History of Art

Loria Center, Rm. 251, 203.432.2668
M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D.

Tim Barringer (Loria 657, 203.432.8162, timothy.barringer@yale.edu)

Director of Graduate Studies
Tim Barringer [F] (Loria 657, 203.432.8162, timothy.barringer@yale.edu)
Nicola Suthor [Sp] (Loria 653, 203.432.7210, nicola.suthor@yale.edu)

Professors Carol Armstrong, Tim Barringer, Edward Cooke, Jr., Diana Kleiner, Kobena Mercer, Amy Meyers (Adjunct), Mary Miller, Robert Nelson, Jock Reynolds (Adjunct), Nicola Suthor, Mimi Hall Yiengpruksawan

Associate Professors Milette Gaifman, Jacqueline Jung, Kishwar Rizvi

Assistant Professors Marisa Bass, Craig Buckley, Jennifer Raab

Lecturers Martina Droth, Karen Foster, Ian McClure

Fields of Study

Fields include ancient Greek and Roman; Medieval and Byzantine; Renaissance; Early Modern; eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century European; Modern Architecture; African; African American and African diaspora; American; American Decorative Arts; British; Pre-Columbian; Islamic; East Asian.

Special Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree

All students must pass examinations in at least two languages pertinent to their field of study, to be determined and by agreement with the adviser and director of graduate studies (DGS). One examination must be passed during the first year of study, the other not later than the beginning of the third term. During the first two years of study, students typically take twelve term courses. In March of the second year, students submit a qualifying paper that should demonstrate the candidate’s ability successfully to complete a Ph.D. dissertation in art history. During the fall term of the third year, students are expected to take the qualifying examination. Candidates must demonstrate knowledge of their field and related areas, as well as a good grounding in method and bibliography. By the end of the second term of the third year, students are expected to have established a dissertation topic. A prospectus outlining the topic must be approved by a committee at a colloquium by the end of the third year. Students are admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. upon completion of all predissertation requirements, including the prospectus and qualifying examination. Admission to candidacy must take place by the end of the third year.

The faculty considers teaching to be an important part of the professional preparation of graduate students. Students are required to complete four terms of teaching. This requirement is fulfilled in the second and third years. Students may also serve as a graduate research assistant at either the Yale University Art Gallery or the Yale Center for British Art. This can be accepted in lieu of one or two terms of teaching, but students may accept a graduate research assistant position at any time after the end of their first year. Application for these R.A. positions is competitive.

Combined Ph.D. Programs

History of Art and African American Studies

The Department of the History of Art offers, in conjunction with the Department of African American Studies, a combined Ph.D. in History of Art and African American Studies. Students in the combined-degree program must take five courses in African American Studies as part of the required twelve courses and are subject to the language requirement for the Ph.D. in History of Art. The dissertation prospectus and the dissertation itself must be approved by both History of Art and African American Studies. For further details, see African American Studies.

History of Art and Film and Media Studies

The Department of the History of Art offers, in conjunction with the Film and Media Studies Program, a combined Ph.D. in the History of Art and Film and Media Studies. Students are required to meet all departmental requirements, but many courses may count toward completing both degrees at the discretion of the directors of graduate studies in History of Art and Film and Media Studies. For further details, see Film and Media Studies.

History of Art and Renaissance Studies

The Department of the History of Art offers, in conjunction with the Renaissance Studies Program, a combined Ph.D. in the History of Art and Renaissance Studies. For further details, see Renaissance Studies.

The Center for the Study of American Art and Material Culture

The Center for the Study of American Art and Material Culture provides a programmatic link among the Yale faculty, museum professionals, and graduate students who maintain a scholarly interest in the study, analysis, and interpretation of American art and material culture. It brings together colleagues from a variety of disciplines—from History of Art and American Studies to Anthropology, Archaeological Studies, and Geology and Geophysics—and from some of Yale’s remarkable museum collections, from the Art Gallery and Peabody Museum to Beinecke Library. Center activities will focus upon one particular theme each year and will include hosting one or more visiting American Art and Material Culture Fellows to teach a course each term and interact with Yale colleagues; weekly lunch meetings in which a member makes a short presentation centered on an artifact or group of artifacts followed by lively discussion about methodology, interpretation, and context; and an annual three-day Yale-Smithsonian Seminar on Material Culture.

Master’s Degrees

M.Phil. See Degree Requirements under Policies and Regulations.

