Courses Open to Non-Majors

student drawing at easel overlooking UT football stadium

Courses Open to Non-Majors

The courses below are open for enrollment by Non-Majors. None have prerequisites.

Non-Majors may occasionally be allowed enroll in major-restricted courses with instructor approval and advisor assistance. See instructions at the bottom of the page.

Details below are subject to change. Please confirm all information in the official Course Schedule.

Spring 2024 Courses


AED 372
Examining Connections Between Art, Resiliency, and Trauma

Donalyn Haise
W 11–2

This course examines the connection between art, resilience and trauma, with emphasis on the impact of psychological trauma on academic and social emotional well-being. Includes exploration of strength-based approaches for fostering resilience through hands on engagement through the creative arts. Designed for art educators, general educators, teaching artists, designers, social workers, and other professionals who work with youth and adults in schools, museums or community settings.


ARH 301
Introduction to the Visual Arts

Dr. Moyosore Okediji
MW 9–10:30
Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag
Instruction Mode →  Internet

This course is an introduction to the appreciation, analysis, making and enjoyment of the visual arts. Students will investigate the lives and works of several artists who have made substantial contributions to the definition, history and interpretation of the visual arts. Students will develop skills in visual literacy and the ability to confidently discuss art objects from several cultures and in many mediums. The practicum aspect enables students to experience art as a process of thinking, making, and working with others.

Dr. Douglas Cushing
TTH 1–2 + Discussion Section
Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

ARH 302
Survey of Ancient through Medieval Art

Dr. Penelope Davies
MW 9–10 + Discussion Section
Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

This course examines the interrelationship of art and political and social power in diverse cultures around the world, from prehistoric times to ca. 1400 CE. Lectures cover cave-paintings and megalithic architecture of the prehistoric era, and the ancient cultures of the Near East, with their ziggurats and early visual narratives; China, famed for its ritual bronze vessels, the Great Wall and terracotta soldiers; early Buddhist art and architecture of Japan; India, with its Buddhist Stupas and Hindu temples; the pyramids of Egypt; early African architecture and sculptures in bronze and terracotta; and the classical ages of Greece and Rome. The course ends by assessing Byzantine iconoclasm, the spread of Islamic mosque and palace architecture, and the construction of vast cathedrals in medieval Europe. Discussion sections focus on selected art historical issues related to the lectures.

Instructor TBA
TTH 5–6:30
Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

ARH 303
Survey of Renaissance through Modern Art

Dr. Ann Johns
MW 11–12 + Discussion Section
Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

As a class, we will explore an extraordinary array of art and architecture from across the globe, including art of Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Cultures. Our course begins c. 1300, in the late Global Middle Ages, and concludes with international artistic trends of the early 21st century. While we will concentrate on the familiar media of painting, sculpture, and architecture, we will also be looking at drawings, prints, photography, the decorative arts, garden planning, ceramics, textiles, interior design, earthworks, installation art, and digital media.

One of the great advantages of studying art history at UT is the outstanding collection of art at UT’s Blanton Museum, Harry Ransom Center, and other collections across Campus. In addition to weekly classes and readings, you will have the opportunity in small, TA-led sections, to familiarize yourselves with these important collections of art, through group discussions and assignments.

Tests will be administered through Canvas; we will also have in-class pop quizzes. There will be no final exam.

Grade Distribution:

  • Three on-line (Canvas) non-cumulative tests: 15% test I; 20% test II; 25% test III (60%)
  • TA-led sections: 25% (attendance, short responses assignments, participation)
  • In-class group pop quizzes: 15%

Instructor TBA
TTH 5–6:30
Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

ARH 327N
Art and Politics in Imperial Rome

Dr. Penelope Davies
MW 11:30–1
Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

This survey of the public art of the city of Rome begins with Augustus’ accession to power (27 BCE) and ends in the late antique period in the early fourth century CE. Lectures are concerned with state or imperial works of architecture and sculpture, assessed within their cultural, political and topographical contexts as vehicles for propaganda, commissioned and designed by the political elite, often as a means of retaining power and suppressing dissent. Politics and power changed the face of Rome through these monuments, which in turn provided sculptural, architectural and urbanistic models that influenced western cultures for centuries to come.

