Art History (ARTH)


ARTH 210. VISUAL CULTURE. 5 Credits.

Satisfies: a BACR for humanities and arts.
Images play a prominent role in producing cultural meaning, yet we spend very little time learning how to “read” images. This course offers the theoretical foundations to understand how images work. Looking at a broad sample of visual forms, from traditional fine arts to popular culture, from cave painting to contemporary art, and using critical theory, it examines the relation between images and cultural meaning. Includes workshops on information literacy and written communication.

ARTH 300. ART ACROSS TIME: PREHISTORY TO 17TH CENTURY. 5 Credits.

Cross-listed: HONS 300.
Pre-requisites: ENGL 101; ART 213, HONS 213 or HUMN 213 (may be taken concurrently) or, permission of the instructor.
This critical survey traces the development of art from the beginning of humanity in Mesopotamia, the “cradle of civilization,” to the global Baroque. Includes the study of Ancient Greek art, the Medieval period, and the Renaissance, with a focus on cultural contact and the trade routes. Emphasis is on situating key works of art in their context. Provides the principles of visual analysis and library research.

ARTH 302. ART ACROSS TIME: 18TH CENTURY TO CONTEMPORARY. 5 Credits.

Cross-listed: HONS 302.
Pre-requisites: ENGL 101; ART 213, HONS 213 or HUMN 213 (may be taken concurrently) or, permission of the instructor.
This survey traces the development of modern and contemporary art, from Watteau to Ai Weiwei. Key artworks are studied in-depth and situated in their context to highlight the effects of modern selfhood, industrialization, globalization, revolutions, and wars on art. Emphasizes how artists have engaged with questions of tradition and cultivated the shock of the new. Includes many women, African-American, and Native American artists. Provides the principles of visual analysis and library research.

ARTH 303. THE BODY IN ART. 5 Credits.

Cross-listed: GWSS 303, HONS 303.
Pre-requisites: ENGL 201 and junior standing.
Satisfies: a university graduation requirement–diversity.
Many ideas about race, gender, and sexuality originate in representations of the body. This theme-based survey explores how figurative art has contributed, since prehistory, to shape today’s views. Emphasis in on applying contemporary issues, such as consent and identity, to the study of historical artworks. Includes class discussions and weekly writing assignments about art historical and critical texts that examine the production and perpetuation of cultural attitudes about the body.

ARTH 304. HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY. 5 Credits.

Pre-requisites: ENGL 101; ART 213, HONS 213 or HUMN 213 (may be taken concurrently) or, permission of the instructor.
Few media have influenced the course of modernity more fundamentally than photography. This course will survey the history of the medium from its prehistory to its present and explore the dominant themes and theories associated with it. Course readings, lectures, and demonstrations will address photography’s multiple histories: as artistic expression, as social text, as technological pursuit, and as cultural product.

ARTH 331. CONTEMPORARY ART. 5 Credits.

Pre-requisites: ENGL 101 and ART 213 or HUMN 213. Students must be declared in one of the following majors: Art, Studio Art, Art History, Visual Communication Design, Interdisciplinary Studies or by permission of the instructor.
This course is a survey of art and theoretical writings on art from 1960 to the present. As the art world is increasingly globalized, this course examines the works and ideas from artists and art theorists around the world today.

ARTH 340. NATIVE NORTH AMERICAN ART. 5 Credits.

Cross-listed: IDST 340.
Pre-requisites: ENGL 101.
Satisfies: a university graduation requirement–diversity.
This course tells the story of American art from indigenous perspectives. It explores over 4,000 years of artistic practices by the native peoples of North America, from the origins of the Northwest Coast style to contemporary art. Studies the relation between process, rituals, and the meaning of works of art. Also includes discussions of cultural appropriation, the ethics of collecting, and the role of museums in preserving and displaying art.

ARTH 400. WRITING ABOUT ART. 5 Credits.

Pre-requisites: ENGL 201 and junior standing, or permission of the instructor.
Careers in the arts and culture sector require specific writing skills. This course provides the principles of the main genres of writing about art, from ekphrasis (the vivid description of artworks in ancient rhetoric) to contemporary art criticism. Emphasis is on applying art history methods to communicate effectively with different audiences. Includes the production of a writer's portfolio and workshops on exhibition reviews, curating, podcasting, and grant writing.

ARTH 439. TOPICS IN ART HISTORY. 1-5 Credits.

Notes: may be repeated for additional credit.
Pre-requisites: ENGL 201 and junior standing.
This variable topic course explores current issues in art history. Provide in-depth study of a period, a theme, or a current issue in the field. Emphasis is on recent scholarship.

ARTH 491. SENIOR THESIS. 5 Credits.

Notes: for senior art history majors.
Pre-requisites: permission of the instructor and senior standing.
Satisfies: a university graduation requirement–senior capstone.
Students develop a writing assignment from a previous art history course into an appropriately formatted paper on original research.

ARTH 499. INDEPENDENT STUDY. 1-5 Credits.

Independent Study.