M.A. (en route to the Ph.D.) This degree is awarded after the satisfactory completion of eight term courses and after evidence of proficiency in one required foreign language.

Program materials are available online at http://arthistory.yale.edu.


HSAR 500a, Methods in Art HistoryMilette Gaifman

This seminar is designed to introduce students to a range of art historical methods past and present: a variety of formalisms, connoisseurship, different kinds of iconography, the social history of art, psychoanalysis, and a number of other approaches that are sometimes referred to as visual culture. Readings include classic texts by Riegl, Wölfflin, Panofsky, and Warburg, and more recent approaches by Alpers, Clark, and Crary, among others.
W 10:30am-12:20pm

HSAR 512a or b, Directed ResearchStaff

By arrangement with faculty.

HSAR 568a / ARCG 701a / CLSS 875a, Cleopatra: A Legend for All TimeDiana Kleiner

The life of a queen who became a celebrity and remains a legend serves as the starting point for an exploration of art and architecture produced in Egypt and Rome during the late Hellenistic period and early Roman Empire. Cleopatra was antiquity’s greatest female star and one of the most famous women who ever lived. While the full panorama of her life is forever lost, Cleopatra comes alive in surviving works of ancient art and other remains of what was once an opulent material culture. Every generation has its own Cleopatra, and the mythical Egyptian queen’s reinvention in later art, literature, and film is also considered. Qualified undergraduates who have taken Roman Art: Empire, Identity, and Society; Roman Architecture; or eClavdia: Women in Ancient Rome, may be admitted with permission of the instructor.
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

HSAR 595a, Byzantium and Italy in the Later Middle AgesRobert Nelson

Byzantine and Byzantinizing art in Italy and Italian colonies from the twelfth to the sixteenth century, with an emphasis on the later centuries. For research projects, students may explore particular regions and cities, i.e., Venice, Genoa, Tuscany, Rome, southern Italy; consider monumental and minor arts; study the function of imported art and artists in local contexts; and investigate colonial Italian art in the East. General theoretical issues at play are the power of icons, cultural identity, cultural interaction, the social status of the foreign, and European colonialism before its expansion in the sixteenth century.
Th 9:25am-11:15am

HSAR 600a, Painting Poetry in Islamic ArtKishwar Rizvi

An exploration of the intersection between objects and texts in Islamic art with a focus on the arts of Iran, Turkey, and India. The seminar studies holdings in Yale's libraries and art galleries, which include ninth-century Qurans, thirteenth-century ceramics, and nineteenth-century lithographs, in order to gain an understanding of the manner in which poetic texts were deployed as an inspiration for visual art while serving as a critique of its very materiality.
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

HSAR 620a, The Early Modern BookMarisa Bass

This course addresses the material culture of the book from the dawn of the printing press through the seventeenth century. It considers the transition from manuscript to print, the rise of the book industry, and the collaborations between publishers, authors, and artists that were central to the nature of books both as objects and vehicles of knowledge. Topics include frontispieces, dedications, typography, and page design; major early modern genres of visual and intellectual production (such as emblem books, scientific treatises, polyglot bibles, and cartographic atlases); as well as the cultural histories of reading, translation, and library collections. An art historical approach to book history. All seminars take place in Beinecke Library and center on close firsthand study of the books themselves.
W 2:30pm-4:20pm

HSAR 645a, Global IdolsCaroline Fowler

The “age of discovery” was formed by both investigations into the antique past of Western Europe and encounters with unknown civilizations in the Americas, Africa, and Asia. This seminar examines how the scholarship of antiquity, paganism, and early Christianity in Western Europe created a matrix by which travelers, missionaries, traders, and artists contextualized the cultures they encountered in new worlds. In particular, we consider how the role of the “idol” in pagan antiquity and Judaic texts formed the means by which Western Europeans understood the role of images, matter, and religion in foreign cultures. We study how the Humanists’ recovery of the ancient world inflected the encounters with new worlds and the ways in which the production, translation, and collection of images from cultures distinct from Western Europe was informed by the revival of antiquity. Moreover, we consider how ideas of “modernity,” “secularization,” “historicism,” and “orientalism,” which scholars often trace to the nineteenth century, are instigated in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Reformation and Counter-Reformation in Europe affected the ways by which Europeans were equipped to integrate new cultural and religious systems into a worldview already shaken by the religious wars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This seminar examines early modern encounters and the role and production of images both within and from these encounters. Shifting notions of historia sacra, divinity, matter, and images shaped the discovery of new and foreign “idols,” which refused, negated, and challenged the monotheistic religions of Western Europe, and thereby its economic, political, and civil institutions.
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