ARH 327R
Art in the Lives of Ordinary Romans

Dr. John Clarke
MWF 12–1
Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

This course examines how study of visual representations allows us to enter into the mentality of ancient non-elite Romans. We will survey the art and architecture of Roman Italy between 100 B.C. and A.D. 315 to explore non-elite attitudes toward the practices of daily life: religion, work, theater, gladiatorial games, tavern-going, banqueting, sexuality, self-representation, death, and burial. In this way, we will learn how the Romans were—and were not—“just like us.”

ARH 328N
Arabs and Vikings: Art and Culture in the Global Middle Ages

Dr. Stephennie Mulder
TTH 9:30–11
Fulfills →  Global Cultures flag

In AD 921, a learned courtier from the most elegant city in the 10th century world, the glittering capital of Baghdad, set off on a journey into the uncharted land of the Vikings as secretary to the embassy of the Abbasid caliph. A couple of centuries later, in 1130, a Christian king would conquer the Italian island of Sicily from the Muslims and then begin to create a kingdom that merged the Islamic and Christian cultural traditions. Just a few decades later, around 1160, a young Crusader would journey to the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and find a Christian Kingdom that had all the hallmarks of an Islamic Sultanate. This course will explore the art and culture of the global Middle Ages, and will look closely at recent films, popular and academic publications and works of art and architecture that show the interconnected character of the European and the Islamic worlds.

ARH 329T
Art in the Age of Dante and Giotto

Dr. Ann Johns
MW 1:30–3
Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

In this course, we focus on the rich artistic and architectural history of late medieval Italy (1200-1350), an era closely associated with the great poet Dante and the artistic achievements of the age’s most famous artist, Giotto. Geographically, we explore the art of late medieval Rome, Pisa, Assisi, Siena, Florence, and the imperial court of Frederick II in southern Italy. Artistically, we examine the work of artists as diverse as Arnolfo di Cambio, Giovanni Pisano, Pietro Cavallini, and the prodigiously talented Lorenzetti brothers, as well as the anonymous creators of frescoes at sites as varied as Assisi, Palermo, and Sant’Angelo in Formis.

Through lectures, discussions, and group work, we learn that the art of the era is inextricably linked to the tumult of this pivotal moment in Italian history, much of which is chronicled in Dante’s encyclopedic account. While we as a class focus on the extraordinary artistic output of the later middle ages in Italy, the continuing battles between church and state, the rise of the wealthy bourgeois merchants, and the devastating plague of 1348 ensures that we also delve into social, economic, and cultural issues of the era, punctuated by weekly readings (in English) from Dante.

ARH 341N
Other Modernities: Latin American Art

Dr. Adele Nelson
MW 9:30–11
Fulfills →  Global Cultures flag

This course examines the various currents of modern art that developed in Latin America from 1900 to 1945, with particular emphasis placed on the artists and art movements of South America and Mexico. Discussions will focus on understanding the distinct social, political, and historical contexts of artistic production in various Latin American centers and how artists conceived of their work in relationship to local and international debates about modernity, modernism, the avant-garde, nationalism, identity, and colonialism. To the extent possible during the pandemic, we will take advantage of the University’s rich collections of Latin American art, including those of the Benson Latin American Collection and Blanton Museum of Art.

Some questions we will consider: What strategies did visual artists develop to assert their modernity from/in a region their contemporaries often considered a cultural backward? How did artists represent racial difference and emerging national identities in their work? How did art challenge, examine, and/or relate to the epochal societal and political changes underfoot in the period we will study, including the aftermath of the abolition of slavery in the mid- and late nineteenth century, the Mexican Revolution and World War I in the first decade of the twentieth century, World War II, and the urban transformation and industrialization of the region into the middle of the twentieth century?

ARH 341R
Aperatures: Film/Photo Mexico

Dr. George Flaherty
TTH 2–3:30
Fulfills →  Global Cultures flag

Artists, intellectuals, and politicians have debated Mexico’s apertura since at least the early twentieth century. Apertura means “opening,” but also refers to the lens of a camera as well as the revelation of something hidden. This undergraduate course explores aesthetic and cultural exchanges and affinities between photographers and filmmakers working in Greater Mexico, which includes Chicanxs in the U.S. We will consider how Mexican life and history are represented, and how borders between Mexico and the world—and among media—are blurred or brought into sharper focus.

