Spring 2018 Undergraduate Courses

Last updated: Thursday, January, 11, 2018. Red text denotes a new or changed course since the previous update.


AHIS BC1002 Introduction to the History of Art II (Barnard course)
A. Higonnet
M/W 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. Discussion section required.

AHIS UN2119 Rome Beyond Rome: Roman Art and Architecture in a Global Perspective
F. de Angelis
M/W 2:40-3:55, 614 Schermerhorn
This course will approach the art of the Roman empire from two vantage points. In its first half, it will consider it from the inside. Through a regional survey of the art and architecture produced in the provinces of the Roman empire between the 2nd c. BCE and the 4th c. CE, it will focus on the mechanisms by which models emanating from Rome were received and adapted in local contexts (so-called “Romanization”), as well as on the creative responses that the provincials’ incorporation into the empire elicited. The second half of the course will consider the art of the Roman empire from the outside, i.e., from the perspective of its neighbors in the Middle East and in Africa, as well as its self-proclaimed successors and imitators. On the one hand, we will see how ancient states such as the kingdom of Meroë and the Parthian empire, or regions such as the Gandhara, interacted with the visual culture of Rome and its empire. On the other, we will explore the degree to which the classical roots of the modern colonial empires in Asia, Africa, and the Americas both managed and failed to shape the visual cultures that these empires developed. Discussion section required.
CC/GS/SEAS: Partial fulfillment of Global Core requirement.

AHIS UN2309 Early Modern Architecture (1550-1799)
E. Pistis
T/R 4:10-5:25, 612 Schermerhorn
This course examines the history of early modern architecture from a European perspective outward. It starts with the time of Michelangelo and Palladio and ends in the late eighteenth century. It addresses a number of transhistorical principal issues and analytical approaches while focusing on to a series of roughly chronological thematic studies. Travelling across courts, academies, streets, and buildings devoted to new institutions, this course examines the cultural, material, urban, social, and political dimensions of architecture, as well as temporal and geographic migrations of architectural knowledge. Topics will also include: the resurgence of interest in antiquity; the longue durée history of monuments; changes in building typology; the patronage and politics of architecture; technological developments and building practice; architectural theory, books, and the culture of print; the growth of capital cities; the creation of urban space and landscape; the formalization of architectural education; and the changing status of the architect.

AHIS BC2360 Northern Renaissance Art (Barnard course)
J. Ackley
M/W 10:10-11:25, 504 Diana Center
The Northern Renaissance (roughly c. 1400-1600) spans an historical period of epochal transitions: Europe began this era with a globe and mindset that seldom ventured beyond its geographic boundaries, and it concluded these centuries as one continent within a world that was emphatically, unavoidably, and thrillingly global. The paradigm shifts entailed were no less pronounced in the visual cultures and fine art traditions of Europe north of the Alps; this includes the growth of middle-class patronage, the Protestant Reformation, the rise of the printing press and print media, the practice of portraiture, the spread of humanism, the foundations of what might be referred to as an art market, and a fundamental revision of purpose and definition of art and the artist. Threaded throughout many of these developments run questions of mimesis, realism, skill, medium, and the growing cult of the artist, as well as the relationship with the Italian Renaissance, the Mediterranean, and the expanding globe. The Northern Renaissance witnessed the exciting birth of new media genres, especially oil painting on panel and the print, that would help determine the course of Western art history for centuries to come. This course explores these and other histories as they played out within panel painting, book painting, the sumptuous arts (e.g., tapestries and metalwork), printing, sculpture, and architecture, focusing mainly on France, the Low Countries, Germany, and England. We will begin within the late medieval world of Burgundy, Prague, and Germany before progressing through such key artistic personalities as Sluter, Broederlam, the Limbourgs, Campin, the van Eycks, van der Weyden, Memling, Fouquet, Riemenschneider, Dürer, Grünewald, Altdorfer, Cranach, Bosch, Holbein, and Bruegel—such a narrative, however, will be equally enriched with less familiar and less canonical works.