HSAR 657b, What Is Baroque?Nicola Suthor

“What is baroque?” is an ongoing question that has changed focus every time it has been raised. Answers differ according to whether “baroque” may simply serve as an umbrella term labeling a certain historical period or characterize specific aesthetic features that can be found even in the arts of the twenty-first century: for example, the “highly emotional character” and the “vivacious mixture of reality and imagination” (Erwin Panofsky) attributed to it. In this seminar, both perspectives are connected. The course examines the most prominent philosophical positions establishing “Baroque” as a category for a specific way of thinking and conceptualizing the world, and shows how an array of “baroque” styles appeared in the seventeenth century. We first consider the concept of the “neo-baroque” (C. Buci-Glucksmann, O. Calabrese) and deal with Walter Benjamin’s explanation of the origin of German tragic drama and with Alois Riegl’s Origins of Baroque Art in Rome. We search for clues to the conception of Baroque thinking in Gilles Deleuze’s analysis of Leibniz’s fold and examine critically Heinrich Wölfflin’s formalistic approach and his differentiation of classicism and baroque. We then look at several European cultures that have established a Baroque style in the visual arts and discuss in this respect the category of the Golden Age. We examine the impact of the Roman Counter-Reformation, Spanish Mysticism, and Dutch Protestantism on the regional moldings of Baroque style and their specific attitude toward early modern globalism. We consider the central aesthetic concepts and their backdrop: “naturalism” versus Mannerism, “representation” versus mimesis, and “theatricality” versus order. We discuss the artistic positions, amongst others, of Bernini, Borromini, Caravaggio, Carracci, Claesz, Pietro da Cortona, Kalf, Murillo, Poussin, Rubens, Rembrandt, Velázquez, Zurbarán.
W 2:30pm-4:20pm

HSAR 675b, Physical History of ArtCaroline Fowler

How do we study objects? A painting in an art museum exists not only as an artist’s intellectual construction but also as a meeting of materials and technical knowledge, a union of facture and matter that changes through the care of conservators and curators as paintings are cleaned, cradled, divided, reframed, and exhibited in the context of other objects. This seminar considers how artists constructed works, through a close study of materials and technological processes. It also interrogates the interpretation of these materials and techniques by later curators and conservators. Working across temporal and geographic borders with the collections of the Art Gallery and the Center for British Art, this course examines a variety of materials and techniques, including: tempera painting on panel, bronze casting, striking gold and coins, weaving and textiles, printmaking and matrices, time-based media and light installations. We examine how objects are made and how their care and exhibition after their making shapes our understanding of their existence as things in the world. The course provides a foundation in the history of technical art history and conservation while also considering the theoretical and philosophical problems of ecology and conservation, materiality, media archaeology, and obsolescence.
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

HSAR 678a / ENGL 830a, Portraiture and Character from Hogarth to WoolfRuth Yeazell

Case studies in the visual and verbal representation of persons in Anglo-American painting and fiction, with particular attention to novels that themselves include portraits or address relations between the two media. Novelists tentatively to include Henry Fielding, Jane Austen, Henry James, Edith Wharton, Oscar Wilde, and Virginia Woolf. Painters to include William Hogarth, Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Lawrence, James McNeill Whistler, John Singer Sargent, and Vanessa Bell. Selected readings in recent theories of fictional character and in the history and theory of portraiture. Whenever possible, we draw on paintings in Yale's collections.
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

HSAR 708b, Museum and NationKishwar Rizvi

We investigate how architecture participates in the museum's assertion of national, colonial, and postcolonial genealogies and origin stories. We focus on museums/cases in our region—the Yale Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, for which abundant architectural and museological primary sources are accessible—as well as a second complex of case studies including the new museums built and planned in the United Arab Emirates that do or will exhibit Islamic and Western art in the service of various specialized missions. In some cases, the same architects—namely I.M. Pei—are involved in museums in both the United States and the Emirates. Funding to enable travel to the Middle East as part of the class's work is anticipated
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

