Course Topics

ART 103 Foundations: Circa NOW

This course introduces students to current art trends and theoretical preoccupations. We will begin to investigate visual language, its purpose, and its cultural and historical import with an emphasis on contemporary art and critical theory that has informed art production in the last 75 years. Students will endeavor to find a place for themselves within this tradition and critically reflect on their own artistic values and concerns.

ARTH 251 A Survey of Western Art I

This survey course will introduce students to the different styles and functions of art from the Paleolithic period to the Gothic age, giving students the background and tools for understanding the visual culture of each period against the cultural background of their times. Attention is paid to the analysis of the art objects alongside historical texts to allow for a historical interpretation of the past.

ARTH 252 A Survey of Western Art II

This course introduces students to the different styles and functions of art in the Western world from Renaissance to the present day. Our approach will be selective rather than comprehensive, and therefore we will examine the major monuments and art works from 1400 to 2012. The course will be a combination of lecture and discussion, prompted by various in-class activities designed to help students critically engage the art, our readings, and the techniques of art history.

ARTH 262 American Art

This course will survey the history of art in the United States from the colonial period through the 20th century. The class will address the meaning of and controversy surrounding the idea of a strictly "American" art. We will discuss the ways in which our relatively new country sought to define itself through visual media.

ARTH 264 Pre-Columbian and Native American Art

This course will examine the diverse artistic traditions of the Americas from the precontact period to the present day. Emphasis will be placed on situating artistic production within its cultural context and examining how precontact practices continue to inform contemporary artistic production.

ARTH 362 A 19th Century Art

This course will examine the major artists and artistic movements of the 19th century. In particular we will be concerned with how artists both participated in and responded to larger cultural and historical events.

ARTH 364 20th Century Art

This class examines a selection of the major art movements since 1880, including Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Cubism, Dada, Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop, Minimalism, Conceptual art, and art of the Postmodern era. In this endeavor we will be primarily focused on the works of art themselves and on the writings of artists and critics.

WGST 368 Gender in Art

Taking Linda Nochlin's seminal essay, "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" as our starting point, this course will explore the place of gender in the history of art. We will explore both images of men and images of women, as well as the differing roles afforded to male and female artists across time. We will examine assumptions we and others make about women, gender, art, culture, queer theory, and feminism.

ARTH 379 Art History Methods

This course will offer advanced students the opportunity to explore methods of art historical research and analysis, as well as historiography.

PAID 450 Thinking Through Ethics of Art

This team-taught course explores the relationships between practices and theories of art through the lenses of philosophy and art history. We'll take a thematic approach, focusing on ethical issues in the arts, such as art and censorship, recent deaccessioning controversies, use of animals in art, eco-criticism, and problems related to the representation of women, ethnic and racial groups, and children. We'll be particularly concerned with the way that artists across time and cultures have engaged these ethical issues.