Spring 2021 Class Schedule
|Course #||Course Title||Instructor||Day/Time||Location|
|ART_HIST 235||Introduction to Latin American Art||Escobar||TR |
ART_HIST 235 Introduction to Latin American Art
This class surveys art and especially architecture across Latin America from around 1500 to around 1945, focusing on the colonial era. From Mexico to Peru and from the Caribbean Sea to the Río de la Plata, we will explore churches, public buildings, and works of art in a variety of media—including wood and stone sculpture, feather and mural painting, prints and books—as expressions of the complex societies that emerged in the Americas after 1492. Along the way, we will study the output of artisans, artists, and architects whose names have been forgotten by history and the work of others whose biographies have become better known in recent years such as the indigenous Andean painter Andrés Sánchez Galque. Additionally, the class will consider familiar figures such as Guaman Poma de Ayala, Cristóbal de Villalpando, Miguel de Cabrera, Diego Quispe Tito, Frida Kahlo, Tina Modotti, Juan O’Gorman, Joaquín Torres García, and Óscar Niemeyer.
Lectures will be held twice per week, and students must also enroll in a discussion section led by a teaching assistant on Fridays. Depending on pandemic-related restrictions, the course hopes to make use of art collections in Chicago — the Art Institute of Chicago and the National Museum of Mexican Art, primarily — for introductory-level research projects. Please note that the textbook can be ordered in print or as an e-book; the edition is the same.
|ART_HIST 359||Special Topics in 19th Century: Fashion, Race, and Power||Caticha||MW |
ART_HIST 359 Special Topics in 19th Century: Fashion, Race, and Power
This course considers the history of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century fashion through the lens of European colonialism and the Atlantic slave trade. Marie-Antoinette’s lavish gowns and towering wigs, the empire-waist dresses of Regency England, and richly printed calico muslins, among other objects, will be understood through the histories of race, colonialism, science, and industry. Who made these garments? What materials did they use and where were these materials from? How was fashion deployed as a tool to perform power, gender, race, and national identity? How has the history of European fashion systematically erased the contributions of black women and women of color? How were the very same styles and fashions worn by white Europeans transformed by free and enslaved black women as a tool of resistance and expression of identity? Throughout this course, we will also engage with contemporary art and popular culture with the goal of understanding the historical legacy and fetishization of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century period dress.
|ART_HIST 368||Special Topics in Modern Art: Art of the Russian Revolution||Kiaer||TR |
ART_HIST 368 Special Topics in Modern Art: Art of the Russian Revolution
This hybrid course examines the art and visual culture of revolution, from the first Russian revolution of 1905, to the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, to the Stalin Revolution of the 1930s. Russian artists were among the first to invent abstraction in the 1910s, and, after the 1917 Revolution, to fulfill the slogan “art into life.” With particular attention to the unusual number of woman artists within these movements, we will study late 19th-century Russian traditions of realism and Impressionism; modernist movements such as Neo-primitivism, Cubo-futurism, Suprematism, Constructivism, photomontage, new photography and experimental film; as well as the parallel development of modernist realisms that culminated in the invention of Socialist Realism as an alternative model of modern art across mediums.
|ART_HIST 389||Special Topics in Asian Art: Neolithic Petroglyphs and Neuro-Art History||Linrothe||TR |
ART_HIST 389 Special Topics in Asian Art: Neolithic Petroglyphs and Neuro-Art History
The study of prehistoric imagery in caves and on cliffs requires a variety of perspectives and disciplines, including archaeology, anthropology, biology, geology, environment and climate science and visual analysis. Recently, neuroscience and neuroaesthetics have been promoted as providing insights. Using petroglyphs from the western Himalayas as test cases, placed within a comparative framework, this course will examine many of the assumptions and interpretations of images of powerful mountains inhabitants—human and mammal—in order to grasp at the communicative and expressive functions of images inscribed into landscapes on boulders and stone walls. We will also look at continuities of rock art imagery in the early historical period, as well as the tragic destruction that development and climate change are wreaking on thousand-year-old paintings and carvings.
|ART_HIST 390_HUM||Undergraduate Seminar: Modern Art and Spiritual Thought||Yousefi||MW |
ART_HIST 390_HUM Undergraduate Seminar: Modern Art and Spiritual Thought
This course examines the relationship between modern art and spiritual thought in the twentieth century. Though modern art is often assumed to be secular, beginning with the inception of abstract art in Europe in the early 1900s, many artists such as Hilma af Klint, Wassily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, and Piet Mondrian explained their turn to abstraction in spiritual terms. They believed that modern art is uniquely capable of connecting us to hidden realities. The aim of this course is to learn to read the aesthetic dimensions of modern art through a spiritual lens and provide students with critical tools to enhance the experience of seeing modernist films, paintings, or sculptures. The course will focus on the work of European and American artists as well as their contemporaries working in the global south. Topics discussed include Surrealism and magic, spiritual modernism as de-colonial practice, Sufism and Theosophy, American Abstract Expressionism, and Soviet spiritual cinema. We will examine key theoretical texts by Walter Benjamin, Clement Greenberg, and Rosalind Krauss.