HSAR 747a, Architecture and the Kinetic ImageCraig Buckley

This seminar examines the relationship between concepts of architectural and cinematic space in the twentieth century. The aim is to provide an introduction to the literature on architecture and cinema and to examine a series of laboratories, buildings, sets, pavilions, and environments marked by the impact of moving images, encounters that have transformed concepts of space and expanded the media through which architects think and work. Examining the collaborations of architects, film directors, set designers, critics, and technicians, the course probes the evolving nature of technologies of the kinetic image, and its complement, the manner in which architects have increasingly sought to conceptualize space in terms of movements and flows, from that of the human body, to the automobile, to information. Topics may include Étienne-Jules Marey's experimental station; expressionist film sets; film experiments at the Bauhaus; cinema design in Weimar Berlin, Amsterdam, and Paris; the multiscreen films of Charles and Ray Eames; the Philips Pavilion; Intermedia environments of the 1960s; the use of film in urban analysis by Donald Appleyard, Denise Scott Brown, and Robert Venturi; the projection environments and multimedia pavilions of Expo '70; early video installations by Dan Graham and Dara Birnbaum; and the introduction of computer animation into architectural design.
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

HSAR 749a / ANTH 646a, Three Thousand Years of Mexican Feasting: 1500 B.C.E. to 1519 C.E.Mary Miller and Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos

This course sits at the cusp of anthropology and art history, considered through the lens of the most central of human activities, the consumption of food. Feasting was integral to the prehispanic peoples of Mesoamerica, who domesticated and cultivated maize, beans, chocolate, vanilla, tomatoes, chilies, and squashes, and served dogs, ducks, and turkeys on the most festive of occasions. They developed special ceramics, from elaborate tamale plates to tall chocolate pots, for ritual service, some of which then became assemblages with which to honor the dead, and sometimes preserving a performance otherwise not visible in the present. In this course, the role of food both as object of ritual and performance and as subject is examined. Seasonal celebrations, as documented in the sixteenth-century Florentine Codex, are examined alongside painted and sculpted representations of food and its rituals. Cross-cultural consideration of the feast as a conceptual category that ranges from the potlatch of the Northwest Coast peoples to modern Day of the Dead practice helps shape class discussion of Mesoamerican feasting before European contact, as does study of gender and the spatial settings of consumption. The problem of sampling and identification is considered through scientific study and practice, and vessels in New Haven and New York are explored for potential residues.
M 3:30pm-5:20pm

HSAR 752a, Art and the American Civil War: Violence, Race, and MemoryJennifer Raab

After the events in Charlottesville, and the national discussions and actions regarding Confederate monuments, this course on the American Civil War is being reconceived to provide a forum for sustained dialogue and inquiry into questions about the agency of art in public spaces, race and representation, memory and memorialization. We begin with recently contested monuments, discussing media coverage, opinion pieces, as well as reports generated by city governments and universities. Class sessions touch on the legal, ethical, and political questions raised by these sculptures, their sites, and their histories. We also explore the emergence of photojournalism and the illustrated newspaper; race and photographic portraiture; the material culture of war and enslavement; and the representational challenges posed by such violence and trauma to visual media. Our conversations often take place in Yale collections (Beinecke Library, Art Gallery, and Cushing/Whitney Medical Library), and works-in-progress presentations are offered throughout the term. The aim is not only to think about the artistic production of and about the Civil War, but also to examine what this means for us now.
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

HSAR 756b, Slavery and Visual Culture in JamaicaTim Barringer

This traveling seminar examines the visual culture of Jamaica from the late-seventeenth century to today, with particular focus on the representation of the plantation; on slavery and its legacies; and on the transformation of Jamaican visual culture in the period after emancipation—the early years of photography. Timed to coincide with the publication of Victorian Jamaica, edited by Tim Barringer and Wayne Modest, the seminar examines both British colonial and Afro-Jamaican cultural traditions from the advent of British rule until Independence in 1962. A particular focus is the masquerade form Jonkonnu, or John Canoe, whose multiple origins, manifestations, and representations are explored. The development of Jamaican art in the twentieth century, and the work of contemporary Jamaican artists of the diaspora in the U.K. and the United States, are explored. Members of the seminar participate in a major international conference to be held in conjunction with the launch of the book; and the seminar will visit Jamaica, examining key public and private art collections, archives, historical urban and plantation sites, galleries, and artists’ studios. Prerequisite: advance permission of the instructor; applications to join the seminar must be received by September 10, 2017 (i.e., at the beginning of the fall term).
M 10:30am-12:20pm

HSAR 785b / AFAM 839b, Cross-Cultural Issues: From Modern to ContemporaryKobena Mercer

