Fall 2016 Graduate Courses

Updated: Thursday, July 28th, 2016. Red text denotes a new or changed course.

Bridge Lectures

Bridge lectures are open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students. They do not require an application.

AHIS GU4061 Ink Painting in China and Japan
R Harrist, M. McKelway
M/W 4:10-5:25, 930 Schermerhorn Hall
An intensive examination of ink painting in China and Japan. Meeting twice weekly, the class will encompass both instruction in painting with brush and ink and lectures and discussions of the history and theory of ink painting. Open to advanced undergraduates and graduate students.*
*Please note, this particular bridge lecture course requires a seminar application form. Preference will be given to students who have taken prior courses in East Asian Art. Graduate applications can be submitted to Chris Newsome in the department office at 826 Schermerhorn Hall. The application form can be found on the graduate planning sheets and forms page. Application Deadline: Monday, August 1st, 2016

NEW COURSE, added to DOC July 2016:

AHIS GU4077 Modern Brazilian Architecture, 1890-2006
R. Anelli
M/W 10:10-11:25, 934 Schermerhorn Hall
Introduction to the designs and theories of Modern Brazilian Architecture, from its origins in the modernization process of late Nineteenth Century to the contemporary work of Paulo Mendes da Rocha, Oscar Niemeyer and Lina Bo Bardi in the late Twentieth Century. Special attention to the integration of arts and technics in the construction of modern national identity through international dialogue (Europe, United States, Latin-America, Third World and USSR). Key architecture, urban and landscape designs will be analyzed to explore the relation between structure and form, building and urban space in a fast growing underdeveloped country.

Bridge Seminars

Bridge seminars are open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students, and require an application. Graduate applications can be submitted to Chris Newsome in the department office at 826 Schermerhorn Hall. The application form can be found on the graduate planning sheets and forms page.

Application Deadline: Monday, August 1st, 2016

AHIS GU4546 Gilles Deleuze: Thinking in Art
J. Rajchman
W 2:10-4, 930 Schermerhorn Hall
The philosophy of Gilles Deleuze has emerged as one of the richest, most singular adventures in post-war European thought; Foucault considered it the most important in France, and more generally, in the 20th century. In all of Deleuze's work there is a search for a new 'image of thought.' But how did art figure in this search, and how did the search in turn appeal to artists, writers, filmmakers, architects, as well as curators or critics? In this seminar, we explore the complex theme of 'thinking in art' in Deleuze, and its implications for art in the 21st century or for the global contemporary art of today.

AHIS GU4561 Ceramic Arts of Korea and Japan
S. Lee
M 10:10-12, 930 Schermerhorn Hall
Ceramics were an important part of the cultural life in East Asia. This course examines the artistic and social significance of ceramics in Korea and Japan from about the eleventh century through today. We will study key wares from each culture as well as significant moments-and products-of inter-cultural exchange. Additionally, we will explore the modern perceptions and presentations of Korean and Japanese cultures, especially in the West. Class will be held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art a couple of sessions during the semester to look at objects in storage and on display in the galleries.

NEW COURSE, pending addition to DOC. No application deadline; interested students should attend the first day of class to be considered for enrollment:

AHIS GU4587 Architecture and Empire in Istanbul/Constantinople
M. Saba
F 12:10-2, 934 Schermerhorn Hall
This seminar will examine the built environment of İstanbul (Constantinople), one of the world's longest-lived imperial centers, from its establishment as the new capital of the Roman (Byzantine) Empire in the fourth century C.E., to its heyday as the center of the Ottoman Empire in the sixteenth century, to its remaking as a modern city in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries under the later Ottoman Sultans. The city's fortifications, street systems, public squares, churches, mosques, palaces, and gardens will be explored with several questions in mind: how did Byzantine and later Ottoman architects use the built environment to solidify notions of power and project ideals of beauty? How did the strategies of imperial presentation change over time? To what extent did the city's physical features (both geographic and architectural) dictate its development over time? In addition to exploring questions of İstanbul/ Constantinople's architectural history specifically, assigned readings also serve to introduce larger theoretical and methodological issues in the fields of architecture, art history, cartography and historiography.