AHIS UN2405 Twentieth Century Art
B. Joseph
T/R 10:10-11:25, 614 Schermerhorn
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 sections complement class lectures. Course is a prerequisite for certain upper-level art history courses.

AHIS UN2412 Eighteenth Century Art in Europe
F. Baumgartner, M. Gamer
T/R 2:40-3:55, 612 Schermerhorn
This course will examine the history of art in Europe from the late seventeenth to the early nineteenth century. This was a period of dramatic cultural change, marked by, among other things, the challenging of traditional artistic hierarchies; increased opportunities for travel, trade, and exchange; and the emergence of “the public” as a critical new audience for art. Students will be introduced to major artists, works, and media, as well as to key themes in the art historical scholarship. Topics will include: the birth of art criticism; the development of the art market; domesticity and the cult of sensibility; the ascension of women artists and patrons; and the visual culture of empire, slavery, and revolution. The emphasis will be on France and Britain, with forays to Italy, Spain, Germany, India, America, and elsewhere. Discussion section required.

AHIS UN2500 Arts of Africa
K. Windmuller-Luna
M/W 11:40-12:55, 832 Schermerhorn
African art is the most diverse field in art history, covering works ranging from millennia-old rock art, to the masterful bronzes of historic powers, to the gilded regalia of still-thriving kingdoms. This course introduces students to the range of African arts created in the ‘classical’ or ‘traditional’ model—that is, arts generally meant for religious, ritual, or royal use, either in the historical past or in the present day. Worthy of study in their own right, the arts of Africa are key to understanding much of global modern and contemporary art, from the paintings of Pablo Picasso and Kerry James Marshall to the visual albums of Beyoncé. Progressing through five distinct geographic regions (North Africa, Eastern Africa, Central Africa, Western Africa, and Southern Africa), this course considers the arts of distinct cultures in each zone from prehistory through the twenty-first century. These regional units will be linked by thematic topics (masquerade, royal arts, rites of passage, status & personal adornment, architecture), which permit students to understand both regional variation and intercontinental connections.
CC/GS/SEAS: Partial fulfillment of Global Core requirement.

AHIS UN2602 Arts of Japan
M. McKelway
T/R 10:10-11:25, 612 Schermerhorn
Survey of Japanese art from the Neolithic through the Edo period, with emphasis on Buddhist art, scroll painting, decorative screens, and wood-block prints. Discussion section required.

AHUM UN2604 Arts of China, Japan, and Korea
M. Chusid
M/W 10:10-11:25, 832 Schermerhorn
This course introduces distinctive aesthetic traditions of China, Japan, and Korea—their similarities and differences—through an examination of the visual significance of selected works of painting, sculpture, architecture, and other arts in relation to the history, culture, and religions of East Asia.
CC/GS/SEAS: Partial fulfillment of Global Core Requirement.

COURSE ADDED (1/5/2018)
AHUM UN2901 Masterpieces of Indian Art and Architecture
S. Agarwala
M/W 7:40-8:55, 832 Schermerhorn
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. CC/GS/SEAS: Partial fulfillment of Global Core requirement.


Required course for Columbia AHIS/HTAC/AHVA majors. Please sign up using this online form. The form will open on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 at 10am. The form will close on Monday, November 27th, 2017 at 5pm. Admission is at the instructor's discretion. Early sign-up is strongly encouraged.

AHIS UN3000 Majors’ Colloquium: Introduction to the Literature and Methods of Art History

The course is restricted to Columbia undergraduate majors in the Department of Art History and Archaeology. It is not open to Barnard or Professional Studies students.

Section 001
Z. Bahrani
W 4:10-6, 934 Schermerhorn
This course is an introduction to the theories and methods of art history and visual culture. It is required for undergraduate majors.

Section 002
H. Klein
T 2:10-4, 832 Schermerhorn
This course, restricted to undergraduate majors in the Department of Art History and Archaeology, is meant as an introduction to the literature and methods of Art History. The first half of the semester will be devoted to the analysis of different notions of ‘art’ from Classical Antiquity to the Renaissance, and to the formation and development of Art History as a scholarly discipline from the sixteenth through the early twentieth century. In the second half of the semester, we will proceed to discuss various disciplinary approaches and methodologies developed from the late nineteenth century to the present.

