art studies, “global” temporalities – periodizations, and the new neuropsychologies of art). Some attention will also be paid to “practical” issues in art-historical training today, such as the role of foreign languages and fieldwork, the challenges of archival projects, and the structure of employment. Students will make brief presentations on readings, lead group discussions on individual seminar topics, and present a critical research paper on aspects of current art-historical practice in light of historiographic and conceptual considerations.