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Art and the History of Art

Year:

2020-21

101 The Language of Architecture

(Offered as ARCH 101 and ARHA 101) This introductory course focuses on the tools used to communicate and discuss ideas in architectural practice and theory. We study both the practical, from sketching to parallel drawing, to the theoretical, from historical to critical perspectives. Connecting both, we cover the formal analysis elements necessary to “read” and critique built works. Class activities include field trips, guest presentations, sketching and drawing, small design exercises, discussion of readings, and short written responses. Through these activities, at the end of the semester the student will understand in general terms what the dealings and challenges of architecture as a discipline are.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Assistant Professor Arboleda.

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2017, Fall 2018

102 Practice of Art

An introduction to two- and three-dimensional studio disciplines through hands-on engagement with materials supplemented by lectures, demonstrations and readings. Students will work through a variety of projects exploring drawing, sculpture, painting and hybrid forms. Work will be developed based on direct observation, memory, imagination and improvisation. Formal and conceptual concerns will be an integral aspect of the development of studio work. Historical and contemporary references will be used throughout the course to enhance and increase the student’s understanding of the visual vocabulary of art. Class time will be a balance of lectures, demonstrations, exercises, discussions and critiques. Weekly homework assignments will consist of studio work and critical readings. No prior studio experience needed.

Not open to students who have taken ARHA 111 or 215. Limited to 12 students. Fall semester: Visiting Lecturer Hepler. Spring semester: Visiting Lecturer Culhane.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020, Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020

105 Space and Design: Introduction to Studio Architecture

(Offered as ARCH 105 and ARHA 105)
This hands-on design studio will foster innovation as it guides students through the creation of conceptual architecture. Through a series of three-dimensional handbuilt projects, students will develop their own design language. The projects will build on each other, and culminate in the design of a building on a chosen site. We will work through sketches, hand-drafted and computer drawings, as well as physical and 3D model-making in order to understand buildings through plan, section, elevation, diagramming and concept model.

Fall 2020 will be fully online and synchronus, as we develop a creative process and practice. We will establish a dynamic workflow that will allow us to see all student work through a progressive online design portfolio that will be built throughout the course of the semester. Each student will commit to documenting all drawings and physical models with a light box, and developing photography, editing, and graphic design skills. These essential skills allow all architects and designers to show their work; we will take advantage of the needs of the current situation to push those skills forward as a core part of the process, rather than an afterthought. This will allow us to be “closer” even as we are remote; we can all look at each student's work on a full screen, up close, and to see each other’s faces as we discuss ideas.

Guest critics will attend two virtual reviews during the semester, allowing students to present their work to design professionals and professors and get direct feedback on their architecture as well as their graphic design and verbal presentation skills.

The two three-hour class periods are essential and required work time each week, plus additional work time outside of class hours. We will be online for the duration of the three-hour class, just as we would be in studio. During a work session, students can choose to listen to other design conversations or to wear headphones, but their workspace will remain on camera.

Each student will be sent a ‘Studio Box’ that will include all tools and materials needed for the class. Students will have everything they need to create a studio space wherever they may be - in a dorm room, or at home - and they must commit to making this space a priority. Even though remote, the studio will still be asynchronous shared studio and attendance is mandatory for the full class period.

Requirements:
+ Camera / Phone with Camera
+ Designated desk space for studio setup
+ Laptop with Webcam to show workspace
+ Reliable internet for class sessions
(Laptops and hotspots are available through IT for students who need one)

Requisites:
No prior architecture experience is necessary, but a willingness to experiment and a desire to learn through making are essential. Limited to 12 students. Fall semester. Visiting Lecturer Chase.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020, Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020

110 Color Study

(Offered as ARHA 110 and CHEM 110.)  This interdisciplinary course is focused on exploring color through the lenses of science, culture and art. We will study how we perceive color down to the molecular level and how it impacts us as viewers. The course will seek to develop a broad, shared, set of topics that will allow students to weave together scientific and artistic concepts, rather than isolate them. As it is possible to approach color from many different disciplines, we encourage any interested student, regardless of academic focus, to register. A core goal of the course is to encourage a holistic discussion of the topic. Students will be asked to write about their observations of color through art and will have the opportunity to make their own original pieces. In addition, class activities will include lectures, invited speakers, discussion, and a final project.

Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professors Durr and Clark. 

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021

111 Drawing I

An introductory course in the fundamentals of drawing. This course will be based in experience and observation, exploring various techniques and media in order to understand the basic formal vocabularies and conceptual issues in drawing; subject matter will include still life, landscape, interior, and figure. Weekly assignments, weekly critiques, final portfolio. Two three-hour sessions per week.

Limited to 12 students. In the fall semester 4 seats are reserved for first-year students and the course will be offered fully online. Fall semester: Visiting Instructor Helander. Spring semester: Senior Resident Artist Gloman.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020, Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020

120 Plant Cultures: Chemical Perspectives on Slavery and the Land. 

(Offered as ARHA 120, CHEM 120 and ARCH 120)  This course introduces students to the social and chemical characteristics of the buildings and landscapes that slaves constructed in North Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, West Africa, and the Indian Ocean from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. In looking at construction histories from Suriname to Bengal, we will engage the knowledge of plants that enslaved builders wielded to raise structures made of wood, straw, coral, earth, and fibers. Recognizing that construction involves both the assemblage of dwellings and the mastery of resources, we will also approach a number of topics, including but not limited to: the usage of aloe on the part of enslaved loggers in Mauritius to heal the wounds that their hatchets inflicted upon them; the role of forced labor in the establishment of the wine industry and its vineyards in French colonial Algeria; the usage of marijuana as a medicinal agent among enslaved construction laborers from West Africa to the Caribbean; garden construction, meal preparation, and the poisoning of slave owners in Haiti; and contemporary efforts to preserve the landscapes of enslaved plant knowledge in the age of climate change. Each week, students will participate in activities designed to cultivate a more nuanced understanding of the chemical properties of the plant specimens addressed. Lectures and discussions will attempt to bridge the gap between chemistry and architectural studies by combining analyses of humanities readings with investigations of plant-based natural products. The goal will be to foster an understanding of both enslaved plant knowledge and the plants themselves that have defined construction labor under slavery. 

No prerequisites. No prior knowledge of chemistry or architectural history is required for this class.  Class will meet synchronously. 

January Term, 2021:  Professors Alberto Lopez and Dwight Carey. 

2020-21: Offered in January 2021
Other years: Offered in January 2021

135 Renaissance to Revolution: Early Modern European Art and Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 135, ARCH 135, and EUST 135) This course, a gateway class for the study of art history, introduces the ways that artists and architects imaginatively invented visual language to interpret the world for contemporary patrons, viewers, and citizens in early modern Europe. Painters, printmakers, sculptors and architects in Italy, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands created new ways of seeing empirical phenomena and interpreting them, by means of both ancient and new principles of art, science and philosophy and through powerful engagement with the senses. They produced godlike illusions of nature, from grand frescoes bursting from the walls of papal residences to spectacular gardens covering noble estates in Baroque France and colonializing England. They fundamentally altered the design of major cities such as Rome and Paris so that the visitor encountered an entirely new urban experience than ever before. Along the way, they learned from one another’s example, but, prizing innovation, sought fiercely to surpass previous generations, and argued at length about values in art. They contributed to fashioning an ideal picture of empire and society and conjured the dazzling wealth and power of those who paid them. But as time passed, some came to ironize the social order mightily, and some elevated beggars, farmers, servants, so-called fools, and bourgeois women leading seemingly mundane domestic lives as much as others praised the prosperous few. Finally, artists actively participated in the overthrow of the monarchy during the French Revolution and yet also passionately critiqued the violence of war it engendered. Throughout, the course will investigate how concepts of progress, civilization, the state, religion, race, gender, and the individual came to be defined through art.

The goals of the course are:
above all, to achieve the skill of close looking to gain visual understanding;
• also, to identify artistic innovations that characterize European art and architecture from the Italian Renaissance to the French Revolution;
• to understand how images are unique forms of expression that help us to understand historical phenomena;
• to situate the works of art historically, by examining the intellectual, political, religious, and social currents that contributed to their creation;
• to read texts about the period critically and analytically.

No previous experience with art or art history is necessary. No requirements.
Unlimited enrollment. Sections uncapped.

Fall 2020-- presence of the instructor:
• Taught in the physical classroom with wall-sized slides as long as possible, so that there is a student community seeing high-quality images in the same shared space at the same time.
• Professor will be virtually present on screen lecturing and leading discussion (synchronous).
• There is also an asynchronous option for remote learning: professor will provide the daily high-quality slide show to upload and will record the classroom experience.
• Class will be repeated for students in different time zones (synchronous).
• In-class mix of lecture and discussion (synchronous).
• Class preparation (asynchronous).
• Smaller weekly discussion groups, divided into different time zones for off-campus students (synchronous).
• Possible trips in small sections to Mead Art Museum and discussion with the professor virtually present (synchronous); comparable experience of art analysis for off-campus or absent students (synchronous).

Professor will hold in-person office hours outdoors for as long as possible.

Fall semester. Professor Courtright.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020

138 Visual Arts and Orature in Africa

(Offered as BLST 313 [A] and ARHA 138) In the traditionally non-literate societies of Africa, verbal and visual arts constitute two systems of communication. The performance of verbal art and the display of visual art are governed by social and cultural rules. We will examine the epistemological process of understanding cultural symbols, of visualizing narratives, or proverbs, and of verbalizing sculptures or designs. Focusing on the Yoruba people of West Africa, the course will attempt to interpret the language of their verbal and visual arts and their interrelations in terms of cultural cosmologies, artistic performances, and historical changes in perception and meaning. We will explore new perspectives in the critical analysis of African verbal and visual arts, and their interdependence as they support each other through mutual references and allusions. In addition to visiting the Mead Art Museum to see African works, students will be required to listen to audio-recordings and engage selected visual images to enhance their understanding of the interrelationship of arts in Africa. 

Fall semester. Professor Abiodun.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020

145 The Modern World

(Offered as ARHA 145, EUST 145, and SWAG 145)  This course will explore the self-conscious invention of modernism in painting, sculpture and architecture, from the visual clarion calls of the French Revolution to the performance art and earthworks of "art now." As we move from Goya, David, Monet and Picasso to Kahlo, Kiefer and beyond, we will be attentive to changing responses toward a historical past or societal present, the stance toward popular and alien cultures, the radical redefinition of all artistic media, changing representations of nature and gender, as well as the larger problem of mythologies and meaning in the modern period. Study of original objects and a range of primary texts (artists’ letters, diaries, manifestos, contemporary criticism) will be enhanced with readings from recent historical and theoretical secondary sources.

Limited to 50 students. Omitted 2020-21. Professor Staller.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

147 Arts of China

(Offered as ARHA 147 and ASLC 143) An introduction to the history of Chinese art from its beginnings in neolithic times until the end of the twentieth century. Topics will include the ritual bronze vessels of the Shang and Zhou dynasties, the Chinese transformation of the Buddha image, imperial patronage of painting during the Song dynasty and the development of the literati tradition of painting and calligraphy. Particular weight will be given to understanding the cultural context of Chinese art.

