Spring 2012 Undergraduate Courses

Updated on December 7, 2011.


(AHIS BC1002) Introduction to the History of Art II
A. Higonnet
TR 2:40-3:55, 304 Barnard Hall
Either term may be taken separately. Brief examination of the techniques of visual analysis, followed by a chronological survey of the major period styles of Western European art. Emphasis on the introduction of form and content in the works studied and on the correlation of the visual arts with their cultural environments. BC1001: Greek and Roman art; medieval art. BC1002: Renaissance to modern art.

(AHIS BC3644) North American Art and Culture
M. Davis
MW 4:10-5:25, 504 Diana Center
This course provides a critical introduction to the painting, sculpture, photography, and popular visual culture of the U.S. from 1865-1945, a period of unprecedented modernization ad change. We'll begin with the generation of American artists active during and immediately after the Civil War in the late 1860s, and end with the transfusion of American artistic trends into industrial design and consumer culture of the late 1930s. Central to this course's investigation of American art will be the study of the impact of the following historical phenomena—immigration (both internal and external), WWI, industrialization, urbanization, economic crises, and radical politics—on American art, and also how American art contributed to the production of specific racial, classed, and gendered American subjects.

(AHIS BC3675) Feminism and Postmodernism
R. Deutsche
TR 1:10-2:25, 504 Diana Center
Examines art and criticism of the 1970s and 1980s that were informed by feminist and postmodern ideas about visual representation. Explores postmodernism as (1) a critique of modernism, (2) a critique of representation, and (3) what Gayatri Spivak called "a radical acceptance of vulnerability." Studies art informed by feminist ideas about vision and subjectivity. Places this art in relation to other aesthetic phenomena, such as modernism, minimalism, institution-critical art, and earlier feminist interventions in art.

(AHIS BC3682) Early Modernism and the Crisis of Representation
A. Alberro
TR 4:10-5:25, 504 Diana Center
This course studies the emergence and development of Modernism in all of its complexity. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which Modern artists responded to the dramatically changing notions of space, time and dimension in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. What impact did these dramatic changes have on existing concepts of representation? What challenges did they pose for artists? To what extent did Modernism contribute to an understanding of the full consequences of these new ideas of time and space? These concerns will lead us to examine some of the major critical and historical accounts of modernism in the arts as they were developed between the 1860s and the 1920s.

(AHIS G4085) Andean Art and Architecture
E. Pasztory
M 2:10-4, 930 Schermerhorn Hall
Open to undergraduates. Survey of the art of the Andes from earliest times until the Spanish conquest. Emphasis on the nature of Andean tradition and the relationship between art and society.

(AHIS G4385) Renaissance Architecture: History and Theory
F. Benelli
TR 10:35-11:50, 612 Schermerhorn Hall
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 V3250) Roman Art and Architecture
F. de Angelis
MW 2:40-3:55, 612 Schermerhorn
The architecture, sculpture, and painting of ancient Rome from the 2nd century B.C. to the end of the Empire in the West.

(AHUM V3342) Masterpieces of Indian Art & Architecture
S. Kaligotla
MW 10:35-11:50, 832 Schermerhorn Hall
Introduction to 2000 years of art on the Indian subcontinent. The course covers the early art of Buddhism, rock-cut architecture of the Buddhists and Hindus, the development of the Hindu temple, Mughal and Rajput painting and architecture, art of the colonial period, and the emergence of the Modern.

(AHIS W3203) The Arts of Japan
M. McKelway
MW 10:35-11:50, 612 Schermerhorn
Introduction to the painting, sculpture, and architecture of Japan from the Neolithic period through the 19th century. Discussion focuses on key monuments within their historical and cultural contexts.

(AHIS W3464) Later Italian Art
M. Cole
MW 1:10-2:25, 501 Schermerhorn
This course offers an overview of painting, sculpture, and architecture in Italy from about 1475 to about 1600. It concentrates on artists in four geographical areas and periods: (1) Florence in the late-15th and early-16th centuries (Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo); (2) Rome from 1502 to about 1534 (Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael); (3) Florence from 1520 to 1565 (Andrea del Sarto, Pontormo, Bronzino, Cellini); and (4) Venice from about 1500 to 1588 (Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto, Jacopo Sansovino).

