Course Title:  01:082:205  Introduction to Asian Art

Academic Credits: 3 credits

Mode of Instruction:  Lecture

Course Prerequisites and Corequisites:  None

Core Curriculum:  None

Course Description:

Moving chronologically and thematically, this course surveys the history of art across Asia, with particular emphasis on India, China, and Japan, and with limited forays into Korea, Cambodia, and Indonesia. Each week’s lectures highlight key moments in Asia’s visual history, beginning with the earliest civilizations of the bronze age and moving through to the politics of globalizing art worlds in the present day. A strong emphasis will be placed on parallel developments, on important cultural connections, and on moments of cultural contact through pilgrimage, travel, and trade.

Topics to be considered include urbanism, architecture and the built environment, sculpture in various media, decorative arts, ceramics, illustrated manuscripts, scrolls and painting; portraiture; theology and ritual arts; colonialism and globalization; and contemporary arts and artistic revivals.

This course is intended as an introductory survey, accessible to both majors and non-majors, and no background in either art history or Asian studies is necessary for its successful completion.

Learning Goals:

This course is intended to provide students with a broad familiarity with the rich art and architectural traditions across Asia.

By the end of the course, students will satisfy the following objectives:

  • To identify the major critical issues in the study of Asian art in the context of globalization in both the present-day and historic past.
  • To recognize the major artistic movements styles of works of art from different regions of Asia and situate them within their historical contexts.
  • To analyze art produced in a variety of media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, architecture, and urban form. 
  • To understand the ways in which museums and archaeological sites inform our interpretation of works of art in the present day. 
  • To improve oral and written expression through the participation of in-class discussions and completion of writing assignments.

Course Materials:


Course Instructor:

Professor Tamara Sears

Disclaimer: These Course Description/Synopses pages have been provided as samples and the information should not be considered accurate or current. For actual course information, refer to the course site hosted by a Rutgers Learning Management System (Sakai, Canvas, etc.) as of first day of class.