Undergraduate Seminar: Revisiting “Reception” of the Ancient World
This seminar will explore ancient Greek and Roman monuments and artworks and their resurgence in Neo-Classical art in Europe and the Americas. It will often juxtapose ‘old world’ and ‘new world’ art and architecture in an attempt to address issues of identity, politics, racism, gender, power and much more. How and why did “classical” art impact the art and architecture of the 18th-20th centuries? What visual systems were employed to express messages of colonialism, victory, oppression, freedom and liberty (just to name a few)? The class will focus on the common and distinct features of ancient and neoclassical monuments and how they were (and still are) revived and resurrected in the modern era. By addressing historical context and critically analyzing artistic programs, the class will confront and uncover the fascinating aspects of cultural appropriation of the ancient past. We will embark on a series of questions: how does visual rhetoric from the ancient world work to propel and sustain certain political ideologies of the present? Why do major cities in Europe and the US display and celebrate architecture and artistic décor from the Greco-Roman world?
This course fulfills the following Major requirements: Geographical area (A) or (C), and Chronological period (I) or (III), based on the topic of the final research paper or project.