Art History Courses

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

Spring 2021 Teaching Formats

Online
Instruction mode "Internet" in course schedule. The course is taught entirely online and does not require in-person activities on campus.

Online with Optional In-Person Component
The course is taught mostly online, but includes optional opportunities for in-person activities on campus. Students who wish to complete the course completely online must register for the section with instruction mode "Internet". Those who wish to take part in Optional In-Person Instruction should register for the section with instruction mode "Hybrid or Blended".

Online with Required In-Person Component
Instruction mode "Hybrid or Blended" in course schedule. The course is a hybrid format that blends online instruction and required in-person activities on campus. Students may be divided into smaller groups for in-person instruction and will be advised by their instructor as to which days to report on campus.

In-Person
Instruction mode "Face-to-Face" in course schedule. The course is taught entirely in-person.

Spring 2021 Courses

ARH 301
Introduction to the Visual Arts

This survey course explores art and human creativity. The class stresses visual literacy by examining how and why art is made. We shall examine both famous and less well known examples of painting, sculpture, prints, and architecture, among other arts, as we investigate the many roles that art plays in different world cultures.

Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

Dr. Moyosore Okediji
MWF 12–1
Teaching Format →  Online

Dr. Jeffrey Chipps Smith
TTH 1–2 + Discussion Section
Teaching Format →  Online

ARH 302
Survey of Ancient through Medieval Art

A study of selected visual works throughout the world from prehistoric time to 1400 CE.

Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

Dr. Penelope Davies
MWF 10–11
Teaching Format →  Online

Dr. Stephennie Mulder
TTH 11–12:30
Teaching Format →  Online

ARH 303
Survey of Renaissance through Modern Art

Art is a language: how do we decode its meaning, its intent, and its extraordinary effect on us, the viewers? In this course, we explore an astonishing array of Western art and architecture. Our course begins c. 1250, in the early Renaissance of Western Europe, and concludes with global artistic trends and issues that are at the heart of the art world in 2020. While we will concentrate on the familiar media of painting, sculpture, and architecture, we will also be looking at manuscripts, drawings, prints, photography, the decorative arts, garden planning, ceramics, earthworks, and installation art.

Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

Dr. Louis Alexander Waldman
MW 11–12 + Discussion Section
Teaching Format →  Online

ARH 321
Problems in Art Historical Research

This seminar, which will meet online, will ask: how do we as art historians and emerging art historians create art history from fragments, or from that which has been marginalized, obscured, and rendered less than the hegemonic narratives that tend to dominate the canon of Art History? Art History has at its core a pronounced Eurocentrism, within which is an inherently problematic framing of certain people—women, ethnic minorities and others—as the subaltern. What challenges do art historians face in their attempts to excavate wider art histories? What methodologies might be employed? In sum, how do we create art history from that which is not immediately recognizable, accessible, or given status? The class will reflect on a wide range of texts, including Linda Nochlin’s “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” It will consider why artists primarily regarded by the dominant culture according to raced or gendered constructs are and have been routinely and systemically marginalized within Art History. The class will utilize UT library and museum collections and students will each work towards a research project that reflects on, as well as seeks to overcome, problems of art historical research.

Restricted to Art History Majors.

Fulfills →  Independent Inquiry flag / Writing flag

Dr. Adele Nelson
TTH 3:30–5
Teaching Format →  Online

ARH 322
Issues in Exhibitions and Collections of Visual Art: The Decolonized Museum

Is there such a thing as a decolonized museum? Are museums and collections fundamentally Western ideas that do not take into account the worldviews of other cultures? How have museums mitigated the accusations that they perpetuate the values of colonizing entities? This course explores museums as culturally-embedded institutions rather than universal ones. Students focus specifically on the act of collecting as part of the history of Western civilization, reflecting on the relationship between the establishment of museums, and the forces behind colonial enterprises. Using the UT Art and Art History Collection, case studies from around the globe, current scholarly debates in museum studies, and recent news coverage, students examine contemporary controversies surrounding the notion that many museums with ancient and ethnographic collections exemplify a colonial mindset, and need to be decolonized. The course, organized around seminar discussions and written analyses, studies the idea of cultural appropriation, resolved and unresolved requests for repatriation, varying typologies of visual and material culture as art history, anthropology, or natural history, and other examples of how museums have come under scrutiny. These contemporary issues in museum studies are impacting the ways in which collecting institutions reframe their enduring goals, and their changing role in society.

