Undergraduate Seminar: Aby Warburg’s Early Modernity: Time, Medium, Material
Several decades into the recuperation of Aby Warburg’s work, his unfinished “Mnemosyne Atlas” (63 collaged boards combining reproductions of historical sites, objects, and artworks with contemporary ads, maps, stamps, postcards of 1927-1929) is newly accessible. Digital access to the Bilderatlas (https://warburg.sas.ac.uk/library-collections/warburg-institute-archive/online-bilderatlas-mnemosyne) and its recent full publication offer new perspectives on the Mnemosyne project and its approach to the early modern era.
This new seminar will focus on the early modern / Renaissance archive of themes, monuments, and artworks in Aby Warburg’s image atlas (Bilderatlas Mnemosyne). The Mnemosyne Atlas delivers the visual, iconological, and historical materials with which we will question the implications of Warburg’s practice for the digital age, for contemporary artistic practices, for material archives such as historical slides collections, and for an interdisciplinary approach to history, images, post-colonialism, trauma, disabilities, and autobiography.
Topics include: Botticelli, Donatello, Giotto, Mantegna, Piero della Francesca, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, prints, cosmology, iconology and visual studies, photography, psychoanalysis, postcolonialism, tarot cards, art and anthropology, Hopi, Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project, cultural history, migration, the “pathos formula,” and the figure of the “ninfa.”
This course is designed to connect with other and further studies in adjacent fields including but not limited to Renaissance & Early Modern Studies, critical theory, interdisciplinary studies, and literature studies. No previous art history preparation required. Students from non-humanities backgrounds are welcome; please email Prof. Lange to discuss your interest and potential adjustments.
This course fulfills the following requirements for the History of Art major: Geographical area (A) and Chronological period (II).