Spring 2022 Undergraduate Courses

Last updated: Thursday, January 20th, 2022. Red text denotes a new or changed course since the previous update.

Please confirm course listings on the Directory of Classes: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/home.html

Undergraduate Lectures

Undergraduate lectures are open to all undergraduate students. Graduate students may enroll in lecture courses listed at the 2000-level and above, as outlined in the program handbooks.

AHIS BC1002 Introduction to the History of Art II (Barnard course)
A. Higonnet
M/W 2:40-3:55, location tbc
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 UN1007 Introduction to the History of Architecture
M. Waters
T/R 2:40-3:55, 614 Schermerhorn Hall
This course is required for architectural history and theory majors, but is also open to students interested in gaining a general introduction to the history of architecture. Moving from antiquity to the modern era on a global scale, architecture is analyzed through in-depth analyses of key works of sacred, secular, public, and domestic spaces. While examining the cultural, urban, social, and political dimensions of architecture, the class also addresses issues of media, materiality, and technology as well as temporal and geographic migrations of architectural knowledge. Discussion section required.

AHIS UN2108 Greek Art and Architecture
D. Schneller
M/W 11:40-12:55, 612 Schermerhorn Hall
This course surveys the art and architecture of the Greek world from the Bronze Age through the Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic Periods. After an introduction to Minoan and Mycenaean art, the course proceeds thematically through organized lectures focusing on sculpture and architecture. In the second half of the course, students are introduced to contexts of the display of Greek art with special attention to sanctuaries, theaters, and the city of Athens. The course continues with several lectures on vase and wall painting and culminates by asking students to consider the use (and abuse) of Greek art in our time.

AHIS UN2405 Twentieth Century Art
A. Alberro
T/R 4:10-5:25, 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 sections complement class lectures. Course is a prerequisite for certain upper-level art history courses. Discussion section required.

AHIS UN2427 Twentieth Century Architecture
Z. Celik
M/W 1:10-2:25, 612 Schermerhorn Hall
This course examines some of the key moments of architectural modernity in the twentieth century in an attempt to understand how architecture participated in the making of a new world order. It follows the lead of recent scholarship that has been undoing the assumption that modern twentieth-century architecture is a coherent enterprise that should be understood through avant-gardist movements. Instead, architecture is presented in this course as a multivalent and contradictory entity that has nonetheless had profound impact on modernity. Rather than attempting to be geographically comprehensive, the course focusses on the interdependencies between the Global North and the South; instead of being strictly chronological, it is arranged around a constellation of themes that are explored through a handful of buildings, cities, and landscapes as well as texts. Reading primary sources from the period under examination is a crucial part of the course. Discussion section required.

AHIS UN2600 Arts of China
R. Harrist
M/W 10:10-11:25, 807 Schermerhorn Hall
This course introduces major forms of Chinese art from the Neolithic period to the present. It stresses the materials and processes of bronze casting, the development of representational art, principles of text illustration, calligraphy, landscape painting, imperial patronage, and the role of the visual arts in elite culture. Works of Chinese art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art will receive special attention, as you will be able to study these closely online and see the real things at the museum. Throughout the course we will attempt to study not only the history of Chinese art but also how that history has been written, both in China and in the West. CC/GS/SEAS: Partial fulfillment of Global Core Requirement.

AHUM UN2604 Arts of China, Japan, and Korea
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.

Section 001
N. Horisaki-Christens
T/R 10:10-11:25, 807 Schermerhorn Hall

Section 002
Y. Seo
M/W 11:40-12:55, 807 Schermerhorn Hall

AHUM UN2901 Masterpieces of Indian Art and Architecture
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, Rajput and Deccani painting and architecture, art of the colonial period, and the emergence of the Modern. CC/GS/SEAS: Partial fulfillment of Global Core requirement.

