Undergraduate Seminar: Victorian Orientalisms
This undergraduate seminar explores the art of the Victorian period (1837–1901) with a focus on orientalisms. We will look at diverse case studies in a range of media including Pre-Raphaelite paintings by William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Lear’s landscapes, John Frederick Lewis’s harem scenes, the Durbar Room at Queen Victoria’s Osborne House, the Arab Hall at Leighton House, James McNeill Whistler’s Peacock Room, Julia Margaret Cameron’s photography, and Aubrey Beardsley’s erotic book illustration. We will read Edward Said’s Orientalism (1978) and other key texts in postcolonial theory alongside the most recent art-historical literature and the writings of Victorian artists and scholars. Over the course of the semester we will explore art and orientalisms in relation to Victorian ideas about religion, science, race, gender, and sexuality.
This course fulfills the following Major requirements: Geographical area (A) and Chronological period (III).