Winter 2022 Class ScheduleArt History offerings for the 2021-22 school year are tentative and subject to change without notice.
|Course #||Course Title||Instructor||Day/Time||Location|
|ART_HIST 240||Introduction to Asian Art||Sharma||TR |
ART_HIST 240 Introduction to Asian Art
This survey serves as a first introduction to artistic practices of Asia spanning the ancient, medieval and modern/contemporary periods. In this course we will investigate key examples of art and architecture from India, China and Japan focusing on a selection of artistic traditions, styles, built environments (archaeological sites and monuments) and media (prints, painting, sculpture, decorative arts, photography). Course materials will take up a thematic as well as object/site-oriented case-study based approach, drawing upon the role of religion, cultural interactions, trade and entanglements of art with imperialism, colonialism, modernization and war and current issues around museum display and exhibitions. The survey is aimed at developing skills of visual literacy, analysis and awareness of art-historical debates and will provide opportunities to engage with close reading of objects and their larger historical, cultural and scholarly contexts.
|ART_HIST 319||Comparative Approaches to Ancient Empires||Gunter||TR |
ART_HIST 319 Comparative Approaches to Ancient Empires
Stimulated by current interest in decolonization and globalization, the study of ancient empires is now thriving. A major research trend adopts a comparative, cross-cultural framework to try to understand and explain commonalities and differences, which this course explores. Did the first complex territorial states we call empires emerge and develop in similar ways? What factors or institutions were crucial to their trajectory and success, and what theories have been proposed to account for them? What are the benefits and challenges of a comparative, multidisciplinary perspective, and what new kinds of histories might it produce? Many recent investigations compare Rome and Qin/Han China; others consider the historical sequence of empires in the Middle East, such as the Neo-Assyrian and Achaemenid Persian empires; still others analyze characteristics of imperial formation and rule in historically unrelated empires in different geographical regions and eras.
This course examines selected case studies drawn from a wide geographical and chronological range, with special focus on the ancient Mediterranean and Middle East. We will examine different aspects of territorial expansion, consolidation, and rule, including state ideology, bureaucracy, cosmopolitanism, urbanism, borders and frontiers, religion, and the creation and circulation of the imperial image. Readings will represent contributions by scholars working in different disciplines, including history, art history, and archaeology.
|ART_HIST 320-3||Medieval Art: Late Medieval: Gothic Art and Architecture||Normore||TR |
ART_HIST 320-3 Medieval Art: Late Medieval: Gothic Art and Architecture
|ART_HIST 330-2||Renaissance and Mannerism: Southern European Art 1400-1600: The High Renaissance and Mannerism in Italy and Beyond||Metzler||MW |
ART_HIST 330-2 Renaissance and Mannerism: Southern European Art 1400-1600: The High Renaissance and Mannerism in Italy and Beyond
This course explores the art of the High Renaissance in Italy and beyond, celebrating the epoch of the artistic genius. Renaissance style was coveted for its innovation and perfection, and has made a lasting impact on society through present time. We will journey across Italy, chiefly in Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome, examining the major monuments created by legendary figures (such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Raphael) and assess the political, cultural, and religious forces fomenting these creations. We will also study the enigmatic style of Mannerism in the art of Giorgione, Titian, Bronzino, and Pontormo, among others, covering painting, sculpture, and architecture. In addition to Italy, our artistic odyssey will also stop briefly in France, Czech Republic, and Poland, to consider how the Italian Renaissance impacted cities and royal courts.Students will gain an understanding of the Renaissance era ca. 1490-1580, and through innovative assignments such as social media posts and virtual exhibitions, comprehend the relevance of Renaissance style today
|ART_HIST 386||Art of Africa: Photography and Africa||Byrd||MW |
ART_HIST 386 Art of Africa: Photography and Africa
This course examines the role of photography in shaping and transforming ideas of Africa—its peoples, cultures, and geographies—from the late-nineteenth century to the present. Across colonial and post-colonial contexts, we will consider how artists, amateur and professional photographers, exhibitions, and publications variously register and respond to social, cultural, and political changes on the continent. Through course readings, lectures, and study room visits, we will engage a range of forms including colonial ethnography, studio portraiture, film, advertisements, photojournalism, and contemporary art—paying close attention to the circulation, reception, and material shifts of photographic imagery across time and space. The course will analyze the work of unknown makers as well as paradigmatic figures such as Felicia Abban, Mama Casset, Ernest Cole, Alphonso Lisk-Carew, Seydou Keïta, Albert George Lutterodt, Malick Sidibé, and Zanele Muholi, among others. We will also engage objects in the collections of either the Herskovits Library of African Studies or the Art Institute of Chicago.
|ART_HIST 390||Undergraduate Seminar: Cairo/Paris: Art & Empire in the Modern City||Dowad||MW |
ART_HIST 390 Undergraduate Seminar: Cairo/Paris: Art & Empire in the Modern City
This seminar will explore the co-evolution of artistic modernity and the colonial metropolis in the 19th century through a focus on Ottoman Cairo and its connections with the traditional center of art historical study of art, empire, and modernity: Paris.
