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.    

Fall 2024 Courses


ARH 301    
Introduction to the Visual Arts

Dr. Ann Johns   
MWF 10–11 + Discussion Section

Fulfills → VAPA / Global Cultures flag

Art is a language: how do we decode its meaning and its extraordinary effect on us, the viewers? How does art reflect the era, location, and culture of both its maker and its patron? Through a blend of online lectures (2 per week), quizzes (each class through Canvas), and tests (3 on Canvas), as well as TA-led visits to UT’s Blanton Museum of Art, students will learn that art is a prism—often beautiful, always challenging—through which we can view the human experience, both past and present. Throughout the semester, students will increase their visual literacy and critical thinking skills by looking at a global array of works from many eras and locations. The only prerequisites are open eyes and open minds! We will concentrate on the familiar media of painting, sculpture, and architecture, but we will also examine drawings, prints, photography, garden planning, ceramics, textiles, earthworks, installation art, and other forms of visual culture, both through live online lectures and through in-person visits to UT’s collections of art.

ARH 302    
Survey of Ancient through Renaissance Art

Dr. Nassos Papalexandrou   
MW 11–12 + Discussion Section

Instructor TBA   
TTH 5–6:30

Fulfills → VAPA / Global Cultures flag

This course discusses art from the prehistoric period to the Early Renaissance (ca. 1300) in Europe, the Middle East and the ancient Americas, with emphasis on style and social and cultural context. The focus on arts-architecture and city planning, sculpture, painting, metalwork, and ceramics—is global with special attention lavished on ancient Near East, Egypt, Africa, Greece, Rome, Islam, Mesoamerica, India, and the European Middle Ages. The control of the viewer’s experience, the political and religious use of art, the meaning of style, the functions of art in public and private life, and the role of art in expressing cultural values will be among the major themes considered. This is also an introduction to the discipline of art history and archaeology, training students in basic vocabulary and techniques of close looking and analytical thinking about visual material.

ARH 303    
Survey of Renaissance through Modern Art

Instructors TBA   
MWF 11–12  
TTH 8–9:30

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.

ARH 327U    
Love, Beauty, and Protection in the Visual Culture of Ancient Greece and Rome

Dr. John Clarke   
TTH 2–3:30

Fulfills → VAPA / Global Cultures flag

This course aims to examine Visual Culture to gain a better understanding of how ancient Greeks and Romans thought about themselves with regard to love, sexuality, divine and human beauty, and protection from demonic forces. We will analyze specific works of Greek and Roman art between the sixth century B.C. and the fourth century A.D. to increase our understanding of what these concepts meant within social and cultural contexts that were very different from our own.

My hope is that you will leave the course with a greater understanding of the processes of acculturation or attitude-formation. You will be able to recognize how, in a given culture, the processes of acculturation lead to specific constructions of love, beauty, and security. Indeed, you may come to realize that all the practices of everyday life are cultural constructions: that each culture constructs the rules that regulate social behavior. I hope that your study of these ancient cultures will give you greater understanding of the phenomena of cultural diversity in the world. You should also gain a greater understanding of the major developments within the visual arts over this long period, from classical Greece to early Christianity.

You will improve your ability to read critically, and to recognize and scrutinize the arguments presented in the readings. The course will help you develop your ability to express your ideas in writing and speaking.

This is primarily a lecture course with three exams. The exams combine slide identifications and comparisons with prepared essays. These exams have the goal of getting you to engage with visual representations through the lens of class discussion and the readings. In particular, the prepared essay should develop your critical skills as well as your writing skills. Finally, the five assignments are designed to help you think about how different cultures mirror or contradict the Greek and Roman cultures we are studying.

Exam 1: 25% of grade  
Exam 2: 25% of grade  
Exam 3: 25% of grade  
5 assignments each 5% of grade

ARH 331P    
Art and the City in Renaissance Italy

Dr. Ann Johns   
MW 12–1:30

Fulfills → VAPA / Global Cultures flag

Florence, Venice, Siena: the cultural landscape of Italy is dominated by cities so rich in artistic treasures that any one example is worthy of a whole course. We begin with the most famous Renaissance city-state, Florence. We will explore the development of art and architecture in civic, ecclesiastic, monastic, palatial, and private settings, from Brunelleschi’s dome to private, secular decoration in the city’s palazzi. We will then examine the cities of Venice and Siena; each of these cities is distinguished by its own unique style of art and architecture. We’ll study Italy’s “court” cities, including Ferrara, Mantua, and Urbino. We’ll observe the unique sense of “place” that distinguishes these communities, but we’ll also discover cultural, artistic, and urban commonalities throughout Renaissance Italy.

