Fall 2010 Graduate Courses


(AHIS G4084) Mesoamerican Art & Architecture
E. Pasztory
A survey of the major pre-Hispanic cities of Mexico and Guatemala, including San Lorenzo, Teotihuacan, Tikal, Monte Alban, Uxmal, and Chichen Itza. Aesthetic, historical, and archaeological problems are discussed.

(AHIS G4385) Renaissance Architecture, History & Theory
F. Benelli
A survey of Renaissance Architecture in Italy through its buildings and its theory, from Brunelleschi to Palladio and the influence to other European country.

(AHIS G4650) Postwar Critical Theory: Reinventions
J. Rajchman
Is today a time of reinvention for the critical theory that took shape after the Second World War? In this course, taking1989 as a new take-off date, we explore this hypothesis through a series of over-lapping questions including: what is contemporary as distinct from modern? What is an apparatus as distinct from a medium, a media, or a machine?  Is there or can there be a global art history? Can participation be critical? Focusing of the role of visual art and art institutions, their expansions and transformations, we thus address the question of the fate and the function of critical theory in the new world of information economies, new urbanizations, biennials and art-fairs.

(AHIS G4848) Neo Dada and Pop Art
B. Joseph 
This course examines the avant-garde art of the fifties and sixties, including assemblage, happenings, pop art, Fluxus, and artists' forays into film. It will examine the historical precedents of artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Allan Kaprow, Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Carolee Schneemann and others in relation to their historical precedents, development, critical and political aspects.

(AHIS G6265) Roman Art I
F. de Angelis
Italians, Etruscans, and the development of Roman art from the early republic to Augustus.

(AHIS G6450) Titian
D. Rosand 
Lectures on the art of Titian and its resonance, the position of the artist and his achievement within a Venetian context and beyond. Topics will include: issues of style and technique, the development of oil painting and a pittura di macchia; the altarpiece; religious narrative; mythological narrative; portraiture; the graphic arts and printing in Venice; Titian's circle of friends (Aretino and Sansovino); patterns of patronage; politics and religion; Titian's legacy.

(AHIS G6580) Projected Image in Contemporary Art
N. Elcott 
This graduate-level lecture course addresses the key themes, operations, sites, and artists that inform current critical and aesthetic debates while grounding students in the history and theory that undergirds those debates. Topics include: Expanded Cinema and Structural Film, real-times and non-places, multi-screen environments and control, the obsolescence of film, medium-specificity and platform agnosticism, exhibiting and preserving projected images, and case studies on Hollis Frampton, Peter Kubelka, Stan Douglas, Harun Farocki, Anthony McCall, and others. Each session will include an in-class screening, lecture, and short discussion.

(AHIS G6750) Picasso: A Metahistory
R. Krauss
Pablo Picasso was said to have invented more in 20th century art than anyone else. His creativity had myriad influences on his contemporaries. Collage could be said to have incited Duchamp's readymade; the Cubist grid to have produced Mondrian's move to abstraction; Cubism itself, with its suppression of the human subject, made a place for Picabia's “mechanomorphs”—an ironic response to Picasso's return to Old Master art. The course will explore the complexities of this production, including reading by Jean-Joseph Goux (The Coiners of Language) and Yve-Alain Bois (Kahnweiler's Lesson” and “the Semiology of Cubism”). "Metahistory" is Hayden White's term for the "emplotment" of historical data. Picasso's career elicited the full range of art-historical narrative.


All graduate seminars require an application. Applications are due by August 1, 2010, 5 p.m. without exception in 826 Schermerhorn Hall. The seminar application for all Art History and Archaeology graduate seminars consist of a one-page form available online (the office does not have copies of the form.) Do not attach second pages or letters to the form; only this application form will be accepted. An individual application form is required for each seminar to which you apply. Please drop off seminar applications to 826 Schermerhorn by the deadline.

(AHIS G8080) Primitivism: From Europe to Africa and Back Again
Z. Strother
This seminar examines the legacy of several genealogies of European "primitivism" for contemporary artistic practice in Africa. For example, we will closely analyze Picasso's relationship with African art but also how artists and critics in Senegal, Congo, and Tanzania have responded to Picasso. Is Jean-Loup Amselle correct in arguing that primitivism "lies at the core of postmodernity"? Case studies include: blackface minstrelsy; Einstein; Markov; Kandinsky; Leni Riefenstahl; Negritude; Ousmane Sow; Chéri Samba; and a selection of prominent exhibitions. Reading knowledge of French required. (Interested students from outside the Department of Art History and Archaeology should contact the professor directly.)

(AHIS G8105) Chinese Art under Mongol Rule, Revisited
R. Harrist
Focused on works in a major exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this seminar on arts of the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368) will address topics such as the definition of Mongol identity as expressed in the visual arts produced in China, the continuation of workshop and professional painting traditions illuminated by recent archaeological discoveries, relationships among the arts of different media, including metalwork, ceramics, and textiles; the seminar also will require student to reexamine long accepted notions of the relationship between "self-expression" and the social dimensions of literati painting and calligraphy.

