Fall 2023

Talking with Beads

Listed in: Art and the History of Art, as ARHA-207


Sonya Y. Clark (Section 01)


This studio art course focused 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. 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.

Limited to 18 students. Fall semester. Professor Clark.

How to handle overenrollment: Students will be randomly selected.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Emphasis on artistic work and collaborative learning

ARHA 207 - LEC

Section 01
Tu 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM FAYE 101


Other years: Offered in Fall 2023