Section 001
K. Ramachandran
T/R 2:40-3:55, 807 Schermerhorn Hall

Section 002
T. Kuruvilla
M/W 1:10-2:25, 930 Schermerhorn Hall

AHIS BC3654 Institutional Critique (Barnard course)
R. Deutsche
T/R 1:10-2:25, location tbc
Examines precedents for institutional critique in the strategies of early twentieth-century historical avant-garde and the post-war neo-avant-garde. Explores ideas about the institution and violence, investigates the critique and elaboration of institutional critique from the late 1970s to the early 1990s, and considers the legacies of institutional critiques in the art of the present.

Undergraduate Colloquia

Required course for AHIS/HTAC/AHVA majors in the Department of Art History and Archaeology. Interested students must sign up using the Spring 2022 Majors Colloquium Sign-Up Form. The form will open on Thursday, November 4th, at 10am and close on Wednesday, November 10th, at 5pm. Early sign-up is strongly encouraged.

AHIS UN3000 Majors Colloquium: Introduction to the Literature and Methods of Art History
M. Gamer
T 2:10-4, 930 Schermerhorn Hall
This course is an introduction to the theories and methods of art history and visual culture. It is required for undergraduate majors.

AHIS UN3000 is open to AHIS/HTAC/AHVA majors in the Department of Art History and Archaeology only. It is not open to Barnard or Professional Studies students.

AHIS UN3007 Architectural History Majors Colloquium
B. Bergdoll
M 4:10-6, 930 Schermerhorn Hall
This course will combine practical training in visual analysis and architectural historical research—through a single writing assignment in three stages—with a close reading of key works of architectural historians since the emergence of the discipline as a free-standing field of inquiry in the late 19th century.

AHIS UN3007 is open to AHIS/HTAC/AHVA majors in the Department of Art History and Archaeology only and fulfils the same Colloquium requirement as AHIS UN3000. It is not open to Barnard or Professional Studies students.

Undergraduate Seminars

Undergraduate seminars are open to Columbia and Barnard undergraduates. Students must submit an application, linked below each course description, in order to be considered for enrollment. Admission is at the instructor's discretion.

Spring 2022 undergraduate seminar applications are due by 5pm on Wednesday, November 10th.

AHIS UN3002 Senior Thesis Seminar
M. Cole
R 2:10-4, 934 Schermerhorn Hall
Required for all thesis writers. Counts toward elective lecture credit. For more information about the senior thesis program, please visit the Senior Thesis Information Page.

AHIS UN3104 The Art of the Gods: Images of the Divine in the Ancient Mediterranean
A. Ekserdjian
M 2:10-4, 934 Schermerhorn Hall
Divine images made the gods present, gave physical and tangible form to something not (often) to be seen or touched, and served as a crystallization of the religious imagination of society. The way different cultures represented the divine can tell us a lot about the use of images in those cultures, as well as communicating much about how the gods themselves were understood. This topic connects art historical concerns of form, material, and style to rituals, social practices, and religious beliefs. This course will combine these elements, showing the interconnections between physical appearance and sacred function in the Greek and Roman world; Mesopotamia and Egypt will act as crucial points.

The Art of the Gods: Images of the Divine in the Ancient Mediterranean application form.

AHIS UN3444 Reflexivity in Art and Film
J. Crary
T 4:10-6, 934 Schermerhorn Hall
This seminar will explore a range of individual works of Western art from the 16th century to late 20th century in which the tension between illusionism and reflexivity is foregrounded. It will focus on well-known paintings and films in which forms of realism and verisimilitude coexist with features that affirm the artificial or fictive nature of the work or which dramatize the material, social and ideological conditions of the work’s construction. Topics will include art by Durer, Holbein, Velazquez, Watteau, Courbet, Morisot, Vertov, Deren, Godard, Varda, Hitchcock and others. Readings will include texts by Auerbach, Gombrich, Brecht, Jameson, Barthes, Didi-Huberman, Bazin, Lukacs, Mulvey, and Daney.

Reflexivity in Art and Film application form.