ARH 345L
Diaspora Visions

Dr. Moyosore Okediji
MW 12–1:30
Fulfills →  Global Cultures flag
Mode of Instruction →  Internet

Border crossing by cultures and groups from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the Caribbean islands has generated the production of images by immigrants, exiles, and nomads in alien lands. With examples drawn from various continents, class investigates art across borders in the contexts of the cultural circumstances that produced the diasporas. Students will investigate the arts of voluntary, forced, colonial, distant, and recent diasporas. Illustrations will draw on images, music, and cinematography.

ARH 347K
Art and Archaeology of Ancient Peru

Dr. Astrid Runggaldier
TTH 11–12:30
Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

This course provides an overview of the cultures that occupied the Andean coast and highlands prior to and in contact with the Spaniards who occupied the area in the 16th century. Given the lack of written historical documentation prior to the Spanish arrival, investigations of the ancient Andean visual arts—the elaborate textiles, fine ceramic vessels, carved stone sculptures, and monumental architecture—have advanced through multidisciplinary approaches. Students examine various culture groups by engaging both the iconography and archaeology of the regional traditions, focusing primarily on the Nasca, Moche, and Chimu cultures, as these are featured prominently in the UT Art and Art History Collection (AAHC). In this course, we address pertinent environmental and ecological factors, evidence of ritual practices, such as human sacrifice and water management, techniques and materials of manufacture of art and architecture, and issues in looting and collecting antiquities, as well as preserving and presenting collections. Additionally, you will work with primary sources: the ceramic objects in the AAHC provide the basis for written assignments and digital humanities projects focused on these artworks. To that end, your coursework includes group-work and collaborative projects in digital curation to enhance online exhibits for a virtual museum project as well as a hands-on component to create a paired exhibit in the Fine Arts Library.

ARH 347L
Mesoamerican Art and Culture

Dr. Julia Guernsey
TTH 12:30–2
Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

This course surveys the art, architecture, and material culture of a number of the ancient civilizations of Precolumbian Mesoamerica that flourished in what are now the modern countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras. The course spans the time of the Olmec through that of the Aztecs, or from the 2nd millennium BC through the arrival of the Spanish in 1519. The goal of this course is to provide students with a general knowledge of the history, ritual traditions, and belief systems of ancient Mesoamericans, as expressed through sculpture, painting, architecture, archaeological remains, and ancient writing systems.

ARH 347N
Aztec Art and Civilization

Dr. David Stuart
TTH 9:30–11
Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

This class explores the art and visual culture of Aztec (Mexica) civilization, focusing on sculptures, paintings, and architectural monuments from the fourteenth century into the early colonial period of the sixteenth century. Students will learn how to look at art and architecture through the systems of iconography and hieroglyphic writing, interpreting their historical, linguistic, and mythological contexts. The art and the methods we use to interpret it provide important windows into larger issues of Aztec history, politics, ideology, and social structure.

ARH 366P
Color in Theory and Practice

Dr. Carma Gorman
TTH 9:30–11

Explore contemporary color notation systems and color management techniques. Survey economic, health and safety, environmental, cultural, legal, political, and other ethical considerations pertinent to using color.