Course will be taught through online instruction with optional, periodic in-person instruction. Students who wish to complete course completely online should register for section with Instruction Mode: Internet. Those who wish to participate in in-person instruction activities must register for section with Instruction Mode: Hybrid or Blended.

Dr. Astrid Runggaldier
TTH 2–3:30
Teaching Format →  Online with Optional In-Person Component
(Please contact the instructor for further details on type/frequency of in-person instruction.)

ARH 327N
Art and Politics in Imperial Rome

This survey of the public art 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 in Rome, 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.

Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

Dr. Penelope Davies
MWF 12–1
Teaching Format →  Online

ARH 329T
Art in the Age of Dante and Giotto

In this course, we focus on the rich artistic and architectural history of late medieval Italy (1200-1400), 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, Pisa, 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 occasional readings (in English) from Dante.

Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

Dr. Ann Johns
TTH 3:30–5
Teaching Format →  Online

ARH 332L
Northern Renaissance Art, 1500–1600

The sixteenth century was a period of violent social and artistic changes in Northern Europe. This included the rise of the Protestant Reformation and iconoclasm. The first half of the course focuses upon German art, especially the works of Albrecht Dürer, Matthias Grünewald, Lucas Cranach, Hans Baldung, Albrecht Altdorfer, and Hans Holbein, among others. The second half of the class examines the art of the Low Countries, up to Pieter Bruegel, as well as the rise of court art in England and France under Henry VIII and Francis I respectively.

Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

Dr. Jeffrey Chipps Smith
TTH 9:30–11
Teaching Format →  Online

ARH 335G
Art and Landscape, 1778–1908

Embracing the period between the invention, by a woman, of a new form of art – the landscape garden - and the deaths of Paul Gauguin and James Whistler, this course will emphasize the connections between landscape and mental process. The French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau's thoughts about the Revolutionary potential of doing nothing in a beautiful landscape space will help to guide us towards consideration of gardening, painting and drawing, and literature, including poetry, all of which will furnish material for our investigation.

Landscape is the place where everything happens. This course studies all the arts of landscape in Europe during the period covered. Emphasis will be on exchange of artistic energies between nations, especially, but not exclusively, between Britain and France. From Romanticism (Wordsworth, Blake, Goya) to Impressionism and the Symbolists such as Gauguin, landscape becomes the testing-ground for insights not only into nature, but also into the character of being human.

By the end of the course students will have a thorough understanding of what landscape is and how it works, and will have developed abilities in the investigation of it along inter-disciplinary lines.

Fulfills →  Global Cultures flag

Dr. Michael Charlesworth
MWF 11–12
Teaching Format →  Online

ARH 339M
American Art, 1958–1985

This course surveys the major movements in American art from about 1958 to about 1985. We will look at 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, narrative, 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 will deepen your knowledge of the history of this period and help you to hone your own critical thinking about visual art. It will cultivate your own ideas about both the works of art and the criticism written about them.

Fulfills →  VAPA

Dr. John R. Clarke
MWF 1–2
Teaching Format →  Online

ARH 339Q / AMS 330
Modernism in American Design and Architecture

This course is cross-listed with the Department of American Studies.

This lecture course is intended to provide a broad knowledge of major issues in the history of American design and architecture from about 1880 to the present. The central assumption of the course is that our environments both shape us and reflect what manner of people we are. The term design is understood to include all elements of the built environment ranging from the smallest artifacts and products through buildings (whether vernacular or elite) to the shape of suburban and urban landscapes. Students are encouraged to consider design in the context of social and cultural history. Among topics to be considered are methods of cultural analysis of material artifacts; the rise, triumph, and fall of functionalism and the International Style; the emergence of uniquely American varieties of commercial design in a consumer society; the interactions of technology, economics, and design; the impact of the automobile on all levels of design; the rise of postmodern design and deconstructive architecture as counters to the modernist tradition; and design for the information age. Among problems to be considered are tensions between tradition and novelty, between functional and expressive theories of design, between elite ideologies and popular desires, and between European and American design.

Fulfills →  VAPA

Dr. Jeffrey Meikle
TTH 12:30–2
Teaching Format →  Online

ARH 341N
Other Modernities: Latin American Art

This course, which will meet online, 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. 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?

