Home Undergraduate Courses Undergraduate courses Fall 2017

Undergraduate courses Fall 2017

105. INTRODUCTION TO ART HISTORY

(C/D, MH2, 10:55-12:15, ARH200, Section: 05, Kenfield, Index 00014)

This course can be used to fulfill the HST and AHp areas of the Core - http://sasundergrad.rutgers.edu/academics/requirements/core

This course presents an introductory overview of the history of Western art from antiquity to the late medieval period. It considers the achievements of great civilizations ranging from Egypt to the Holy Roman Empire, and focuses on a diversity of cultural and religious traditions, including, Byzantine, Islamic, and Jewish. The class examines a wide array of objects, including statues of gods and emperors, reliquaries containing saints’ bones, Greek temples and Gothic cathedrals, early synagogue decoration, devotional manuscripts, and gold-gilded altarpieces.

Emphasizing significant stylistic movements in Western Europe, this course lays the groundwork for more advanced art history courses by introducing visual analysis and other interpretative tools of art historical research. Students will also learn how the visual products of a culture relate to historical circumstances, societal values, and shifting personal and collective identities. The skills developed in this class provide important tools for navigating and interpreting media and visual representation in the twenty-first century.

105. INTRODUCTION TO ART HISTORY

(CAC, MW8, 7:40-9:00pm, VH105, Section: 07, Instructor TBD, Index 04465)

This course can be used to fulfill the HST and AHp areas of the Core - http://sasundergrad.rutgers.edu/academics/requirements/core

This course presents an introductory overview of the history of Western art from antiquity to the late medieval period. It considers the achievements of great civilizations ranging from Egypt to the Holy Roman Empire, and focuses on a diversity of cultural and religious traditions, including, Byzantine, Islamic, and Jewish. The class examines a wide array of objects, including statues of gods and emperors, reliquaries containing saints’ bones, Greek temples and Gothic cathedrals, early synagogue decoration, devotional manuscripts, and gold-gilded altarpieces.

Emphasizing significant stylistic movements in Western Europe, this course lays the groundwork for more advanced art history courses by introducing visual analysis and other interpretative tools of art historical research. Students will also learn how the visual products of a culture relate to historical circumstances, societal values, and shifting personal and collective identities. The skills developed in this class provide important tools for navigating and interpreting media and visual representation in the twenty-first century.

105. INTRODUCTION TO ART HISTORY

(Online, Sections 90-A8, Thuno, Various Index Numbers)

This course can be used to fulfill the HST and AHp areas of the Core - http://sasundergrad.rutgers.edu/academics/requirements/core

This course presents an introductory overview of the history of Western art from antiquity to the late medieval period. It considers the achievements of great civilizations ranging from Egypt to the Holy Roman Empire, and focuses on a diversity of cultural and religious traditions, including, Byzantine, Islamic, and Jewish. The class examines a wide array of objects, including statues of gods and emperors, reliquaries containing saints’ bones, Greek temples and Gothic cathedrals, early synagogue decoration, devotional manuscripts, and gold-gilded altarpieces.

Emphasizing significant stylistic movements in Western Europe, this course lays the groundwork for more advanced art history courses by introducing visual analysis and other interpretative tools of art historical research. Students will also learn how the visual products of a culture relate to historical circumstances, societal values, and shifting personal and collective identities. The skills developed in this class provide important tools for navigating and interpreting media and visual representation in the twenty-first century.

106. INTRODUCTON TO ART HISTORY

(CAC, TTH8, 7:40-9:00pm, VH 105, Section: 03, Instructor TBD, Index 00015)

This course can be used to fulfill the HST and AHp areas of the Core - http://sasundergrad.rutgers.edu/academics/requirements/core

This course presents an introductory overview of the history of Western art from the Renaissance to the present, including the achievements of artistic giants, spanning from Leonardo Da Vinci to Kara Walker.  It covers works in a wide array of media, such as painting, sculpture, architecture, prints, photography, performance, and the moving image. Emphasizing significant stylistic movements in Europe and the Americas, this class lays the groundwork for more advanced art history courses by introducing visual analysis and other interpretative tools of art historical research. Students will also learn how the visual products of a culture relate to historical circumstances, societal values, and shifting personal and collective identities.  The skills developed in this course provide important tools for navigating and interpreting media and visual representation in the twenty-first century.