We’ll also examine issues such as the role of women and the family; the importance of race and international trade; the rise of specialized hospitals and quarantine islands in an era of plague; and the delicate balance between the growing urban centers and the control of the surrounding territory, so necessary for crops and other resources.

All readings will be posted on Canvas. Assignments include reading responses and other urbanistic analyses. All tests are non-cumulative.

ARH 335J    
Nineteenth Century Art

Dr. Douglas Cushing   
MW 11–12:30

Fulfills → VAPA

This course examines art produced in Europe and the Americas during the so-called long nineteenth century—spanning from the French Revolution through the First World War. A chronological survey, the class explores art in terms of historical contexts of production and reception, key themes, functions (social, cultural, and aesthetic), literary connections, and legacies.

ARH 339M    
American Art, 1958–1985

Dr. John Clarke   
TTH 11–12:30

Fulfills → VAPA

This course surveys the major movements in American art from about 1958 to about 1985. We will look at the work of selected artists associated with the major trends, including pop art, minimalism, conceptual art, site-specific art, performance and body art, photorealism, patterning and decoration, and the varieties of figural art that emerged in the 1980s, including neo-expressionism, graffiti, and appropriation.

We will look at these trends from three principal points of view: their relationship to prior historical developments, their self-stated aims, and their treatment by contemporary critics.

This course should give you a good survey knowledge of the art—including much more than traditional painting and sculpture—between 1950 and 1985. You will gain an understanding the interactions between art movements, artists, critics, and dealers, and you should be able to walk into a museum or art gallery and recognize all of the styles and approaches mentioned above. More importantly, you will learn how visual representation reflects social change. “Art”—broadly defined—always reflects social change, but in this period there were many Counter-Cultural Movements. Most importantly, the Civil Rights Movement for racial equality. But also important were the development of Feminism, the Hippie Movement, and the Gay Liberation Movement—all with important visual components.

This is primarily a lecture course. To help you study the content of these lectures, I will post lecture outlines and the PowerPoints of each lecture on Canvas after I present them to you in class. I expect you to keep up with the assigned readings on canvas and to memorize a group of images.

There will be three one-hour examinations at the end of each of three modules, testing you on the content of that group of lectures and images. I also regularly set “plus” assignments that will give you the opportunity to raise your exam grades.

ARH 345J    
Contemporary Artists of the African Diaspora

Dr. Eddie Chambers   
MW 9:30–11

Fulfills → VAPA / Global Cultures flag

This class will look at the work of a fascinating group of contemporary artists. These are artists of African origin/background, living and working in what we now sometimes refer to as the “African diaspora”. Such communities of people, and the artists they have produced, owe their present-day existence to a variety of factors including the trans-Atlantic slave trade, 20th century patterns of migration and travel, and the evolving nature of the art world. Today, a growing number of artists of African origin have become major players in the art market. Others have become reflective of shifts and developments in 20th Century Black cultural politics. This class will examine the work of a range of Black artists whose practice came to the fore over the course of the last three or four decades, from the early 1970s right up to the present time. Artists to be studied include US practitioners such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Faith Ringgold, Artists of Caribbean background such as Albert Chong and Barrington Watson, and British artists of the African diaspora such as Chris Ofili and Godfried Donkor.

ARH 346K    
Introduction to African Art

Dr. Moyosore Okediji   
MW 12–1:30  
Instruction Mode: Internet

Fulfills → VAPA / Global Cultures flag

This course is a comprehensive study of the visual arts of Africa, in the social and cultural contexts within which people make and use these images. Students will explore historical, contemporary, and diasporic aspects of African art, as part of a larger expressive complex that includes music, dance, literature, and cinematography.  The course will present the works of major artists, art groups, ethnicities, and communities, as a lively dialog between the creative imaginations of those who make the objects, and the philosophical responses of those to whom the artists address the objects.

ARH 346L    
Africana Women's Art

Dr. Moyosore Okediji   
MW 9:30–11  
Instruction Mode: Internet

Fulfills → VAPA

Can we adopt the criteria used for the analysis and presentation of western art and artists for the analysis and presentation of works by Africana women artists? How do we define Africana women’s art and artists? Who are the most influential Africana women artists, and in which mediums do they work? What tasks do they tackle and what challenges face them? What are the stylistic diversities that define and distinguish their contributions? What are the technological tools available to them, and how have they manipulated and fashioned these tools? How have they shaped the past and present trends in art history, and what are their aspirations and hopes for the future? These are some of the questions that this course will investigate with the use of art historical and critical theories that draw on oral and written literatures, music, films, and other formal and informal documents.

