Capstone Experience – Guided Research & Exhibition Project
Announcing another new pilot program, Histart 193: Capstone Experience is a four-unit course designed for majors and minors interested in pursuing original research and collaborative work based on archives, artifacts, and structures scattered across the Berkeley campus. To give students interested in advanced work in the field of art history a space to develop specialized skills in research and interpretation, grading will be based primarily on time and effort invested in the course rather than a single predetermined outcome. We welcome any/all majors and minors in their junior/senior years.
Through sampling recent writings in art history and museum visits, we will explore the following questions in the first half of the term:
What are the particular challenges of writing about art, concocting “words about pictures”? What gets lost in that process?
Where does one start the research process? How do we find research questions that are original, relevant, and importantly, meaningful to ourselves?
How do we read and assess scholarship? How do we walk the tightrope of reading critically and appreciate an author on their own terms?
Where does research end and writing start, if such a point exists? How do we manage the logistics of research, take better notes, acquire better-quality images, and so forth?
We will then put the skills thus acquired to work by curating a digital exhibition of visual materials that document the early history of the San Francisco Chinatown held in the Bancroft Library. These include easel paintings, photographs, posters, and other printed matters. For a quick sampling of the staggering (in both number and significance) resources at Bancroft, see this online catalogue (https://oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt5p3019m2/dsc/#c01-188.8.131.52). We will plan and write for this virtual exhibition together, with our collaborative efforts culminating in a digital portal to serve a broad community of scholars and interested readers.
Enrollment by instructor consent.
This course fulfills the following Major requirements: upper-division HA seminar; Geographical area (C) and Chronological period (III).