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Current Undergraduate Courses – Spring 2024

Looking for Graduate Courses? Click here.

PLEASE NOTE: Regarding Prerequisites, ARH 3056/3057 are equivalent to the current survey courses ARH 2050/2051.  3056 and 3057 no longer exist. If you see these numbers as prerequisites, 2050 and 2051 are the actual prerequisites.

ARH 4933 is a Special Topics in Art History course with changing topics each term. This course may be repeated to a maximum of twelve (12) semester hours. If you take this course for more than twelve hours (more than four times, in the same semester or in different semesters), any hours over twelve will not count toward earned credit for your degree, though your grade will still count toward your GPA.

ARH3612–01   Visual Cultures of the Americas
Sheila Scoville
M/W  6:35–7:50 pm, WJB G40
World Arts.
This course is an interdisciplinary, hemispheric investigation of the art and visual cultures generated through the complex historical exchange among Indigenous, European, African, and Asian societies and peoples. Critical for an understanding of the colonial and modern world, the class highlights not only the richness of America’s Indigenous cultures, but also the dialogue that these cultures share with the rest of the world. This course introduces students to the arts of the Americas (particularly those of Indigenous peoples) and the methodological and theoretical foundations for the hemispheric study of American cultures from the ancient period to the present.

ARH 3930–01  Modern Art & Architecture of Brazil
Julia Kershaw
T/R  4:50–6:05  pm, WJB G40
This course examines modern art and architecture in twentieth-century Brazil with attention to histories of modernisms, processes of modernity, urbanism, and decolonial discourse. Topics include, among others: the international reception and controversies surrounding the building of Brasília and the growth of other metropolitan areas, trajectories of figural and abstract art, and the role of activism in participatory art. 
ARH 3930–02  Introduction to Arts of the Renaissance
Emily White
T/R  6:35–7:50 pm, WJB G40

This course is designed to give students an introduction to the European arts from around 1400-1600. The focus will be on presenting major themes of the Renaissance including artistic practices and emerging workshop technologies, architecture, devotional art, patronage in courts, printmaking, and the rise of new genres of representation.
Dürer Rhinoceros ARH 4331 Art of Northern Europe in the Renaissance
Dr. Stephanie Leitch

T/R  3:05–4:20 pm, WJB G40
This course focuses on developments in northern European 15th- and 16th-century art with emphasis on painting and printmaking: Flemish, French, German, and Dutch artists.
ARH 4710–01  History of Photography
Dr. Adam Jolles
T/R 9:45–11:00 am, G40 WJB
This course surveys the history of Western photography from the invention of the medium in the mid-19th century to the present day. We approach photography as an evolving medium that undergoes a series of technical transformations that radically alter its capacities, its significance, and its historical trajectory. We will examine its artistic, documentary, commercial, journalistic, juridical, and scientific applications, as well as its proliferation among both amateurs and professionals. We emphasize the close study of images and critical texts by both photographers and critics alike. Prior experience in photography is not required.

ARH 4884–01  Walt Disney & the American Century
Dr. Robert Neuman
T/R 1:20–2:35 pm, WJB 2041
This course considers Disney and his company in relation to art, society, and politics during the twentieth century. Special attention is paid to Disney’s contributions in the realms of film, architecture, and the theme park. Through assigned readings and visual material such as cartoons and documentaries, the course assesses the relationship between high art and popular art and evaluates Disney’s impact on the production and consumption of leisure.


ARH 4933–01  Global Contemporary Art
Dr. Tenley Bick
T/R 11:35 am–12:50 pm, WJB G40
Pre-requisites: ARH 2051 and 3000- or 4000-level coursework in modern and contemporary art. Conceived as a sequel to ARH 3473 Introduction to Modern and Contemporary Art.
World Arts.
What is “global contemporary art”? Often used as a catchall term for art of the present in a global context, meant to include art from around the world and art engaged with global circulation, thinking, and subject positions, the term emerged in acknowledgment of the distinctive connectedness of the world in the post-Cold War, digital age and artists’ responses to it. The complicated term and subfield of art historical study tends, however, to present contemporary art as a universalist field of global, formal artistic currents that bridge historical constructions of “West” and “non-West.” In so doing, it risks inattention to local histories as well as other world divisions and power struggles that persist or arose anew after 1989. Examining these tensions, this upper-division lecture course investigates global contemporary art as a rich field of art historical study and exciting discourse of methodological debate. 

ARH 4933–02   Monastic Art & Architecture
Dr. Kyle Killian
MWF  1:20–2:10 pm, WJB 2041
World Arts.
This course will cover the making of art and the experience of architecture in monastic contexts across the globe. Monastic communities have been the primary producers of art in many parts of the world and at many points in history. We will engage with similarities and differences engendered by the specific cultural contexts of these art producing communities.

Undergraduate Seminars for Fall 2023

Seminars are the capstone courses for the art history undergraduate curriculum. They are research- and writing-intensive courses that give students opportunities to pursue original scholarship. Two seminars are required for the major.