ARH 347L    
Mesoamerican Art and Culture

Dr. Julia Guernsey   
TTH 9:30–11

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 361    
Chicana/o/x Film and Media

Dr. Ondine Chavoya   
TTH 12:30–2

Fulfills → Cultural Diversity flag

Hollywood cinema has long been fascinated with the U.S.-Mexico border. This course will examine representations of the U.S.-Mexico border, Mexican Americans, and Chicanxs in both Hollywood film and independent media. We will consider how positions on nationalism, race, gender, identity, migration, and history are represented and negotiated through film. We will begin by analyzing Hollywood “border” and gang films before approaching Chicana/o/x-produced features, independent narratives, and experimental work. Through a focus on Chicanx representation, the course explores a wide spectrum of film history (from the silent era to the present) and considers numerous genres. The course introduces various interdisciplinary approaches and theoretical methods related to race, representation, gender, and the media.

ARH 362    
Ancient Lives of Roman Buildings

Dr. Penelope Davies   
TTH 3:30–5

Fulfills → Global Cultures flag

Taking a broad view of Roman architecture from Republic to Empire, this lecture course examines different phases of ancient buildings’ lives, from construction to restoration to demolition, with a view to determining their political valencies at these moments. Readings will cover issues such as construction process, damnatio memoriae (condemnation of memory) and vandalism, drawing on examples from, and scholarship on, diverse periods and cultures. Participants are encouraged, in turn, to bring expertise/interests of their own to the discussion.

ARH 374    
History of Graphic Design

Dr. Carma Gorman   
TTH 12:30–2

For years, scholars and students of graphic design history have justifiably complained that the field’s standard textbooks promote a biased canon of “great works” produced almost exclusively by elite white Northern European and North American male professional designers. How have textbook authors explained or justified their choice of illustrations? How should they respond to these critiques as they prepare the next editions of their textbooks? Will adding more works by and for Black, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, female, LGBTQIA+, and/or working-class people suffice to “fix” these books? And if not, which of the definitions, assumptions, and values that currently undergird these textbooks’ narratives should their authors also revisit? In this course, you will answer these questions by proposing remedies to errors, biases, and omissions you identify in the textbook and by reflecting on course readings and lectures that offer counternarratives to the story our textbook tells.

ARH 374    
Mosques of the Islamic Worlds

Dr. Sylvia Wu   
TTH 9:30–11

What defines a mosque and what roles does it play? The answers to these questions may not be as simple as our intuitive responses. This course focuses on mosque architecture and takes us beyond well-known examples from the Middle East, reaching less researched regions where Muslims have built and used mosques, including Africa, South and Southeast Asia, East Asia, Europe, and the Americas. We learn to approach a mosque from the perspectives of material, form, piety, patronage, and community building, among others. We will discover that mosques serve not only religious functions but can also become commercial, educational, and communal spaces, even acting as a tool of diplomacy. From the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, from the earliest Islamic centuries to our contemporary era, the mosques we explore in this course will present us with a multitude of meanings and challenge our stereotypical perception of the genre.


ART 352C    
Painting for Non-Majors

Alexandre Pépin    
TTH 8–11

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

Instructor TBA   
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    
MW 2–5

As a print survey course, Print for Non-Majors 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 352G    
Sculpture for Non-Majors

Erin Cunningham    
MW 8–11

In this course students will receive an in-depth introduction into the field of sculpture and will explore many different methods of making and relating to objects. Students will learn basic technical processes including welding and mold-making as well as general principles for how to develop concepts, construct armatures, finish, surface, and display their work. We will read about and discuss various issues and practices in contemporary sculpture and students will work to develop their own focused studio practice as well as the specific language to discuss their work and the work of their peers.

ART 352J    
Photography for Non-Majors

Melissa Nuñez    
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

This studio course is designed to introduce video art production. Emphasis is on: experimentation, the history and evolution of the moving image, video aesthetics and materiality, time-based art, video and performance, image and sound relationships, Experimental and non-narrative approaches, media culture and the circulation of video within a variety of contexts: the microcinema, transmission arts, social media platforms, the web, public space, the gallery, and more. Students work with video cameras, audio recorders, microphones, GoPros, iPads, web cameras, personal devices, screen recording, software tools, sensors and signal processing; to create independent and collaborative video art projects. Technology demonstrations include: equipment demos, software tutorials, real-time and post-production workflows, green screen keying, effects processing, and more.

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

Bogdan Perzyński    
MW 8–11

This class offers a study in digital video, sound, and animation (Maya), with emphasis on the exploration of movement, image, and montage. It offers guided inquiry into pertinent conceptual, perceptual, and practical skills, including two lecture hours and four laboratory hours a week for one semester. This class gives the opportunity to learn the conceptual and technical aspects of time-based digital art and offers an independent critical investigation expressed in time-based way.

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.