AHIS UN3454 Zines by Artists
B. Joseph
R 10:10-12, 930 Schermerhorn Hall
Most often associated with the explosion of punk rock at the end of the 1970s, self-published booklets, fanzines, or simply ’zines actually arose first in the context of science fiction collectors in the 1930s. Beginning in the early 1970s (independently of, and before the advent of punk music), artists adopted and developed the format as a vehicle for visual expression, drawing from precedents in pop art, artists’ books, mimiographed literary magazines, historical avant-garde movements such as dada, and more contemporaneous developments in conceptual art and mail art. Overlooked in favor of artists’ books and artists’ magazines, on the one hand, and in favor of various types of music- or personal expression-based zines, on the other, the artist’s zine forms a rich and multifaceted genre spanning over five decades of practice. This course will examine the artist’s zine in the contexts of both art and music history, issues related to the expression and exploration of race, gender, and sexuality, and the notions of networking and community building. Although distinct from the development of punk rock, artists’ zine practice has forged and maintains a close connection to it and to its evolution into Queercore, Riot Grrrl, and Afropunk, all of which are covered in the course readings.

Zines by Artists application form.

AHIS UN3455 The Art of the Document
B. Young
W 4:10-6, 930 Schermerhorn Hall
This course addresses the tension between art and document, or making and recording, in twentieth-century visual culture. The first half investigates the aesthetics and politics of documentary photography and film, including conflicts between realism and modernism. The second half examines the use of documents and documentation by postmodern art and subsequent transformations in the style, form, and truth-content of documentary practices.

The Art of the Document application form.

AHIS UN3503 Contemporary Arts of Africa
Z. S. Strother
W 10:10-12, 934 Schermerhorn Hall
This course takes up a question posed by Terry Smith and applies it to Africa: "Who gets to say what counts as contemporary art?" It will investigate the impact of modernity, modernism, and increasing globalism on artistic practices with a special focus on three of the major centers for contemporary art in sub-Saharan Africa: Senegal, South Africa, Nigeria. Some of the topics covered will be: the emergence of new media (such as photography or cinema), the creation of "national" cultures, experiments in Pan-Africanism, diasporic consciousness, and the rise of curators as international culture-brokers. The course will examine the enthusiastic embrace by African artists of the biennial platform as a site for the production of contemporary art. What differential impact has French vs. British colonialism left on the arts? How are contemporary artists responding to calls for restitution on African cultural heritage? CC/GS/SEAS: Partial fulfillment of Global Core requirement.

Contemporary Arts of Africa application form.

AHIS UN3609 Kyoto: Art, Architecture, and Urbanism
M. McKelway
T 4:10-6, 807 Schermerhorn Hall
This seminar examines Kyoto, Japan’s capital from 794 to 1868, through a study of its art and architecture, and how visual experience is shaped by the city’s particular urban setting and natural environment from its founding to the present. The course will begin by exploring the impact of the city’s original grid plan, the architecture and art of its Buddhist temples, and the strategic role of water in the city’s history. Pictorial representations of the city on folding screen paintings and in printed guidebooks created during the 16th-18th century will guide us in studying Kyoto’s early modern transformation and the development of the city’s rowhouses (machiya). The course will also focus throughout on the old capital’s role in the specialization of such arts as textiles and ceramics.

Note: A travel component of the course is pending.

Kyoto: Art, Architecture, and Urbanism application form.

AHIS UN3621 Rethinking Chinese Painting
T. Xu
R 4:10-6, 930 Schermerhorn Hall
This seminar reconceptualizes traditional Chinese paintings (hua) through the perspectives of medium and format. The class sections are arranged in chronological order. We will investigate the distinct formats of portable paintings from the 2nd to 18th centuries (including funerary banners, handscrolls, hanging scrolls, albums, screens, and fans) and the representations of paintings of various formats in tombs and other architectural-pictorial contexts. We will probe into the new notions and thoughts presented by the new pictorial formats, and examine how they have been conventionalized and re-developed by later works. The goal is to foreground frame, scale, surface and ground, as carriers as well as boundaries, of image in the discussions of image, and to see painting as the happenings that were schematized and realized by these external, yet also intrinsic, agents. Students will have the chance to peruse the artworks in museum visits, and are expected to do presentations that address the selected pictures with format insights. Class discussions will be both theoretical and object-oriented, exploring the depths of visual analyses on a par with methodological reflection. Reading proficiency in Chinese is recommended, but not a prerequisite.