Omitted 2020-21. Professor Morse.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2013, Spring 2018

148 Arts of Japan

(Offered as ARHA 148 and ASLC 123) A survey of the history of Japanese art from neolithic times to the present. Topics will include Buddhist art and its ritual context, the aristocratic arts of the Heian court, monochromatic ink painting and the arts related to the Zen sect, the prints and paintings of the Floating World and contemporary artists and designers such as Ando Tadao and Miyake Issey. The class will focus on the ways Japan adopts and adapts foreign cultural traditions. There will be field trips to look at works in museums and private collections in the region

Omitted 2020-21. Professor Morse.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2013, Fall 2017, Fall 2019

149 Survey of African Art

(Offered as ARHA 149 and BLST 123 [A]) An introduction to the ancient and traditional arts of Africa. Special attention will be given to the archaeological importance of the rock art paintings found in such disparate areas as the Sahara and South Africa, achievements in the architectural and sculptural art in clay of the early people in the area now called Zimbabwe and the aesthetic qualities of the terracotta and bronze sculptures of the Nok, Igbo-Ukwe, Ife and Benin cultures in West Africa, which date from the second century B.C.E. to the sixteenth century C.E. The study will also pursue a general socio-cultural survey of traditional arts of the major ethnic groups of Africa.

Omitted 2020-21. Professor Abiodun.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020

152 Visual Culture of the Islamic World

(Offered as ARHA 152, ARCH 152 and ASLC 142) This introductory course explores the art, architecture, and urban planning of the Islamic world, from the origins of Islam in the seventh century C.E. to the contemporary moment. It follows a basic chronology, but is structured primarily around thematic issues central to the study of Islamic visual culture, including, but not limited to: the primacy of the written word, geometry and ornament, optics and perception, sacred and royal space, the image and aniconism, Orientalism, modernity and tradition, and artistic exchange with Europe, China, and beyond. The class will focus on the relationships between visual culture, history, and literature by analyzing cities, buildings, and objects such as the caliphal capitals of Baghdad and Cairo, the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, the palace of the Alhambra in Granada, the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Suleymaniye complex in Istanbul, illustrated manuscripts and photography from Iran, and contemporary art from New York City, alongside primary and secondary texts. Films, museum websites, and recordings will supplement assigned readings and lectures. No previous background is presumed, and all readings will be available in English.

This remotely taught course will incorporate synchronous and asynchronous community-building small-group activities, cutting-edge digital approaches to the study of architecture and objects, and, when possible, visits to local museum collections. Students who are unable to attend synchronous class meetings will be accommodated.

Spring semester. Professor Rice.

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2019, Spring 2020

153 World Monuments

(Offered as ARHA 153 and ARCH 153) This introductory course engages one of the most discussed typologies in world architecture: the monument. From the Sydney Opera House to the Eiffel Tower, monuments have entered into global consciousness as individuals from tourists to government officials have celebrated their supposed uniqueness. Meanwhile, monuments have drawn the ire of ISIS and the Taliban—two groups which have become famous for destroying venerated structures. Whether the subject in question is a tourist, a religious pilgrim, or a terrorist bent on destruction, humans are often drawn to monuments because of their power to captivate. This course examines the relevance of this psychic power. Over the course of the semester, we will address the architectural, social, cultural, theoretical, and political questions that emerge from an investigation of a range of famous and lesser-known monuments, including but not limited to: the Eiffel Tower; the Taj Mahal; the Great Mosque of Mecca; the Statue of Liberty; the Alhambra; the American Capitol Building; and the Suez Canal. We will also discuss the role of ISIS and the Taliban in shaping contemporary debates concerning the meaning and importance of architectural preservation as it relates to the monuments of the Middle East and South Asia. Through written assignments and a final creative project, students will develop their writing skills while gaining knowledge of the issues that guide the study of world monuments, specifically, and architectural history, at large. This course is intended to introduce students to the field of architectural studies.

Omitted 2020-21. Professor Carey.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018, Spring 2020

154 Art and Architecture of India

(Offered as ARHA 154, ARCH 154, and ASLC 154) This introductory course surveys the architecture, painting, sculpture, textiles, decorative arts, and photography of India as well as other parts of the Indian subcontinent—namely Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka—from 2300 B.C. to the present. It considers the role of tradition in the broader history of art in India, but does not see India as "traditional" or unchanging. The Indian sub-continent is the source for multi-cultural civilizations that have lasted and evolved for several thousand years. Its art is as rich and complex as that of Europe, and as diverse. This course attempts to introduce the full range of artistic production in India in relation to the multiple strands that have made the cultural fabric of the sub-continent so rich and long lasting. Films, musical recordings, and museum websites will supplement assigned readings and lectures. No previous background is presumed, and all readings will be available in English.


This remotely taught course will incorporate synchronous and asynchronous community-building small-group activities, cutting-edge digital approaches to the study of architecture and objects, and, when possible, visits to local museum collections. Students who are unable to attend synchronous class meetings will be accommodated. Limited to 25 students. Fall semester. Assistant Professor Rice.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020

155 Introduction to Contemporary Art

This introductory course explores art produced between 1960 and the present. We will take a transnational approach, from the emergence of Pop art as an  international phenomenon in the 1960s to the mushrooming cloud of biennials in the twenty-first century. The course will sometimes look at art’s intersection with architecture, film, and visual culture more broadly. We will keep in mind the following questions: How have new technologies, civil rights movements, emergent subjectivities, new forms of theoretical inquiry, and processes of globalization shaped the work of art? How have artists critiqued both institutions and the art historical canon? How does contemporary art both participate in and stand apart from the world in which and for which it was made?

The course will include extensive office hours (whether in person or on Zoom), small breakout discussion sections, brief lectures, video content, and both synchronous and asynchronous activities and assignments.

Limited to 40 students. Fall and Spring semester. Professor Vicario.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020, Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020

157 The Postcolonial City

(Offered as ARHA 157, ARCH 157, and BLST 193 [D]) This introductory course engages the buildings, cities, and landscapes of former colonies in Africa, South Asia, and the Caribbean. Beginning with the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947, the non-European territories, which once comprised the lucrative possessions of modern European empires, quickly became independent states charged with developing infrastructure, erecting national monuments, and handling the influx of laborers drawn to the metropolises that were formed, as sleepy colonial towns grew into bustling postcolonial cities. This course will examine the buildings, urban spaces, rural landscapes, and national capitals that emerged in response to these political histories. We will approach a number of issues, such as the architecture of national independence monuments, the preservation of buildings linked to the colonial past, the growth of new urban centers in Africa and India after independence, architecture and regimes of postcolonial oppression, the built environments of tourism in the independent Caribbean, and artists’ responses to all of these issues. Some of the places that we will study include: Johannesburg, South Africa; Chandigarh, India; Negril, Jamaica; Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; and Lilongwe, Malawi. Our goal will be to determine what, if any, continuities linked the buildings, landscapes, and spaces of post-independence Africa, India, and the Caribbean in the twentieth century.

Over the course of the semester, students will gain skills in analyzing buildings, town plans, and other visual materials. Also, this course will aid students in developing their writing skills, particularly their ability to write about architecture and urban space.

Limited to 34 students. Spring semester. Professor Carey.

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020

159 Modernity and the Avant-Gardes, 1890–1945

(Offered as ARHA 159 and ARCH 159) This course is an examination of the emergence, development, and dissolution of European modernist art, architecture and design. The course begins with the innovations of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, created in consort with the growth of modern urbanism, colonialist politics, and psychological experimentation. Distinctions between the terms modernity, modernism, and the avant-garde will be explored as we unpack the complex equations between art, politics, and social change in the first half of the twentieth century. Covering selected groups (such as Expressionism, Cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism, l'Esprit Nouveau, Bauhaus, and Constructivism), this course will consider themes such as mechanical reproduction, nihilism, nationalism, consumerism, and primitivism as they are disclosed in the making and reception of modernist art and architecture.

Omitted 2020-21. Visiting Assistant Professor Koehler.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

160 Deconstructing Modernity: 1945–2000

(Offered as ARHA 160 and ARCH 160) This course examines the art, architecture, and design produced in Europe and the United States from the aftermath of World War II to the end of the twentieth century. We will begin with art in relationship to war, the Holocaust, and the expansion of capitalism, consumerism, suburbia, and the skyscraper. Finally, we will conclude by engaging the rejection of modernist strategies in the latter part of the twentieth century. We will survey movements such as COBRA, Abstract Expressionism, Pop art, the Situationists, Minimalism, land art, performance art, feminist art, Neo-Expressionism, and the archival turn; architectural groups such as Archigram, CIAM, the post modernists, and deconstructionists; and defining texts by Adorno, Sartre, Arendt, Debord, Foucault, Krauss, Derrida, among others.

Omitted 2020-21. Visiting Assistant Professor Koehler.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

180 Contemporary Native American Art

(Offered as ARHA 180 and AMST 211) This course will examine works of art created by Native American artists, including painting, sculpture, photography, and performance and installation art, from the late nineteenth century to today.  Students will study important movements and consider individual artists who worked primarily as painters, including the Iroquois realists of the late nineteenth century; the Studio School of Southwestern artists, printmakers, and illustrators; the Kiowa Six and their important role in creating modern Native American murals; abstract expressionists like Kay Walkingstick (Cherokee); Pop artists like Fritz Scholder (Luiseno) and Harry Fonseca (Nisenan Maidu); and Conceptual artists such as Edgar Heap of Birds (Cheyenne). Major Native American contemporary photographers include Wendy Red Star (Apsáalooke (Crow)), Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie (Seminole-Diné), and Horace Poolaw (Kiowa). The course will also consider sculptors working in realistic (Alan Houser, Blackbear Bosin) and abstract styles (Rick Bartow, Tammy Garcia); performance artists like James Luna and Rebecca Belmore; important emerging artists like the interdisciplinary activist/arts collective Postcommodity; and Angel de Cora, the first Native American graduate of Smith College, the 150th anniversary of whose birth will be marked in 2021.

Limited to 34 students. Spring semester. Visiting Lecturer Couch.

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

186 Pre-Columbian Art and Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 186 and LLAS 186) This course provides an introduction to the Pre-Columbian art and architecture of the Americas. It explores major traditions in architecture and city planning, murals, sculpture, painting, masks, and textiles. The first half of the semester concentrates on Preclassic and Classic Mesoamerica (Mexico and Central America); the second on Postclassic Mesoamerica, North America, and the Andes.

Omitted 2020-21. Visiting Professor Couch.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

187 Native American Art

This course provides an introduction to Native American Indian art and architecture from North and Latin America. It focuses on the modern and contemporary periods (with some attention to archaeological art), exploring traditions in architecture, sculpture, painting, masks, textiles, and ceramics. The first half of the semester concentrates on the Woodlands, Plains, and Southwest; the second on the Northwest Coast, Arctic, Mexico and Guatemala, Central America, the Andes, and Amazonia. The course will be interdisciplinary, and will include readings Indigenous narratives, Native American aesthetics, and contemporary artists including photographers, videographers, and performance artists, as well as alternative curating and exhibition of Indigenous art.

Limited to 35 students. Omitted 2020-21. Visiting Professor Couch.