ARH 374
Art, Identity, and Racial Difference

Dr. Eddie Chambers
MW 9–10:30
Fulfills →  Global Culture and Writing flags

This class will look at artwork that explicitly or implicitly references identity and racial difference. How do we perceive ‘racial difference?’ This leads us of course, to the question, ‘how do we construct ‘race’’? In turn, this will lead us, within this class, to considering art that can be read as addressing racial matters. Given that ‘race’ is above all else an artificial construct, it nevertheless is one that dominates the ways in which our society functions. The dominant culture has constructed for itself a world in which to be whiteness is the ‘normal’ state of affairs, and to be ‘Black’ or to be perceived as Black signifies difference. How have artists responded to this state of affairs? Or, how can we read art by a range of practitioners, over the course of the 20th and thus far into the 21st centuries, as either confirming or contradicting our attitudes to race? Certain Black artists might have made work that reflects a distinct pride in their skin color, ethnicity, ‘race’ or cultural difference. But certain other artists of color might well have been reaching for representations of normalcy or the everyday (what Nicole Fleetwood has termed the ‘noniconic’) or the ‘universal’ in their depictions of Black people. Beyond this, artists of varying ethnicities might have been seeking to make interventions into such things as racism, national identity, citizenship, belonging, unbelonging, and so on. The class will also concern itself with additional questions such as how do we read race, racial difference and identity in art practices originating in majority Black countries such as Jamaica or South Africa? What are the limits or the extents to which we can read identity as relating to the individual, or the community, or the nation? This class will explore tensions such as these, as reflected in art by a range of practitioners, from different parts of the world, from Australia to Europe to the Americas to the African continent. Artists to be studied include US practitioners such as Faith Ringgold, artists of Caribbean background such as Barrington Watson, and British artists of the African diaspora such as Chris Ofili and Godfried Donkor.


ART 352C
Painting for Non-Majors

Peter Abrami
TTH 11–2

This course introduces a beginning painting student to basic materials, techniques and ideas germane to historical and contemporary painting. Through the production of painting, one-on-one conversations with the instructor, and class discussion/critique, each student will become more sensitive, insightful and critical about works they produce and encounter. Note: The content of this course is determined by the instructor.

ART 352D
Drawing for Non-Majors

Alexandre Pépin
MW 11–2

This course introduces a beginning drawing student to basic materials, techniques and ideas germane to historical and contemporary drawing. Through the production of drawings, one-on-one conversations with the instructor, and class discussion/critique, each student will become more sensitive, insightful and critical about works they produce and encounter. Note: The content of this course is determined by the instructor.

ART 352F
Print for Non-Majors

Audrey Blood
TTH 8–11

As a print survey course, Print for Nonmajors will introduce students to the basic conceptual issues of print and the technical processes of risograph, relief, intaglio, monoprint etc. This course is a “sampler platter” in that it will give students a taste of numerous processes so that students can get a sense of which they would like to explore further. The structure will include a mix of demonstrations, hands-on instruction, and lectures on historical and contemporary print artists.

ART 352J
Photography for Non-Majors

Zalika Azim
MW 8–11

This class will introduce you to the fundamentals of black & white photography. You will learn how to use a manual medium-format camera, expose and develop black & white film, and make gelatin silver prints. You will also study aspects of photographic history and begin to define your individual voice as an artist using photography.

ART 316V
Transmedia: Expanded Media I

Kristin Lucas
TTH 8–11

Pick up media art production skills and experiment with the limitless possibilities of technique and form. Create art projects for the expanded field, including the gallery, microcinema, digital platforms, and public space. Explore concepts like ‘alternate reality’, ‘the copy’, and ‘ecology’ in relation to media aesthetics and ethics, culture, art practice and disciplines beyond.

This course is Unrestricted

ART 317C
Transmedia: Performance Art I

Michael Smith
TTH 2–5

Performance art is a time-based medium involving people, live action, media, and a vast range of materials and objects. Most historians and practitioners would agree on two points: there are no rules, and one may use or do anything when making performance art. Students will learn how to create live art works for different contexts and venues, while constantly being encouraged to look for inspiration from a variety of sources, including popular culture, current events, art, and the routines of everyday life.

In this introductory class students will learn about the history and theory of performance art in a variety of contexts and spaces, including the theatrical, the white cube and the workaday world. The experimental nature of performance art welcomes skills and ideas learned in other classes in the development of new themes and directions.

Enrollment in this course does not require any prerequisite classes or skills.

ART 318C
Transmedia: Digital Time Art I

Jeff Stanley
MW 8–11

An introductory study of digital organic 3D modeling (Maya), texturing (MudBox), and motion capture (Rokoko). Individual guided inquiry into more advanced techniques and technology (fluid dynamic).