Undergraduate Seminars

Undergraduate seminars are open to CU and Barnard undergraduates. Interested students must submit an application to be considered for enrollment. Admission is at the instructor's discretion.

Department of Art History and Archaeology seminars: Each undergraduate seminar description on this page includes a link to an online application for that seminar. Students must fill out and submit their Spring 2018 undergraduate seminar application forms by 5pm on Monday, November 27th, 2017.

Barnard Art History seminars: Applications for Barnard undergraduate seminars must be submitted in person to Elisabeth Sher in the Barnard Art History department office at 500E Diana Center. Interested students must use the Barnard Art History seminar application form. Barnard seminar applications are due on Monday, November 13th, 2017.

AHIS UN3002 Senior Thesis Seminar
A. Shalem
W 4:10-6, 832 Schermerhorn
Required for all thesis writers. Counts towards elective lecture credit. For more information about the senior thesis program, please visit the senior thesis information page.

AHIS UN3217 Life of a Cathedral: Notre-Dame of Amiens
S. Murray
T 2:10-4pm, 930 Schermerhorn
Like a great city, the cathedral brings together multiple segments of society in lively collaboration and conflict. We will use the newly-created website, www.learn.columbia.edu, to explore the worlds of the makers and users of Amiens Cathedral: clergy: owners and principal users, layfolk: townsfolk, parishioners, pilgrims and ourselves, and artisans: masons, sculptors, carpenters and glaziers. 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 or short project presented by one of the participants. Participants in the class will also be invited to contribute to the development of our new website designed for the use of students in Art Humanities students and Music Humanities. We hope to begin to add liturgical music actually performed in the cathedral.
‘Life of a Cathedral: Notre-Dame of Amiens’ seminar application form.

AHIS UN3227 Gotham City Gothic
L. Cook
W 12:10-2, 930 Schermerhorn
The course traces the history of Gothic, Gothic Revival, and Gothic-inspired architecture in New York City, encompassing all five boroughs and spanning built works and collections assembled from the early 19th century to the present day. In the first week, we will consider the ways in which a priori notions of the Middle Ages became intertwined with "Gotham" by the beginning of the 19th century. We will dedicate the following week to the city's medieval Gothic architecture: from fragments on Columbia's campus to the Cloisters. In the third and fourth weeks, we will read post-medieval texts associated with Gothic in England, France, and the United States, and consult several seminal texts in rare editions in Avery's Classics and Drawings & Archives Collections. We will confront the problem of style in the fifth week in order to construct a frame of reference for the students to deliver presentations related to Gothic-inflected buildings throughout New York City for the remainder of the semester. Each of these class meetings will be devoted to a particular building typology: the Gothic church (e.g. St. Patrick's Cathedral in Midtown), the Gothic home (e.g. Fonthill Castle in the Bronx), and Gothic institutions (e.g. James Renwick's Smallpox Hospital on Roosevelt Island), concluding with a survey of monuments including the Brooklyn Bridge and the San Remo apartment building, which, unbound from archaeological constraints, used Gothic elements or logic freely. The students will expand one of their presentations into a ten-page research paper, which will require them to conduct original research in Avery Library using archival material related to the Gothic Revival in New York.
‘Gotham City Gothic’ seminar application form.

AHIS UN3312 Tintoretto – 500 Years
D. Bodart
R 10:10-12, 930 Schermerhorn
Acclaimed in his time as one of the most promising painters of his generation, but also criticized for the haste of his working method and his eccentricity, Jacopo Tintoretto is among the most complex and intriguing figures of Italian sixteenth century painting. Taking advantage of the ongoing conservation and research projects related to the celebration of his 500th birthday, the seminar will reconsider the singularity of Tintoretto's processes of creation not only in the context of Renaissance Venice, but also in the larger frame of Southern Europe. Moreover, instead of examining Tintoretto as an isolated "great master", it will investigate his work in the light of his productive workshop organization and practice, according a special attention to the role of his son Domenico and his daughter Marietta. Through selected topics, the seminar will discuss the main issues addressed by recent scholarship on Tintoretto, presenting a range of divergent methodological approaches. Particular attention will be given to the reading of sources, the analysis of techniques and materials, and a close investigation of objects, supported by museums field trips..