118. LOOKING AT TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY WORLD HISTORY

(Online, Weigert, Section 90, Index 12434) (Cross listed with History: 01:506:118:90)

This course can be used to fulfill the 21C and HST/SCL areas of the Core.- http://sasundergrad.rutgers.edu/academics/requirements/core

An interdisciplinary examination of the role of the visual in both our daily lives and in the way we remember the past. Taught through a series of topics ranging from war and violence and gender to work and play. Note: there is a $100 online support fee.

SYLLABUS

206. ART OF INDIA

(CAC, MW5, 2:50-4:10, VH104, Section: 01, Sears, Index 20134)

The Indian subcontinent is home to over three dozen world heritage monuments, including the all-famous Taj Mahal. This course is an introduction to this rich visual heritage, from the rise of ancient empires to the present era of rapid globalization. Lectures and discussions will cover a range of critical issues, including the ways in which art expressed political aspirations, populist traditions, religious ideals, and creative processes. The course begins with the rise of Buddhist monumental art in the centuries leading up to the advent of the Common Era. From there, it turns to the development of Hindu and Jain temple arts and sculptural traditions. In mid-semester, it moves to the Mughals and emergence of Indo-Islamic aesthetics, and it concludes in the final weeks with visual transformations in the colonial and post-colonial world. In addition to considering the historical circumstances surrounding works of art, this course engages problems of interpretation faced by art historians today. No prior background in art history or Asian studies is necessary for success in this course.

250. OCEANIC, AFRICAN AND PRECOLONIAL ART

(CAC, TTH4, 1:10-2:30, VH104, Section: 01, Brett-Smith, Index 20133)

This course explores the explosive ideas found in Non-western art. How can one explain head hunting and cannibalism among the Asmat? Why do the Kongo people think of time as a recurring spiral? Why did the peoples of Meso-America place so much emphasis on creating architectural features below ground rather than above ground? Why is art so often created only to be left for destruction by the natural environment? Why do members of Non-western societies distort their appearance through extreme body art? The course will describe the concepts that underlie belief in the necessity of cannibalism, the recurrence of events in time, the power of the natural landscape to mold those who live in it, and the value of body art. Classroom time will not only focus on lectures, but on discussions of assigned articles.

253. CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY

(CAC, MW4, 1:10-2:30, ZAM MPR, Section: 01, Zervigon, Index 16055)

Not long ago I asked Anthony Aziz why he and his partner Sammy Cucher had abandoned their famous photography practice for—of all things—carpet design. His answer was simple: “Everything in photography has already been done.” The advent of digital technologies, he clarified, may have extended photography’s life, but the medium’s contemporary art practice particularly in the realm of art is dead. Could Aziz be right? Over the last two decades, photography has managed to do two things: saturate our everyday lives far more than before and become a fully recognized art form. For better or worse, it can be produced almost cost-free on any cell phone to share with friends, while it has also entered galleries, museums, libraries and private collections as a highly valuable object. Distinguishing these two sorts of photography is the expectation that an everyday photo documents something seen and that a quality print bears the personal expression and creativity of its maker. The medium, therefore, seems to have been cleaved more than ever before by “vernacular” and fine art practices that do not necessarily speak with each other. Could Anthony Aziz be correct in asserting that contemporary photography has become exhausted in the process? Our course will explore a broad range of prints and digital records, including pictures now hanging in commercial galleries. We will ask what typifies the practice and popularity of photography today, and if the these two realms of photography may in fact be communicating and enlivening each other after all. This course will correspondingly explore a broad range of contemporary photographs from around the world and ask what typifies the medium’s aesthetic practice and everyday popularity. Can inventive new trends be identified or is photography forever replaying its history in new technical clothing? What does it mean to create, interpret, collect, catalogue, exhibit, and publish photographic images in the last twenty years? What questions can we ask about contemporary photography as an art, science, technology, social practice, communications medium, and cultural discourse? With these questions in mind, we will pay particular attention to the impact of digital technologies on the medium. How has Photoshop, for example, changed our expectations about Lorreta Lux, The Drummer. c. 2003. 2 a photograph’s relationship to the reality it generally purports to represent? Has the radical democratization of photography through cell phone cameras and Facebook contributed to new aesthetic and cultural trends such as citizen journalism and photo-bombs? Among other things, we will explore our personal use of photographs to seek answers for such questions

