Course Descriptions

Term:  

Winter Quarter

Dept Course No and Title Instructor
ART HIS (W19)40B  EUROPE:MEDIEVL &RENMASSEY, L.
AH 40B (Western Art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance) focuses on the long period that extends from the end of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century through the sixteenth century. There are no prerequisites for the course and no expectations that students will necessarily have taken Art History 40A. Less a survey than a series of case studies, this course looks at colossal statues of emperors, miracle working icons, gem encrusted reliquaries, Gothic cathedrals, the eye-tricking illusions of Renaissance painters, the first nude statues in the West since antiquity, Michelangelo’s paintings in the Sistine Chapel, and Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. In looking at these things, we will trace the emergence of European visual culture, its dialogue with other cultures, the questioning of the nature and validity of representation within that culture — especially the representation of the human body — and the gradual eclipse of the sacred icon by the secular, modern work of art during the Renaissance.
ART HIS (W19)42B  ARTS OF CHINAWUE, R.
This course offers an introduction to art history through the art and visual culture of China from prehistoric times to the 20th century. We will examine how the religious, political, philosophical, and cultural traditions of China are expressed, created, and communicated by visual images and objects, proceeding chronologically and thematically.
ART HIS (W19)103  AGE OF ALEXANDERMILES, M.
Alexander the Great won an empire that stretched from Greece to Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. After his death in 323 BCE, his huge empire was broken up into several Hellenistic kingdoms that soon became cultural leaders of the Mediterranean world, especially Pergamon and Alexandria in Egypt! In this course we study the impact of Alexander and Greek culture on this large area, with a focus on how new forms of sculpture and architecture reflected the new social and political realities. In Egypt, we study how the Ptolemaic rulers used both Egyptian and Greek types for their buildings and monuments, with special attention to the last of the Ptolemies, Cleopatra. We will also consider how the Hellenistic period ended with the defeat of Cleopatra and Marc Antony by Augustus, and how the Roman triumph was reflected in art and architecture in Rome.
ART HIS (W19)107  ANCIENT ROMEMILES, M.
How did Rome become the center of the ancient world? In this course we study how Romans used art and architecture to project their hard-won power, to live comfortably, to dazzle visitors. Our focus is the city Rome, but we’ll consider too the well-preserved houses and villas in the Bay of Naples (Pompeii, Herculaneum, Stabiae)—Rome’s vacationland. The Romans made substantial contributions in sculptured and decorated arches and altars, wall-painting, buildings with soaring interiors, as well as the famous baths and amphitheaters. Fortunately ancient authors wrote a lot about the city, so we’ll read what they have to say about what life was like. We will also consider the impact of Rome on the art of later periods, including representations of ancient Rome in painting and film.
ART HIS (W19)111B  BYZANTINE 650-1450BETANCOURT, R.
What is an image? How is an image used? What does an image do? Focusing on the central role of images in Byzantine culture, this course pays close attention to how these basic questions about images and their powers in the medieval world can inform the ways in which we think about images in the age of social media. Spanning the crucial years of the Byzantine Empire, this survey course looks at the art, architecture, and theories of visual culture in the medieval lands of the eastern Mediterranean, encompassing diverse places such as Sicily, Venice, North Africa, the Levant, the Balkans, and modern-day Turkey, Greece, Syria, and Russia. Course meetings will be organized around themes such as social networking, virality, image-sharing, interactivity, and so on that define our own contemporary visual experiences to see what the Middle Ages can teach us about our present. No prerequisites.
ART HIS (W19)164B  CONTEMP AFAM ARTCOOKS CUMBO, B.
This course is the second part of a two-part investigation of the history and aesthetics of African American art with a particular focus on the politics of representation. Beginning chronologically with government sponsored artworks in the 1930s and ending with contemporary art of the twenty-first century, students will study artworks created by African Americans. Explores art in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, photography, installation, and new media. Issues of cultural politics, appropriation, identity, gender, sexuality, hybridity and civil rights are discussed. Course readings and class discussions are the primary means of investigating the topics discussed.
ART HIS (W19)190W  ART HISTORY METHODSCOOKS CUMBO, B.
This seminar offers an overview of the major methodological approaches to writing art history; it is also a writing-intensive course that seeks to improve students’ writing skills as they relate to looking at, analyzing and researching works of art.  By reading, discussing and writing about a selection of art historical essays, students will come to a fuller understanding of the tools used by art historians to investigate art work.  Students will use these methods to write, edit and revise their course papers.  This course is a requirement for art history majors.
ART HIS (W19)198  THEME PARKSBETANCOURT, R.
Unofficial Title: Disneyland: Art, Architecture, and Operation

This course looks at the history of theme parks and themed spaces. Focusing on Disneyland, we will be looking closely at the foundations of theme park design, the art historical sources and references, and the day-to-day operations of theme parks. Particular attention will be given to ride design and operations, including the basics of roller coaster workings, operation guidelines, and technical patents. We will also be looking at the role played by social media and fandoms. This will look at matters like Park vlogs and vloggers, cast member social media, Disneybounding, and other fan practices, both official and unofficial. As such the course will include both readings and assignments based on the art, architecture, and history of the parks, as well as more technical literature, YouTube videos, and Instagram accounts.

Moving the conversation away from Imagineering onto cast members and fans, the goal of this course is to reevaluate and rethink what makes Disneyland and similar themed spaces unique cultural spaces. Matters of representation, inclusion, and diversity will be at the core of our discussions.

Field trips to the Disneyland Resort and conversations with cast members are possible depending on student interest and ability.
ART HIS (W19)198  PICTURED THINGSWUE, R.
How are objects represented in art?  In this seminar, we will consider how and why objects and things are depicted and thematized through a range of still-life case studies across cultures.  Some topics that will be considered include nature and abundance, the foreign and exotic, death and fragmentation, the fetish and the artist, the commodity and the art work.
ART HIS (W19)198  THEME PARKSBETANCOURT, R.
Unofficial Title: Disneyland: Art, Architecture, and Operation

This course looks at the history of theme parks and themed spaces. Focusing on Disneyland, we will be looking closely at the foundations of theme park design, the art historical sources and references, and the day-to-day operations of theme parks. Particular attention will be given to ride design and operations, including the basics of roller coaster workings, operation guidelines, and technical patents. We will also be looking at the role played by social media and fandoms. This will look at matters like Park vlogs and vloggers, cast member social media, Disneybounding, and other fan practices, both official and unofficial. As such the course will include both readings and assignments based on the art, architecture, and history of the parks, as well as more technical literature, YouTube videos, and Instagram accounts.

Moving the conversation away from Imagineering onto cast members and fans, the goal of this course is to reevaluate and rethink what makes Disneyland and similar themed spaces unique cultural spaces. Matters of representation, inclusion, and diversity will be at the core of our discussions.

Field trips to the Disneyland Resort and conversations with cast members are possible depending on student interest and ability.
ART HIS (W19)198  PICTURED THINGSWUE, R.
How are objects represented in art?  In this seminar, we will consider how and why objects and things are depicted and thematized through a range of still-life case studies across cultures.  Some topics that will be considered include nature and abundance, the foreign and exotic, death and fragmentation, the fetish and the artist, the commodity and the art work.

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