Examines the changing vocabulary in which cross-cultural aesthetics have been discussed in the twentieth-century shift from “modern” to “contemporary” art. Concepts of creolization, hybridity, syncretism, and transculturation are examined in their disciplinary sources and as taken up in art criticism, against the background of modernist paradigms of primitivism, internationalism, and universalism. More so than artists or artworks, the basic unit of analysis is the art exhibition, from the national pavilions of the first Venice Biennale in 1895 to such curatorial initiatives as Jean Hubert Martin’s Magiciens de la terre and Okwui Enwezor’s The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945–1994.
M 2:30pm-4:20pm

HSAR 794a, Chinese Painting under the Mongols, 1260-1368David Sensabaugh

The period corresponding to Mongol rule in China has been interpreted as a major turning point in the history of Chinese painting. Painters are seen as having turned from an objective tradition to a subjective one. It has been described as a revolution in painting. In this seminar we explore this understanding of Yuan dynasty painting through an examination of major painters and attributions, raising issues of what constitutes Yuan painting. Was the Yuan period truly a major turning point in the history of painting in China?
Th 10:30am-12:20pm

HSAR 811b, Cartographic Japan in the Age of ExplorationMimi Yiengpruksawan

It has been well noted that maps and more broadly the cartographic sciences constitute the very core of a voracious desire to know and consume the world that is intimately tied to the European expansion of the 1500s. The existence of Theatrum orbis terrarum and Civitates orbis terrarum virtually insure that the story is typically told from the European perspective. In this seminar we take up the East Asian perspective with emphasis on the ways in which cultural entanglement "east to west" brought about cultural productions in China, Korea, and Japan whose analysis yields insights into the interplay of local and translocal at the heart of the early modern world system.
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

HSAR 821b, Pop RealismMax Rosenberg

This seminar explores an often neglected term in critical and historical writing on postwar art: realism. The course specifically addresses the prevalence of traditional realist subjects and genres (portraiture, still-life) in Pop art and associated movements and styles (photorealism). In addition, a variety of factors contributing to the ambivalence surrounding the realist vocabulary during this period are investigated, including formalist modernism (Greenberg), Socialist Realism, and new epistemological challenges to the traditional realist subject (the "death" of the author).
M 10:30am-12:20pm

HSAR 826a, Circular Logic: Investigation of Ceramic and Wooden VesselsEdward Cooke

Taking advantage of the special exhibition "Things of Beauty Growing": British Studio Pottery at the Center for British Art and the extensive collection of turned American objects in the Art Gallery's Furniture Study, this seminar focuses on the impact of circular motion on the creation of clay and wooden objects. Beginning with an introduction to materials and techniques of hewing, modeling, or turning vessels, students develop firsthand experience in and knowledge of the different ways to make a vessel, including the suitability of different processes to different economic systems or uses. The class then turns to the functions of vessels and their deeper symbolic meanings within different cultures.
M 10:30am-12:20pm

HSAR 827b, Lacquer in a World ContextEdward Cooke and Denise Leidy

Taking advantage of the Art Gallery’s recent acquisition of a ca. 1600 lacquered namban writing cabinet and the accessibility of collections from the Art Gallery and the Peabody Museum on West Campus, this seminar offers students a global perspective on lacquer. The use of plant-based materials to provide a durable and decorative surface on wood has a long history, but different cultures drew on different types of materials and different techniques of application, and as a result developed their own aesthetic. This course draws on firsthand examination of and readings on East Asian, South Asian, Anglo-Dutch-American, and New Spain examples to understand the way in which the language of lacquer was shared throughout the world during the age of expansion from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century.
F 1:30pm-3:20pm

HSAR 828a, DiderotCarol Armstrong

Perhaps the most inventive writer, philosopher, and art critic of the French Enlightenment, Denis Diderot wrote at the conjunction of several eighteenth-century media and disciplines, in particular art; craft and technology; literature; philosophy; and science. It is in that light that this interdisciplinary seminar considers his work, not only in its own right, but also in relation to that of other figures of his time, including artists such as Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, and Jean-Honoré Fragonard; writers and playwrights such as Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau; and the philosopher Jean Le Rond d'Alembert, with whom he codirected the great Enlightenment masterwork, the Encyclopédie, along with the illustrator Louis-Jacques Goussier, who undertook most of the illustrations. A central focus is the relations between the project of the twenty-eight-volume Encyclopédie, carried out between 1751 and 1772, with its 71,818 articles and 3,129 illustrations, and that of the Salons written and privately published as letters to the Baron Grimm in La Correspondance littéraire, philosophique et critique between 1759 and 1771, and 1775 and 1781. We stress the visual, art historical, and art critical significance of Diderot's thought; and we also consider his novels, letters, and dialogues; his essays on theater; and his philosophical writings on empirical science. Many of these texts are translated into English, but as much as possible we try to read them together in the original French.
M 3pm-5pm