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

201 Measuring Histories through Materiality and Multiples

The most quotidian objects possess the power to connect to a broad audience. This course will harness that power to make art that measures and recounts past events in human history. The events might be small or large, little known, personally experienced, or widely recounted. Students will interrogate the context, function, materiality, and symbolism of common objects from as many vantage points as possible. We will explore how objects in multiples can disrupt, engage, challenge, obscure or metaphorically highlight the meaning in materials. The class will explore methods of combining, linking, and connecting common objects both conceptually and physically toward the manifestation of both singular and collaborative artworks. We will work together to select suitable materials and methods to quantify, measure, and actualize diverse histories and narratives. Students should be prepared to share materials, ideas, stories, and ways of working.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2020-2021. Visiting Professor Clark.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2017, Spring 2019

202 Architectural Anthropology

(Offered as ARCH 202 and ARHA 202) This seminar explores the emerging interdisciplinary field that combines the theory and practice of architecture and anthropology. We compare and contrast these two disciplines’ canonical methods, their ethical stances, and their primary subject matters (i.e., buildings and people). With that, we reflect upon the challenges of ethnoarchitecture as a new discipline, emphasizing the challenges of carrying out architectural research and/or construction work among people from cultural backgrounds different than the architect’s own. In general, this course invites critical thinking about the theory and practice of architecture, especially when it confronts issues of difference, including ethno-cultural and social class differences.

Recommended prior coursework: The course is open to everyone; previous instruction in architectural studies, area or ethnic studies, or social studies can be beneficial but is not mandatory.

Limited to 20 students. Fall Semester. Professor Arboleda.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018, Fall 2020

203 Color Meets Object

What happens when a painted image escapes its rectangle and pushes out of illusionistic depth into the literal space of the room? How does it change a viewer’s understanding of sculptural form when the sculpture’s physical volumes have been optically flattened, heightened, or contradicted by the addition of color? In this course we will invite interaction between illusionistic and literal, tactile space to consider unique possibilities where the concerns of painting and sculpture merge. We will explore how each discipline can expand its scope with an amalgam of tactile and chromatic visual elements and experience. The semester will begin with a series of structured studio problems and with research into contemporary art practices that incorporate both color and tactile volume. We will also look into the wealth of historical precedents for these practices. This critical review and first-hand study of artworks, in conjunction with studio experimentation, will help each student determine the shape of an end-of-semester artwork or series of works. Readings, visiting artists, museum visits and a wide range of pertinent visual materials will supplement and inform our studio work.

Requisite: One prior studio course in painting or sculpture, or permission of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2020-21. Professor Keller.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

204 Housing, Urbanization, and Development

(Offered as ARCH 204, ARHA 204 and LLAS 204) This course studies the theory, policy, and practice of low-income housing in marginalized communities worldwide. We study central concepts in housing theory, key issues regarding low-income housing, different approaches to address these issues, and political debates around housing the poor. We use a comparative focus, going back and forth between the cases of the United States and the so-called developing world. By doing this, we engage in a “theory from without” exercise: We attempt to understand the housing problem in the United States from the perspective of the developing world, and vice versa. We study our subject through illustrated lectures, seminar discussions, documentary films, visual analysis exercises, and a field trip.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Arboleda.

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

205 Sustainable Design: Principles, Practice, Critique

(Offered as ARCH 205 and ARHA 205) This theory seminar aims to provide students with a strong basis for a deep engagement with the practice of sustainability in architectural design. The studied material covers both canonical literature on green design and social science-based critical theory. We start by exploring the key tenets of the sustainable design discourse, and how these tenets materialize in practice. Then, we examine sustainable design in relation to issues such as inequality and marginality. As we do this, we locate sustainability within the larger environmental movement, studying in detail some of the main approaches and standards of sustainable design, the attempts to improve this practice over time, and the specific challenges confronting these attempts. In addition to reading discussions, we study our subject through student presentations and written responses, a field trip, and two graphic design exercises.

Recommended prior coursework: The course is open to everyone, but students would benefit from having a previous engagement with a course in architectural design, architectural history and/or theory, introduction to architectural studies, or environmental studies.

Limited to 20 students. Fall Semester. Professor Arboleda.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020

206 Failed It!

This course offers an exciting investigation into failure in art during the uniqueness of life and culture in 2020. We will discover and debate the complexities, challenges, and benefits of failure and what it means for making art. Students will experiment with flaws, imperfections, rejects, and errors in their art projects. We will encourage you to think about failure in positive, unexpected, inspirational, and low-fi ways. You will learn about artists who are motivated by errors, uncommon methods, and breaking rules. The course includes presentations, screenings, discussions, collaboration, in-class activities, assignments, and independent work. There will be an emphasis on using and subverting everyday tools and materials.

To be taught online. Limited to 12 students. Fall semester. Artist-in-Resident England.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020

207 Talking with Beads

Focusing on complex global beading traditions and techniques, we will study how the language of beadwork is used to tell stories, connect with ancestors, provide protection, create community, signify power, and challenge injustice. This course draws on the over 75,000-year usage of beads ranging from umbilical amulets (Native American) to abacuses (Middle East and Asia) to rosaries (Europe) to lukasa (Central Africa) to Zulu love letters (South Africa). Students will learn dozens of beading techniques (many unique to South African cultures where some of the earliest beads were discovered.) We will use beads to communicate, preserve, and encode messages. Members of the class will make at least one collaborative work. We will expand the definition of what constitutes a bead; use variation in size, color, shape, and material as metaphor; and design beaded memory devices. No prior beading experience is necessary but curiosity and commitment is required.

Given the scale of beads, holding this class in person would require participants to be in an unsafe proximity to one another. Consequently, the course will meet remotely with supplemental one-on-one tutorials that will meet in-person and/or remotely.

Limited to 12 students. Fall semester. Professor Clark.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Fall 2020

208 Playing with Pictures

This studio course focuses on the archiving, collecting, and appropriation related to contemporary art. Students will learn to "play with pictures" in imaginative, conceptual, exploratory, and intelligent ways. This learning will happen through exercises in-class, readings, journal writing, experimental making, film screenings, group discussions, critiques, and other activities. We will investigate the collection, curation, and juxtaposition of images from a wide range of sources, and consider how new personal, social, and political meanings can be generated from different groupings of images. This will be framed by critically reviewing the work of contemporary visual artists who use archives, collecting, and/or appropriation in their practice. Students will create personalized repositories of images from which to draw for future art and design projects.
Limited to 12 students. Spring Semester. Artist-in-residence England.

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021

209 Space and Design: Intermediate Studio Architecture

(Offered as ARCH 209 and ARHA 209) This course will be a design investigation of sustainable architecture. Students will research cutting edge innovations in green technology and present their findings through graphic boards and verbal presentations. They will then design their own systems for water collection, air filtration, energy capture, site strategies, and solar power. A design language will be developed through a series of rigorous design exercises and creative innovation, and will culminate in a building project. Students will further develop sketching, drafting and model-making skills both by hand and with the computer. Guest critics will attend three reviews during the semester, and students will present their work to design professionals and professors.

Requisite: ARCH 105 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Spring semester. Visiting Lecturer Chase.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020, Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020

210 Installation, Site, and The Embodied Spectator

The history and practice of installation art is one of hybridity: drawing from sources such as minimalism, conceptual art, soft architecture, site-specificity, land and environmental art, video, performance, and feminist art. The work of installation engages the aural, spatial, visual, and environmental planes of perception. It grows out of the collapse of a work's autonomy, medium specificity, and sense of eternal and inert matter. In this course we will seek to answer a number of questions about the nature of installation: How does work get contextualized and redefined through its placement within a larger social, political, and economic sphere of meaning? Why is installation art interested in spectator participation? What is the nature of this participation? Where does it intersect with performance art and sculpture? How do immersive installations shift our bodily, sensory experience of a work—being inside of a piece as opposed to looking in? Where do we see the blurring between medium, material, and site? We will investigate options and determinants operative in both indoor and outdoor sites, installations, and environments. The term will begin by exploring a particular and fairly broad history through texts, images, and videos to situate our experiments within a context.

Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2020-21. Visiting Artist-in-Residence Reed.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018

211 On World-Making: Context, Narrative, Myth, and Truth

What can artists learn from the traditions of fiction, fantasy, filmmaking, and theatrical set design about the making of worlds? Does a work expand in meaning and scope when it exists in a context of its own cultural sphere and narrative outside of our own? How can contrasting our realities with fantastical and imagined worlds help us perceive our current conditions more clearly? What is the artist's role in creating mythology, navigating truth, or defining reality? On World-Making is an in-depth exploration of the imagination as a realm for collective/individual liberation and experimentation addressing these questions at its core. Through studio explorations in sculpture, installation, creative writing exercises, drawing, and video, we will engage with a variety of creative strategies and materials towards this pursuit. Readings, screenings, and class discussions will enhance the studio process, exposing students to artists and writers using elaborate narrative and mythology as core tenets of their work.

Requisite: One prior studio class. Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2020-21. Visiting Artist-in-Residence Reed.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

212 Storytelling Arts in Mesoamerica

(Offered as ENGL 212 [Before 1800] and ARHA 212) This course will explore the major pictorial narrative traditions of Mesoamerica, focusing on manuscripts of the Aztec, Maya, and Mixtec peoples, as well as other media, including texts and images from murals, ceramics, monuments, and mirrors. These visual and narrative media continue to play important roles in the preservation of Indigenous identity, solidarity, and cultural identity within nation states; the course will examine public, popular, and fine arts reviving, repurposing, and supporting resistance using this imagery.

Limited to 18 students. Fall semester. Visiting Lecturer Couch.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020

213 Printmaking I: The Handprinted Image

An introduction to intaglio and relief processes including drypoint, engraving, etching, aquatint, monoprints, woodcut and linocut. The development of imagery incorporating conceptual concerns in conjunction with specific techniques will be a crucial element in the progression of prints. Historical and contemporary references will be discussed to further enhance understanding of various techniques. Critiques will be held regularly with each assignment; critical analysis of prints utilizing correct printmaking terminology is expected. A final project of portfolio making and a portfolio exchange of an editioned print are required.

Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2020-21. Senior Resident Artist Garand.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020

214 Sculpture I

An exploration of three-dimensional concepts, form, expression and aesthetics. In a series of directed projects students will encounter a range of materials and technical processes including construction, modeling and carving. Projects will include conceptual and critical strategies integrated with material concerns. By the end of the course students will have developed a strong understanding of basic principles of contemporary sculpture and acquired the skills and technical knowledge of materials to create accomplished works of three-dimensional expression. Students will develop an awareness of conceptual and critical issues in current and historical sculptural practice, establishing a foundation for continued training and self-directed work in sculpture and other artistic disciplines.

Fall 2020: To be taught Hyflex.

No prior studio experience is required. Limited to 8 students. Fall and spring semesters. Visiting Lecturer Culhane.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020, Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020

215 Painting I

An introduction to the fundamentals of the pictorial organization of painting. Form, space, color, and pattern, abstracted from nature, are explored through the discipline of drawing by means of paint manipulation. Slide lectures, demonstrations, individual and group critiques are regular components of the studio sessions. Two three-hour meetings per week.