(AHIS W3600) Nineteenth Century Art
J. Crary
MW 10:35-11:50, 501 Schermerhorn
Painting and sculpture in Western Europe, 1789-1900. The neoclassic, Romantic, Realist, Impressionist, and post-Impressionist movements. No laptops or e-devices. Discussion section required.

(AHIS W3650) Twentieth Century Art
B. Joseph
TR 10:35-11:50, 501 Schermerhorn Hall
The course will examine a variety of figures, movements, and practices within the entire range of 20th-century art—from Expressionism to Abstract Expressionism, Constructivism to Pop Art, Surrealism to Minimalism, and beyond—situating them within the social, political, economic, and historical contexts in which they arose. The history of these artistic developments will be traced through the development and mutual interaction of two predominant strains of artistic culture: the modernist and the avant-garde, examining in particular their confrontation with and development of the particular vicissitudes of the century's ongoing modernization. Discussion section complement class lectures. Course is a prerequisite for certain upper-level art history courses.

(AHIS W4155) Art and Archaeology of Mesopotamia
Z. Bahrani
TR 2:40-3:55, 612 Schermerhorn Hall
Introduction to the art and architecture of Mesopotamia beginning with the establishment of the first cities in the fourth millennium B.C.E. through the fall of Babylon to Alexander of Macedon in the fourth century B.C.E. Focus on the distinctive concepts and uses of art in the Assyro-Babylonian tradition. No laptops or any other electronic devices.

(AHIS W4850) Collecting
A. Higonnet
TR 9:10-10:25, 612 Schermerhorn Hall
Graduate Lecture open to undergraduates. This course studies the nearly universal human phenomenon of collecting. We will begin by gauging the range and basic structures of the phenomenon, looking at collections ranging from sock monkeys through anatomical waxes to ukiyo-e cards. These examples will enable us to compare and contrast theories of collecting, of which the most important will be psychological and anthropological. Moving from these general theories to the historically particular, we will next turn to the history of high-end collecting, Renaissance curiosity cabinets, and the origins of museum. The history of the art museum will then be studied in some detail, through both analysis of art museum types—principally national or municipal, private, monographic, and geographic—and through case studies of personal collections. Finally, the course will address art-work about collecting. Lectures, readings, and discussion sections will be reinforced by multiple visits to New York City museums.

(AHIS W4855) African American Artists in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
K. Jones
MW 11-12:15, 934 Schermerhorn Hall
This course is a survey of visual production by North Americans of African descent from 1900 to the present. It will look at the various ways in which these artists have sought to develop an African American presence in the visual arts over the last century. We will discuss such issues as: what role does stylistic concern play; how are ideas of romanticism, modernism, and formalism incorporated into the work; in what ways do issues of postmodernism, feminism, and cultural nationalism impact on the methods used to portray the cultural and political body that is African America?

Colloquia and Seminars

(AHIS BC3031) Imagery and Form in the Arts
J. Snitzer
M 2:10-4, 501 Diana Center
Operation of imagery and form in dance, music, theater, visual arts and writing; students are expected to do original work in one of these arts. Concepts in contemporary art will be explored.

(AHIS BC3950) Photography and Video in Asia
C. Phillips
R 6:10-8, 501 or 502 Diana Center
East Asia is now perhaps the world’s most dynamic region, and its dramatic social and economic transformation has been mirrored in the work of a host of startlingly original and innovative visual artists. The class will explore the ideas and visual idioms that inform the leading contemporary photo artists in China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. We will begin with a historical survey of the development of photography in East Asia since the mid-19th century, but we will concentrate on the period from 1960 to the present. Figures whose work will be explored include such Japanese artists and photographers as Eikoh Hosoe, Daido Moriyama, Tomatsu Shomei, Miyako Ishiuchi, Nobuyoshi Araki, Yasumasa Morimura, Moriko Mori, Naoya Hatakeyema, and Tomoko Sawada. From China, we will examine the work of artists like Zhang Huan, Hong Hao, Yang Fudong, Lin Tianmiao, and Xing Danwen, while Korean artists to be covered include Atta Kim andYeondoo Jung. Since many of these artists work regularly in video as well as photography, there will be regular video screenings throughout the semester.