AHIS UN3317 Shaping Renaissance Rome (travel seminar)
M. Waters
W 10:10-12, 934 Schermerhorn
In this traveling seminar, we will investigate the architectural and urban history of Rome, stressing projects (both realized and ideal) conceived during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The city will be analyzed as the product of successive interventions that have created a deeply layered topography. How Rome has continued to build upon its past, both literally through physical reuse and figuratively through symbolic appropriation, from the time of Pope Martin V through Pope Sixtus V, will thus serve as the key theme of this course. Working within this overarching framework, we will examine churches, palaces, villas, public amenities, streets, and piazzas through the functional demands that shaped them and the life that went on in and around them. Topics under discussion also include the resurgence of interest in antiquity; building typologies; self-aggrandizement by means of architectural patronage; the impact of the counter-reformation on architecture; the role of urban rituals and spectacles; and the representation of the city and its buildings in drawings, maps, prints, and text.
‘Shaping Renaissance Rome’ seminar application form.

*Please note that this course is a travel seminar. The trip to Rome will take place over the 2018 spring break. Students who enroll in this course must commit to going on the trip. Those who do not go on the trip will not be eligible to receive credit for the course. Additional information about the department's travel seminar program can be found here.

AHIS UN3318 Books and Architecture
E. Pistis
M 12:10-2, Avery Library and 934 Schermerhorn
This seminar investigates architectural books as both carriers of knowledge and objects. Through the analysis of books, prints and drawings, as well as of their production, circulation and reception, this course explores how different figures have thought, discussed and written about architecture in Europe from the mid-Sixteenth Century to the end of the Eighteenth Century. The objects of investigation include architectural treatises, but also prints and books of various natures that contain architectural information. By questioning the stability of these media, the seminar aims to explore their mutability over time and place. It explores how these objects' meanings were shaped by their makers, by the material manipulations of their owners, and by their physical proximity to other works on desks and library shelves. The seminar examines architectural theory’s relationships with practice and with contemporary debates on society, as well as fields of knowledge such as literature, music, philosophy and science. It aims to understand how media have shaped the migration of architectural knowledge, the construction of Western architectural canons, and the developments of the architect’s profession. At the same time, the object-based analysis of the rare books kept at the Avery Library will allow the class to address questions related to architectural representation, different architectural media, and printing technology. Students will learn how to deal with the complex relationships between texts and images, between drawings and prints, and between the ‘architecture’ of a book and its content.
‘Books and Architecture’ seminar application form.

AHIS UN3413 Nineteenth Century Criticism
J. Crary
T 10:10-12, 832 Schermerhorn
This seminar will examine a diverse selection of texts that have a crucial bearing on the formation of  new aesthetic practices and of notions of modernity in nineteenth-century Europe and North America. Using works of art theory, philosophy, social criticism and poetry, we will explore the emergence of new models of individual and collective experience and their relation to imaginaries of both social cohesion and cultural disintegration. Figures studied will include Diderot, Schiller, Carlyle, Baudelaire, Ruskin, Emerson, Huysmans, Whitman, Pater, Nietzsche, and Henry Adams.
‘Nineteenth Century Criticism’ seminar application form.