Requisite: ARHA 102 or 111 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 8 students. Spring semester: Senior Resident Artist David Gloman.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020, Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020

217 Improvising the Space Between: Drawing, Architecture, and Sculpture

This course is an exploration into the shared territories of drawing, architecture, and sculpture, and the hybrid spaces that may be created between those disciplines. An improvisational and responsive approach, in the spirit of experimentation and open inquiry, frames the studio-based course work. We will consider potentials and challenges of space, light, materials, joinery, structural geometries, organic growth, and temporality. After this initial period of information gathering, students will be free to determine the format or combination of formats that will shape an extended semester-end project. Readings, artist talks, museum visits and a wide range of pertinent visual materials will supplement and inform our studio work.

Requisite: One prior course in studio arts, architecture, or film production, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2020-2021. Professor Keller.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Spring 2020

218 Photography I

An introduction to black-and-white still photography. The basic elements of photographic technique will be taught as a means to explore both general pictorial structure and photography’s own unique visual language. Emphasis will be centered less on technical concerns and more on investigating how images can become vessels for both ideas and deeply human emotions. Weekly assignments, weekly critiques, readings, and slide lectures about the work of artist-photographers, one short paper, and a final portfolio involving an independent project of choice. Two three-hour meetings per week.

Limited to 12 students. January term. Professor Kimball.

2020-21: Offered in January 2021, Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, January 2021

219 Venice, Perfect City (476-1797)

(Offered as HIST 219 [TE/TC/C/P] and ARHA 219) When the Roman Empire imploded in 476, refugees from the Italian mainland settled on a few disconnected islands sheltered from the open Adriatic Sea by a lagoon. Within a few centuries, they created one of the most unlikely, beautiful, and long-lasting European cities ever to have been built. The cooperative spirit with which early medieval Venetians were able to create an urban environment built on seawater found its expression in the political and societal structures they formed to govern their city, republic, and, eventually, empire. In this course, we will discuss key events in the history of this extraordinary city, whose autonomy and self-government lasted until Napoleon invaded it in 1797. Topics include: art, architecture, and urban planning; the formation of an aristocratic but republican constitution; the emergence of civic institutions, poor relief, and neighborhood organizations; the history of the Ghetto and its Sephardic, Ashkenazi, and Italian communities; Venetian sea-trade and the conquest of the Levantine Empire; the Venetian Renaissance; ties with Byzantium, and the Mamluk and Ottoman Empires; convent culture; proto-feminism; and the Enlightenment. These topics will be discussed in the wider context of historical developments in the European and Mediterranean middle ages and early modern period. Two meetings per week. This course will be conducted in person but also include remote students via zoom.

Spring semester. Visiting Professor Sperling.

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021

220 The Photograph: Image, Text, Context

This course will focus on a small, select number of American photographs studied in significant depth. Making use of diverse methods of looking and analysis, we will examine photographs that are both canonical and non-canonical: from the earliest daguerreotypes in the nineteenth century, to documents of American history, to avant-garde experimentations, and the expanding global image ecologies of the present. We will study the social, intellectual, and art histories of
photography, interrogating concepts of visual representation and reproduction, and issues of technology, identity, and power, while also employing the theoretical lenses of critical writers.

January Semester. Visiting Assistant Professor Koehler.

2020-21: Offered in January 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, January 2021

221 Foundations in Video Production

(Offered as ARHA 221 and FAMS 221) This introductory course is designed for students with no prior experience in video production. The aim is both technical and creative. We will begin with the literal foundation of the moving image—the frame—before moving through shot and scene construction, lighting, sound-image concepts, and final edit. In addition to instruction in production equipment and facilities, the course will also explore cinematic form and structure through weekly readings, screenings and discussion. Each student will work on a series of production exercises and a final video assignment.

Limited to 12 students. January semester:  Professor Levine.  Spring semester:  Visiting Lecturer Montague

2020-21: Offered in January 2021, Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, January 2021

222 Drawing II

A course appropriate for students with prior experience in basic principles of visual organization, who wish to investigate further aspects of pictorial construction abstracting from forms including the figure, landscape and organic still life. There will be weekly drawing assignments and critiques, in addition to a final project of a life size self portrait. Two Zoom class meetings a week .
Course will be taught remotely. Demonstrations will be delivered via zoom, as will critiques and discussion. Essential course materials will be mailed to each student. Requisite: ARHA 102 or 111, or consent of the instructor

Limited to 12 students. Fall semester. Professor R. Sweeney.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020

224 Translating Nature: Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture

This course explores the visual structures of natural things. The processes and disciplines of drawing, acrylic painting, watercolor and sculpture will be used to examine natural subjects such as plants, animals, landscape and the figure. We will work directly from life. Out-of-class trips will be frequent to access natural subject matter not found in the classroom.

Requisite: One of ARHA 111, ARHA 214, or ARHA 215 (because of the diversity of subject and materials used). Limited to 8 students. Omitted 2020-21. Senior Resident Artist David Gloman.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Fall 2019

226 Women and War in European History, 1558–1918

(Offered as HIST 226 [EUP/TC], ARHA 226, EUST 226, and SWAG 225) Although overlooked in military histories until recently, women have long been actively involved in warfare: as combatants, as victims, as workers, and as symbols. This course examines both the changing role of women, and the shifting constructions of “womanhood,” in four major European conflicts: the wars of Elizabeth I in sixteenth-century England, the wars and peace of Marie de Médicis in seventeenth-century France, the French Revolution, and the First World War. Using methodologies drawn from Art History and History, the course seeks to understand the gendered nature of warfare. Why are images of women and the family central to the iconography of war, and how have representations of womanhood shifted according to the aims of particular conflicts? To what extent do women’s experiences of warfare differ from men’s, and can war be considered a source of women’s liberation or oppression? Students will analyze a range of historical images in conjunction with primary source texts from these conflicts and will also develop an original research project related to the course’s themes. Two class meetings per week.

Recommended requisite: A course in Art History or History. Limited to 25 students. Not offered in 2020-21. Professor Boucher.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2019

228 Image & Text

The combination of language with visual information offers a rich range of possibilities. In this course we will investigate strategies of interweaving image and text to create works that draw upon the qualities of each to produce hybrid forms. The class will look at a variety of sources and respond to them in a series of hands-on studio projects. These sources include maps, diagrams, calligraphy, illustrations and manuscripts, as well as work from the history of art and literature. The projects can involve drawing, printing, erasures, book-making, writing, digital media and photography to produce works that deploy image and text to express narrative, poetic, political or informational content. Students from a range of diciplines and interests are encouraged to participate.

No prior studio experience is required. Limited to 12 students. January semester. Visiting Lecturer Culhane.

2020-21: Offered in January 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019, Spring 2020, January 2021

229 The Virgin Mary: Image, Cult, Syncretism (ca. 400-1700)

(Offered as HIST 229 [TC/P/C], ARHA 229 and RELI 229) When, in 431, the Council of Ephesus declared the Virgin Mary to be Theotokos or God-Bearer, she had already been venerated in Egypt since the third century as a re-instantiation of Isis. The syncretism of her cult explains her ubiquitous popularity in medieval Byzantium and the Latin West, but also in early Islamic Syria and colonial Latin America. Her frequent depiction on moveable wooden panels (icons) and mosaics accompanied her early rise to liturgical prominence. By 1200, she rivaled Jesus Christ in religious importance, not only through her role as intercessor, but also as dispenser of divine grace in the form of breastmilk. She was the most active miracle-working saint in all of Christianity. Her frequent depiction on icons, altarpieces and devotional panels accompanies – and, in part, explains – the development of figurative art in the West. In colonial America, the introduction of her cult ended prior religious forms of expression, but also helped them to partially survive in a new context. In this seminar, students will produce a 15-page research paper based on a careful analysis of textual and visual sources as well as pertinent scholarship. Two class meetings per week. This course will be conducted in class but also include remote students via zoom.

Fall semester. Visiting Professor Sperling.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020

232 Cartographic Cultures: Making Maps, Building Worlds

(Offered as ARHA 232 and ARCH 232) This course traces the history of modern cartography from the integration of indigenous map-making techniques into colonial Latin American land surveys in the sixteenth century to the use of GIS software by militaries and corporations to create detailed images of foreign and domestic territories in the twenty-first century. Along the way, we will study the political and economic impetus that drove governments, militaries, municipalities, and private entities to create renderings of the land on which we live. We will also investigate the technological history of map-making as we consider the extent to which innovations in modern science have influenced the production of maps. This course will challenge the presumption that maps are factual portrayals of physical space. It will also question how divergent forms of culturally based knowledge as well as economic constraints and corporate rivalries have historically influenced map-making and subsequently shaped our understanding of territories near and far. We will think through these issues while investigating a number of major topics in the history of modern cartography: map-making and indigenous expertise in the Americas prior to and during European intervention; colonial cartography in the Americas, Asia, and Africa; the explosion of the map-making industry in eighteenth and nineteenth-century England and France; the mapping of oceans and other remote landscapes during this time; the twentieth-century genre of pictorial maps in the United States; cartography and modern warfare; and artists’ responses to these histories. Through written assignments and a final creative project, students will build their writing and research skills while gaining knowledge of the methods that scholars employ when reading a wide variety of maps. Moreover, in approaching contemporary debates in the field of cartography, this course will introduce students to landscape studies.

Limited to 34 students. Fall semester. Assistant Professor Carey.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019, Fall 2020

233 2020: Art Can Help

(Offered as ARHA 233 and FAMS 233) We approach the fall of 2020 in the midst of a global pandemic, a wave of international protests in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, systemic racism, an escalating climate emergency, and widespread anxiety about the consequences of the upcoming American elections. Our own responses to these crises can vary, often from day to day. We may feel inspired to make change or to further educate ourselves, but we can also feel overwhelmed and unsure of our own place in the world. What are our responsibilities as artists, individuals and as members of the communities that surround us?

In this remote studio course for students working in video and photography, we will explore methods and issues related to politically engaged art practice. Topics to be covered may include: the tension between the personal and the political in art, the role of images within political discourse, documentary, archive, and the relationship between creative practice and activism.

Each student will work independently in photography, video or both to produce a body of work that speaks to their own interests or experience. Students may choose to work in a variety of modes that might include or combine direct observation, diaristic record, archival practices, performance or poetic intervention. The course will include group and individual critiques of the students’ work, research seminars, historical and topical lectures from the histories of film, video and photography, and the examination of art practices that seek to balance or blend politics and aesthetics. We will conclude the semester with a group exhibition of artistic work created by students in the class.

Remote: Zoom, live demos, virtual visitors, individual and group critiques. Equipment and material supplied.

Requisite Course: One 200-level course in film/video or photography, or a portfolio of work which demonstrates relevant experience.

Limited to 14 students. Fall semester. Professor Kimball and Professor Levine.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020

235 Integrated Practices: Social Issues and the Interview

This course blends production components and theories, regarding the interview, oral histories and direct address, in non-fiction video production, in order to explore and respond to the ways in which social issues such as racism, economic inequality, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, bullying, hate speech and hate crimes, disability, incarceration, to name a few, affect us. Students will create, research and analyze the process of producing scripted, interview-based, socially-engaged, short non-fiction videos. The course examines elements of performance for the camera, studio and in-the-field shooting, and various interview and editing techniques, as well as the form, history, and function of the interview form in the non-fiction genre. 

