Course Descriptions


Fall Quarter

Dept Course No and Title Instructor
In this course we start with a brief look at prehistoric cave painting and megaliths, and move on to the art of the ancient Near East, Egypt, Greece and Rome, with a focus on the early cultures around the Mediterranean Sea. We study famous works of art and architecture such as the Great Pyramids and Sphinx, the Palace of Minos at Knossos, the Parthenon, the Venus de Milo and Winged Victory, Pompeii, and the Colosseum and Pantheon in Rome: a selection of the art and architecture of the past admired and studied by people for many centuries or in some instances only recently excavated. We consider how and why the peoples of antiquity created art and architecture, how the visual arts can illuminate cultural issues, and how ancient art takes on various meanings to us today. Some attention is given to archaeological methods, and the issues of ownership, conservation and presentation of ancient artifacts.
What is an image? How do images operate? What do images do? Focusing on the central role of images in contemporary culture as mediators and active participants in issues of race, gender, sexuality, and socialization, this course pays close attention to how these basic questions about images and their socio-cultural powers in the age of social media can be inform by historical works of art from antiquity to the early modern period. Each course will be structured through a series of central image collisions. These collisions serve as critical comparisons between two representative images (one from a distant past and another from a near present), which exemplify the tensions and themes addressed by the course. For example, medieval cults around images will be collided with contemporary fandoms and their practices, representations of minorities in the Classical world will be collided with modern representations of minority groups in film, and images of early modern trade and discovers will be collided with contemporary manifestations of globalization and social networking.
Discover architecture in Los Angeles from ca. 1900 to the present. From Art Nouveau to Art Deco, Frank Lloyd Wright to Charles and Ray Eames, from mid-century modernism to Frank Gehry, this course will explore the extraordinary built environment of the big Orange. Course includes field trips and films that feature LA architecture. Themes covered will include concepts of the urban jungle, space age and car culture, mid-century modernism and architecture as film set.
This course will investigate the roles and history of photography primarily in China and Japan, from its arrival in the mid-19th century through the 20th century. We will examine the uses of photography in the service of journalism and news reporting, ethnography and geography, science, propaganda, tourism, entertainment, and of course, art. Beginning with Western photographers’ images of a distant “Orient,” this course will conclude with the uses of photography in contemporary Asian art.
This course explores the art and visual culture of modern China. Focusing on how artists addressed, experienced, and engaged with immense social and historical change from the late 19th through the 20th century, it will also address the modern Chinese artist's use of a wide range of media, ranging from ink painting to oil painting, photography and and printmaking, before concluding with contemporary installation and performance art. Major themes include the shifting functions and purposes of art during this tumultuous period, and issues of modernity and Chinese identity.
Examines depictions of and by African American women in art and popular culture through in a variety of media including textiles, painting, sculpture, photography, and installation. Focuses on African American women’s experiences, perspectives, and strategies for contemporary representation.
Explores depictions of and by African Americans through photography.  Examines the history of photography in relationship to African American culture through a variety of media from early daguerreotype processes to digital imagery.
AH140B F14: What was Pop art? How and why did Pop artists incorporate commercial imagery (advertisements, celebrity photos, comic strips) and techniques into their art works, and what impact did they have on pop culture during the 1960s? This course also considers how artists including David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Marisol, and Andy Warhol referred to Civil Rights, the Vietnam war, counterculture, feminism and sexual politics among other pressing and controversial topics of the day.
Art is so highly valued, with such a strong emotional and political charge, that disputes—even wars—over its acquisition, ownership, and display can be traced for millenia. Acute problems surround the acquisition of antiquities that typically surface through illegal digging, theft or plunder, and this scavenging destroys contexts, resulting in the irreversible loss of history. Art of more recent periods may be offensive, or may record or reflect atrocities and be painful to view.  How do historians of art assess and advise these ethical challenges?  What are the legal frameworks that seek to control ownership and display of art?  What should be the role of modern museums?  What happens to cultural property, including art, in time of war, and is it possible to anticipate and regulate this?  Should modern countries have the right to claim past artistic production from much earlier periods as their own exclusive state property, or does the art of the past belong to everyone as a part of global heritage?  How can we try to avoid the deliberate destruction of art by ideologues?  This course addresses a broad range of ethical and legal issues pertaining to art, ownership and cultural heritage. We will explore ways to come to a consensus on controversies, and also consider how concern about these issues reflects our contemporary values.
No detailed description available.

For the most up-to-date information, check the Schedule of Classes.