AHIS UN3435 Post-Pop: Intersections of Contemporary Art and Music
B. Joseph
R 2:10-4, 934 Schermerhorn
In the seminal video, Rock My Religion (1983-84), the artist Dan Graham posited that Pop art had ceded importance to Pop music, specifically rock and roll.  Graham was responding, in part, to the fact that Andy Warhol had collaborated closely with the band the Velvet Underground in the second half of the 1960s—managing them, producing and designing their first LP, and pairing their performances with his films as the multimedia Exploding Plastic Inevitable.  Since that moment, under the influence of both Warhol and Graham, a number of contemporary artists have engaged seriously with popular music, from rock to punk to hip-hop.  This course will examine some of the artists in this lineage, who, from the 1960s to the present day, have incorporated music into their visual art and/or formed bands of their own.  Figures covered will include Warhol, Graham, Kim Gordon, Mike Kelley, Jutta Koether, Steven Parrino, Seth Price, Marco Fusinato, Martin Beck, Kehinde Wiley, and Cameron Jamie.
‘Post-Pop: Intersections of Contemporary Art and Music’ seminar application form.

AHIS UN3436 Illegal America: Precarity, Community, and the Alternative Space Movement
C. Chamberlain
R 4:10-6, 930 Schermerhorn
When Jeanette Ingberman founded the alternative space Exit Art in 1982, the first exhibition she organized was “Illegal America,” a survey of artists whose practices involved deliberately breaking the law. Ingberman stressed that artists who knowingly manipulated illegality did not expect to be defended by claims of art-for-art’s-sake or aesthetic freedom. Rather, they knowingly embraced risk in order to make palpable their vulnerability to larger systems of power. This seminar will take Ingberman’s insight into “illegal” art and apply it more broadly to the various artistic practices that developed in tandem with the alternative space movement of the 1970s. Through the study of both individual artists and collective organizations, the course will connect post-minimalist sculpture, site-specificity, body art, and related tendencies to the rise of neo-liberalism, the unraveling of the social safety net, and protest actions prompted by the increasingly precarious lives of immigrants, women, tenants, and the LGBTQ community.
‘Illegal America’ seminar application form.

AHIS UN3604 Sacred Landscapes of Japan
T. Andrei
M 2:10-4, 832 Schermerhorn
In recent years, the categories of space, place, and landscape have come to occupy an increasingly important position in the study of art and culture. Scholars from a wide range of fields have turned to these categories to re-examine both their traditional subject matter and their own disciplinary traditions. In this seminar, we will begin from the questions raised by this reorientation to examine the concept and representation of sacred space, place, and landscape in Japan. We will consider Japanese landscapes both as the products of Japan's religious culture and as sites for the further production of cultural and religious meanings. We will look to the ways in which physical landscapes were visually represented and how these images reflect the particular spiritual energy, the religious practices, and the unique history of the site. We will focus, in short, on the forms in which religious worldviews found material expression. Each week we will immerse ourselves in a sacred landscape of Japan, reading about the faith and ritual practices of the site, its history and miraculous origins (engi), and, when possible, the accounts of pilgrims’ experiences. We will then examine how these histories and practices are given visual expression and will try to understand how the images and objects reflect the particular spiritual qualities and traditions of the site and the power they had to inspire and move contemporary audiences.
‘Sacred Landscapes of Japan’ seminar application form.

AHIS BC3969 Art/Criticism II (Barnard course)
N. Guagnini
T 11-12:50pm, 501 Diana Center
This course is a seminar on contemporary art criticism written by artists in the post war period.  Such criticism differs from academic criticism because it construes art production less as a discrete object of study than as a point of engagement.  It also differs from journalistic criticism because it is less obliged to report art market activity and more concerned with polemics.  Artists will include Ad Reinhart, Daniel Buren, Helio Oiticica, Juan Downey, Hollis Frampton, Victor Burgin, Jeff Wall, Mike Kelley, Coco Fusco, Maria Eichhorn, Jutta Koether, Melanie Gilligan.
Apply for ‘Art/Criticism II’ using this form.

