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 2022 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.

Fall 2022 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

Ann Johns
MW 10–11 + Discussion Section
Teaching Format →  Online with Required In-Person Component

Astrid Runggaldier
MWF 10–11
Teaching Format →  In-Person

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

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.

Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

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

Instructor TBA
MWF 11–12
Teaching Format →  In-Person

Instructor TBA
TTH 8–9:30
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

For Art History majors in 2018-2020, 2020-2022 Catalog years, this course counts towards 400-1500 for Time Period and Europe & Mediterranean for Geographic Area. For Art History majors in the 2022-2024 Catalog year, this course counts towards 600-1500 for Time Period and Europe for Geographic Area.

Louis Waldman
TTH 9:30–11
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.

Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

For Art History majors in 2018-2020, 2020-2022 Catalog years, this course counts towards 1500-Present for Time Period and Europe & Mediterranean for Geographic Area. For Art History majors in the 2022-2024 Catalog year, this course counts towards 600-1500 or 1500-1900 for Time Period and Europe for Geographic Area.

Ann Johns
MWF 1–2
Teaching Format →  In-Person

ARH 332K
Northern Renaissance Art 1350–1500

This course traces the origins and first flowering of the Renaissance in Northern Europe from the late Gothic royal courts of France and Bohemia to the stunning realism of Jan van Eyck and emotionalism of Rogier van der Weyden to lyrical pictures of Hans Memling and Gerard David to the apocalyptic visions of Hieronymus Bosch and the fantastic sculpted altarpieces of Germany. Since much of the surviving art is religious, we shall examine its liturgical and theological functions and how the art relates to the ideas of Thomas à Kempis and the Modern Devotion movement. This brilliant period witnessed the invention of prints and book publishing, developments that dramatically transformed contemporary attitudes about art and its uses.

Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

For Art History majors in 2018-2020, 2020-2022 Catalog years, this course counts towards 400-1500 for Time Period and Europe & Mediterranean for Geographic Area. For Art History majors in the 2022-2024 Catalog year, this course counts towards 600-1500 for Time Period and Europe for Geographic Area.

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

ARH 339M
American Art 1958–1985

This course surveys American artistic production from 1958 to 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, narrative, and appropriation. We will examine these trends from three principal points of view: their relationship to prior historical developments, their self-stated aims, and their treatment by contemporary critics.

Fulfills →  VAPA

For Art History majors in 2018-2020, 2020-2022 Catalog years, this course counts towards 1500-Present for Time Period and Americas for Geographic Area. For Art History majors in the 2022-2024 Catalog year, this course counts towards 1900-Present for Time Period and The Americas for Geographic Area.

John Clarke
TTH 2–3:30
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

For Art History majors in 2018-2020, 2020-2022 Catalog years, this course counts towards 1500-Present for Time Period and Middle East & Africa for Geographic Area. For Art History majors in the 2022-2024 Catalog year, this course counts towards all time periods for Time Period and The Americas for Geographic Area.

Moyo 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

For Art History majors in 2018-2020, 2020-2022 Catalog years, this course counts towards 1500-Present for Time Period and Middle East & Africa for Geographic Area. For Art History majors in the 2022-2024 Catalog year, this course counts towards 1500-1900 or 1900-Present for Time Period and Africa for Geographic Area.

Moyo Okediji
TTH 9:30–11
Teaching Format →  Online

ARH 348N
Buddhist Art in Asia and Elsewhere in the World

This course considers Buddhist art throughout the world and how various visual traditions arose as the religion spread outside India where it originated. The significant question of what defines “art” and its power culturally and socially are at the center of our examination of the diverse visual traditions associated with Buddhism. Especial focus is upon the transformation of Buddhist art as the religion reached Southeast Asia and eventually East Asia. In each region indigenous cultural practices and artistic traditions influenced the specific forms developed. The class will thus consider how different forms of Buddhism arose that resulted in distinct forms of imagery such of Buddha images and cosmic realms. The political uses of Buddhist art and the development of pilgrimage, both in the past and the present, represent the range of themes to be covered.

Fulfills →  VAPA / Global Cultures flag

For Art History majors in 2018-2020, 2020-2022 Catalog years, this course counts towards Prehistoric-400 for Time Period and Asia & Pacific for Geographic Area. For Art History majors in the 2022-2024 Catalog year, this course counts towards Prehistoric-600, 600-1500, or 1500-1900 for Time Period and Asia & Pacific for Geographic Area.

Janice Leoshko
TTH 2–3:30
Teaching Format →  In-Person

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