Current and Next Term Course Offerings

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Please consult the online course catalog for cross-listed courses and full course information.


AHS 017A/History of Western Art: Prehistoric to Byzatine

CRN#: 55631

Meetings: Monday and Wednesday, 6:30PM – 7:50PM
Place: Watkins 1000

AHS 023/Introduction to American Art

CRN#: 53622

Meetings: Monday and Wednesday, 3:30PM – 4:50PM
Place: Watkins 1000

AHS 028/Art and Architecture of Latin American

AHS 028 Winter 24 Course FlyerThis course is an introductory survey of the art, architecture, and visual culture made in Latin America from the colonial period to the modern era. We will begin by examining objects that were produced by artists and craftsmen working in the Americas who successfully merged the materials, techniques, and stylistic conventions they were versed in, with those conveyed from Europe, Africa, and Asia during the expansion of the Spanish and Portuguese Empires. Next, we will consider two specific arenas of visual culture production — religious architecture and portraiture — and what they tell us about religious and secular life during the colonial period (1492–ca. 1820). We will conclude the course by examining different ways that visual art was deployed during the independence movements of the 19th century, and how, in the early 20th century, young idealistic artists par- ticipated in international avant-garde movements by reinventing traditional visual languages.

This course may be used to fulfill a fine art breadth requirement or a humanities breadth requirement. For Art History majors, this course fulfills the early modern or contemporary lower division requirement.

CRN#: 52120

Meetings: Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30AM-10:50AM
Place: Watkins 1000

AHS 030/Rome: The Ancient City

CRN#: 55625

Meetings: Tuesday and Thursday, 2:00PM – 3:20PM
Place: Watkins 1101

AHS 124/Conceptual Art in Latin America

AH 124 Winter 24 Course FlyerWhen Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica hung this banner on a street in Rio, it was to celebrate a local man who had been gunned down by the police, and “Seja marginal, seja herói,” (Be an outlaw, be a hero) quickly became a rallying cry for his generation who opposed the military dictatorship. During the 1960s and 70s, many artists across the West turned away from conventional media, such as painting and sculpture, and dedicated their careers to undermining the power systems then in place with subversive work that privileged the concept over the composition. However, those who worked in cities like Santiago, Buenos Aires, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Havana, and Mexico City, had to contend with the oppressive governments and without the protection of freedom of speech. Terms such as “Open work,” “systems art,” “arte de los medios,” “information art,” “anti-art,” and “dematerialization” were used to describe the provocative work they were making that, rather than represent something — a person, a geometric pattern, the subconscious, an event in history — privileged the artist’s concept and sought to communicate it to the public.

CRN#: 53800

Meetings: Tuesday and Thursday, 2:00PM-3:20PM
Place: Arts Screening Room 335

AHS 125/Illustrations and Illuminations: The Art of the Book in the Islamic World

Course Flyer AHS125(Winter24)This course is an introduction to manuscript traditions in the Islamic world from the production of simple, undecorated Qur’ans written on parchment to opulent manuscripts that copied and illustrated some of the greatest works of classical Persian literature. The arts of the book came to occupy a central position in the artistic and literary culture of numerous dynastic empires in the Islamic world and lavish manuscripts were produced through the generosity of imperial and sub-imperial patrons. Through the history of manuscript production, we will touch upon topics that include the development of calligraphic and painting styles, models of patronage and workshop organization, the production and dissemination of knowledge, shifts in conceptions of the artist, and the relationship between word and image.

CRN#: 55485

Meetings: Monday and Wednesday, 2:00PM-3:20PM
Place: Arts Screening Room 335

AHS 158/Self-Portraits: Renaissance to Contemporary Art

AHS 158 Course Flyer Winter 2024How do artists conceive of themselves and their public persona? How does their self-perception reflect in works of art? Which myths and legends are behind the notions of what an artist is? And how do artists and theoreticians work with or against them? In addressing these and other important question of what artistic identity meant and how it was performed and represented in different time periods in the Western world, the seminar serves as an introduction to core concepts of artistic thinking and production. Ideas of creativity, artistic skill, and the role of self-fashioning in portraiture will be discussed. Through a close reading of texts and images, you will be introduced to strategies of (self-) promotion and mythmaking as well as their affirmation and deconstruction in later interpretations. The seminar will familiarize you with different text genres (biographical and autobiographical writings, psychoanalytical interpretations. key texts in the history of art), and it will cover a range of different art forms (sculpture, painting, photography, film, body art, artists’ books). The goal is to develop your individual skills in the analysis of different types of texts together with a formal analysis of significant works of art, to sharpen your understanding of different historical and intellectual contexts, and to deepen your insight in the history of artistic identities.

CRN#: 55487

Meetings: Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30PM-1:50PM
Place: Arts Screening Room 335