AHIS BC3915 Islam and the Medieval West: Artistic Exchange, ca. 600-1500 (Barnard course)
J. Ackley
T 10:10-12, 502 Diana Center
This course examines the interaction between the Islamic world and medieval Europe from the perspective of art and architecture, from Late Antiquity and the rise of Islam through the end of the Middle Ages.  The encounters this class will stage between these varied cultural traditions are both intersectional and comparative: while attending to borders, exchanges, crossings, and overlaps between medieval Christendom and the series of caliphates, emirates, kingdoms, and political entities that may be loosely categorized under the label “the Islamic world,” this seminar seeks to compare key themes specific to each, chief among them the picturing of divinity and the organization of sacred space, be it the built or the natural environment (e.g., the mosque, the church, and the Holy Land).  After surveying the Late Antique Mediterranean out of which Christianity and, eventually, the Middle Ages grew, the seminar examines the rise and diffusion of Islam.  The sacred structures and objects of the two traditions are compared, after which a selection of historical encounters are explored, including the Crusades, trade, and diplomacy, before culminating in Renaissance Italy.  The Eastern Mediterranean will serve as a primary area of focus, as will Sicily and especially Spain, with its heady and crucial blend of Muslim and Christian intellectual traditions.  In addition to architecture, mosaic, painting, relief sculpture, and decorated books, such media as ivory, rock crystal, metalwork, and textiles will figure prominently.  Questions of sanctity, ethnicity, the status of text vs. image, religious practice, cultural specificity, cultural exchange, preciousness, and the translation and circulation of luxury goods will be threaded throughout.
Apply for ‘Islam and the Medieval West’ using this form.

AHIS BC3929 Fashion Revolution, Instagram Art History (Barnard course)
A. Higonnet
W 4:10-6, 502 Diana Center
This seminar launches on Instagram the most radical and influential fashion plates in European history, from the Journal des Dames et des Modes.  A rare complete set of the Journal’s revolutionary 1797-1804 plates has recently been rediscovered at the Morgan Library, and digitized. The Morgan has generously allowed us to be the ones to release the plates online. The French Revolution of 1789 promised that women and men could completely reinvent themselves, with the help of a total style transformation. Between 1797 and 1804, after the political crisis of the first revolutionary years and before Napoleon became Emperor, the Journal des dames et des modes showed all Europeans how to look, read, and entertain themselves as modern individuals. It rejected the dress rules and materials that had signaled static social rank in favor of mobile self-expression through consumer choice. The change was so radical for women that it was partially reversed after 1804, but for men it endured.
Apply for ‘Fashion Revolution, Instagram Art History’ using this form.

AHIS BC3948 Jacob Lawrence’s Harlem (Barnard course)
E. Hutchinson
M 2:10-4, 502 Diana Center
2017 is the centennial of the birth of the artist Jacob Lawrence, who grew up in Harlem, studied art as a child with some of its leading artists and frequented the cultural institutions established for the community at this time.  Along with his famous series of paintings dedicated to Black history, such as Migration, and Toussaint L'Ouverture, Lawrence made a large number of works recording the places and people of his home, seeking creative means to both document Black experience in this time and place and give it meaning. In this seminar, we will look at Harlem at Lawrence's eyes through three archives of Harlem at this time:  James Vanderzee's street photographs, Aaron Siskind's Harlem Document, and Lawrence's paintings of his community. We will study Harlem in the interwar years as a means of understanding what it is these artists chose to record.  We will look at the aesthetic debates of the Harlem Renaissance and each artist’s biography to investigate how they chose to depict Harlem. The class will combine classroom discussions with excursions to the locations and institutions frequented by these artists as a means of tracing continuities and transformations from that period to the present. The final project for our seminar will be a digital exhibition of select works from these archives.  Students will work together to develop the themes and each will create entries on specific works of art.  Please note that, while we will be having a digital exhibition workshop in class, students will also need to meet with IMATS staff outside of class time at least once as they conduct the work for this exhibition. This course is part of Harlem Semester 2017.
Apply for ‘Jacob Lawrence’s Harlem’ using this form.

AHIS BC3983 Ways of Graphic Design-ing (Barnard course)
P. Krishnamurthy
W 10:10-12 and 12-1, 402 Diana Center
Taking as its starting point the graphic design of John Berger’s seminal Ways of Seeing (1972), this course will touch upon topics ranging from typography and visual editing, to graphic design history and contemporary artists working with typography. At the same time, it is a writing-focused class that introduces students with a visual art and art historical background to modes of analyzing graphic design. From these different vantage points, the course offers critical, historical, and practical perspectives on a dynamic field. This is a visual arts / art history seminar course.
Apply for ‘Ways of Graphic Design-ing’ using this form.