AHIS GU4590 Rock-Cut Architecture of India
V. Dehejia
T 2:10-4, 832 Schermerhorn Hall
For a period of over a thousand years, a favored mode of architecture across India was to create monuments by excavating into the rock of the mountainside. This course examines the rock-cut mode of architecture, adopted by Buddhists, Hindus, and Jains, that remained popular right up to the tenth century when it yielded precedence to structures built by piling stone upon stone.

AHIS GU4627 Life of a Cathedral: Notre-Dame at Amiens
S. Murray
T 10:10-12, 832 Schermerhorn Hall
Like a great city, the cathedral brings together multiple segments of society in lively collaboration and conflict. We will explore the three overlapping worlds of the cathedral: the world of the clergy (owners and principal users), the world of the layfolk (parishioners, townsfolk and pilgrims) and the world (most mysterious) of the architects, or master masons. The semester is thus divided into three parts: each class will be preceded by an intense look at a specific aspect of the life of the cathedral and a reading presented by one of the participants as specified in the schedule below. Participants in the class will also be invited to contribute to the development of a new website on the cathedral, designed for the use of Art Humanities students.

Graduate Lectures

Graduate lectures are open to graduate students only. Interested undergraduates should contact the instructor for permission.

AHIS GR6103 Greeks and Their Art in the Roman Empire
F. de Angelis
W 6:10-8, 612 Schermerhorn Hall
The incorporation of the Greek-speaking world into the Roman empire had far-reaching consequences for ancient artistic and architectural production-both in Rome itself and in Greece and Asia Minor, as well as in the broader eastern Mediterranean area. On the one hand, the adoption of Greek historical forms, styles, and iconographies by the Romans led to the formation of a system of visual communication of empire-wide import that transcended ethnically or nationally defined categories and yet never became completely oblivious of its roots. On the other hand, the new political, economic, and social conditions of the Greek provinces (as well as their integration into the above-mentioned system of visual communication) engendered a profound innovation of local artistic and architectural traditions, even and precisely in their manifestation of retrospective tendencies. This complex process, by which both Greek and Roman "identities" were subject to major shifts and re-definitions, deserves to be examined by taking into full account the multiplicity of perspectives that characterized it.

AHIS GR6407 Minimalism and Postminimalism
B. Joseph
T 4:10-6, 612 Schermerhorn Hall
This course examines minimalism-one of the most significant aesthetic movements-during the sixties and seventies. More than visual art, the course considers minimal sculpture, music, dance, and "structural" film, their historical precedents, development, critical and political aspects. Artists include: Carl Andre, Tony Conrad, Dan Flavin, Eva Hesse, Donald Judd, Robert Morris, Anthony McCall, Yvonne Rainer, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson.

AHIS GR6403 Structuralism/Poststructuralism/Modernism
R. Krauss
T 2:10-4, 612 Schermerhorn Hall
The discourse on Modernism in the visual arts examined in relation to the theoretical positions of structuralism and post-structuralism, specifically the work of Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida.

AHIS GR6605 Japanese Narrative Handscrolls
M. McKelway, M. Yonekura
M 2:10-4, 930 Schermerhorn Hall
This course explores the narrative handscroll (emaki), a major form of Japanese pictorial art, from its origins in the eighth century through the sixteenth century. Through an investigation of such masterworks as the "Illustrated Scrolls of the Tale of Genji," "Illustrated Legends of Mount Shigi," and "Life of Saint Ippen" (Ippen hijiri-e), the course will address questions of text-image relationships, patronage, and viewing practices in visual depictions of classical literature, hagiographic narratives, and popular tales. Although emphasis will be given to works for which texts and scholarly studies are available in English, reading ability in Japanese is recommended. Students interested in enrolling in the course should contact the instructor before the first meeting. 

