Spring 2019 Courses

Not long after Europeans stumbled across the Americas, a whole new genre of visual culture was born: representations of new lands and new peoples. Early European imagery was dominated by graphic works catering to audience fascination with the new, the bizarre, and things of prurient interest. The story of these images and their makers is fraught with issues of exoticism and justifying colonial subjugation of Indigenous peoples. Despite this, many of these early Othering images remain foundational to commonplace depiction of Indigenous Americans to this day. There is also a large body of visual works wherein indigenous Americans tried to incorporate Europeans and others into their own extant traditions and created representations of themselves and their cultures for the new European audience, using both traditional means and the new Western visual idiom. This seminar will critically reassess this body of work as well as looking into the history of those who sought out and collected such imagery through time.

Recommended reading: llona Katzew. Contested Visions in the Spanish Colonial World. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 2011

This course fulfills the Non-Western/Non-European requirement.

This course fulfills the Museum Studies requirement.

ARHS 536

Imaging the Other: Representing Colonized and Colonizer in the Americas

Mondays, 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Dr. William Barnes OEC 414

From Civil War battlefields to Tiananmen Square. Inside factories and living rooms. Mountain peaks, city streets, wars, and birthday parties. Public lives and private moments around the world. Since the invention of photography in 1839, photographers around the world have documented people, places, and moments, allowing us to transcend our own experiences through the photograph. This course examines the development of documentary photography over the course of time and space/place, addressing broad questions such as: What is the purpose of documentary photography and how has it changed over time? What is the is meant by documentary photography, photo-journalism, and photography as art ? What is the relationship of photography to notions of “truth?” What ethical issues are at play in the production and consumption of documentary photography? What drives photographers to document the world? Can documentary photographs lead to changes in society? We will read key theoretical texts as well as current scholarship on the topic. Other specific topics to explore include photography and the built environment, women documentarians working in a male-dominated field, war photography, photography and racial and social justice, documentary film and its relation to photography, documenting the landscape, and museums/galleries & the acceptance of photography as an art form. While this course is conceived from an art historical perspective, students will be required to experiment with designing and producing their own documentary project (no special equipment required). 

Photographers to be studied include well-known documentary photographers such as Bernice Adams, Walker Evans, Louis Hine, Dorothea Lange, Mary Ellen Mark, Gordon Parks, W. Eugene Smith, Edward Steichen, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Jacob Riis, and Ansel Adams, as well as many other photographers working globally, from 1839 to the present.

Suggested background reading: Mary Warner Marien, Photography: A Cultural History

This course fulfills the European/European-American requirement. 
This seminar is Museum Studies Certificate designated.

ARHS 545 Documentary Photography Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Dr. Heather Shirey OEC 414

Echoes of Greek and Roman art have been used to shape and frame western art and culture for centuries. In this course, we will examine how ancient Greeks and Romans used images to reflect personal and cultural ideologies and how those images were borrowed, appropriated, used, and abused, in later periods. We will consider how iconographic and stylistic choices were deployed to convey or reify meaning at the time of production, as well as how the meaning of those objects might have been reinterpreted, or influenced the art of later eras. We will look at the legacy of antiquity especially in the context of the 18th-19th century birth of archaeology and building of European collections and how they influenced modern notions of the Antique and Western art. The vagaries and issues surrounding the contemporary market in antiquities will also be explored.

This course fulfills the European/European-American requirement.
This seminar is Museum Studies Certificate designated.

ARHS 510 Greek and Roman Art in Constructions of Identity Thursdays, 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Dr. Vanessa Rousseau OEC 414