Fulfills →  Global Cultures flag

Dr. Adele Nelson
TTH 11–12:30
Teaching Format →  Online

ARH 341S
Art Cinemas of the Americas

This course examines art cinemas from the Spanish-speaking Americas, mostly from the 1950s to the present. Weekly screenings and readings foreground the audio-visual experiments and historical contexts, both national and transnational, of films at the intersection of art worlds and film industries.

This course will meet online once on the posted timeline to give an overview of the course and instructions regarding assignments and technological requirements. It will then be run asynchronously, with students working independently, completing assignments by established deadlines.

Fulfills →  Global Cultures flag

Dr. George Flaherty
MW 1–2:30
Teaching Format →  Online

ARH 344L
Art of the Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance, sometimes referred to as the New Negro Movement, stands as a towering and defining cultural moment in 20th century American history. It was in some respects the period in which African American artists, writers, poets and others tabled bold new agendas for the ways in which they, as individuals, and as a nation-within-a-nation, might advance in a new century. Setting the Harlem Renaissance into a multiplicity of contexts, from African American art practices of the 19th century, to the reception African Americans received in European cities such as Paris, the class will be hugely informative, not just on what African American artists were doing in the early 20th century, but also the ways in which so many of today’s debates and questions on race matters in the US can be traced back to what was happening in the country a century ago. The class will also look at the variety of cultural expressions and artistic practices emerging out of the new epicenter of Black American life, Harlem. It will use texts such as Rhapsodies in Black: Art of the Harlem Renaissance; Black Women of the Harlem Renaissance Era; The Power of Pride: Stylemakers and Rulebreakers of the Harlem Renaissance; and Harlem Renaissance: Art of Black America.

Fulfills →  Cultural Diversity flag / Writing flag

Dr. Eddie Chambers
TTH 2–3:30
Teaching Format →  Online

ARH 345L
Diaspora Visions

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 videos.

Fulfills →  Global Cultures flag

Dr. Moyosore Okediji
MWF 10–11
Teaching Format →  Online

ARH 347L
Mesoamerican Art and Culture

This course surveys the art, architecture, and material culture of a number of the ancient civilizations of Pre-Columbian 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.

Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

Dr. Julia Guernsey
TTH 9:30–11
Teaching Format →  Online

ARH 347P
Mesoamerican Writing Systems

This course looks at the visual culture of ancient Mesoamerica through the perspective of the written word, often called hieroglyphs. Several cultures of the region including the Maya and the Aztec had writing of one form or another, and students will look closely at these systems as part of a wider holistic tradition of image-making. In so doing students will learn the fundamentals on Mayan hieroglyphic writing and Classic Mayan language, in particular (no previous knowledge is required), developing a working reading knowledge of glyphs and iconography. From this students will be able to access historical and religious texts never before published or translated. We will review various ancient inscriptions, artworks and books, looking at the distinctive ways that Mesoamerican cultures integrated language with visual presentation. Students will also develop a unique sense of Mesoamerican “visual poetics” that breaks down boundaries between our categories of “text” and “image.” The methods by which writing was displayed and integrated into art in Mesoamerica is without parallel in the ancient western world, and may offer innovative perspectives on modes of communication in our own time.

Fulfills →  Global Cultures flag

Dr. David Stuart
TTH 12:30–2
Teaching Format →  Online

ARH 348N
Buddhist Art

This course explores Buddhist art throughout the world with an emphasis upon South Asia where it originated some 2500 years ago. Study of the visual forms and practices that first emerged in India, including pilgrimage to sites associated with the Buddha's life allows students to consider how Buddhist traditions changed as the religion spread elsewhere. Another focus will explore the ways in which the Western world was changed by Buddhist traditions reflected, for example, in paintings by Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.

Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

Dr. Janice Leoshko
MWF 9–10
Teaching Format →  Online

ARH 366N
The 4th Dimension in 20th Century Art and Culture

“The fourth dimension” has had many meanings from the late 19th century into the 21st century. Initially the term signified a higher, invisible dimension of space, of which our world might be merely a section; with the rise of Einstein after 1919, however, the fourth dimension was redefined as time in the space-time continuum of Relativity Theory. That meaning remained dominant until the rise of string theory in physics and computer graphics in the 1980s, after which the spatial fourth dimension and the four-dimensional “tesseract” [hypercube] returned in popular culture. Throughout the 20th-century as well as now, artists have responded creatively to the fourth dimension in its various guises, a subject that forms the core thread of the class.