AHIS BC3984 Curatorial Positions, 1969–Present (Barnard course)
V. Smith
R 10:10-12, 501 Diana Center
Contemporary exhibitions studied through a selection of great shows from roughly 1969 to the present that defined a generation. This course will not offer practical training in curating; rather it will concentrate on the historical context of exhibitions, the theoretical basis for their argument, the criteria for the choice in artists and their work, and exhibitions' internal/external reception.
Apply for ‘Curatorial Positions, 1969–Present’ using this form.

AHIS BC3990 Japanese Prints (Barnard course)
J. Reynolds
W 2:10-4, 501/2 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.
Apply for ‘Japanese Prints’ using this form.

Bridge Lectures

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

AHIS GU4000 Native American Art
E. Hutchinson
T/R 2:40-3:55, 302 Barnard Hall
This introduction to Native North American art surveys traditions of painting, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, photography and architecture and traces the careers of contemporary Indian modernists and postmodernists. It emphasizes artistic developments as a means of preserving culture and resisting domination in response to intertribal contact, European colonization and American expansion.

AHIS GU4074 Latin American Artists: Independence to Present
K. Jones
M/W 2:40-3:55, 612 Schermerhorn
The course looks at works produced in the more than 20 countries that make of Latin America. Our investigations will take us from the Southern Cone nations of South America, up through Central American and the Caribbean, to Mexico to the north. We will cover styles from the colonial influences present in post-independence art of the early 19th century, to installation art found at the beginning of the 21st century. Along the way we will consider such topics as, the relationship of colonial style and academic training to forging an independent artistic identity; the emergence and establishment of a modern canon; experimentations in surrealism, neo-concretism, conceptual art, and performance. We will end the course with a consideration of Latinx artists working in the U.S.

AHIS GU4110 Modern Japanese Architecture
J. Reynolds
T/R 10:10-11:25, 504 Diana Center
This course will examine Japanese architecture and urban planning from the mid-19th century to the present. We will address topics such as the establishment of an architectural profession along western lines in the late 19th century, the emergence of a modernist movement in the 1920's, the use of biological metaphors and the romanticization of technology in the theories and designs of the Metabolist Group, and the shifting significance of pre-modern Japanese architectural practices for modern architects. There will be an emphasis on the complex relationship between architectural practice and broader political and social change in Japan.

Bridge Seminars

Bridge seminars are open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students. Interested students must submit an application to be considered for enrollment. Admission is at the instructor’s discretion.

Each bridge seminar description on this page includes a link to an online application for that seminar. Students must fill out and submit their Spring 2018 bridge seminar application forms by 5pm on Monday, January 8th, 2018.

CLST GU4514 Roman Coins and History: A Hands-On Seminar on an Unpublished Collection
L. Carbone
F 2:10-4, 930 Schermerhorn Hall
Aimed at advanced undergraduate and graduate students, this course aims to introduce coinage and the study of coins as historical disciplines and to provide a survey of the production and use of coinage in the Roman world from the 3rd century BC to the 1st century AD, with specific emphasis on the Late Republican coinage. The study of the unpublished R.B.Witschonke Collection, consisting of 3,713 provincial coins mainly dated between 2nd century BC and 1st century AD, will offer the students a unique opportunity to study hands-on the Roman coinage in the Provincia Asia and its relationship to the political, social and economic history not only of this province, but also of the Empire as whole in the period of time encompassed by the Collection. The best original papers resulting from this research will be included in the forthcoming catalogue of this collection. The students will also have direct access to the world-class numismatic collections at the American Numismatic Collection (over 170,000 Roman and Greek pieces) and to the Olcott collection of Roman coins housed in the RBML in Butler Library (over 3,000 Roman pieces).
‘Roman Coins and History’ seminar application form.