Beginning with Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798 and ending with the country’s occupation by the British in 1882, this course will trace Cairo’s cultural transformations through close attention to a range of objects and sites—paintings, political cartoons, urban monuments, museums, world’s fairs, architecture, and scientific illustration—all emerging at the nexus of Ottoman and French interimperial rivalry and cooperation.
This course will challenge the conventional binaries of East vs. West, traditional vs. modern, and local vs. global by exploring art and architecture’s active role in shaping urban life across these two cities, paying special attention to the emergence of national, racial, and sexual identities.
|ART_HIST 391||Undergraduate Methods Seminar: Art Historical Methods||Caticha||F |
ART_HIST 391 Undergraduate Methods Seminar: Art Historical Methods
This seminar provides an introduction to art historical research methods for undergraduates, particularly those interested in writing an honors thesis. The seminar will survey the history of art with a focus on recent debates and interventions within the field (e.g. feminist, critical race theory, and decolonial approaches). The seminar will also provide studnets with concrete tools to develop, research, and write original art historical scholarship. What does it mean to ask an original art historical research question? What is hisoriography and how is it critical for mapping out and developing an original thesis statement and argument? How does one effectively analyze primary sources? What constitutes “evidence,” and how is the dominant perception of “evidence” shaped by art history’s origins?
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|ART_HIST 403||Mellon COSI Objects and Materials||Escobar||F |
ART_HIST 403 Mellon COSI Objects and Materials
The Chicago Objects Study Initiative (COSI) is a tri-institutional collaboration between the Art Institute of Chicago and the Departments of Art History at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. COSI is aimed at creating new and transformative ways for graduate students to experience the direct study of artworks; learning about conservation and conservation science approaches to materials; and broadening scholarly horizons through the tools and methods of technical research on art objects and their materiality.
The co-taught Objects and Materials Seminar, required of first-year graduate students at Northwestern and the University of Chicago, lies at the heart of COSI. The course focuses on sustained, close engagement with art objects in the collection of the Art Institute and the methods and questions such inquiry raises. Seminar meetings will include portions devoted to discussions of assigned readings led by two university professors and others focused on active engagement with objects in the company of curators and conservation scientists. Although there are four primary instructors for this course (the two university professors, the director of research at the Art Institute, and an Art Institute conservation scientist), it relies on the contributions of a host of other Art Institute colleagues who will introduce students to the complex workings of a major public institution and the ways in which object-focused research is conducted in such a setting.
|ART_HIST 460 / MENA 490-0-2||Studies in 20th & 21st Century Art: Aesthetics of Solidarity||Feldman / Johnson||T |
ART_HIST 460 / MENA 490-0-2 Studies in 20th & 21st Century Art: Aesthetics of Solidarity
This course focuses on connected political and social movements--both within the MENA region and between movements outside of it--alongside the aesthetic forms those movements and solidarities produced and sometimes shared. Specifically, this course helps us think critically about the long history of solidarity politics and forms as well as their future, and even about the terms “solidarity” [تضامن]. and “aesthetics” [جماليات] themselves.
What can we learn from historical examples of connected movements in order to understand the way in which allegiance and disidentification are articulated through multiple aesthetic platforms and modalities? What can aesthetics teach us about the possibilities and limits of shared imaginations and political aspirations? Additionally, we ask how activists, artists, and scholars mobilize the aesthetic and the linguistic to address tensions in translocal solidarities between national or local specificities and singularities on the one hand, and shared or cognate experiences and structures on the other? Are “solidarity” and “aesthetics” even the most accurate or desirable terms to describe such diverse movements as they exist in the history of connected struggles across the long 20th century (from third worldism of the mid-century to more contemporary actions such as DecolonizeThis Place/BDS)?
Our investigations will bring us to study literary texts, manifestos, journals, art works and projects, scholarly debates, and films emanating from or concerned with the formerly (or still) colonized regions of the Middle East.This class includes a professionalization component in that it culminates in a symposium of 20 minute presentations from all class members, the texts of which are to be handed in for graded assessment which feeds into final grades, otherwise equally based on class participation and contextual research presentations. A significant majority of materials will be available in English, but language skills in Arabic and/or French would be helpful.
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