Requisite: A foundations course in Critical Studies of Film and Media (such as “Coming to Terms: Cinema”) and an introductory film/video production workshop. Not open to first-year students. Limited to 12 students. Spring Semester. Visiting Assistant Professor Montoya.

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021

240 Women in Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 240 and ARCH 240) This course begins with an examination of gendered, architectural spaces and how and why they were structured for women in the nineteenth century in both Britain and America. Looking at primary and secondary sources, students will gain insight into societal norms and how they conditioned architecture generally associated with women, such as houses, asylums, and early women’s colleges. This study will serve as a platform from which to understand the pressures upon women and the pioneers who rejected such norms and pursued architecture as a profession. The latter half of the course will look at the work of early women architects, the hurdles they faced and the examples they set. The course will conclude with a critical examination of women architects practicing today and how they navigate the profession.

Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Visiting Lecturer Vickery.

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021

241 The Age of Michelangelo: Italian Renaissance Art and Architecture

(Offered as ARHA 241, ARCH 241, and EUST 241) Michelangelo, a defining genius of the Italian Renaissance, emerged from a rich cultural environment that forever changed how we think of art. Artists of the Renaissance developed an original visual language from the legacy of the ancient world, while also examining nature, their environment, and encounters with other worlds to the East and West. Their art revealed a profound engagement with philosophical attitudes toward the body and the spirit, as well as with ideals of pious devotion and civic virtue; those concepts changed radically over the period of the Renaissance, however. Artists developed the rhetoric of genius and artistic struggle by vaunting an artist’s godlike role, owing to his imaginative creation of art and his ability to mimic reality illusionistically, yet they also questioned a human’s place in the cosmos. We will analyze in depth the visual language of painting, sculpture, and architecture created for merchants, monks, princes and popes in the urban centers of Florence, Rome and Venice from the 14th through the 16th centuries, and examine the virtuosic processes artists used to achieve their goals.

Rather than taking the form of a survey, this course, based on lectures but regularly incorporating discussion, will analyze selected works and contemporary attitudes toward the visual through study of the art and its primary sources.

Learning goals:
• Gain confidence in the art of close looking to gain visual understanding;
• Achieve an understanding about how art and its culture are intertwined;
• Develop the critical skills to analyze points of view from a historical period other than our own;
• Learn collaboratively with classmates;
• Develop and argue an original thesis about a single work of art in a research paper.

Requirement: one course in ARHA, FAMS, or ARCH, or with permission.

Presence of the instructor:
• The students will meet together in a classroom, with the option of either recorded lectures or a remote synchronous experience when they are absent.
• The professor will be virtually present lecturing and leading discussion (synchronous).
• Class preparation (asynchronous).
• Smaller weekly discussion groups, divided into different time zones for off-campus students (synchronous), and posting on discussion boards (asynchronous).
• Professor will hold in-person office hours if possible.

Spring semester. Professor Courtright.

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021

242 Hand-Drawn and Hand-Printed: The Stories of Images

This course will focus on drawing and printmaking as a means of building visual stories through serial description and expression. Studio work will include brush and ink drawings, watercolor, printmaking techniques, and collage, with a range of approaches to subject matter based on each student’s individual interests and choices. These include representational, narrative, abstract, and symbol-based imagery, among others. Relief printing techniques using both wood and synthetic blocks, will be taught, as well as the intaglio technique of trace monotype printing. All prints will be handprinted using spoons, barens, and the palm of the hand. Experimentation around conceptual and technical boundaries will be explored and encouraged. Projects will focus on using a combination of these means to develop a series of related images. A broad cultural range of contemporary and historical references will be studied in conjunction with students' individual projects. The semester’s work will culminate in a cohesive body of visual work given the form of a small-scale installation and, for the final project, a hand-made accordion book. Discussion and critiques will be held regularly in both group and individual formats. Writing will be required of students in the form of series statements, feedback on other students’ projects, and final semester reflections on their work. No prerequisites required.

Course will be taught remotely. Demonstrations will be delivered via video. Critiques and discussion will be held via Zoom. Essential course materials will be mailed to each student.

Limited to 16 students. Fall semester. Senior Resident Artist Garand and Professor Keller.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020

243 Cut, Inked and Hand Pressed: Woodcut Prints

Woodcut is a dynamic form of printmaking. It has been instrumental in communication since the invention of paper in 105 C.E. and is a relief technique with a broad array of possibilities. Students will learn various methods to cut and print wood blocks, and assignments will include multiple block printing, hand-colored prints, collage, and cut paper. All prints will be handprinted using spoons, barens and the palm the hand. Assignments will be critiqued regularly, and critical analysis of prints' conceptual and technical concerns will be discussed. The study of a culturally wide range of historical and contemporary artists will provide inspiration, insight and knowledge into the visual language of woodcut. Students will be encouraged to create imagery that provides personal meaning influenced by political, individualistic, imaginative and emotional experiences. No prerequisites required.

Fall 2020: Course will be taught remotely. Demonstrations will be delivered via video. Critiques and discussion will be held via zoom. Essential course materials will be mailed to each student.

Spring 2021: Course will be taught hyflex (assuming it is safe to work in the printmaking studio). Demonstrations will be delivered in person and via video. Critiques and discussion will be held via zoom. Essential course materials will be mailed to each student if necessary.

Limited to 10 students. Fall and Spring. Senior Resident Artist Garand.

 

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020, Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020

247 Independent Projects: Sculpture Studio Seminar

This course is an opportunity for students to pursue and shape independent sculpture projects developed through a series of closely related sculptural works. The class will focus on the dynamics and engineering of three-dimensional structures and compositions, sensitivity to materials – what they offer and associations they carry--and use of a tactile language of form as expressive means. The semester will result in the production by each student of a coherent body of works, where every piece has informed and shaped the next as students’ ideas for their series are honed and more fully explored. The class as a whole will start the semester’s work with short exercises and studies, testing a range of approaches to using the language of three-dimensional form, before moving in individual directions. Modeling and construction techniques, as well as mold-making and casting, will be taught as needed in response to student goals, and as is possible within the constraints of COVID-19 precautions. Relevant readings, presentations, and museum visits will inform studio work. Regular group critiques and discussions will be a key part of learning with and from each other.
Requisite: ARHA 214, or permission of the instructor.
Taught on campus, and remotely through group and individual Zoom meetings, and shared on-line materials, if needed.
Fall semester. Limited to 8 students. Professor Keller.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020

248 Making Art in a Time of Turbulence and Upheaval

What's on your mind? How can you convey this visually? Fear and anxiety are normal aspects of creativity; the conscious act of "letting go" and trusting intuitive mark-making will be encouraged and taught in this course. Students will be motivated to create imagery that provides personal meaning influenced by political, individualistic, imaginative and emotional experiences. The class will explore and develop hand-printed and hand-drawn methods of making images using a variety of techniques allowing investigation and discovery. Assignments will include drawing with watercolor and colored pencils; hand printing with woodcut, trace monotype and the stencil method of pochôir. Woodcut is a relief method of printmaking which involves carving into blocks of wood, inking the surface, and then printing by hand, using spoons, barens and the palm of the hand. Trace monotype is an intaglio/planographic printmaking process that is very direct and reliant upon the pressure of a pencil and hand to offset ink to paper. Pochôir is a stencil method where ink is pounced directly onto the paper using a stencil brush; it has the look and quality of soft, air-brush. Students will also use watercolor and colored pencils to hand color prints as well as to draw. A culturally wide range of artists will be introduced throughout the course to coincide with assignments and provide relevant insight and knowledge. No prerequisites required.

Course will be taught remotely. Demonstrations will be delivered via video. Critiques and discussion will be held via zoom. Essential course materials will be mailed to each student.

Limited to 10 Students. January term. Senior Resident Artist Garand.

2020-21: Offered in January 2021
Other years: Offered in January 2021

249 Digital Art History

(Offered as ARHA 249 and ARCH 249) This course is an introduction to the latest digital tools that art historians and museum curators use to analyze and display works of art, architecture, and the larger built environment, including, but not limited to, 3D modeling, network graphing, and digital mapping and storytelling. We will begin by asking what actually constitutes art historical data and then turn to consider how the digital collection, organization, interpretation, and presentation of this information can inform our understanding of objects, buildings, cities, and landscapes. Among the other topics we will explore are the digital artworks and exhibitions that artists and curators around the globe are currently creating in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the ethics and practicalities of doing digital art history today. This non-lecture-based course centers hands-on collective learning and is designed for students of all backgrounds. No previous knowledge of the subject is presumed.

This remotely taught course will incorporate synchronous and asynchronous community-building small-group activities, use of computer labs on campus, mapping exercises in town, cutting-edge digital approaches to the study of architecture and objects, and, when possible, visits to local museum collections. Students who are unable to attend synchronous class meetings and/or possess limited access to high-speed bandwidth will be accommodated.

Fall Semester. Professor Rice.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2020

250 Humanitarian Design in Theory and Practice

(Offered as ARCH 250 and ARHA 250) This course explores the challenges and possibilities of humanitarian design, a growing area of interest in architectural practice. The course includes a field trip to Ecuador, to take place over Spring Break. This field component is deeply integrated into the course contents. During the first part of the semester, students become familiar with relevant theoretical and practice-based approaches to disaster reconstruction. With that, they gain an understanding of the complexities of this area, and a good grasp of the tasks and issues to be dealt with in the field. Upon returning from Ecuador, the rest of the semester is devoted to debriefing, producing and analyzing documentation, and drawing general lessons for the theory and practice of humanitarian design. The main case study is that of post-disaster reconstruction following Ecuador’s 2016 Pedernales Earthquake, which killed over 600 people and injured over 16,000. We will study the outcome of diverse reconstruction efforts and approaches four years after the earthquake. In order to compare and contrast approaches, our fieldwork will focus on two settings, an urban and a rural one, both located in the coastal Manabí province.

Limited to 12 Amherst College students. Admission with consent of the instructor. This course is open to Amherst College students only.  There will be an application process before pre-registration. Those students selected will have their travel expenses covered. Omitted 2020-21. Assistant Professor Arboleda. 

 

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

253 The Modern Metropolis

(Offered as ARHA 253 and ARCH 253) This course traces the social and political history of the modern city from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century. In the process, it questions the extent to which contemporary megacities—like São Paulo or Shanghai—reflect a social and urban system of organization that has its roots in earlier experiments in metropolitan design. Over the course of the semester, we will approach a number of genericized architectural spaces that have recurred across modern cities in ways that elucidate the broader template to which such urban zones often conform. These sites include the park, the nightclub, the brothel, the restaurant, the port, the highway, and the hotel, to name only a few. Our examination of these spaces will foreground the role of architecture and urban planning in shaping social interaction in these common locales. We will approach these sites as manifested in several modern metropolises, such as Paris, Dubai, Mumbai, Shanghai, Dakar, São Paulo, and New York. In investigating these places, we will ask: What makes a city? What, if any, continuities characterize the organizational structures, social spaces, and living conditions of modern cities in the western and non-western worlds? In encouraging students to explore the relationships between European and non-European urban centers, this course will serve as a point of departure for rethinking the binaries that separate the West and the Non-West. Through written assignments and independent research, students will gain knowledge of the ways in which urban spaces have informed social, political, economic, and cultural histories in America and beyond. This course will also aid students in developing their writing and research skills.