AHIS GU4551 Arts of African Kingdoms
K. Windmuller-Luna
T 12:10-2, 832 Schermerhorn
This course will consider five of the major kingdoms from across the continent: Benin, Kongo, Ethiopia, the Cameroon Grassfields kingdoms, and the Akan states. Two-week units on each kingdom will present thematic topics that will allow students to evaluate the relationship between the flourishing of artistic forms and the development of monarchies and hierarchical systems of rulership. They will be able to chart the development of complex iconographical systems in use from ancient to contemporary times, considering the interaction between kingdoms within Africa and throughout the globe. Challenging readings will spur debates about the nature of power, tradition, memory, and museums as they relate to the arts of each of these unique kingdoms.
‘Arts of African Kingdoms’ seminar application form.

AHIS GU4566 Streams and Mountains: The Art of Landscape Painting in China
R. Harrist, D. Greenberg
F 2:10-4, 934 Schermerhorn Hall
This seminar, open to advanced undergraduates and graduate students, will study in depth selected traditions of landscape painting in China and will explore the art historical and sinological methods that allow us to understand one of the great traditions of world art. Among the topics that will receive special attention are the rise of landscape painting and its relation to religious beliefs, the role of imperial patronage, the landscape art of scholar-officials, and the relationship between words and images that dominated landscape painting of the late imperial era. Taking advantage of an exhibition of landscape paintings that will be on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the spring semester, the seminar will make several visits to the museum to view works on display and others in storage through special arrangements with the curators.
‘Streams and Mountains: The Art of Landscape Painting in China’ seminar application form.

AHIS GU4583 The Craft of Ivory
A. Shalem
T 4:10-6, 832 Schermerhorn
Studying the art of ivory in the Middle Ages provides art historians with the wide spectrum about the history of styles and craftsmanship. The relatively huge amount of the surviving material enables us to tell a relatively coherent story about the production of this material. In the focus of this seminar are the products of the so-called medieval Islamic ivories, mainly those produced in the Arab Mediterranean and the Levant. These artifacts are usually datable between the 7th and the 14th centuries. The discussions in the class will concentrate on carved, incised, painted, and wood and ivory intarsia objects as well as on issues concerning trade, availability, meanings, iconographies, patronage, ownerships, as well as the relationship of this material to other substances, such as wood, textiles, metal and precious stones.
‘The Craft of Ivory’ seminar application form.

AHIS GU4641 Russian Constructivism
M. Ratanova
M 12:10-2, 930 Schermerhorn
This seminar will introduce students to the history of Russian Constructivism in its interrelationship with the political processes in the Soviet Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution. We will discuss different conceptions of Constructivism, the questions of its origins and terminology, and the problem of its periodization. The course will trace the development of Constructivism from the intense analytical debates at the Moscow Institute of Artistic Culture (INKhUK) over the problem of composition and construction that resulted in the radical laboratory experiments of the INKhUK artists with spatial constructions at the 2nd OBMOKhU exhibition in the spring of 1921, to the abrupt turn of the group to Productivism in 1922. We will discuss how their theoretical debates along with the rapidly changing political situation led to their commitment to creating everyday objects and the utopian goal of shaping people’s material lives, and look at the different ways the Constructivists viewed their possible role in the socialist production.
‘Russian Constructivism’ seminar application form.

AHIS GU4648 Building Fascisms
M. González-Pendás
T 12:10-2, 930 Schermerhorn
From entire city landscapes to monuments and walls, fascist regimes have historically held claim to the power of the built environment to construe their ideology. This seminar explores the history of the ways in which material, spatial, and aesthetic forms helped produce the various forms of fascist regimes that determined the political history of the mid-twentieth century across Europe and the Americas, and sets them against the cultural mechanisms devised for their critique. The course will examine the most current literature on the histories of the art, architecture, and technologies that produced the material, aesthetic, and ideological apparatus of fascist dictatorships, its systems of thought and form of social organizations.
‘Building Fascisms’ seminar application form.