(AHIS BC3968y) Art Criticism II
N. Guagnini
T 11-12:50, 501 or 502 Diana Center
Contemporary art and its criticism written by artists ( rather than by art historians or journalistic reviewers). Texts by Victor Burgin, Judith Barry, Andrea Fraser, Coco Fusco, John Kelsey, Jutta Koether, Yvone Rainer, Juan Downey, Maria Eichorn, Jeff Wall, Mike Kelley, Falkie Pisano, and Melanie Gilligan. We will consider theoretical and practical implications of each artist’s oeuvre. Also, considers the art and writing of each artist together.

(AHIS BC3990) Japanese Prints: Images of the Floating World
J. Reynolds
W 2:10-4, Either 501 or 502 Diana Center
Ukiyo-e, the "images of the floating world," present a vivid and highly romanticized vision of the dynamic urban culture of Japan during the 17th through 19th centuries. Considers ways in which these images promoted kabuki theater, glamorized life in the licensed prostitution quarters, and represented sexuality and gender. We will study how print designers and publishers dodged government censorship as they ruthlessly parodied contemporary life, literature, and venerable artistic traditions

(AHIS C3997) Senior Thesis
C. Hunter
M 6:10-8, 934 Schermerhorn Hall
Required for all senior thesis writers.

(AHIS W3838) Trends in 18th Century and 19th Century European Art (CANCELLED)
C. Grewe

(AHIS W3895) Major's Colloquium: Introduction to the Literature and Methods of Art History
Z. Strother; J. Crary
T 4:10-6, 934 Schermerhorn Hall; T 10-11:50, 930 Schermerhorn Hall
Prerequisites: the department's permission. Students must sign up in 826 Schermerhorn. Introduction to different methodological approaches to the study of art and visual culture. Majors are encouraged to take the colloquium during their junior year.

(AHIS W3904) Aztec Art and Sacrifice
E. Pasztory
W 2:10-4, 930 Schermerhorn Hall
This seminar explores the issues of art and sacrifice in the Aztec empire from the points of view of the sixteenth century and modern times.

(AHIS W3915) African Art: The Next Generation. Focus: Congo
Z. Strother
M 4:10-6, 930 Schermerhorn Hall
African art history reached a new maturity and sophistication in the 1990s through an intense interdisciplinary dialogue on the visual arts in the Congo. Prominent historians, anthropologists, political scientists, philosophers, artists, and art historians debated the history of Congolese art and changed its future through active patronage. The seminar will cover a wide variety of these texts and will examine the unprecedented role for museum exhibitions in disseminating new interpretations for African art.

(AHIS W3919) The French Renaissance 1450-1550
R. Schindler
W 11-12:50, 930 Schermerhorn Hall
Renaissance art in France rarely receives the same attention as its counterpart in Italy. The beginning of the French Renaissance is usually defined by the influx of Italian artists and objects during the course of the military campaigns in Italy by Charles VIII as well as Louis XII and/or the reign of Francis I (1515-1547). Suggesting a different view on the French Renaissance, this seminar aims to investigate the history of French art from Jean Fouquet (fl. c. 1450-1480) to Henry II (r. 1547-1559), emphasizing the diversity of French artistic production of this period and suggesting a continuity usually not acknowledged. A focus will be on illuminated manuscripts and painting, but the course will also address other media, such as objet d'art, stained glass, tapestries, wall painting and architecture. This class will include visits to Columbia's Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Pierpont Morgan Library, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Cloisters. Reading knowledge of French is strongly recommended.

(AHIS W3921) Patronage and Monuments of India
V. Dehejia
T 4:10-6, 832 Schermerhorn
Exploration of the multiple aspects of patronage in Indian culture—religious, political, economic, and cultural. Case studies focused on specific monuments will be the subject of individual lectures.

(AHIS W3922) Rome, ca. 300-1300
H. Klein
M 9-10:50, 934 Schermerhorn Hall
This seminar explores the art and architecture of the city of Rome from Late Antiquity through the Middle Ages, namely from the reign of Constantine the Great to the creation of the first Jubilee Year by Pope Boniface VIII in 1300. The course is offered in close collaboration with Ancient Rome and Its Monuments (F. de Angelis) and is conceived as a travel seminar, taking students to Rome during Spring Break.

(AHIS W3930) Ancient Rome and Its Monuments
F. de Angelis
M 9-10:50, 930 Schermerhorn Hall
This seminar is an introduction to the main monuments of ancient Rome from the Archaic period to the third century CE. A trip to Rome will take place during Spring Break.