ART 350M
Within Walking Distance

Nicolas Dumit Estevez Raful Espejo Ovalles
MW 11–2

In this class the entire city of Austin, Texas, is given preeminence in order to serve as the encyclopedic tool for a series of theoretical discussions and practical exercises in strolling, journeying, parading, pilgrimages, processions and the like. Each week participants take to the streets to put in motion individual or group actions dealing with, but not restricted to, the topic of walking: from window shopping to strolling through managed nature (e.g. parks). Participants comb block after block for the purpose of becoming familiar with what may be to some an uncharted territory. In the classroom, our group engages in conversations prompted by lectures on the works of artists/scholars on the subject of walking, as well as by the participants’ experiences as pedestrians, which bring to the forefront issues of accessibility. For whom and for what bodies have cities been planned and designed and what needs to change? Some of the seminar presentations address sites of disasters, places of mourning, and monuments deemed as historic, among others. Similarly, to be discussed is the phenomenon of tourism, and the current movements of people pushed away from our communities/cities/countries by the economic exploitation caused by globalization and by the unfolding destruction of our planet in the hands of corporations and conspicuous consumption. The majority of this class will be held outdoors as much as possible and will include somatic practices dealing with embodiment, space and bodily awareness, and care.

ART 350M
Commuting into Community: Introduction to Community-Based Art Practices

Nicolas Dumit Estevez Raful Espejo Ovalles
MW 5–8

This theorical and praxis-focused class centers on legacies of activisms in the burgeoning field of socially-engaged art/social practice. It therefore serves as a point of departure for critical reflections on the most pressing issues raised by the work of socially-conscious creatives: artists’ visions versus participants’ expectations and needs; and long-term commitment with collaborating communities and their demands on artists. What is the fine line between revindicating or fetishizing disenfranchised individuals and groups? What are the roles–yes, plural–, of the artist when traveling, being and becoming with communities sometimes far away from their own? What happens with the connections forged when the work is complete and the artist returns home? Our group will engage in conversations on the possibilities of art for self and collective transformation, and the potentialities of envisioning new worlds that we can inhabit. Similarly, we will explore together somatic exercises dealing with space, presence, and care. Some of our class will take place outside of the classroom as we commune with communities in the city of Austin, Texas.

ART 350M
Developing A Joyful Creative Practice

Bella M Varela
MW 11–2

In Developing a Joyful Creative Practice students will engage in five studio projects encompassing photography, video, performance, textile/sewing, and installation. These projects will serve as a platform to challenge students to think intuitively, foster resourcefulness, and adapt to evolving schedules and life circumstances. The objective of this class is to nurture the development of a joyful, compassionate, and enduring artistic practice.

Throughout the course, students will be actively encouraged to seek inspiration beyond the confines of the UT campus. They will be prompted to construct a creative practice that aligns with their individual interests while engaging with various communities and subcultures. Part of cultivating joy lies in the exploration of themes related to social justice, environmental conservation, queer/gender studies, politics, and religion. These explorations aim to continually challenge conventional notions of joy on a daily basis.

Instructions for Potentially Enrolling in Major‑Restricted Courses

Occasionally instructors may allow Non-Majors to enroll in restricted classes, if space allows. Non-Majors must provide proof of instructor approval via email to the department’s Course Scheduler to possibly be added to a major-restricted course. Instructions:

  1. Obtain instructor approval by emailing the instructor directly. Find contact info for instructors.
  2. If you receive approval from the instructor, forward the approval to the Course Scheduler, Stefanie Donley, during the first four class days of the semester. Include your full name, EID, and course/unique number of the class you have approval to add.
  3. Be aware that the Course Scheduler may still not be able to add you to the class even if you have approval; read conditions below.

Things to Know

  • Non-Majors may only be added to restricted classes during the first four class days of the semester in which the course is being offered.
  • Even if you have instructor consent, the Course Scheduler still might not be able to add you to a major-restricted course. It depends on availability in that class and is up to the discretion of the Course Scheduler.

  • If you see a course listed as "open/restricted" on the course schedule, the Course Scheduler still might not be able to add you to the class if there are only a few seats open. Those seats might be needed as options for current majors who adjust their schedules, or for newly admitted transfer students.

  • Non-Majors may not be added to any "closed" or "waitlisted" major-restricted courses.

  • There is no waitlist for Non-Majors in major-restricted courses.