Enrollment in this course is restricted to students ranking sophomore and above.

Fulfills →  Writing flag

Dr. Linda Henderson
TTH 11–12:30
Teaching Format →  Online

ARH 366P
Modern Middle East History in 100 Objects

Objects, “things”—whether mundane, everyday household items or great works of art and architecture patronized by merchants, religious leaders, or rulers –have had a profound impact on the course of history. Indeed, recently historians have begun to speak of a “material turn” within the field—a movement away from a purely text-based model of understanding the past. This model acknowledges that things can often reveal a more nuanced and rich picture of past lives, in particular, allowing us to understand how ordinary people lived. And yet, history is often still taught as though our only source of knowledge about the past comes through texts. This course will be a survey of the history of the modern Middle East, from 1500-present, looking in particular at the art of the three great “Gunpowder Empires:” the Ottomans in Anatolia and the eastern Mediterranean, the Safavids in modern Iraq and Iran, and the Mughals in the Indian subcontinent, taught by a close examination of the meaning and significance of 100 objects. Together, these sometimes-allied/sometimes-warring empires ruled over a third of the earth in their day. We’ll also take our inquiry forward in time to examine modern and contemporary art and objects from the Middle East. The objects will range from buildings to manuscripts to weapons and will come from diverse contexts, including archaeological investigations, museum collections, and European Church treasuries. Yet all of them will tell a vivid story about the people of their time.

Students will learn basic skills of visual analysis and object analysis, and will gain an introduction to theories of seeing and interpreting works of art and architecture –essential skills in today’s increasingly visually-based information economy. At the end of the course, students will not only have a clear sense of the histories of the great early modern Islamic dynasties and modern nation states and their various Muslim, Christian, and Jewish subjects, but will also be able to use works of art and architecture, as well as everyday objects, as an effective tool of analysis.

Fulfills →  Global Cultures flag

Dr. Stephennie Mulder
TTH 2–3:30
Teaching Format →  Online

ARH 366P
The Readymade and Its Legacies

This course begins with a discussion of Marcel Duchamp’s readymades, such as Bicycle Wheel (1913) and Fountain (1917), and follows the implications of this gesture into the present. The readymade opens the possibility for art to be produced by the selection, nomination, and re-contextualization of already existing objects, rather than a set of traditional skills for creating imitations of such objects. The readymade has been mobilized by scholars to rethink both the history of artmaking, and the status of the art object and the commodity in modernity. From Duchamp, we will trace an avant-garde and neo-avant-garde lineage of assemblage, conceptual, and installation art, primarily from Europe and the United States, that shows how the readymade has moved from a challenge to the nature and culture of art and artmaking to a broad strategy for constructing all manner of political and poetic statements. Note: This course will be taught entirely online.

Deirdre Smith
MW 2:30–4
Teaching Format →  Online

ARH 375
Theories and Methods in the History of Art

This course provides an introduction to the discipline of art history and archaeology and to some of the most significant methodological approaches and challenges to the study of material and visual culture. This course does not follow a lecture format but instead focuses on class discussion, active participation, and collaborative learning. Our goal is to become familiar with the fundamental characteristics and objectives of various methods and traditions in art history and archaeology and to create a productive environment in which to analyze, critique, compare, and utilize them. Because this class carries both Writing and Independent Inquiry flags, emphasis will also be placed on a series of written assignments and papers that enable the student to more fully research and explore a topic of particular art historical interest to her or him.

Prerequisite: ARH 321: Problems in Art Historical Research. Restricted to Art History Majors.

Fulfills →  Independent Inquiry flag / Writing flag

Dr. Nassos Papalexandrou
F 2–5
Teaching Format →  Online

ARH 376
Independent Study: Art History

Individual projects to be completed under faculty supervision.

Requires consent of instructor to register.

Fulfills →  Independent Inquiry flag

ARH 379H
Art History Honors Thesis

Individual conference course in which student researches and writes a thesis.

Restricted to those participating in Art History Honors Program. Requires approval by Art History Honors Program Director to register.

Fulfills →  Independent Inquiry flag / Writing flag

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