Omitted 2020-21. Professor Carey.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

254 Art’s World Since 1989

This course examines art produced since 1989. We will pay particular attention to the international network comprising artists, curators, institutions, and the art market. How does the globalization of the art world instantiate and at times diverge from the process of economic integration taking place on a planetary scale in the past three decades? How does cultural difference function within this topsy-turvy world? How do artists claim territory amidst the redrawing of the cultural map? The course engages in a balancing act of looking closely at specific practices (artistic, curatorial, institutional, and sales-driven) while zooming out to analyze the larger field of art’s operations.

Limited to 40 students. Omitted 2020-21.  Professor Vicario.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2016, Spring 2018

255 Latin American Art: Strategies and Tactics

This course explores art produced since 1920 in Latin America. From the state-sponsored murals of post-revolutionary Mexico to the "Constructive Universalism” of Joaquín Torres-García in Uruguay, how did artists align themselves with and distinguish themselves from movements and ideas circulating in Europe and the United States? When and why did U.S. institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art begin to collect, exhibit, and theorize art from Latin America? At mid-century, how was the proliferation of geometric abstraction in Buenos Aires, São Paulo and Caracas entangled with the modernization projects in those cities? In the wake of the Cuban Revolution, in what ways did the spread of anti-imperialist ideas radicalize artistic practices across the region? When dictatorships commandeered several countries from the 1960s through the 1980s, how did political and cultural repression generate new dangers but also new tactics for artists? Studying more recent practices, we will investigate art projects produced on the U.S.-Mexico border, the interaction between artists from Latin America and an increasingly global art world, and the curatorial trends characterizing the early twenty-first century display of art from the region. Throughout the course, the work of art will be analyzed as the battleground upon and across which political struggles were fought.

Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Professor Vicario.

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2017, Spring 2019

257 The Colonial City: Architecture, Empire, Resistance

(Offered as ARHA 257, ARCH 257, and BLST 253) Creole dwellings were first erected by enslaved builders working under Diego Colón (the son of Christopher Columbus) on the island of Hispaniola. By the end of the first wave of European expansion in the early nineteenth century, the creole style existed across imperial domains in the Caribbean, North and South America, Africa, the Indian Ocean, and even Asia. We will examine the global diffusion of this architectural typology from its emergence in the Spanish Caribbean to its florescence in British and French India in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In doing so, we will address buildings and towns in former Spanish, French, Dutch, Portuguese, and British colonies worldwide. Some of the urban centers that we will engage include: Kingston, Jamaica; Pondicherry, India; Cape Town, South Africa; Cartagena, Colombia; Saint-Louis, Senegal; and Macau, China. In investigating both creole structures and the cities that harbored such forms, we will think through the social and economic factors that caused buildings and urban areas to display marked continuities despite geographical and imperial distinctions.

Limited to 34 students. Fall semester. Professor Carey.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020

258 Art, Things, Spaces, and Places

(Offered as ARHA 258, ARCH 258 and EUST 258) The purpose of this course is to introduce students to research on lived environments from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, the architecture that shaped them, and the art and objects that they contained. The goal of each class, through reading and discussion, is to investigate what a researchable question is in the fields of history, art history, architecture, and material culture in Europe, England, and the Americas. Using multi-disciplinary research strategies, we will examine the power of precious and ordinary objects (including furniture, tapestries, devotional paintings, family portraits, and sculpture), the contemporary connotations of their materiality, and consider what objects in a home might signify about a family’s status, political allegiance, spirituality, and place in the world. Further, we will ask how art, objects and décor shape the beholder’s experience of spaces inside and outside a residence, in private and in public. What does the display of objects in collections, including those from far-away cultures other than the patron’s, signify to the owner and the viewer? Visiting lecturers will present their ideas on various topics such as the anthropology of art, the significance of precious materials, and collecting. We will take field trips to museums and meet curators in order to identify a research topic.

This course will give students tools to conduct their own research into past lived environments and their contents, and identify how we in the 21st century might come to understand them. As the culmination of the course students will collaboratively develop a prospectus for a research project with one or two other classmates. Assignments to meet that goal include adding new content to Wikipedia as a record of students’ findings and a contribution to knowledge for a wider public.

Open to sophomores but also motivated first-years interested in research in a variety of fields. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2020-21. Professor Courtright.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

259 Utopia: Visionary Architecture, Art and Theory

(Offered as ARHA 259 and ARCH 259) This course is an examination of utopian plans in architecture and art. We will consider the philosophical constructs of utopia in architectural drawings, buildings, and plans in relation to film, painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts. We will consider how different projections about life in the future are also harsh criticisms of the present, which often rely upon imagined concepts of social organizations in times past. The course reflects on utopian art from antiquity to the present, including an examination of selected utopian authors, including Sir Thomas More, Edward Bellamy, and William Morris, with an emphasis on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We examine the tensions between theory and practice by studying the successes and failures of actual attempts at realizing utopian communities. We will question the differences between utopia, dystopia, displacement and the home, as we consider whether utopian art and design is viable in the twenty-first century.

Omitted 2020-21. Visiting Assistant Professor Koehler.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019

261 Buddhist Art of Asia

(Offered as ARHA 261 and ASLC 260) Visual imagery plays a central role in the Buddhist faith. As the religion developed and spread throughout Asia it took many forms. This course will first examine the appearance of the earliest aniconic traditions in ancient India, the development of the Buddha image, and early monastic centers. It will then trace the dissemination and transformation of Buddhist art as the religion reached South-East Asia, Central Asia, and eventually East Asia. In each region indigenous cultural practices and artistic traditions influenced Buddhist art. Among the topics the course will address are the nature of the Buddha image, the political uses of Buddhist art, the development of illustrated hagiographies, and the importance of pilgrimage, both in the past and the present.

Omitted 2020-21. Professor Morse.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

263 The Art Market

This course investigates the relationship between art and commerce in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. What is the network of auctions, galleries, and fairs overseeing the buying and selling of works of art and how is value decided, constructed, and transformed in the process? How do we understand and calculate the value of art in both economic and symbolic terms? How do you buy and sell a work of performance art? What agency do artists possess in determining how their work operates in the market and how have artists played with the market since the 1960s? Finally, in what ways does the making, buying, and selling of works of art conform to and diverge from the operations of the economy at large? Using texts by Karl Marx, Thorstein Veblen, Eve Chiapello, and Jean-Joseph Goux, among others, as a theoretical foundation, we will explore the relationship between works of art and commodities and the ways in which artists both embrace and critique the commercial side of the art world. We will also study the recent attention paid to the “dirty money” funding arts institutions and trace a longer history of this phenomenon and its contestation by artists, activists, and artist-activists.

Requisite: One course in the history of art or cultural studies or permission of the instructor. Recommended requisite: ARHA 155. Limited to 25 students. January 2021. Professor Niko Vicario.

2020-21: Offered in January 2021
Other years: Offered in January 2021

267 Islamic Arts of the Book

(Offered as ARHA 267 and ASLC 267) The book has played (and continues to play) a central role in the Islamic world. As a technology, it gives physical form to the Qur’an, an orally proclaimed text, allowing Islam’s scripture to be read, touched, held, and easily transported. It is a carrier of divine blessing, but also of wisdom, authority, tradition, and affiliation. The earliest Islamic books were either very fragile, being made of papyrus, or expensive, being made of animal skin (parchment). Knowledge of papermaking, which traveled westward from its place of origin in China, revolutionized the production of manuscripts in royal and intellectual hubs like Samarqand, Baghdad, Cairo, and Cordoba. Books on geography, history, poetry, and science soon proliferated, many of them filled with fantastic paintings made of gold leaf, ground minerals, and carbon-based inks. We will study the history of the Islamic book, from manuscripts of the Qur’an, which often bear calligraphy but almost never include illustrations, to historical, astrological, and poetic works—like the famous Shahnama (Book of Kings)—that contain images of various types and sizes. We will pay special attention to who produced, collected, and circulated these books, and ask how and according to which criteria they were conceived, used, and evaluated. We will bring to our objects of study a close-viewing lens, but also explore the use of computational tools drawn from the Digital Humanities. Visits to view book materials in local collections will supplement classroom discussion and assigned readings. No previous knowledge of the topic is presumed, and all readings will be available in English.

Omitted 2020-21. Professor Rice.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Fall 2015, Fall 2019

268 Beyond the Taj Mahal: Art and Architecture of Mughal India

(Offered as ARHA 268, ARCH 268, and ASLC 268) Founded in 1526 by a Muslim prince from Central Asia, the Mughal dynasty dominated the political landscape of South Asia (including present-day India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh) until the middle of the nineteenth century. The influence of the Mughal Empire also extended well beyond South Asia, making it one of the most important states in the premodern global arena. This course will examine the great range of art and architecture produced for the Mughal emperors and members of their court, placing special emphasis on how these materials (and their makers) helped create a powerful, multifaceted image of empire. We will explore lavishly illustrated manuscripts and monumental architecture, including the justly famous Taj Mahal, but also expand our purview to consider less studied objects such as carved jade vessels, inscribed gems, inlaid metalwork, and textiles. We will pay particular attention to Mughal encounters with the arts of India's Hindu kings, the Safavid Empire, the Jesuit missionaries, the royal courts of Europe, and the British East India Company. Films and museum websites will supplement assigned readings and lectures. Participation in class discussion, a significant component of the course, is expected. No previous background is presumed, and all readings will be available in English.

This remotely taught course will incorporate synchronous and asynchronous community-building small-group activities, cutting-edge digital approaches to the study of architecture and objects, and, when possible, visits to local museum collections. Students who are unable to attend synchronous class meetings will be accommodated.

Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Professor Rice.

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016

270 African Art and the Diaspora

(Offered as ARHA 270 and BLST 293 [D]) The course of study will examine those African cultures and their arts that have survived and shaped the aesthetic, philosophic and religious patterns of African descendants in Brazil, Cuba, Haiti and urban centers in North America. We shall explore the modes of transmission of African artistry to the West and examine the significance of the preservation and transformation of artistic forms from the period of slavery to our own day. Through the use of films, slides and objects, we shall explore the depth and diversity of this vital artistic heritage of Afro-Americans. 

The class will be taught remotely. The course requires students to make virtual visits to museums with important collections of art works by African descendants in the diaspora. If and when possible, in-person visits to museums like the Studio Museum in Harlem are encouraged. There will also be selected video viewings in class to further highlight the creativity, innovation, and change in the works of African descendants in their new environments.