SYLLABUS

277. ART AND MEDICINE

(LIV, TTH6, 5-6:20PM, TIL-258, Section: 01, Sidlauskas, Index 20145)

This course is an offering in what is known as the “Medical Humanities”—an interdisciplinary field whose boundaries and methods are very much in formation. Broadly, it describes research that depends on the shared concerns of the humanities and the social and life sciences as they intersect with the history and culture of medicine. This can include anything from Leonardo Da Vinci’s anatomy drawings (see above) and 19th century portraits of the insane, to contemporary performance art and the imagery used by the media to dramatize epidemics (see above).

We will look at how fine artists, scientific illustrators, and popular image-makers have envisioned medicine’s culture—especially its ways of knowing the body, and the implications of such knowledge for constructions of race, class, gender, and sexuality. We will also consider the metaphorical uses of disease and deviance in the visual arts. For example why does it seem as if Vincent Van Gogh’s work cannot be discussed without invoking his pathology?—the identification of which varies depending upon which neurologist, psychiatrist or art historian is writing about it.   The range of topics covered and the questions raised in the course are designed to introduce students in the humanities, fine arts and social sciences to the culture of science, while also offering life science and pre-med students an opportunity to think critically about the visual history of their own practices, and how they intersect, often in unexpected ways, with the history of art.

The Core: The course is certified for Areas of Inquiry: Arts and Humanities [AH] and Historical Analysis [HST]

Assessment:

Attendance is required. If you are ill and cannot attend class, please use the University absence reporting website https://sims.rutgers.edu/ssra/. An email is automatically sent to me. More than 3 unexcused absences may result in a failing grade.

Your grade will be assessed as follows:

Attendance and participation: 10%

2 short papers (3-4 pages each): 40%

Midterm examination: 25%.

Final exam: 25% (The final will be cumulative, i.e. it will draw upon images and ideas from both halves of the semester.)       

NOTE: Neither of your exams will require you to memorize dates and names of works of art—those ID’s will be part of the powerpoint given to you at the time of the exam. However, you will be asked to thoughtfully compare works (usually chosen because they offer two different approaches to the same theme), and discuss them in light of what you have read, heard, and discussed in class.

All powerpoints will be posted shortly after class, but for lecture notes you will need to seek help from your classmates. (There are no lecture notes.)

All readings are available as e-reserves on Sakai.

We will read work by art historians Martin Kemp and Marina Wallace on “Men at Work: The Rituals of Dissection” and also by the political scientist Mark Reinhardt, who writes about the ethics of photojournalism. We will study the photography of the civil war; films made about the aftermath of the atomic bombs of Nagasaki and Hiroshima; and others made to instruct African-Americans on the perils of TB. We will consider the paintings of Thomas Eakins and Vincent Van Gogh, and the recent work of contemporary artists such as Mona Hatoum and Kiki Smith. We will discuss the “networked patient” (including the uploaded live plastic surgery of “Dr. Miami”) and the new digital modeling of the human body and the impact and ethics of Gunther von Hagens’s Bodyworlds.