(AHIS G8126) Tokyo
J. Reynolds 
This course will address the history and visual representation of the city of Tokyo from the mid-19th century to the present.

(AHIS G8230) Greek Emotions in Image and Text
I. Mylonopoulos, A. Chaniotis
In ancient Greek culture, almost every image and text ultimately has an emotional background. Images and texts either directly try to visualize or describe emotions or they attempt to manipulate, arouse, control, or judge emotions. Despite the inherent methodological difficulties in the study of emotions in past societies and cultures, neither the art historian nor the historian has the choice to ignore the emotional background of images and texts (literary and documentary). Based on a selection of works of art and texts (inscriptions, papyri, literary texts), widely disseminated over time and space, representing a wide range of social strata and age-classes, and originating in both genders, this seminar shall explore the role played by the manifestation of emotions in Greek private and public life, society, religion, and culture. The questions addressed by this course include: expressions of sorrow and strategies of consolation; the social background of anger; the construction of the fear of gods; emotions and gender; emotions in religion; affect control; the social and cultural dimension of love. The course will be co-taught by professor Angelos Chaniotis (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton - All Souls College, Oxford)

(AHIS G8331) Italian Architectural Drawings
F. Benelli 
Modern convention of architectural drawing before the coming of the digital era started during the Renaissance when drawing was recognized to be the tool through which an idea of architecture is transformed into a feasible construction. The scope of this seminar is to analyze the architectural drawing under different aspects including that of its function to express the design process from the early sketches to the working drawings and as a tool of analysis of existing buildings, ancient and modern. Attention will be paid also to the graphic techniques and the architectural drawing as an artistic form. Real Renaissance drawings will be directly analyzed as well as the Renaissance literature on the issue included in Architectural treatises.

(AHIS G8407) Iconography of Belief: Art and Religion in 19th Century Europe
C. Grewe 
The course focuses on the production of religious imagery in nineteenth-century France, Germany, England and America. It focuses on questions of communication, examining style, historical sources and religious context as well as strategies of promotion, dissemination and circulation. Topics covered include Mary, Eve and gender; landscape and belief, and anti-Semitism and Jewish self-representation.

(AHIS G8463) Spanish Italy
M. Cole
This seminar will focus on the importance of Spanish culture and politics for the art of various Italian centers across the early modern period. It will consider relations between the semi-independent northern Italian city-states and the Spanish dominions of Naples and Sicily, giving particular attention to key patrons like Pedro Álvarez and Eleonora of Toledo. It will look at the impact in Italy of Spanish religious leaders from Dominic de Guzmán to Teresa of Avila. It will note the use of art and artists in diplomatic exchange and spend extended time with those Italian artists – as varied as Titian, Leoni Leoni, Sofonisba Anguissola, El Greco, and Pellegrino Tibaldi – who worked from a distance for the Spanish court or even moved to Spain.

(AHIS G8621) Black British Art and Theory
K. Jones
This course considers the development of visual culture in this European outpost of the African Diaspora. Of interest is the way the discipline of cultural studies, which evolved in postwar Birmingham, intersected with the rise of black consciousness throughout Britain in the 1980s. How did the interactions of intellectuals and artists at this moment in the late 20th century lead to the creation of strong postcolonial theory and practice? Readings include works by Bhabha, Carby, Gilroy, Hall, Maharaj, and Mercer. We will look at visual production by Bhimji, Boyce, D-Max, Fani-Kayode, Julien, Kempadoo, Piper, and Pollard among others. We will also discuss selected exhibitions and publications that supported this movement.

(AHIS G8780) Nineteenth Century American Photo
E. Hutchinson
Surveys key figures and developments in 19th century American photography. Artists studied will include those known for their technological and aesthetic innovations, including Brady, O'Sullivan, Watkins and Muybridge, and those who introduced the medium into broader cultural discussions, such as Zealy, Riis and Mumler.

(AHIS G8835) Expanded Arts: Paul Sharits
B. Joseph 
This course examines the movement of “expanded arts” as they developed in the mid-1960s in the realm of happenings, Fluxus and “expanded cinema” the sixties and seventies. The course will consider art/cinema hybrids, the notion of intermedia, and the associated methodological and theoretical challenges their investigation poses through the work of Paul Sharits.

Core Graduate Courses

(AHIS G6009) Proseminar
D. Freedberg
Required course for first-year PhD Students in the Art History Department.

(AHIS G8990) Critical Colloquium
K. Cabañas
First-year MODA students only. Department will register students. The structure of the colloquium combines reading and analysis of texts by major theorists and critics. Each week discussions focus on key terms and analytical lenses in the history of art and art criticism. The course is designed to allow for guest presentations on particular issues by critics and writers, just as it draws on the expertise and participation of Columbia faculty. The aim is to develop students' critical thinking and for them to learn directly from leading practitioners writing about modern and contemporary art. In addition to department faculty, writers for Artforum, Grey Room, Parkett, Texte zur Kunst, and October, among other venues, regularly participate in the colloquium.