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.
 

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 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 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 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 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

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