AHS 182/Visual Art and Theory After 1945

CRN#: 55486

Meetings: Tuesday and Thursday, 11:00AM-12:20PM
Place: Arts Screening Room 335

AHS 192/Junior-Senior Seminar

CRN#: 41569

Meetings: Thursday, 1:00PM-3:50PM
Place: Arts Seminar Room 333


AHS 251B/Proseminar in Methodology

CRN#: 30042

Meetings: Tuesday, 9:00AM-11:50AM
Place: Arts Seminar Room 333

AHS 284/Seminar in Contemporary Art and Theory

CRN#: 55707

Meetings: Tuesday, 2:00PM-4:50PM
Place: Arts Seminar Room 333


AHS 013/Islamic Arts & Architecture of the Islamic World

CRN#: 73743

Meetings: Monday and Wednesday, 12:30PM – 1:50PM
Place: Arts Screening Room 335

AHS 015/Arts of Asia

Arts of Asia Course Flyer, AHS 015 Spring 2024What makes a work of art “Asian”? Are there borders to Asia within the world geography of visual cultures? If so, what do such borders look like? If not, how and why do we speak of “Asian art”? This course thinks through these questions by way of an introduction to major works of visual arts produced in the large cultural area that we identify today as East, Central, South, and Southeast Asia. Rather than studying these regions and their artistic traditions in isolation from its surrounding regions, we take a broader approach, which considers the contribution
of the wider world in catalyzing major artistic innovations throughout Asia’s history. Moving chronologically from the ancient to the modern period, we look at masterpieces and monuments from archaeological sites as well as major museum collections. We consider works of architectural monuments as well as portable objects in a variety of media such as cast metals, stone and wood carvings, paintings, textiles, prints, and porcelains.

CRN#: 72201

Meetings: Monday and Wednesday, 2:00PM – 3:20PM
Place: Student Success Center 329

AHS 017B/History of Western Art: Renaissance to Baroque

CRN#: 73508

Meetings: Monday and Wednesday, 3:30PM – 4:50PM
Place: Watkins 1000

AHS 114/History of Brazilian Art and Architecture

AHS 114 Spring 24 Course FlyerIn 1808, Dom João, King of Portugal, fled the Iberian Peninsula as Napoleon’s armies advanced. He sailed for Rio de Janeiro and declared the colonial city the new capital of the Portuguese empire. This historic event initiates this course, which examines the history of art and architecture from Brazil over the last two centuries. Drawing on a range of media – including painting, sculpture, photography, murals, architecture, urbanism, landscape design – we will study artworks and buildings through a social historical framework, taking into consideration such topics as colonialism, tourism, modernization, underdevelopment, race, gender, nationalism, internationalism and globalism. Dominant tropes of Brazilian studies – including tropicalism or cannibalism – will reappear throughout the quarter and in relationship to a range of contexts and objects.

CRN#: 73741

Meetings: Tuesday and Thursday, 2:00PM – 3:20PM
Place: Arts Screening Room 335

AHS 139/The Arts of Buddhism

Arts of Buddhism, AHS 139 Spring 2024Buddhism, with its teachings that focus on emptiness and formlessness, would seem to discourage devotional practices that take primarily visual and material form. Yet, Buddhist tradition boasts an exuberant visual culture that seems to challenge the premise that all is empty. Art and architecture, in fact, have been crucial elements to the dissemination and the ritual practices of Buddhism throughout its history.

This course aims to familiarize students with great monuments of a visual tradition spanning many centuries and
geographical regions in Buddhist Asia (South Asia, Himalayas, Southeast Asia, and East Asia). Through close looking and historical contextualization, this course also provides students with opportunities to engage with the power
of Buddhist images as sites of meaning and illumination.


CRN#: 73740

Meetings: Monday and Wednesday, 11:00AM – 12:20PM
Place: Arts Screening Room 335

AHS 170/Baroque Architecture

CRN#: 73742

Meetings: Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30AM – 10:50PM
Place: Arts Screening Room 335

AHS 180/Modern European Art I: 19th Century

AHS 180 Spring 24 FlyerThis course will study European art of the “long” nineteenth century, from the French Revolution to the outbreak of the First World War. By looking closely at major works of the period we will discuss ideas and concepts of modern European art and their world-wide reception. Topics covered include Neoclassicism, Realism, Romanticism, Impressionism and Post Impressionism in painting, sculpture, print, and decorative art.

CRN#: 72220

Meetings: Tuesday and Thursday, 5:00PM – 6:20PM
Place: Arts Screening Room 335


AHS 273/Seminar in Renaissance Art


In recent decades, the traditional western canon of art has been questioned and quite openly opposed in academic circles. And yet the appeal of the artistic ‘masterpiece’ is very much alive. Tourists, as well as art historians, flock to the museums around the world to get a glimpse of the ‘highlights’ of Western art, with record breaking numbers of visitors to exhibitions that feature the big names of the art historical pantheon. Our modern notion of the ‘masterpiece’ is closely tied to ideas established in classical antiquity, consolidated and organized in the theoretical writings of the Renaissance, and popularized in the nineteenth century. What then is a ‘masterpiece’? And how have art historians written about their stylistic features, their meanings, their relevance? If there are masterpieces of art, are there also masterpieces of interpretation? And what are the criteria by which ‘mastery’ is and was measured?


CRN#: 69906

Meetings: Tuesday, 3:00PM-5:50PM
Place: Arts Seminar Room 333

AHS 279/Seminar in American Art


Landscapes and empires are not forms, but compositions. This seminar explores the inextricable and mutually determinative entanglement of these two compositional practices in context of U.S. artmaking, with a dual focus on the American West and hemispheric South. Oriented to these two locales, the course seeks to understand how the visual reconstitution of both natural and inhabited lands as landscapes of empire is bound into complicated entanglements of representation and imagination, knowledge and belief, property and power, ecology and anthropomorphization, the negotiation of non-U.S. traditions, physical and visual violence, and the visuality of resistance. Later as the framework of empire wanes, sublimates, or at the very least takes up disguises, we will explore key instances where twentieth-century artists and image-shapers drove forth, negotiated, and at times negated critiques of the U.S. landscape-empire nexus.


CRN#: 73739

Meetings: Tuesday, 10:00AM-12:50PM
Place: Arts Seminar Room 333