Syllabus

293. IMAGES OF THE WORLD: A WORLD HISTORY OF MAPS

(CAC, MW6, 4:30-5:50, VH104, Section: 01, Kahlaoui, Index 13369)

This course focuses on the ways different cultures throughout time represented space visually notably in the format of maps. It will use twelve of the most notable cartographic works produced since 700 BC  as key images to introduce the rich legacy of spatial representation. Each map represented its time’s world view and/or influenced the perception of the peoples of a particular culture and moment in history. We will use as a starting point each week a specific moment in time and location in reference to our key image. The course will not argue for a “progressive scientific” history of maps but rather that humanity needed to see earth in different ways given various points in time and space. Thus it explores how viewing space can be shaped following a complex context in which different competing factors are involved. There is no textbook for this class but we will use Jerry Brotton’s “A History of the World in 12 Maps” and other readings; all readings will be posted on sakai.

309. FIFTEENTH CENTURY ITALY: THE BIRTH OF THE RENAISSANCE

(CAC, TTH4, 1:10-2:30, ZAM MPR, Section: 01, McHam, Index 20140)

This course introduces students to the study of the visual culture of Renaissance Italy. We’ll explore the development of Italian Renaissance art during the fifteenth century, an era of radical change in which were introduced new secular subjects like portraiture, contemporary events, birth scenes, and pagan mythology, and new artistic techniques like linear perspective and engraving (as a result of the invention of the printing press). At the same time, longstanding cultural and religious traditions continued to be honored in interpretations increasingly centered on the human world. We’ll examine diverse media, including painting, sculpture, architecture, decorative arts and works on paper. Using various art historical methods, as well as social, political and religious history, we’ll discuss various issues, including: how antiquity inspired artists and patrons to redefine modes of representation, how competition and the public display of art fostered innovation, how the role of the artist was transformed in this period, and how mercantile connections with the Muslim world and the Americas influenced Italian artistic culture.

SYLLABUS

319. CELTIC AND IRISH ART

(CAC, MTH3, 11:30-12:50, VH104, Section: 01, Paulsen, Index 20141)

This course explores the art of the Celtic world from its origins in Eastern Europe to its use in manuscript illumination and sculpture in medieval Ireland, England, Spain, and France.  Time permitting, we will also include a section on Viking art and architecture.  Prerequisite: AHS 105  Course Requirements: 2 exams and 1 research essay.  

SYLLABUS

320. ISLAMIC ART AND ARCHITECTURE

(CAC, MW4, 1:10-2:30, VH104, Section: 01, Kahlaoui, Index 09594) (Cross-listed with 01:667:320:01 and 01:685:320:01)

Pre-requisites: 01:082:105 and 106 or permission of instructor.

This survey course will study the major characteristics of Islamic visual culture while classifying it chronologically according to its overall cultural and political context. The course will be taught in 4 parts. We will begin by discussing general concepts and get acquainted with some basic notions in Islamic culture and history with regards to the visual arts.
 
The course is divided chronologically into four parts: First Part (600-750 AD) after an introduction and discussing basic concepts, we will study the foundation and the formation of the “early imperial” style during the Umayyad period. The Second Part (750-1000): we will study the characteristics of the “early imperial” style under later empires up the end of the first Millennium during the dynasties of the Abbasids, the Umayyads of Spain, and the Fatimids.  The Third Part (1000-1500) will cover a new historical phase during which new geopolitics (the emergence of “princely states” instead of the early empires) created a new context for the creation of the visual culture. Finally the Fourth Part (1500-1700) will cover two periods the resurrection of imperial visual culture with three empires: the Ottomans, the Safawids, and the Mughals. However, the course will emphasize the early period (parts 1 and 2 mainly) since it is the foundational phase of many lasting characteristics of Islamic visual culture.
 
Readings, “key texts” and “key images” will help us go through all these phases. “Key texts” are short translated texts that are supposed to give an inside textual look that would help understand some aspects of the visual culture of each period; “key images” are intended to provide a generic representation of the visual culture of each period and serve as introductory visual samples to the series of images that will be the backbone of the course.