Fall semester. Professor Abiodun.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020

284 Women and Art in Early Modern Europe

(Offered as ARHA 284, EUST 284, and SWAG 206) This discussion-based course will examine how prevailing ideas about women and gender shaped visual imagery in Europe from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, and how these images, in turn, presented surprisingly varied pictures of women and their domains. Artists vividly expressed the paradoxical power that women possessed even more than language could. Both admired and feared in their societies, aristocrats, queens, mistresses, saints, witches, heroines, and housewives were all depicted in art in elevated and debased manners, sometimes as eroticized subjects and at other times as powerful, idealized actors—occasionally both at the same time. We will analyze the art and material goods that women paid for and what it communicated about them; women’s homes and the objects they held; the portrayal of women from merchant societies in Italian city-states to aristocratic women in India, of female saints, heroes and rulers, including Elizabeth I of England and Maria de' Medici of France; and the troubling imagery of rape. These different types of art raise questions about biological theories about women; feminine ideals of beauty; what marriage meant in different societies; the relationship between the exercise of political power and gender; women’s expression of transcendent spirituality; and what the portrayal of indigenous and enslaved women in Dutch and Spanish colonies conveyed about race.

GOALS FOR LEARNING
• Understand how images are unique forms of expression that help us to understand historical phenomena;
• Gain an understanding of how historical attitudes about women and by women affect art made about and by women;
• Develop an analytical ability to examine deeply points of view expressed in texts and art of a historical period other than our own and to distinguish them from another;
• Learn collaboratively with classmates;
• Learn how to perform 2 kinds of research:
   1) find materials to contribute publicly useful scholarship, by creating or revising Wikipedia entries, which greatly lack material on women;
   2) Develop and argue an original thesis in a 10-page research paper.

Uncapped.

Presence of the instructor:
• The students will meet together in a classroom.
• The professor will be virtually present leading discussion (synchronous).
• When students are absent, the professor will provide the daily high-quality slide show to upload and will also record the classroom experience (synchronous or asynchronous).
• Class preparation (asynchronous).
• Smaller weekly discussion groups, divided into different groups, including different time zones for off-campus students, and posting on discussion boards (asynchronous).
• Professor will hold in-person office hours outdoors if possible.

Spring semester. Professor Courtright.

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2017

288 Bollywood: A Cinema of Interruptions

(Offered as ARHA 288, ASLC 288 and FAMS 321) Overblown cinematic spectacles, meandering storylines, and distracting dance numbers commonly characterize Indian commercial cinema known as Bollywood. The course is organized to study Bollywood as what scholar Lalitha Gopalan has called a “constellation of interruptions” and proposes that these features contribute to a consistent narrative structure developed within a distinctive visual and cinematic tradition. We will analyze a selection of feature-length films closely, debate scholarly articles, write guided assignments, and pursue independent research papers. We will develop provocative historical and theoretical perspectives that locate Indian films in a critical relation to other traditions of world cinema. Two 80 minute classes and one 180 minute screening.

Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2020-21. Visiting Professor Sinha.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018

304 Documentary Photography

In this intermediate/advanced level course students will explore the practice of documentary photography. This course is structured around individual projects of the student’s own design and is informed by weekly group critiques and in-class visual exercises. We will examine the history, theory and ideological questions and complications of working with those outside of or within one’s own circle of experience. This will be complemented by a series of historical and topical readings, class visits by contemporary photographers, and slide lectures that consider the multitude of ways artists use photography within the documentary tradition.

Requisite: ARHA 218 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2020-21. Professor Kimball.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018, Spring 2020

308 Doing What You Don’t Know How to Do

Under what conditions can we make our best work? What does our best work look like, and how is that assessment made? And how can we access our best selves to do so? This course interrogates the dynamics of the visual arts studio: the opportunities, conditions, and pressures that shape our behavior there. By creating a supportive community in the classroom — perhaps another kind of studio —  we encourage risk and reach towards a studio practice that is yet unknown to us. We will teach each other, think big and then bigger, try new materials and processes, and treat each decision as an experiment. This course will introduce both historical and contemporary examples of artists in whose work we can readily observe risk-taking and problem solving. Setting the stage for a life in the studio driven by exploration and fearlessness, we will ask the question, “What do we have to lose?”

Requisite: Nomination by the art departments of each of the Five Colleges. Limited to 15 students, with spaces reserved for 3 students from each of the Five Colleges. Spring semester. Visiting Lecturer Hepler.

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021

319 Working in Series: The Interdisciplinary Connection Between Drawing and the Hand-Printed Image

An investigation of ideas into the development of visual imagery focusing on series of works utilizing drawing and printmaking. Contemporary and historical references of artists' series of works will be studied in conjunction with students' individual projects, culminating in a final project consisting of a cohesive, visual body of work. Experimentation of conceptual and technical boundaries will be encouraged and explored. Discussion and critiques will be held regularly in both group and individual formats. Visual work will include a wide variety of drawing media, including, but not limited to traditional methods. The techniques of intaglio and relief printmaking will be used in combination with and concurrent to the drawn images.

Limited to 10 students. Omitted 2020-21. Senior Resident Artist Garand.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019

323 Advanced Studio Seminar

A studio course that will emphasize compositional development by working from memory, imagination, literature and abstractions derived from nature and other works of visual art. The Students will be encouraged to explore a wide variety of media including, but not limited to, drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture and collage. Students will be required to create an independent body of work over the course of the semester which explores their individual direction in pictorial construction. new will meet twice a week on Zoom for two hours to critique the development of each students’ project. The completed project will be presented on the final class meeting.
Course will be taught remotely. Demonstrations, critiques and discussion will be via zoom. Essential course materials will be mailed to students.
Requisite: ARHA 222, 326 or 327 or permission of the instructor. Limited to 5 students. Fall semester. Professor R. Sweeney.

 

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020

324 Sculpture II

A studio course that investigates more advanced techniques and concepts in sculpture leading to individual exploration and development. Projects cover figurative and abstract problems based on both traditional themes and contemporary developments in sculpture, including: clay modeling, carving, wood and steel fabrication, casting, and mixed-media construction. Weekly in-class discussion and critiques will be held. Two two-hour class meetings per week.

Requisite: ARHA 214 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2020-21. Professor Keller.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

325 Images and Icons—Exploring Devotional Art

(Offered as ARHA 325 and ASLC 325) An examination of the construction, use, and interpretation of images and icons. The primary focus will be on images and icons in the Buddhist and Hindu faiths; however, the class will also make comparisons with those in Christianity and the religions of Africa and New Guinea. Some of the topics to be covered will include the relationship between icons and deities, the authentication and animation of images, the connections between icons and political authority, the ritual use of images, and aniconism and iconoclasm. The class is designed to focus on art historical writing.

Limited to 18 students to facilitate class discussion. Omitted 2020-21. Prof. Morse.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

326 Painting II

This course offers students knowledgeable in the basic principles and skills of painting and drawing an opportunity to investigate personal directions in painting. Assignments will be collectively as well as individually directed. Discussions of the course work will assume the form of group as well as individual critiques. Two three-hour class meetings per week.

Requisite: ARHA 215 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 18 students. Omitted 2020-2021. Senior Resident Artist Gloman.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020

327 Printmaking II: Further Investigations of the Hand Pulled Print

This course is an exploration of intaglio, relief and planographic printmaking processes. Combining conceptual concerns with techniques will be integral to the development of imagery. The course will involve continuous and vigorous visual research of historical and contemporary artist printmakers and teach the techniques of drypoint, etching, engraving, aquatint, monoprints, monotypes, woodcut and linocut. Printmaking processes will include color printing, multiple plate, combinations of various printmaking techniques, series and large scale prints. All students will complete a final project of an editioned portfolio exchange of prints and a handmade portfolio. Individualized areas of investigation are encouraged and expected. In-class work will involve demonstration, discussion and critique.

Requisite: ARHA 213 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2020-21. Senior Resident Artist Garand.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

328 Photography II

This course is a continuing investigation of the skills and questions introduced in ARHA 218. It will include an introduction to varied camera and film formats and both analog and digital photography methods. An emphasis will be placed on defining, locating and pursuing independent work; this will be accomplished through a series of weekly demonstrations, assignments and a final independent project. Student work will be discussed and evaluated in group and individual critiques. This is complemented by slide presentations and topical readings of contemporary and historical photography.

Requisite: ARHA 218 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Spring semester. Professor Kimball.

2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2019

330 Fictional Narrative Video Production

(Offered as ARHA 330 and FAMS 443) Intended for advanced film/video production students, this course will explore fictional narrative filmmaking through a rigorous script-to-screen process. Students will write, shoot and edit a short (8-minute) fictional narrative film either in small groups or individually. In addition to weekly online screenings of short and feature narrative films, the class will consist of weekly Zoom sessions led by the professor, including lectures on advanced narrative filmmaking techniques, film discussions, script readings, and critiques of footage and various cuts.

This class will be taught virtually and is open to Five College students - camera packages will be mailed to any student living off campus. Amherst students living on campus will have the option to work collaboratively.

Requisite: A prior 200-level production course or relevant experience (to be discussed with the instructor in advance of the first class). Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Fall semester. Professor Montague.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018, Fall 2020

335 Experiments in 16mm Film

(Offered as ARHA 335 and FAMS 335) This intermediate production course surveys the outer limits of cinematic expression and provides an overview of creative 16mm film production. We will begin by making cameraless projects through drawing, painting and scratching directly onto the film strip before further exploring the fundamentals of 16mm technology, including cameras, editing and hand-processing. While remaining aware of our creative choices, we will invite chance into our process and risk failure, as every experiment inevitably must.

Through screenings of original film prints, assigned readings and discussion, the course will consider a number of experimental filmmakers and then conclude with a review of exhibition and distribution strategies for moving image art. All students will complete a number of short assignments on film and one final project on either film or video, each of which is to be presented for class critique. One three-hour class and one film screening per week.

Requisite: One 200-level production course or relevant experience (to be discussed with the instructor in advance of the first class). Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2020-21. Professor Levine.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2019, Fall 2019

350 Practice and Theory of Art History

What is art history? What is its history? What are its premises and where does it come from? This seminar will explore the historical foundations, formulations, and applications of current art historical methods, the foundations of the art historical discipline as it emerged from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as well as attitudes towards and theories on art practice in their diverse global contexts from before the modern period. Both practice and theory will be considered through discussion of select texts and objects drawn from a variety of traditions. Topics may include: style and periodization; iconography, narratology, and phenomenology; semiotics; the social functions of images and the social history of art; the cultural foundations of representation, aesthetics, and vision; art and the material world; art, gender, and sexuality; collecting and commodification of art; and post-colonialism and post-modernism.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2020-21. Professor Rice.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020

353 Myth, Ritual and Iconography in West Africa

(Offered as BLST 315 [A] and ARHA 353) Through a contrastive analysis of the religious and artistic modes of expression in three West African societies—the Asanti of the Guinea Coast, and the Yoruba and Igbo peoples of Nigeria—the course will explore the nature and logic of symbols in an African cultural context. We shall address the problem of cultural symbols in terms of African conceptions of performance and the creative play of the imagination in ritual acts, masked festivals, music, dance, oral histories, and the visual arts as they provide the means through which cultural heritage and identity are transmitted and preserved, while, at the same time, being the means for innovative responses to changing social circumstances.