Graduate Seminars

Graduate seminars require an application, and admission is at the instructor’s discretion. Applications can be submitted to Chris Newsome in the department office at 826 Schermerhorn Hall. The application form can be found on the graduate planning sheets and forms page.

AHIS GR8114 Classical and Late Classical Sculpture
I. Mylonopoulos
M 4:10-6,  934 Schermerhorn Hall
In the past decades, the study of Greek sculpture has focused – with some notable exceptions – on a rather contextual and functional understanding of images in the round. Approaches that placed emphasis on stylistic analyses and attributions to known artists have been deemed rather outdated. The problematic result hereof is that past attributions that often go back to 19thcentury scholarship are rarely criticized, since Meisterforschung is not any more taught. Aim of this graduate seminar is to bring together current tendencies in the study of Greek sculpture (understanding of functionalities, image-space relationship, modes of dynamic viewing, materiality, etc.) with a more traditional approach that attempts to identify the artist behind the image based on stylistic means and a thorough knowledge of the ancient sources on artists' biographies and works. In doing so, the graduate seminar will attempt to place firmly the individual (= the artist) in the context of scholarly research on ancient Greek sculpture. Throughout the seminar, the Roman view of and approach to Greek sculpture from the 5th and 4th centuries will play a significant role, since our modern understanding of Greek art has been greatly shaped by the Roman appreciation and appropriation of Greek artistic achievements.

AHIS GR8308 Spanish Italy
M. Cole
T 4:10-6,  930 Schermerhorn Hall
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 Alvarez and Eleonora of Toledo. It will look at the impact in Italy of Spanish religious leaders from Dominic de Guzman 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 GR8313 The Renaissance Architectural Treatise and the Rise of Printing
M. Waters
W 10:10-12,  930 Schermerhorn Hall
This course examines the relationship between architectural culture and the technology of printing in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The advent of printing has increasingly been seen as transforming all aspects of visual culture, including architecture. The historian Mario Carpo specifically has argued that mechanical reproduction created stable architectural images that removed the drift inherent in a system of drawn copies. In doing so, the printed treatise codified a new canon of easily reproducible, standardized Orders and marginalized a fluid sketchbook tradition built on the practice of copying drawings. But was print in fact that revolutionary? By examining manuscripts, printed books, drawings, and engravings, this seminar will attempt to gain a better understanding of how print shaped architectural thought and practice. In particular, we will analyze a series Renaissance architectural treatises and try to understand the complex, dialectical relationship between medium and content, both in terms of word and image.


AHIS Q8413 Black British Art and Theory
K. Jones
W 10:10-12,  930 Schermerhorn Hall
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 GR8434 History of Architectural Exhibitions 
B. Bergdoll 
T 4:10-6, 934 Schermerhorn Hall 
This seminar will present a panorama of the history of architectural exhibitions from the mid-18th century to the present in lectures by the instructor and in readings. The hypothesis is that the diverse practices of exhibiting architecture as it grew from 18th century academic salons to 21st century installation pieces and biennales is a fruitful lens to pose the larger questions of the evolution of the architectural profession, of modern discourses on architecture, and on the notion of the public in its relationship to architecture. Architectural criticism too grew as much in relationship to exhibition as it did directly to building practice, indeed criticism might be said to have been born of exhibition.

