Visual Studies Courses


Fall Quarter

Dept Course No and Title Instructor
VS 290A is the art historical research methodologies seminar for PhD Program in Visual Studies. The seminar serves a number of roles: 1) it provides an “initiation” into the history and traditions of art history and related disciplines including architectural history and archaeology; 2) an invitation to critically examine these disciplinary histories and institutional structures; and 3) an intellectual foundation for conducting advanced research and engaging in interdisciplinary debates. Much like the department’s faculty and students, who work in diverse time periods, cultures and disciplinary approaches, this seminar aims to expose students to the diverse possibilities for conducting critical inquiry into visual, material and spatial cultures, both proximate and distant. We will read texts that have impacted the development of the discipline and are part of its traditional canon as well as recent works of potential importance, including those that are important as ‘historical documents’ but not necessarily as sources of emulation. We will also engage theoretical works drawn from a variety of intellectual traditions that offer potential to open up new approaches. At the same time, the seminar invites students to critically examine art history’s own intellectual and institutional history and the conditions that support, curtail or warp art historical inquiry, both in the past and in the present. As part of this goal, the seminar considers major ethical and legal debates surrounding art and cultural heritage and its uses and abuses. As such, it is both an ‘historiography’ and ‘history’ seminar: an inquiry into how we “do” art/archaeological/architectural history and an inquiry into the development, present state, and future possibilities of the discipline.
Artists witness the events of war as well as produce and mobilize patriotic support and resistance to conflicts as they unfold. Often they develop images and memorials that shape memories of wars long past. This class will focus on photographs, posters, paintings, and public monuments from wars past and present, treating them as contested sites of public memory and national identity. Throughout the seminar we will consider the often vexed relationship between official histories and personal memories of war, and the ways in which representations of war are appropriated and contested by different groups. The readings are organized around themes that emerge in retrospective views of war such as the role that gender and race play in producing visions of war.
The purpose of this seminar is to facilitate nuanced discussions of contemporary American comedy, including Stand Up, sitcoms, sketch comedy, social and/or political satire, and other digital/visual media such as memes, podcasts and political cartoons.  By exploring how myriad comedic forms function as cultural, industrial & commercial products and how varied comic voices speak to notions of belonging, citizenship, and identity, we can discern how comedic texts respond to changes in social and political sensibilities in this specific socio-historical moment.  In addition, comedy, for better and for worse, is able to get people to engage (or, at least, entertain) a variety of human experiences—often in spite of themselves
No detailed description available.