Omitted 2020-21. Professor Abiodun.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020

381 Art of the Talisman

(Offered as ARHA 381 and ASLC 381) The term “talisman,” from telesma (Greek) and tilsam (Arabic), has traditionally been defined as a magical object that is believed to repel harmful or evil forces. According to this view, a talisman is more interesting for what it does rather than what it represents or how it looks. Taking the arts of the Near East and South Asia as its primary frame, this course aims to move beyond these standard claims to examine the aesthetic dimensions of the talisman. What forms do talismans assume, and why? How—and with what materials, texts, and physical senses (smell, sight, touch)—are talismans made? And in what ways does this intersection of multiple systems of knowledge challenge basic assumptions regarding the relationship between art and reality? Among the objects we will explore are amulets, prayer scrolls, astrological materials, illustrated divination manuscripts, books of wonders, and talismanic clothing. While our case studies will be drawn mainly from the Islamic and South Asian spheres, students will have the opportunity to investigate a topic outside these realms for their final research project. Participation in class discussion, a significant component of the course, is expected. All readings will be available in English. One class meeting per week.

Omitted 2020-21.  Assistant Professor Rice.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2014

383 The Tea Ceremony and Japanese Culture

(Offered as ARHA 383 and ASLC 319) An examination of the history of chanoyu, the tea ceremony, from its origins in the fifteenth century to the practice of tea today. The class will explore the various elements that comprise the tea environment-the garden setting, the architecture of the tea room, the forms of tea utensils, and the elements of the kaiseki meal. Through a study of the careers of influential tea masters and texts that examine the historical, religious, and cultural background of tea culture, the course will also trace how the tea ceremony has become a metaphor for Japanese culture and Japanese aesthetics both in Japan and in the West. There will be field trips to visit tea ware collections, potters and tea masters. Two class meetings per week.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2020-21. Professor Morse.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2018, Spring 2020

384 The Replicated Image in Japanese Art: Woodblock Prints, Postcards, and Photographs

(Offered as ARHA 384 and ASLC 384) An image that can be replicated serves a very different function from a single unique work of art; it addresses new audiences and elicits a wider range of responses. This course will explore three different types of replicated images in Japan—woodblock prints, lithographs, and photographs. With the unprecedented achievement of literacy among urban populations during the early seventeenth century, Japan developed highly inventive woodblock texts and images. The course will begin with an investigation of the Japanese print in the Edo period (1615–1868) through the works of artists such as Suzuki Harunobu, Kitagawa Utamaro, Katsushika Hokusai, and Utagawa Hiroshige. It will subsequently examine the early history of the photograph in the nineteenth century and then how the postcard replaced the print as the favored format for the dissemination of images during the early twentieth century, becoming the primary visual means for communicating Japan’s modernity before the advent of World War II. The course will conclude with a study of photography from the 1920s to the present day. Photography also documented Japan’s modern era, the social tensions that appeared in the high-grown era after WWII, and today often transcends national boundaries.

Omitted 2020-21. Professor Morse.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

385 Witches, Vampires and Other Monsters

(Offered as ARHA 385, EUST 385, and SWAG 310) Our course will explore how evil was imagined, over cultures, centuries and disciplines. With the greatest possible historical and cultural specificity, we will investigate an array of monstrous creatures and plagues -- their terrifying powers, the explanations for why they came to be, and the strategies for how they could be purged -- as we attempt to articulate the kindred qualities they shared. We will study centuries-old witch burning manuals, and note the striking degree to which dangerous tropes -- about women, about pestilence, about dangerous sexuality, and about differences of all kinds -- have continued to our day. Among the artists to be considered are Velázquez, Goya, Picasso, Dalí, Buñuel, Dreyer, Wilder, Almodóvar, and the community who made the AIDS Quilt.

Except for the student visits to the Mead Museum, our class will be online. In addition to vibrant discussions, there will be weekly written assignments to deepen students' understanding of the material, as well as to develop the beauty of their writing, the acuity of their sight, their synthetic and analytical powers. There will be frequent one-on-one meetings with me, and constantly changing mini-groups, as we learn and explore together.

Not open to first-year students. 

This course fulfills a requirement for the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice (RHRJ) certificate.

Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Professor Staller.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020

388 Approaches to Chinese Painting

(Offered as ARHA 388 and ASLC 383) This course will survey the Chinese pictorial and calligraphic traditions from the Neolithic era to the present day. Particular emphasis will be placed on the period from the Northern Song to the Qing dynasties and the development of the landscape idiom, but the course will also address the figure, bird and flower, and narrative traditions as well. It will conclude with an exploration of the ways contemporary artists engage the legacy of China’s cultural heritage. Special attention will be given to the differences between Western methodological approaches to Chinese painting and the theories of painting developed by the Chinese themselves.

Omitted 2020-21. Professor Morse.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

412 The Sixties

We will investigate a series of historical events (such as the Vietnam War, the Cuban missile crisis, Stonewall, the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King) as well as the Civil Rights Movement, the rise of identity politics (Feminism, Black Power, the Brown Berets) and the counterculture. We will study the myriad art forms and their attendant ideologies invented during the decade (such as Pop, Op, Color Field, Minimalism, Land Art, Conceptual Art, Performance Art, Fluxus), as well as some crucial critics, dealers and art journals, in an effort to understand the ways in which artists rejected or appropriated, then transformed, certain themes and conceptual models of their time. This course will include class trips.

Requisite: One course in modern art or consent of the instructor. Not open to first-year students. Limited to 11 students. Omitted 2020-21. Professor Staller.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2019

441 Documentary Production

(Offered as ARHA 441 and FAMS 441) Intended for advanced film/video production students, this course will explore creative documentary practice through readings, weekly screenings and production assignments. Each student will complete a series of projects working both as a single maker and in collaboration with other members of the class. Topics may include: shooting the interview; scripting, performance and reenactment; history and narrativity; place and space; ethnography and the “embedded” filmmaker. We will also host visiting filmmakers and, where possible, visit a cultural institution which supports and screens cutting-edge documentary work.

The course will be taught annually but will focus on a set of revolving themes and issues that inform contemporary documentary filmmaking and the critical discourse that surrounds it. The theme for Fall 2019 will be “Place and Space". One 3-hour class (some of which will include field shooting and research trips) and one evening screening each week.

Requisite: A prior 200-level production course or relevant experience (to be discussed with the instructor in advance of the first class). Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2020-21. Professor Levine.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Spring 2018, Fall 2019

444 Films That Try: Essay Film Production

(Offered as ARHA 444 and FAMS 444) Essay filmmaking is a dynamic form with many commonly cited attributes—the presence of an authorial voice, an emphasis on broad themes, an eclectic approach to genre, and the tendency to digress or draw unexpected connections. Yet, true to its nature, the precise definition of the essay film is in constant flux. It can be both personal and political, individual and collective, noble and mischievous. Essay filmmakers themselves are equally diverse, ranging from established film auteurs to Third Cinema activists and contemporary video artists.

If we entertain the notion that the processes of cinema closely resemble the mechanics of human thought, then the essay film may be the medium’s purest expression. To watch or make such a film, we must give ourselves over to a compulsive, restless energy that delights in chasing a subject down any number of rabbit holes and blind alleys, often stopping to admire the scenery on the way. As with thought, there is no end product, no clear boundaries, no goal but the activity itself.

The term "essay" finds its origins in the French essayer, meaning “to attempt” or to try.” In this advanced production workshop, we will read, screen and discuss examples of the essayistic mode in literature and cinema while making several such attempts of our own. Students will complete a series of writing assignments and video projects informed by class materials and group discussion.

Requisite: One 200-level production course or relevant experience (to be discussed with the instructor in advance of the first class). Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2020-21. Professor Levine.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2020

445 Advanced Projects in Video Production

In this course, we will take the skills and insights gained in introductory production courses and develop them over the length of the semester through the creation of one short project, ten minutes long. Students may work individually or in pairs. We will learn by making work as well as by researching, reading, and watching films related to our projects. We may take this opportunity to delve into and learn the conventions of our chosen form, or we may decide that our content demands formal experimentation and risk-taking. The course will be structured by the projects each student brings to it. We will begin the semester with brainstorming, research, script/documentary proposal writing, and pre-production. Each student will develop a script or in-depth proposal to begin with. As we move into production, we will review and deepen our knowledge of camera, lighting (available & set), sound (location & studio), and editing principles and techniques. We will move between production and post-production in the second half of the semester, first developing sequences, then rough assemblies, rough cuts, and fine cuts, before ultimately completing our final cut.

Requisites: Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have completed at least one previous course in video production and preferably two previous courses, one at the 200-level and one at the 300-level. Limited to 10 students. Admission with consent of the instructor. Omitted 2020-21. Professor Mellis.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020

479 Problems in Documentary

(Offered as ENGL 479, FAMS 479, and ARHA 479) The filmmaker John Grierson broadly defined documentary as “the creative treatment of actuality.” How then, do documentary filmmakers responsibly balance the creative license of fiction with a respect for facts and material realities? Similarly, how do we as viewers agree upon a set of terms or rules for judging the success of a documentary film? “Problems in Documentary” explores the complications of the documentary form, which is neither fictional invention nor factual reproduction. This course will involve both creative and critical practice. It is designed for students with prior experience in both studying and making audiovisual media.

Students will read, watch, and discuss material that considers key problems in documentary filmmaking (negotiating power and textual authority; intervening in versus observing events; representing traumatic events; obtaining consent; recreating the past; representing social actors; finding the right form for a subject; filming and editing ethically; navigating institutional protocols) before developing a series of individual documentary video assignments. Subsequent discussions and critique, both in-class and in writing, will focus on evaluating these projects in terms of how they respond to the challenges raised by documentary critics and makers encountered in class.

Requisites: A 200-level Foundations in Critical Media Studies course (“Coming to Terms: Cinema,” “Coming to Terms: Media,” “Knowing Cinema,” “Knowing Television,” or “Introduction to Film Theory”) and an introductory film/video production course. Open to juniors and seniors. Limited to 12 students. Omitted 2020-21. Professors Levine and Rangan.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019

481 Conversations with Experimental Filmmakers

(Offered as ENGL 481, ARHA 481, and FAMS 481) Experimental film is a vital area of contemporary media culture where artists engage the moving image from a wide range of creative approaches, exploring film as an aesthetic, poetic, or political medium, rather than a commercial enterprise. By departing from the conventions of mainstream film, experimental filmmakers present their audience with a stimulating challenge, asking viewers to develop new critical frameworks through which to assess films that often resist classification and traditional interpretive approaches.

In this seminar, students will take up this challenge by exploring different ways of entering into conversation with the work of experimental filmmakers. Through weekly screenings, in-class visits by contemporary filmmakers, and group discussions of course readings (such as artists’ writings, interviews, and related theoretical material), we will develop critical and creative vocabularies that help us to analyze and respond to an array of experimental films and videos. Along with completing writing assignments and in-class presentations, students will plan and execute a final project that can assume a number of critical or creative forms, such as an interview with a filmmaker, a short video, or an analytical essay.

Requisite: At least one foundational course in FAMS, ARHA, or ENGL. Open to juniors and seniors, and to sophomores with consent of the instructor. Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2020-21. Professor Guilford.

2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2016, Fall 2019

490 Special Topics

Independent reading course. A full course.

Fall and spring semesters. The Department.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020, Spring 2021
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020

498, 499 Senior Departmental Honors

Preparation of a thesis or completion of a studio project which may be submitted to the Department for consideration for Honors.

Open to seniors with consent of the Department. Fall semester. The Department.

2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020