|ART_HIST 395||COSI Undergraduate Seminar: Blackness and Abstraction||Love||F |
ART_HIST 395 COSI Undergraduate Seminar: Blackness and Abstraction
This course addresses the relationship between racial Blackness and abstraction in Modernist art from the 1920s to the 1960s. Through close analysis of objects in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, we will rethink the canonical historiography of Modernist abstraction by situating it in relation to primitivism, colonialism, racial representation, the civil rights movement, and anticolonial struggles. The seminar will be split into three blocks of three weeks, each of which revolves around a primary case study: Constantin Brâncuşi’s White Negress II(1928), Norman Lewis’s Multitudes (1946), and Ibrahim el-Salahi’s Male-Female Figure with Pomegranate (1968). Rather than simulating a developmental narrative, these three blocks are contrapuntal: they provide a window into the artistic, cultural, and political issues of three different time periods (Interwar, Postwar, and Postcolonial) and three different continents (Europe, North America, and Africa). Against a monolithic conception of “Black art,” this seminar demonstrates how racial Blackness undergirds the practices of diverse artists across a wide historical and geographic spectrum.
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|ART_HIST 406||Dissertation Prospectus||Kiaer||M |
ART_HIST 406 Dissertation Prospectus
|ART_HIST 450||Studies in 19th Century Art: Art and the Anthropocene||Eisenman/Mitchell||W |
ART_HIST 450 Studies in 19th Century Art: Art and the Anthropocene
“Anthropocene” is the name of the epoch in geologic history when earth systems no longer follow their natural course but are instead directed by humans. Its geologic markers, found across the globe, consist of technofossils (industrial litter deposited by rivers and streams) and radionuclides (from atomic blasts). But before it officially becomes part of the geologic time scale, the name must be adopted by the International Commission on Stratigraphy. That decision will come later this year.
The Anthropocene Working Group of the Union of Geological Sciences has proposed that the new epoch commenced in the mid-twentieth century, when a growing human population and accelerated industrial production, combined with atomic litter, became embedded in sediments and glacial ice, forming part of the geologic record. Some scholars, however, have argued for a much earlier origin, perhaps the early-mid 19th Century, when the use of fossil fuels became widespread. Others have taken it back still further to early modern times, or even to antiquity.
The course will examine artworks of the past and present in order to determine their expressive location – their footprint – in the Anthropocene. Students will write a number of short papers that articulate the anthropocenic character of artworks they have selected from any time and culture. The papers will be read and critiqued by the whole class, and selected examples – hopefully, many of them – will be published with the student’ permission on the dedicated page of the website of Anthropocene Alliance. These papers may later become part of a larger digital humanities project – supervised by Professor Paul Jaskot of Duke University -- that will map the art of the Anthropocene in place and time.
|ART_HIST 460||Studies in 20th & 21st Century Art: Mellon Foundation John E. Sawyer Seminar: Black Art in Anti-Black Worlds: Africa and the Black Diaspora||Madison/Jones||T |
ART_HIST 460 Studies in 20th & 21st Century Art: Mellon Foundation John E. Sawyer Seminar: Black Art in Anti-Black Worlds: Africa and the Black Diaspora
“[Anti-Blackness is] a theoretical framework that illuminates society’s inability to recognize our humanity — the disdain, disregard and disgust for our existence.”
--kihana miraya ross, NYT, 4 June 2020
As the world begins to boldly name and directly address white supremacy in many sectors, the recognition of anti-Blackness as a primary pillar of that social terror becomes more widely understood. This graduate seminar explores how Black art navigates social and aesthetic agency and autonomy in worlds founded on the denigration of Black people and the realities we make. From questions of the legibility of Black Bodies, to the use of sonic innovations, to the politics of linguistic and textual choices, Black art making asserts Black truths in spite of the persistence of social abjection. By creating performance scores in response to readings and prompts from a group of international artist/scholars, students employ embodied strategies as visceral theory-making and art-building. In addition, students will have opportunities to build community with each other as they practice written and oral collegial commentaries.
|ART_HIST 460||Studies in 20th & 21st Century Art- “Create Dangerously”: Contemporary Caribbean Art||Thompson||R |
ART_HIST 460 Studies in 20th & 21st Century Art- “Create Dangerously”: Contemporary Caribbean Art
Taking its title from the generative work of novelist and activist Edwidge Danticat, this course examines the work and role of contemporary Caribbean artists who use their practices to address, to intervene into, crises facing the region. Whether calling attention to climate change, state violence, LGBTQ rights, racism, sexism, colonialism, national insecurity, service and servitude industries or systems of monetary debt and finance, artists engage regional issues that are increasingly urgent in many parts of the world. We will read work by a number of scholars, including Edwidge Danticat, Deborah Thomas, Gina Athena Ulysse, and Monique Allewart, and consider new platforms for Caribbean art scholarship.
|ART_HIST 498||Art History::Space||Team taught||F |
ART_HIST 498 Art History::Space
This seminar will provide a space for members of the department to gather, in community, and reflect on the field of art history and the ways in which it is and can be practiced in light of political turmoil, pandemic, and the struggles for racial and social justice.
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