342. EARLY GREEK ART

(CAC, TTH5, 2:50-4:10, ZAM EDR, Section: 01, Kenfield, Index 20143)

Pre-requisites: 01:082:105

Early Greek Art examines the cultural phases and the attendant arts of the Greek world from the Bronze Age through the Archaic period, ca. 2400-480 BCE. During these cultural phases most of the principles of western art first appear, and understanding them and the reasons for their appearance are fundamental to the understanding of all western art and, indeed, western culture in general.   The skills of visual analysis acquired in this course are not exclusively applicable to western culture, but to all cultures and will enhance students’ abilities to understand the inherent messages present in the multitude of visual images that form an increasingly major component of our daily experience regardless of cultural context.

SYLLABUS

371. ARTS OF WEST AFRICA

(CAC, TTH5, 2:50-4:10, VH104, Section: 01, Brett-Smith, Index 20144)

The course will begin with Gauguin and Picasso’s ‘discovery’ of African art in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We will then investigate the methodologies that have been used to explore and document West African art, methodologies that range from the sensible to the lunatic. Why did the failed Surrealist poet, Marcel Griaule mythologize the famed Dogon culture? (No, the Dogon did not have extra-terrestrial contact!) What motivated interpretations of Ile-Ife bronzes as related to Egyptian art? Why does masking among the Baga of Guinea, the Baoule and the Senufo in the Ivory Coast control politics and access to spiritual power? In the second part of the semester the course will examine the famed Battamaliba houses of Togo and the ancient civilizations of Nok, Ife and the present-day Yoruba. What motivates Battamaliba architects and how can we understand West African cultures’ views of the artist? We will investigate how the artist mediates the relationship between natural and human landscapes, the opposition between bush and village and the powers of women balanced by the authority of men. We will learn how sculpture is made, how it is used and what powers it still possesses.

391. NINETEENTH CENTURY ARCHITECTURE AND SOCIETY IN THE UNITED STATES

(CAC, MH2, 9:50-11:10, VH104, Section: 01, Yanni, Index 20061) (Cross-listed with 01:512:319:01)

This course offers an overview of the social and intellectual history of architecture in the geographical region now recognized as the United States from about 1750 to about 1900. The lectures will analyze the role of architecture in societal transformations such as industrialization, and urbanization.) In my own research, I look at the architecture of public institutions, like museums, insane asylums, and universities.  In this class, you will notice an emphasis on the invention of new building types, including colleges, government buildings, prisons, lunatic asylums, medical hospitals, railroad stations, and World's Fairs.  We will also study the novel building techniques and materials of the nineteenth century.  The lectures will be posted in Sakai shortly after I give them, not before. Your grade will be based on attendance and participation, two tests, one 3-page paper (precedent study) and one 10-page research paper.  

SYLLABUS

430. CULTURAL AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION

(CAC, T, 1:10-4:10, VH001, Section: 01, Rico, Index 04750)

This seminar addresses crucial issues of conservation and preservation within the rapidly changing world of the 21st century.

It is interdisciplinary in focus. Interested students from other disciplines are welcome.

441. TOPICS IN HISTORIC PRESERVATION: CULTURAL HERITAGE, CONFLICT, AND DISASTERS

(CAC, W67, 4:30-7:30, VH001, Section: 01, Woodhouse-Beyer, Index 06127) (Cross-listed with 01:506:391:02 and 16:082:593:01)

In the past, and throughout the contemporary era, natural and cultural disasters of local, national,
and international scale have challenged communities and cultural heritage sites around the world.
This seminar course considers a variety of disaster events, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis,
climate change, pandemics, and human conflict/warfare/terrorism, and their effects on historic
properties, archaeological sites, cultural landscapes, museum collections, communities, and cultures.
Our seminar work will use cultural heritage, cultural resource management, and historic preservation
approaches in our discussion of global case studies; consider strategies and protocols for disaster
preparedness and post-disaster response/survey/preservation; explore how cultural heritage can be
used a tool for peace, reconciliation, and rebuilding; learn post-disaster site and district assessment,
restoration, and protection approaches and tools; and critically review and assess national and
international cultural heritage disaster management plans.
No prerequisites are required to join our course – undergraduates/graduates from all disciplines
are welcome! Please contact course instructor if you have questions:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

