VAPA Courses

The courses below fulfill the Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) requirement of the undergraduate Core Curriculum.

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

Fall 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 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.

Summer 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

Instructor: Daisy Adams

Online
Complete the course entirely online. No in-person meetings.

On Demand
Work at your own pace. Begin and finish the course anytime during Summer Session I of 2021.

Fall 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

Instructor TBA
TTH 5–6:30
Teaching Format →  In-Person


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.

Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

Dr. Ann Johns
MW 10–11 + Discussion Section
Teaching Format →  Online with Required In-Person Component
(Please contact the instructor for further details on type/frequency of in-person instruction.)

ARH 302
Survey of Ancient through Medieval Art

Why did somebody scratch a chain of impeccably drawn diamonds on a chunk of red stone 77,000 years ago? Was the Egyptian Sphinx as enigmatic in antiquity as it is today? Why did the Greeks need images? Why did Islam negate figuration in its sacred spaces of worship? Why were the medieval cathedrals laden with cute but ominous monsters? There are no easy answers to these questions but works of art are fun to look at and think about. A chronological survey of the visual arts from the Stone Age to the end of the Medieval Period, this course will focus on major achievements of painting, sculpture, and architecture and on their roles as vehicles of expression for individuals and societies alike. Artistic creations have always enshrined a gamut of experiences and mental states: emotions, desires, fears, frustrations, power, repulsion, propaganda, memory, nostalgia, and play, to name but a few. Our goal will be to examine precisely how these elements were expressed in individual cultures, how they changed over time, and whether or not their messages are still recoverable today. Although major emphasis will be given to the western world, non-western developments will also be considered.

The weekly structure of the course is bipartite: There will be two hourly lectures (T Th 11-12) concentrating on generic themes and artworks within each area of study and a third hourly discussion section, more intimate in nature, in which the focus will be on more specific issues and approaches regarding the study and practice of art and archaeology throughout the ages (see themes below). In the discussion session students are expected to actively engage in voicing their own responses to the themes of the lectures and the special weekly readings.

Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

Dr. Nassos Papalexandrou
TTH 11–12 + Discussion Section
Teaching Format →  In-Person

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

Instructors TBA
MWF 10–11
TTH 3:30–5
Teaching Format →  In-Person

ARH 325
Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East

A vast and complicated mosaic of peoples and cultures, the civilization of the ancient Near East offers fascinating insights to human creativity and fundamental achievements in the history of humanity. This course introduces students to the art and archaeology of a region that extends from contemporary Turkey all the way to the Afghanistan and adjacent areas of South Asia. We will survey key aspects of the dynamic interaction of landscape and people, the origin of urbanism and social complexity, cross-cultural encounters and the development of important phenomena such as writing, figuration, narrative art, and monumental architecture. Emphasis will be given to important textual sources and the convoluted history of archaeological investigation in this area. The contemporary situation in the Middle East dictates that we explore the recent shaping of the region as an arena for colonial action by outside powers since the 19th century. This has resulted in the problematic dissemination of its cultural treasures all around the world. Considering that the contemporary area of the Near East is essentially an artificial construct of colonial powers, it is imperative that we also consider in depth how this situation affects contemporary understanding and analysis of material culture and art.

Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

Dr. Nassos Papalexandrou
TTH 12:30–2
Teaching Format →  In-Person

ARH 331K
Early Italian Renaissance Art to 1470

Renaissance means “rebirth”, and the rebirth of art and culture is a concept that was very vividly alive in fifteenth-century Italy. This course looks at the great artists and innovations of the period that spans:

  • from Brunelleschi to Bramante in architecture
  • from Masaccio to Botticelli to Leonardo in painting
  • from Donatello to the young Michelangelo in sculpture

Among the issues to be discussed will be: the development of mathematical perspective, art and engineering, the revival of ancient Greek and Roman culture, the role of women in society, religion, gender and sexuality, politics and warfare, technology and science—and how all these themes are reflected in important works of art.

Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

Dr. Louis Alexander Waldman
TTH 11–12:30
Teaching Format →  In-Person

ARH 331P
Art & The City in Renaissance Italy

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.

Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

Dr. Ann Johns
MWF 12–1
Teaching Format →  In-Person

ARH 333L
The Age of Rembrandt and Rubens: Northern Baroque Art

This course explores Northern European art between 1580 and 1720. The focus will be on the Golden Age of Netherlandish art and culture as we investigate the creativity of Rembrandt, Jan Vermeer, Frans Hals, Judith Leyster, Rubens, and Anthony van Dyck, among other great masters. We shall discuss other major artistic centers, such as Paris and Versailles during the reign of King Louis XIV. This was also a period in which the world opened up to Europeans as explorers and merchants brought back knowledge, art, erotic wares, and natural wonders from Asia, Africa, and the Americas. These encounters enriched the Netherlands, among other lands, but often at a human cost.

Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

Dr. Jeffrey Chipps Smith
MW 8:30–10
Teaching Format →  In-Person

ARH 335J
Nineteenth-Century Art

Examines European art and themes in art during the nineteenth century.

Fulfills →  VAPA

Instructor TBA
MWF 3–4
Teaching Format →  In-Person

ARH 346K
Introduction to African Art

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.

Fulfills →  VAPA / Cultural Diversity flag / Global Cultures flag

Dr. Moyosore Okediji
TTH 2–3:30
Teaching Format →  Online

ARH 346L
Africana Women’s Art

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.

Fulfills →  VAPA / Cultural Diversity flag

Dr. Moyosore Okediji
TTH 9:30–11
Teaching Format →  Online

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