Rethinking Chinese Painting application form.

Barnard Art History Department seminars: Open to Columbia and Barnard undergraduates. Spring 2022 undergraduate seminar applications are due by 5pm on Wednesday, November 10th.

For questions about Barnard course listings and application forms, please contact the Barnard Art History Department.

AHIS BC3844 Revolution and Art (Barnard course)
A. Higonnet
T 10:10-12, location tbc
In 1789, a French revolution shook the government foundation of Europe, and with it, all the arts. The principles of monarchy were rejected, women gained unprecedented freedoms, and French slavery was abolished. How did the arts express those upheavals? A reaction against the Revolution began by 1805. An emperor crowned himself, slavery was reinstated, and women’s rights were revoked. How did the arts deal with this backlash?

Revolution and Art application form.

AHIS BC3853 Exhibiting Modern Inuit Sculpture (Barnard course)
E. Hutchinson
W 10:10-12, location tbc
In this seminar, students will create a digital exhibition of ten stone sculptures produced by Inuit artists working within an important artistic tradition interconnected with Indigenous-Settler interaction during the second half of the twentieth century. Initially cultivated to bring Inuit people into the cash economy as part of a broader colonial process of disrupting seasonal migrations and subsistence lifeways, modern Inuit sculpture has developed in ways that increasingly center community leadership and assertions of artistic and cultural sovereignty in the face of environmental, economic, political and aesthetic change. The assignments for this class foreground writings, films, and artworks by Inuit scholars, artists, and community leaders. In preparation of the exhibition, we will and also work closely with the Brooklyn Museum staff to gain an understanding of their collection of Inuit sculpture and the staff roles in caring for it.

Exhibiting Modern Inuit Sculpture application form.

AHIS BC3928 Dutch Seventeenth Century Art (Barnard course)
A. Eaker
M 10:10-12, Metropolitan Museum of Art
This course meets at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is devoted to close examination of real art-works in a museum context. This year’s focus is on Dutch art of the seventeenth century, one of the most celebrated chapters in the history of art. Students will be exposed to seminal art historical texts on the period, at the same time as they receive exposure to connoisseurship, conservation, and technical art history.

Dutch Seventeenth Century Art application form.

AHIS BC3984 Curatorial Positions, 1969–Present (Barnard course)
V. Smith
R 10:10-12, location tbc
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.

Curatorial Positions, 1969–Present application form.

Bridge Lectures

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

AHIS GU4027 Architecture and Associated Arts in Western Europe from 1066 until 1399: Building with Blood, Sweat, and Tears
S. Van Liefferinge
T/R 10:10-11:25, 612 Schermerhorn Hall
This course will study building practice, sculpture, and architectural ornamentation in Western Europe during the Middle Ages. The monuments selected belong to a period that starts when architecture moved away from Roman antique models and ends just before the re-adoption of Classical standards in the Renaissance. In this course the originality of medieval architecture, its relationship with earlier and later monuments, and the dramatic effort involved in its creation will be discussed. Major themes of medieval society such as pilgrimages, crusades, piety, the cult of relics, and the social and intellectual context of the Middle Ages are also part of this lecture. The course will also introduce students on how to harness digital technologies such as laser scanning or photogrammetry for the study of medieval art. No preliminary knowledge of medieval history or architectural history is needed and no knowledge of digital technologies or specific computer skills is expected. (Virtual) Museum visits will complement the regular lectures.

