Full Course Listing:
119 A Cultural History of Graphic Reproductions. This course surveys modern, image-based print culture, especially its technological advancements and social impact. It includes case studies of key moments and exemplary expressions in the history of image reproduction on paper. Topics include early woodcut illustrations; subsequent printmaking projects; the carte-de-visite; European fin-de-siècle popularity of poster art and Japanese woodcuts; 20th century photography and printmaking collectives in the Americas; and the photogravure’s role in the rise of the pictorial magazine.
163a Writing about American Art. This course utilizes art historical methodologies as tools for critical inquiry and scholarly research in American art history. Apart from a firm historical grasp of American art (from colonial times to the present), the goal of this course is to develop visual literacy of American art through seeing and writing. An emphasis will be placed on improving various forms of written art discourse (i.e., descriptive, expository, interpretative, etc).
173 Art, Architecture and Masquerade in Africa. This course studies major art forms, monuments, vernacular structures, and masking traditions in West, Central, East and Southern Africa. The historical periods under investigation will span from prehistoric and ancient times to the present. This course is cross-listed with African and African-American Studies and International Comparative Studies.
174 Art and Philosophy from West Africa to the Black Americas. This course surveys several major cultural groups in West and Central Africa and their aesthetic impact on the arts, religions, and philosophies of peoples of African descent in South America, the Caribbean, and the United States. This course is cross-listed with African and African-American Studies and International Comparative Studies.
176 Modern and Contemporary African American Art. Major figures such as Edmonia Lewis, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Aaron Douglas, Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Bearden, Lois Mailou Jones, Jeff Donaldson, Sam Gilliam, and others are prominently featured, as well as significant issues in African American art and culture. From slave artisans to pioneering painters and sculptors, from primitives to post-moderns, this course examines the wide range of visual culture that is informed by African Americans. This course is cross-listed with African and African-American Studies.
268s Black Visual Theory. This seminar examines the various approaches to the study and theorizing of African diasporal arts and black subjectivity, with a special emphasis on art historiography, iconology, and criticism, and a particular focus on slavery, emancipation, freedom, and cultural nationalism, as pertaining to peoples of African descent and as manifested in assorted visual forms. The objects of the investigations include paintings, sculptures, graphics, and media arts from the early modern period to the present, as well as the political edicts, philosophical tracts, autobiographies, and theoretical writings of individuals similarly preoccupied with these ideas.
269s Harlem Renaissance. This seminar studies the art and culture that was produced by and about African Americans (largely in the Western metropoles) during the period roughly between the two World Wars. Among the various strategies for interrogating this period are creating chronological overviews, focusing on individual figures, and studying the cultural criticisms and creative writings of this period. Other topics to be examined include black migrations to urban centers, performance-as-a-visual paradigm, racial and cultural primitivism, and an alternative, African American stream of early 20th century visual modernism. This seminar is cross-listed with African and African-American Studies.
270s Topics in African Art. This seminar probes specific problems of iconography, style, connoisseurship, and/or a particular art tradition in African art. The seminar subject will vary from year to year. Consent of instructor required. This seminar is cross-listed with African and African-American Studies and International Comparative Studies.
376 Through a Glass Diasporally: Photography, Film, and Video. This seminar examines photographic, cinematic, and other mass media images of people of African descent as a means of exploring questions that have recently been asked about racial and cultural identities in the ''black Atlantic,'' the ''burden'' of racial representations; and art produced during this era of ''mechanical reproduction.'' Focus on images of blacks as seen in ethnographic, documentary, and fine art photography; silent and sound film; and broadcast television and video art, past and present, by both black and nonblack artists, along with assorted critical writings about mass media images of blacks.
377 Performing Gender/Exhibiting Race. Studying the intersections of race and gender in art since 1945 invites a host of visual subjects and methodological strategies. This seminar examines works by artists like Barkley L. Hendricks, David Hammons, Adrian Piper, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Faith Ringgold, and Kara Walker, and traces the theorizing of gender and race through historical documents and contemporary writings. Opportunities exist for the introduction of artists, art works, and issues external to the syllabus.
378 Outsiders and Insiders. This seminar explores those moments in art history when Europeans and Americans began to differentiate between art from learned, so-called civilized communities and art from an uneducated, allegedly barbaric population. From the Beaux-Arts and Völkerkunde, to the debates surrounding primitivism, modernism, and popular culture, this seminar examines the idea of artistic hierarchy and other concepts of artistic "outsiders and insiders" from a variety of positions, taking into account nationality, class, literacy, economics, race, and gender in the categorization and evaluation of art.