442. TOPICS IN HISTORIC PRESERVATION: THE POLITICS OF HERITAGE

(CAC, T67, 4:30-7:30, VH001, Section: 01, Instructor TBD, Index 10877) (Cross-listed with 01:506:391:04 and 16:082:594:01)

Cultural heritage is an entanglement of discourses and experiences that mediate the past in the present, and give meaning to our existence as socialized beings. Because of its associations with power, modernity and the West, heritage has been always an arena for social struggles. Defining heritage is a contested process that brings into confront different conceptions of identity and community, as well as different positionalities regarding economics, development, environmental sustainability, authenticity, ethics, and law. Over this course, we will critically examine cultural heritage, and how its professionals—e.g. anthropologists, archaeologists, art historians, museum professionals, architects—and stakeholders engage in the process of defining heritage. We will examine key issues in the work heritage such as the notions of authenticity, ownership, risk, protection, and responsibility.

447. INTERNSHIP IN HISTORIC PRESERVATION

(Index 04706)

Permission Required.

491. CAPSTONE IN ART HISTORY

(CAC, M45, 1:10-4:10, VH001, Section 01, Sidlauskas, 06354)

This is a fraught moment in history to be grappling with issues of race and representation. Given the vastness and complexity of the topic, it goes without saying that it is impossible to do it justice in one semester. The majority of our collective discussions will be devoted to the visual culture of the African diaspora in the US, France and Belgium, with forays into the art of the Caribbean. We will grapple key texts from art history, anthropology, sociology, gender, cultural, and new media studies, in relation to particular objects, exhibitions, performances or installations.   We will conclude the semester by discussing the visual culture of violence. Digital forms of image-making raise challenging new questions about the intersections of race, politics and representation.

During the semester, we will consider the origins and reverberations of the Hottentot Venus, as manifest in such works as Kara Walker’s Marvelous Sugar Baby, her 2014 installation in the now-demolished Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg; Fred Wilson’s re-envisioning of the historical museum; the ephemeral installations of the artists of the Caribbean diaspora; the relationship between anxieties about race and disease in the paintings of Picasso; the ethics of the representation of slavery; new forms of the portrait as social critique; the practice of exhibiting “the races” in the countries that colonized them; race and medicine, and the challenges to both collecting and exhibiting posed by these eclectic, demanding forms of visual culture.

Students will do weekly response papers; lead one informal class discussion, do an in-class presentation on a research subject that will become the foundation for the 12-15 page paper you will hand in within a week of the last class.

All readings will be posted on sakai. Texts that will be helpful throughout the semester include: Kobena Mercer’s “Hybridity and Globalization,” in The Image of the Black in Western Art: Richard Powell’s book Cutting a Figure; Michael Harris’s Colored Pictures: Race and Visual Representation: Krista Thompson’s Shine; as well as the writings Frantz Fanon, K. Anthony Appiah, and bell hooks.

493. INDIVIDUAL STUDY ART HISTORY

(Index 00016)

Permission Required.

495. INTERNSHIP ART HISTORY

(Index 04707)

Permission Required. Only open to Art History majors.

497. HONORS IN ART HISTORY

(CAC, F, 9:00-12:00, VH001, Index 00017)

Permission Required. Only open to Art History majors.

499. ADVANCED SEMINARY ART HISTORY

(Index 09363)

Prerequisites: 01:082:491 or 492.

Contact Us

Voorhees Hall
71 Hamilton Street
New Brunswick, NJ, 08901


P  848-932-7041

F 732-932-1261
departmental email