Undergraduate Seminar: Evolution, Aesthetics, and Art History
We will look at a body of recent writing in which evolutionary theory intersects with aesthetics and art history, such as Prum’s theory of the evolution of beauty, Rutherford’s study of aesthetic fitness, Davies’s research on the role of art in the evolution of early humans, Onians’s combination of neurology and art history, sexual selection theory in Darwin’s time and today, and other topics. We will be working up to virtual participation at a research conference at the Clark Art Institute in late April, at which fourteen papers on these topics will be presented by international scholars followed by two discussion days. This is a practicum seminar; after orientations in the material in the first weeks, students will develop individual research for presentation at the end of the semester.
This course fulfills the following Major requirements: Geographical area (E) and Chronological period (I).