Theories & Methods for a Global History of Art
Mon. | Wed. | Fri. | 3:00 - 4:00pm
Simply put, art history is a history of image worlds, objects, and material practices. Could art history, then, help us better understand the haptic and visual potential of activist laser projections onto urban surfaces, the deification of the natural environment in ancient India, the sound of Arabic calligraphy, early modern European maps, or the kinesthetic of contemporary museum display? Co-taught by faculty with diverse specializations, Theories & Methods for a Global History of Art aims to do precisely that. The course is not designed to function as a history of world art or even a history of the discipline of art history, and it works very well as a complement to HA 100. By moving from the ancient to contemporary worlds, from the Americas to Asia, the course offers a toolkit for developing the required skills for visual analysis and interpretation. In the classroom, we will engage with major theoretical frameworks (for instance postcolonialism, feminism, and sexuality studies), critical methodologies (for instance formalism, sensory histories, and anthropology), and key concepts (for instance artist, mimesis, avant-garde). Our discussions in the classroom will be complemented by trips to local museums and built sites (for instance the Sustainability Walking Tour on campus) to provide students with hands-on experience in fieldwork. At the same time, we will acquire a pragmatic foundation in framing research questions and writing papers in preparation for upper division coursework.
This course fulfills the Theories and Methods requirement for History of Art. It may also be taken to fulfill an upper division HA lecture if HA 100 has been completed; non-majors welcome as well.