Reading and Writing about Visual Experience: Greek Athletics in Ancient Art
This course is intended to allow students with an interest in art history to develop the basic writing, reading, research, and analysis skills that are necessary for formulating or engaging with substantive ideas about visual media. As a means to this end, we will explore the culture of Greek athletics through its representation in ancient art. Victor statues, vase paintings, funerary art, and small-scale dedications will all come under scrutiny as we attempt to identify the aims and achievements of ancient artists and to understand the purposes that athletic art may have served in Greek society. Our methods will include visual analysis of these artworks, bringing ancient literary and epigraphical evidence to bear upon them, and the consultation and critique of pertinent secondary scholarship. Assignments will include a series of essays, culminating in a 10-page research paper that will give students an opportunity to integrate the various lessons of the course.