AHIS GR8435 Phillippe Parreno & Co.: the Art of the 1990s
J. Kraynak
W 12:10-2,  930 Schermerhorn Hall
French artist Phillipe Parreno participated in key developments of the 1990s, including the artistic expansion of the exhibition as an artistic object, medium, frame, and staging ground: now reconceived as a series of temporally unfolding, multi-layered and multi-sensory events, which were often collaborative in nature.  Organized through key exhibitions, collaborations, projects and artworks, the seminar examines the work and period of "Parreno & Co.": a field (rather than singular author) that includes both the artist’s immediate collaborators (i.e. Douglas Gordon, Doug Atiken, Dominique Gonzalez-FoersterPierre Huyghe, Anri Sala, and Maurizio Cattelan); as well as the wider circles of his peers (Fred Wilson, Andrea Fraser, Art Club 2000, Dave Muller, Jason Rhoades) who introduced  discourses of gender, race, identity and environmentalism as medium and institutional frame. wW will also contextualize the appropriation of television and film, the use of sound and theatrical lighting, and the extension of the work into the "event" during the 1990s and beyond in relation to historical precedents in Situationism, expanded cinema, Fluxus intermedia, and institutional critique.

AHIS GR8436 Art and the British Empire
M. Gamer
T 10:10-12,  930 Schermerhorn Hall
From the late 16th to the early 20th centuries, the British Empire grew to become the largest in world history. Its territories spanned the globe, from the Americas to Africa to South Asia and the Pacific. Until relatively recently, the visual and material culture of Britain's colonies was considered marginal, at best, to the history of British art. Over the last two decades, the situation has altered dramatically. In this time, a large and dynamic body of scholarship has emerged that places the fact and concept of empire at the very center of its approach to the question of what "British art" is, and what it means to study it.

AHIS GR8600 Chinese Paint and Decorative Arts
R. Harrist
T 10:10-12,  934 Schermerhorn Hall
Representations of small fragments of nature, especially in the genre known as bird and flower painting, constitute one of the major traditions of Chinese art. In addition, images of similar motifs on decorative arts such as ceramics and lacquers, as well as representations of gardens in various media, open onto a vast domain of religious, political, and erotic symbolism, all of which will be addressed in the seminar. Focusing on works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this seminar will explore various aspects of bird and flower imagery and will introduce basic research procedures in the field of Chinese art history that could be applied to the study of any genre.

AHIS GR8902 Visual Narratives in Indian Art
V. Dehejia
W 2:10-4,  934 Schermerhorn Hall
This course proposes the existence of distinct modes of visual narration used by India's artists to present stories visually, both in the medium of relief sculpture, and that of watercolors on paper or plastered walls. It considers the rich corpus of Buddhist narrative reliefs, and then focuses on the relationship of text and image in the painted manuscript tradition of India.

Core Graduate Courses

Required courses for first-year students. The department will register students.

AHIS GR5000 MODA Critical Colloquium 
J. Kraynak
R 12:10-2pm, 930 Schermerhorn
Required course for all first-year Modern Art M.A. students.. The Colloquium features reading and analysis of texts by major theorists, critics and artists, organized through three components: 1) an introduction to the different interpretive methods and models shaping the discourses of art history and criticism 2) a presentation of major theoretical concepts and terms that are utilized in relation to the analysis and interpretation of art and culture 3) an examination of rhetoric, language and different models of critical writing from philosophy/theory; to art history, scholarly writing and criticism; to recent online formats and the blogosphere. The course is designed to allow for guest presentations on particular issues by scholars, 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. Guest writers from Artforum, Grey Room, Parkett, Texte zur Kunst, and October, among other venues, regularly participate in the colloquium.

AHIS GR5002 M.A. Methods Colloquium
F. Baumgartner
R 10:10-12, 934 Schermerhorn
Required course for all first-year M.A. students. This course examines the range of methods employed by art historians in order to understand artworks, including formalism, iconography, Marxism, feminism and post-colonialism. Through the critical reading of texts from Antiquity to the present, we will not only study the history and developments of the methods of art history, but also begin to define our own theoretical positions. Our collective task will be to discuss the critical issues that have shaped the field of art history (the canon, vision, otherness, to name a few), while putting them in conversation with artworks from different traditions and time periods.

AHIS GR8000 Proseminar: Introduction To the Study of Art History
B. Joseph
R 10:10-12, 930 Schermerhorn
Required course for first-year PhD students.