AHIS GU4031 Art of Italy: 1300-1520
I. Oryshkevich
M/W 10:10-11:25, 612 Schermerhorn Hall
A survey of the art of Italy from the early fourteenth century to the onset of the Reformation. Major artists and cultural centers of the period will be covered, but also examined within the context of broader artistic conventions of the time. Special attention will be paid to the historical factors that led to the Renaissance in the visual arts as well as the impact of cultures beyond classical antiquity on the form and iconography of paintings and sculptures produced in the period.

AHIS GU4042 African American Artists in the 20th and 21st Centuries
K. Jones
M/W 2:40-3:55, 612 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?

Bridge Seminars

Bridge seminars are advanced courses open to undergraduate and graduate students. Students must submit an application, linked below each course description, in order to be considered for enrollment. Admission is at the instructor’s discretion.

Spring 2022 bridge seminar applications are due by 5pm on Friday, January 7th.

AHIS GU4512 Interpretive Archaeology: Historiography of the Ancient World
A. Duplouy
T 10:10-12, 934 Schermerhorn Hall
The objective of this graduate seminar is to bring a historiographical dimension to the training of students enrolled in archaeology and art history of the ancient world or Classics, by providing them with the keys to various readings of ancient Greek societies and their material culture and the way these have been constantly renewed since the nineteenth century. Through class discussions of ancient sources and modern texts, the seminar will develop ways of identifying the interpretive models that have shaped classical scholarship up to now. The seminar will offer the opportunity to discuss these models, be they supplementary or conflicting, in order to move towards an ever more explicit reasoning on the interpretations of ancient sources and archaeological evidence.

Interpretive Archaeology: Historiography of the Ancient World application form.

AHIS GU4741 Art and Theory in a Global Context
J. Rajchman
M 4:10-6, 807 Schermerhorn Hall
What is “globalization”? How does it change the way we think about or show art today? What role does film and media play in it? How has critical theory itself assumed new forms in this configuration moving outside post-war Europe and America? How have these processes helped change with the very idea of ‘contemporary art’? What then might a transnational critical theory in art and in thinking look like today or in the 21st century? In this course we will examine this cluster of questions from a number of different angles, starting with new questions about borders, displacements, translations and minorities, and the ways they have cut across and figured in different regions, in Europe or America, as elsewhere. In the course of our investigations, we will look in particular at two areas in which these questions are being raised today -- in Asia and in Africa and its diasporas. The course is thus inter-disciplinary in nature and is open to students in different fields and areas where these issues are now being discussed.

Art and Theory in a Global Context application form.

AHIS GU4949 Architecture in the Age of Progress
S. Isenstadt
M 10:10-12, 930 Schermerhorn Hall
This course focuses on buildings and design theories from the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States that were responding to industrialization and rapid urbanization. Based on the premise that modernism in architecture has as much to with attitudes toward change as it does a particular set of formal traits, this class will examine those works that responded to significant technological and social upheaval in an effort to welcome, forestall, or otherwise guide change. We will look at broad themes of the period, including national character, rapid economic growth, the quickened pace of urban life, and shrinking distances due to emerging forms of transportation and communication, all in the light of new methods and materials of construction, new functional programs, and the growing metropolis.

Architecture in the Age of Progress application form.

Courses in other departments which may be of interest

CLST UN3*** Space and Society in the Roman World
M. Farrior
R 4:10-6, location tbc
This class offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Roman society in the Imperial period. The art historical and archaeological evidence of the ancient built environment serves as the foundation for our investigation of Roman social history. Each week focuses on a different building typology or an aspect of Roman architecture that relates to a facet of Roman life across the Empire. The first half of the semester is devoted to domestic spaces, namely elite homes, and serves as an introduction to the mechanics and hierarchies of Roman society across social strata (e.g., patronage, banqueting, slavery, economic inequality). The second half addresses buildings from the public sphere of urban environments to examine societal concerns and interests (e.g., civic life, commerce, religion, hygiene, entertainment).