ARH 4800-01  Documentary Photo & Film
Dr. Karen Bearor
Monday  9:20–11:50 am, WJB 2038
Meets Liberal Studies Scholarship-in-Practice and Upper-Division Writing requirements
This seminar examines the history, forms, strategies, and conventions of documentary photography and film, with a bias toward examples created in the U.S. since 1930. This is not an overarching survey of the documentary tradition, as you might expect in a lecture course. Instead, weekly assignments analyze how selected photographic and filmic imagery acquires meaning within its socio-historical context. Through screenings and outside readings, you will examine the genres and modes of representation within each visual format, while also learning to be attentive to the strategies imagemakers use to persuade viewers to their points of view. Analysis and discussion of these screenings and outside readings will help you become more critically engaged as an interpreter of visual imagery and as a reader of critical texts, while also becoming more knowledgeable about how our citizen-artists recorded their world. No prior knowledge of the history of photography or film is assumed.

ARH 4800-02  Medieval Illustrated Manuscripts
Dr. Erika Loic
Tuesday  9:45 am–12:15 pm, WJB 2038
Meets Liberal Studies Scholarship-in-Practice and Upper-Division Writing requirements
Throughout the Middle Ages, the embellishment and illustration of manuscripts—books written, drawn, and painted by hand—conveyed various religious, sociopolitical, and social messages. In this seminar, we examine the ornamentation and pictorial programs of religious and secular texts made by and for Christians, Muslims, and Jews. We compare how scholars apply different critical approaches to the same books, opening up distinct vistas on modes of representation, patronage, reception, and materiality.

ARH 4800-02  The Baroque Body
Lorenzo Pericolo
Thursday 4:50–7:20 pm, WJB 2041
Meets Liberal Studies Scholarship-in-Practice and Upper-Division Writing requirements.
In the early modern arts, the representation of the human body plays a substantial role. Defined as a microcosm modeled upon the example of the macrocosm (the universe), the human body encapsulates an ideal notion of perfection rooted in the natural world, reflected in medicine and the sciences, and understood as normative for painting, sculpture, and architecture. In particular, artists construed the human body as idealized nature: a nature that does not exist in the physical realm, that transcends it, and that needs to be restored to its pristine, divine form. Baroque painters and sculptors, from Caravaggio to Rubens, from Bernini to Velázquez and Rembrandt, were familiar with this interpretation of the human body, but, through differing strategies and with different goals, they ended up denaturing it. This course aims to explore the ways in which this transgression of the human body was developed and implemented between 1580 and 1660.

Recurring Courses​​

ARH 2050/2051  Art History Surveys
Required for Art History majors
Sections and times vary; see Student Central Course Search.

These foundation courses introduce students to the discipline of art history through a survey of canonical and anti-canonical narratives of the history of art (ARH2050: prehistoric to late-Medieval periods;  ARH2051: early Renaissance through global contemporary art). While the courses are organized chronologically, they are also unified by the theme of “encounters,” broadly conceived to address a wide range of unexpected meetings, confrontations, and points of exchange between two distinct entities—artistic, cultural, ideological, and more. Encounters may therefore include meetings of different artistic movements, cultural traditions, and belief systems, among other subjects. The courses address select works of art and creative expression from across history that offer students an opportunity for close object-focused study and skills development that are foundational to the discipline. The courses also teach students to build critical thinking and aptitude through discussion of the overarching course theme in a variety of contexts.
  ARH 3794–01  Museum Basics
Dr. Carey Fee
Friday 9:20–11:50 am, WJB 2040
Reserved for students in the Museum Studies Minor.

From cabinets of curiosities to virtual museums, this course addresses museum history, philosophy, practice and careers. Through readings, discussions, guest lectures, field trips to local museums and a number of short topical projects, students will develop a framework for understanding the role of today’s museums. They will also be prepared to evaluate the major issues facing museum professionals today.
 Museum Object students installing exhibition ARH 3854-01  Museum Object
Tess McCoy
Wednesday 9:20–11:50 am, WJB 2041
Reserved for students in the Museum Studies Minor.
An examination of the history, philosophy, practice, and implications of acquiring, researching, and displaying objects in art museums and galleries. Each semester a different collection is selected for the exhibition, allowing the students to research and reflect on lessons intrinsic to the particular objects to be displayed, gain a working knowledge of literature on museum theory, and have the invaluable experience of designing, installing, and hosting an exhibition in a gallery setting.

IDS 3678-01 Apocalypse: The End of the World in Art
Dr. Richard Emmerson
Online / Asynchronous
This course studies beliefs about how the world will end and how the end is represented in the arts from the Bible to the present. We will analyze how such beliefs influenced history, continue to inform contemporary politics, and are being transformed by fears of nuclear war and environmental disaster.
  ARH 2000  Art, Architecture, and Artistic Vision – Online
Dr. Sarah Buck
Online / Asynchronous
Meets Humanities & Cultural Practice and Diversity designations.
NOTE: counts for Art History minor requirements, but not for the major.
ARH 2000 is a fully-online art-appreciation course that introduces students to diverse forms of art and architecture created throughout history. Designed for remote learning since 2014, ARH 2000 is organized into weekly thematic modules that conclude with interactive assignments and discussions designed to encourage learning through role-playing, reflecting, and creating (no artistic skill necessary!). By completing this course’s interactive assignments and participating in this class, students actively practice thinking about art and its relevance to the world in which we live.