HSAR 829b, BaudelaireCarol Armstrong

The work of poet and art critic Charles Baudelaire, a pivotal figure in the history of both romanticism and modernism, has had a significant afterlife in modern art theory and criticism, modern literature, and modern thought about everything from pornography to photography, and from caricature to comedy, as well as cities, industrial forms, the temporality of modern life, modern art, modern music, and modern poetry. This interdisciplinary seminar pairs Baudelaire's writing with the work of a variety of other figures of his and our time, from the artists Goya, Delacroix, Guys, and Manet; the photographers Nadar, Carjat, Disdéri, Marville, Le Gray, and Atget; the art critics Gautier and Zola; the Symbolist poets Mallarmé and Verlaine; the writers and artists of the Surrealist movement; and the composers and performers Wagner, Debussy, and Diamanda Galás; to the work and thought of Walter Benjamin concerning Parisian modernity, and the ideas of Sigmund Freud about dreams and the unconscious. We stress the visual, art historical, and art critical ramifications of Baudelaire's work—in particular his Salons and Le Peintre de la vie moderne, but also his poetry and other writings. Many of these texts are translated into English, but as much as possible we try to read and discuss them together in the original French.
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

HSAR 830b, Greek Art and the History of ArtMilette Gaifman

The art and architecture of the ancient Greeks hold a privileged status in the modern academic discipline of the history of art; the paintings, sculpture, decorated pottery, and architectural monuments of Greek antiquity have prompted strong responses ranging from utter idealization to complete dismissal among the most influential art historians and theoreticians such as Johann Joachim Winckelmann, John Ruskin, Alois Riegl, or Walter Benjamin. The course explores the unique place of Greek art in art historical thought and practice, from the eighteenth century to the post-World War II period. First, it examines the position of Greek art and architecture in the formative phases of the history of art as an academic discipline. Second, it examines the relationship between the discovery of Greek artworks and architectural monuments and the development of basic art historical practices such as connoisseurship and attribution, or stylistic and iconographic analyses. Finally, it considers how various lenses provided by art historians and theorists shape current understandings of primary examples from Classical Greece, such as the Parthenon Frieze and the pottery attributed to the so-called Berlin Painter. Through readings of seminal texts and close examinations of Greek works of art and architecture students have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of a key art historical period as well as the shaping forces of the discipline.
W 10:30am-12:20pm

HSAR 831a / ARCG 844a / CLSS 848a, Ancient Greek FestivalsJessica Lamont and Carolyn Laferriere

One of the most prominent expressions of ancient Greek piety was the festival, in which poetry was sung, athletic and artistic contests were held, animals sacrificed, and group identities negotiated and reaffirmed. In the Archaic and Classical periods, festivals could be minor, local, single-day undertakings, or weeklong, multi-city affairs; yet in each instance, they were an expression of communal identity, competition, and devotion to the gods. Poetry and sculpture served to commemorate these events long after the festival itself had passed, and early literary genres and artistic styles took root within and developed alongside the festivals, gods, and individuals whom they were intended to commemorate. Bringing together literary, archaeological, art historical, and anthropological evidence, this interdisciplinary seminar considers Archaic and Classical Greek festivals within their social, historical, and religious contexts. We pay particular attention to the literary and historical texts (hymns, the "recension" of Homeric epic in festival contexts, Attic tragedy and comedy, epinician, etc.) and the visual representations that commemorate and describe the major festivals in Greece, as well as to the particular ways that festivals exploited visual, olfactory, auditory, tactile, or gustatory reactions in their worshippers to provoke specific interactions with the divine.
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

HSAR 832a, Photography and the SciencesChitra Ramalingam

Does photography belong in the history of art, or does its status as an "automatic" or "scientific" recording technique and its many uses in the sciences distinguish its history from that of earlier visual media? How does photography look when we approach it from the cultural history of science? How might its role in the sciences have shaped photographic aesthetics in the arts? This course examines the making of photography's discursive identity as an experimental and evidentiary medium in the sciences, from its announcement to the public in 1839 to the digital innovations of the present day. We take a historical and archival perspective on uses for (and debates over) photography in different fields of the natural and human sciences, grounded in visits to photographic collections at Yale.
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm