History of Art
Art history is the study of all forms of art, architecture, and visual culture in their social and historical contexts. The History of Art major can serve either as a general program in the humanities or as the groundwork for more specialized training. Unless otherwise indicated, all courses in History of Art are open to all students in Yale College.
100-level courses are broad introductory surveys that address basic art history from a number of regional and thematic perspectives. Prospective majors are encouraged to take the surveys as early in their course of study as possible. Under certain circumstances, students who have taken the Advanced Placement test in art history may earn acceleration credit and, in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies, may place out of one required 100-level course.
Intermediate and advanced courses, numbered above 200, encompass more specialized surveys and themes in art history.
Requirements of the Major
Twelve course credits are required to complete the major: two introductory courses at the 100 level; four intermediate and advanced courses at the 200 and 300 levels; two seminars at the 400 level; a methods seminar, HSAR 401; two electives; and the senior essay, HSAR 499.
The major requires that the six courses numbered above 200, of which two must be seminars numbered above 400, must satisfy both a geographical and a chronological distributional requirement. The geographical requirement is divided into five areas: Africa and the Pacific; the Americas; Asia and the Near East; Europe; and transregional. The chronological requirement is similarly divided into five segments: earliest times to 800; 800–1500; 1500–1800; 1800 to the present; and transchronological. These six intermediate and advanced courses must be chosen from four different geographical areas and four different time periods; a single course can fulfill both a geographical and a chronological requirement.
Only classes originating in the History of Art department can fulfill the distributional requirements.
Junior seminar The methods seminar HSAR 401, Critical Approaches to Art History, is a wide-ranging introduction to the practices of the art historian and the history of the discipline. It is to be taken during the fall or spring term of the junior year.
Credit/D/Fail courses Courses taken Credit/D/Fail may not be counted toward the requirements of the major.
Roadmap See visual roadmap of the requirements.
The senior essay is a research paper written usually in one term in HSAR 499. Students choose their own topics, which may derive from research done in an earlier course. The essay is planned during the previous term in consultation with a qualified instructor and/or with the DUS. It is also possible to write a two-term senior essay; students wishing to do so must submit a petition to the DUS and the prospective adviser, normally by the first week after spring break of the junior year.
Electives may include courses from other departments if they have direct relevance to the major program of study. Approval of the DUS is required.
History of Art majors are urged to study foreign languages. Students considering graduate work should discuss with their advisers the appropriate language training for their field of interest.
Graduate courses Courses in the Graduate School are open to undergraduates with permission of the instructor and of the director of graduate studies. Course descriptions are available in the History of Art office in the Jeffrey Loria Center, 190 York Street.
REQUIREMENTS OF THE MAJOR
Number of courses 12 course credits
Distribution of courses 2 courses at 100 level; 6 courses numbered above 200, 2 of which must be 400-level seminars, fulfilling distributional requirements in 4 geographical and 4 chronological categories; 2 electives
Specific course required HSAR 401
Substitution permitted With DUS permission, 2 electives from related depts
Senior requirement Senior essay (HSAR 499)
Art history is the study of all forms of art, architecture, and visual culture. The History of Art major can serve either as a general program in the humanities or as the groundwork for more specialized training.
Courses in the department are organized into three levels. Courses at the 100 level are broad introductory surveys that cover basic art history from a number of regional and thematic perspectives. Majors are required to take two survey courses and should consider taking them as early as possible. Courses at the 100 level are normally not prerequisites for higher-level courses in the department. Intermediate courses are numbered 200–399. Advanced or 400-level courses are seminars with limited enrollment. Students with AP credit should consult the director of undergraduate studies (DUS).
Representative 100-level courses include:
- HSAR 112, Introduction to the History of Art: Prehistory to the Renaissance
- HSAR 115, Introduction to the History of Art: Renaissance to the Present
Representative 200- and 300-level courses include:
- HSAR 252, Roman Architecture
- HSAR 273, Art of Gothic Cathedrals
- HSAR 282, Renaissance Bodies
- HSAR 315, Nineteenth-Century French Art
- HSAR 323, Early Twentieth-Century Art
Representative 400-level courses include:
FACULTY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY OF ART
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 Yiengpruksawan
Associate Professors Milette Gaifman, Jacqueline Jung, Kishwar Rizvi
Assistant Professors Marisa Bass, Craig Buckley, Erica James, Jennifer Raab
Lecturers Monica Bravo, Molly Brunson (Affiliated Faculty), Karen Foster, Ian McClure, Margaret Olin (Senior Research Scholar)
* HSAR 007a, Art and Science Carol Armstrong
The historical relationship between art and science in the West, from the Renaissance to the present. Case studies illustrate the similarities and differences between the way artists and scientists each model the world, in the studio and the laboratory.
Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required. Please go to the following website to enter preferences for seminars: https://students.yale.edu/ocs-preference/select/select?id=2041 WR, HU
* HSAR 010b, The Classical Tradition: from Roman to Renaissance Art Felicity Harley
The influence of classical Greco-Roman antiquity on early Christian, medieval, and Italian Renaissance art explored through study of objects in the Yale Art Gallery (statuary, coins, textiles, gems, and paintings). Topics include: the lure of antiquities; collecting and birth of the museum; naturalism and nudity; sculpture and iconophobia; religion and iconoclasm; iconographic models of paradise, beauty, power, and authority; and patronage and propaganda. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. HU
* HSAR 015a / SAST 060a, Ten Indian Objects Subhashini Kaligotla
A 5000-year-old stone seal, a 20th century comic book, an emperor’s painted portrait, a processional bronze god, a miniature temple, an inscribed pillar, a rock crystal reliquary, a serene Buddha, an animated film, and a towering female figure. Through rigorous explorations of these ten objects from South Asia this seminar teaches close looking, vivid writing, and narrating history through things. It considers both the biographies of the objects and their involvement in the wider social, political, artistic, and cultural histories of the Indian subcontinent. Students engage some of the most exciting scholarship in the field of South Asian art, and observe, draw, and write about things in museums and art collections on a weekly basis. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. HU
HSAR 112a, Introduction to the History of Art: Prehistory to the Renaissance Jacqueline Jung
Form as meaning in architecture, sculpture, and painting. Selected studies in these arts from prehistory to the Renaissance. Source readings in translation. HU
HSAR 144b, Arts of the Silk Road Mimi Yiengpruksawan
Introduction to the art history of the Silk Road regions, 200 BCE – 1200 CE, with emphasis on the intersection of local and global in visual practices from Kashgar to Nara and beyond. Emphasis on examples of Buddhist, Manichaean, Zoroastrian, Christian, and Islamic art in the context of transaction and exchange along the Silk Road network. HU
HSAR 206b / EALL 206b / EAST 250b / HUMS 232b / LITR 175b, Japan's Classics in Text and Image Edward Kamens and Mimi Yiengpruksawan
An introduction to the Japanese classics (poetry, narrative fiction, drama) in their manifestations in multiple media, especially in the visual and material realm. Special reference to and engagement with a simultaneous Yale University Art Gallery installation of rare books, paintings, and other works of art from Japan. No knowledge of Japanese required. Formerly JAPN 200. WR, HU
HSAR 208b, African Arts and Expressive Cultures Cecile Fromont
This course is an introduction to the arts and expressive cultures of a selection of regions from the African continent, and the Americas. Lectures, readings, and discussions explore the relationship between art and leadership, religion, society, and history on the continent and within African diasporic communities in the Americas. Class meetings and assignments make use of the distinguished collection of African objects at the Yale University Art Gallery.
HSAR 213a, American Photojournalism Jennifer Raab
The history of American photojournalism from the Civil War to Vietnam. Issues of violence, poverty, politics, race, gender, and celebrity; questions of ethics, aesthetics, and authorship; the relationship between photography and truth; ways in which images communicate differently when they appear with a printed text. HU
HSAR 214a, The Material Culture of the Colonial Americas Edward Cooke
This lecture course moves far beyond the mythical stereotypes of early American history by examining the varied material worlds of the colonial period, from the 16th century to the American Revolution. While the study of English North America and Spanish South America have dominated the scholarship, setting up a Protestant North versus a Catholic South binary, a more comparative approach allows for a greater sense of an integrated history in which interchange and interaction are just as important as encounter and conflict. Rather than taking a Eurocentric point of view, this course encourages a more entangled view of the Americas, a perspective based in this hemisphere with an understanding of the external Atlantic and Pacific connections as well as the internal flow of people and objects within the Americas. Lectures focus on the indigenous world and consider how Spanish, Portuguese, French, English, and Dutch settlers initially attempted to recreate their familiar worlds and the impact of African and Asian slaves. Lectures, readings, and object study sessions provide thematic explorations into the interaction among the various cultures, the rise of class distinctions, and the cultural meanings of domestic objects. This course also explores the effect of colonial policy on importation and local production, the impact of imported objects and immigrant craftsmen upon local craft structures, and the effect of trade and mobility within the colonies. HU
HSAR 219b / AMST 197b / ARCH 280b, American Architecture and Urbanism Elihu Rubin
Introduction to the study of buildings, architects, architectural styles, and urban landscapes, viewed in their economic, political, social, and cultural contexts, from precolonial times to the present. Topics include: public and private investment in the built environment; the history of housing in America; the organization of architectural practice; race, gender, ethnicity and the right to the city; the social and political nature of city building; and the transnational nature of American architecture. HU
HSAR 221a / RUSS 220a, Russian and Soviet Art, 1757 to the Present Molly Brunson
The history of Russian and Soviet art from the foundation of the Academy of the Arts in 1757 to the present. Nineteenth-century academicism, romaticism, and realism; the Russian avant-garde and early Soviet experimentation; socialist realism and late- and post-Soviet culture. Readings and discussion in English. HU Tr
HSAR 247a / ARCG 161a / CLCV 161a, Art and Myth in Greek Antiquity Milette Gaifman
Visual exploration of Greek mythology through the study of ancient Greek art and architecture. Greek gods, heroes, and mythological scenes foundational to Western culture; the complex nature of Greek mythology; how art and architecture rendered myths ever present in ancient Greek daily experience; ways in which visual representations can articulate stories. Use of collections in the Yale University Art Gallery. HU
HSAR 252a / ARCG 252a / CLCV 175a, Roman Architecture Diana Kleiner
The great buildings and engineering marvels of Rome and its empire. Study of city planning and individual monuments and their decoration, including mural painting. Emphasis on developments in Rome, Pompeii, and central Italy; survey of architecture in the provinces. HU
* HSAR 266a / ARCH 271a / MMES 126a / SAST 266a, Introduction to Islamic Architecture Kishwar Rizvi
Introduction to the architecture of the Islamic world from the seventh century to the present, encompassing regions of Asia, North Africa, and Europe. A variety of sources and media, from architecture to urbanism and from travelogues to paintings, are used in an attempt to understand the diversity and richness of Islamic architecture. Field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. HU
HSAR 267a, Exile and Afterlives of Byzantium Nicole Sullo
The years leading up to and following the fall of Constantinople in 1453 were defined by political turbulence, cultural interconnections, and artistic exchange. This course surveys the art produced during this period, from c. 1200 to the sixteenth century and beyond. Geographically, our focus is on the art and architecture not only of Constantinople in the later Middle Ages, but also of the so-called “peripheries,” from the Gothic churches of Cyprus to the medieval monasteries of Serbia. We explore further the afterlives and echoes of Byzantium, from Ottoman architecture to the Russian avant-garde. Traversing the Mediterranean basin and moving outside its limits, our study challenges established definitions of “Byzantine Art” and uncovers the continuities, ruptures, and shifts between empires and social identities. Topics include the agency of images across cultures; the ritual use of images; political diplomacy through art; and medieval and early-modern notions of diaspora. Included are visits to the Yale University Art Museum and Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. HU
HSAR 273b, Art of Gothic Cathedrals Jacqueline Jung
European Gothic churches (1140–1400) explored as multimedia architectural environments in which stained glass, sculpture, textiles, and liturgical furnishings are integral aspects of design and meaning. Buildings considered for their formal and material qualities and as sites of ritual performance and signs of political and social power. Recommended preparation: HSAR 112. HU
* HSAR 280a / FREN 347a, Ekphrasis Thomas Connolly
An exploration of ekphrasis, understood both as the verbal representation of visual representation and, more broadly, as the way in which one artistic discourse represents, critiques, or transgresses another. Manifestations of this rhetorical device in both Western and non-Western cultures from antiquity to the present. Readings and discussion in English. HU Tr
HSAR 283a, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael Nicola Suthor
This lecture course is an introduction to High Renaissance art with emphasis on painting and sculpture. The story of its rise is told through the artistic development of the three main protagonists: Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael. Their life-long competition with one another opened up three different avenues for reaching excellence in the visual arts. Each course meeting focuses on one work (or two) in order to unfold in detail their particular visual language and explain their iconic status in art history. HU
HSAR 312b / ARCH 312b, Modern Architecture in a Global Context, 1750-present Craig Buckley
Architects, movements, and buildings central to the development of modern architecture from the mid eighteenth century through to the present. Common threads and differing conceptions of modern architecture around the globe. The relationship of architecture to urban transformation; the formulation of new typologies; architects' responses to new technologies and materials; changes in regimes of representation and media. Architects include Claude Nicolas Ledoux, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, John Soane, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Lina Bo Bardi, Louis Kahn, and Kenzo Tange. HU
HSAR 326a / ARCH 260a, History of Architecture I: Antiquity to the Baroque Kyle Dugdale
The first half of a two-term sequence in the history of architecture. Architecture and urbanism from ancient Egypt through Greek and Roman classical traditions to the Enlightenment. The formal expression—organizational, structural, and ornamental—and social context of specific buildings and urban areas. Architecture as a form of social expression that builds on its own stylistic development, articulating a response to changes in history and culture. Emphasis on Western architecture, with selections from other parts of the world. HU
* HSAR 329b / AFAM 256b / FILM 399b, The Migrant Image Rizvana Bradley
Cinematic as well as post-cinematic representation of both the migrant and the immigrant body; authorship of the anticolonial struggle. Focus on migrants, refugees, and immigrants, and the emergence of the "global citizen" with respect to digital artistic practices. Prerequisites: FILM 150 or 160; or permission of instructor. HU
HSAR 347b, Feminism and Contemporary Art Pamela Lee
An introduction to the richness and diversity of contemporary feminist art from an intersectional and intergenerational perspective. Topics to be discussed include: differences and continuities between feminist art making of the 1960s and to the work of today; intersectionality (overlapping effects of discrimination and oppression based on race, gender, class and sexuality) and art history; strategies of representation, including images of motherhood and trans and gender-variant bodies; spectatorship and stereotype; lesbian art initiatives of the 1970s to contemporary queer interventions; gender performativity; feminist art in the age of Black Lives Matter and #me too; media and technology; age and disability. HU
HSAR 383b / SAST 374b, Sacred Space in South Asia Subhashini Kaligotla
“Sacred” space in the Indian subcontinent was at the epicenter of human experience. This course presents Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, and Jain monuments and the gamut of social meanings and activities associated with them. Moving from the ritual spaces of the Indus Valley Culture to nineteenth-century colonial India, we learn how the organization and imagery of these spaces supported devotional activity and piety. We learn too how temples, monasteries, and shrines supported the pursuit of pleasure, amusement, sociability, and other worldly interests. We also explore the symbiotic relationship between Indian kingship and religion, and the complex ways in which politics and court culture shaped sacred environments. The course concludes with European imaginings of Indian religion and religious places. HU
* HSAR 401a or b, Critical Approaches to Art History Staff
A wide-ranging introduction to the methods of the art historian and the history of the discipline. Themes include connoisseurship, iconography, formalism, and selected methodologies informed by contemporary theory. WR, HU
* HSAR 406b, Photography and Sculpture in Modernity Martina Droth and Nicholas Robbins
What is the relationship between sculpture and photography? Though very different, the two mediums have an entwined history. In exploring their relationship, this course examines questions central to art and visual culture in the modern era: reproduction and mass-production; authorship and appropriation; technology and innovation; questions of gender, race, and colonialism; and the role of photography in the teaching and writing of art history itself. The seminar meets in Yale’s museums and special collections, foregrounding close analysis of primary materials and works of art. Curatorial practice, modes of display, and collecting are key considerations. Artists include William Henry Fox Talbot, Hiram Powers, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Berenice Abbott, Carl Van Vechten, Henry Moore, and Ana Mendieta. HU
* HSAR 410a / AMST 332a, Humbugs and Visionaries: American Artists and Writers Before the Civil War Bryan Wolf
This course examines American literature and visual culture of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. We look in particular at outliers, prophets, and self-promoters, from the radical Puritan writer Anne Bradstreet to popular entertainers like P. T. Barnum. Topics include: visuality and the public sphere; landscape and politics; genre painting and hegemony; race and identity; managerial culture and disembodied vision. Class trips to the Yale University Art Gallery and the Metropolitan Museum (New York). HU
* HSAR 414a / SAST 469a, Visual Storytelling in South Asia Subhashini Kaligotla
This seminar explores the polyglot variety of visual narration in South Asia. We examine the lives of exemplary individuals like the Buddha, the epic story of Rama, and royal biography and autobiography. We consider stories told through stone, in the medium of paint, and in print, film, graphic books, and contemporary media. We experience story telling in sumptuous courtly settings and in temples, monasteries, and other sacred spaces. Weekly readings and discussions analyze the handling of narrative ambiguity and absence, double meaning and punning, the treatment of space and place, representations of sex, desire, and love, and the visual construction of political persona, power, and nation. The course is ultimately interested in how South Asian narratives unsettle and expand the notion of representation.
Prerequisite: one introductory course in Art History. HU
* HSAR 415a, Aztec Art & Architecture Barbara Mundy
The Aztecs of Mexico were the last of the great indigenous empires of the Americas. This course studies how they used art and architecture to align themselves to the larger cosmos and to connect their empire to past Mesoamerican civilizations and project it into the future. Students gain experience analyzing and writing about Aztec art works in Yale collections.
* HSAR 416b, Native North American Art Staff
This seminar approaches the study of Native North American art through an interdisciplinary and intercultural lens. Focusing on the arts of what are now the United States and Canada, students explore perspectives and practices in contemporary Native art (i.e. 1980s to present). Students are also introduced to major themes and issues of concern to contemporary Native artists, including questions of sovereignty, ecology, gender, the global and transnational, and curation. Seminar discussions are oriented around original works, selected and introduced by the instructor. Students think through these works in light of the criticism and scholarship of today’s leading artists, art historians, historians, anthropologists, and curators. The course also addresses approaches to the study of historical Native art across time and space. Students are introduced to materials, traditions, and continuities in Native creative expression in New England and the Northeast, Plains, Southwest, Northwest Coast, and Arctic regions. Students also interact with original works from the collections of the Peabody Museum and Beinecke Library, and discuss, with visiting speakers including Native and non-Native curators and scholars, the materials, significance, and interpretation of historical Native art.
* HSAR 417b / EALL 233b / EAST 243b / HUMS 285b, History of Chinese Imperial Parks and Private Gardens Pauline Lin
Study of notable parks and private gardens of China, spanning from the 2nd century BCE to contemporary China. Themes include the history, politics, and economics surrounding construction of parks; garden designs and planning; cultural representations of the garden; and modern reinterpreted landscapes. Some sessions meet in the Yale University Art Gallery. No previous knowledge of Chinese language is necessary. Students previously enrolled in EALL 050 may not take this course for credit. HU
* HSAR 419a, Art and Cognition in the Pre-Modern World Nicole Sullo
This seminar explores art as a medium for cognition and perception. Our focus is on conceptions of art and the inner-workings of the mind in the pre-modern era, with an emphasis on medieval Europe, as well as Byzantium and the medieval Islamic world. While our study concentrates on art and textual sources primarily from the Middle Ages, we also engage modern theoretical and scientific scholarship in our analyses and discussions. Throughout the course, we consider fundamental questions concerning the way in which individuals experienced the world through art objects and material culture. Topics include the function of the senses in perception; imagination, dreams, and visions; techniques of concealment and revelation in art and ritual, the art of memory, medieval experiences of the natural world; the perception of time; the relationship between body and mind as mediated through art; and the role of vision and orality in the act of reading. The class makes frequent visits to the Yale University Art Gallery, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and other collections on campus. HU
* HSAR 422a, Neoclassicism Christina Ferando
Neoclassicism is not often thought of as an avant-garde movement. And yet, in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, classicism was revolutionary, inspiring, and regenerative. Classical art and architecture fueled the imagination and provided contemporary artists with new ways—material and philosophical—to reinvigorate the fine arts. Excavations in Rome, Herculaneum and Pompeii vividly evoked the lived reality of the past, and Greek art and architecture’s austere forms provided an alternative to Baroque and Rococo extravagance. Neoclassicism was not the stale recreation of dusty ruins and abandoned monuments; it was the key to modernity. This course examines the way artists in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries explored the revolutionary possibilities of classical art in painting, sculpture, architecture and the decorative arts. We take a thematic, trans-European approach and study some of the great figures of the period, including the philosopher Johann Winckelmann, the sculptors Antonio Canova and Bertel Thorvaldsen, the painters Angelika Kauffman, Jacques-Louis David, Anne-Louis Girodet, J.A.D. Ingres, and the architects Étienne-Louis Boullée and Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, among others. HU
* HSAR 425b, Monumental Narrative in Medieval Art Jacqueline Jung
Visual strategies used by Western medieval artists in various media (sculpture, wall painting, textiles, mosaic) to communicate stories with both religious and secular content to mass audiences. Formal structures, text-image relations, artistic function, patronage, and reception. Case studies from England, France, Germany, and Italy, A.D. 1000 to 1500. HU
* HSAR 431a / HUMS 238a, Portraiture and Selfhood in the Renaissance Marisa Bass
Long before “the age of the selfie,” portraiture and identity construction were closely intertwined. The rise of portraiture during the Renaissance is often said to coincide with the moment when the notion of the individual emerged for the first time. This course reconsiders the relationship between portraits and concepts of selfhood as they developed from the late Middle Ages through early modernity. Looking across media, we explore examples of portraiture in painting, sculpture, and print and address how works within the genre speak to both individual and communal identity, to issues of gender, race, and class, and reflect the exploration of social mobility from the late fourteenth to the late sixteenth century. Close reading of biographies, autobiographies, and other literary genres of self-fashioning are also considered, alongside artists including Jan van Eyck, Albrecht Dürer, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Hans Holbein, and Titian. Several class sessions include visits to collections on campus. HU
* HSAR 454a, Glass in America John Gordon
This seminar surveys the rich history of glass-making in America, from colonial manufacturing to contemporary studio work, paying particular attention to the progression of styles and new technologies. Topics for exploration include the material’s role in housewares, scientific equipment, architecture, and fine art. In addition to hands-on study sessions at the Gallery, students are expected to participate in visits to repositories across campus and at least one field trip. As part of the course requirements, students work closely with the instructor to develop, select objects for, and mount an exhibition of American glass that will be held at the Art Gallery in the spring of 2019. HU
* HSAR 459a / ER&M 459a, Contested Monuments Jennifer Raab
Following the events in Charlottesville last year, and the national discussions and actions regarding Confederate monuments that followed, this course examines issues surrounding the agency of art in public spaces, race and representation, memory and memorialization. We examine the legal, ethical, and political questions raised by these sculptures and their sites while also considering a longer history of controversial public monuments. HU
* HSAR 460a / ENGL 247a, Writing about Contemporary Figurative Art Margaret Spillane
A workshop on journalistic strategies for looking at and writing about contemporary paintings of the human figure. Practitioners and theorists of figurative painting; controversies, partisans, and opponents. Includes field trips to museums and galleries in New York City. WR, HU
* HSAR 466a, The Technical Examination of Art Ian McClure
Introduction to methods used in the technical examination of works of art, including critical assessment of the information such methods provide. What technical examination can reveal about the materials and techniques used in a particular work's creation and about its subsequent history.
* HSAR 471a / AFAM 346a, Black Atlantic Photography Kobena Mercer
Introduction to the social and artistic history of photography in Black Atlantic contexts from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Uses of the photographic image in shaping understandings of race relations and black identities. Codes and conventions by which photographs are evaluated in terms of truth, reflection, testimony, expressivity, and construction. HU
* HSAR 473a, Abstract Expressionism Pamela Lee
Consideration of the expanded field of Abstract Expressionism relative to both domestic and international cultural politics at mid-century as well as monographic studies of its pivotal artists and critics. Topics include: modernism and existentialism; transnational avant-gardes; interdisciplinary approaches to the visual image; the ideologies of formalism and autonomous art; cold war aesthetics; race and gender. Artists: Pollock, de Kooning, Guston, Mitchell, Newman, Rothko, Krasner, Still, Gorky, Lewis, others. Close readings of Greenberg, Rosenberg, and other critics associated with Partisan Review and little magazines. Enrollment limited and by application only. Junior and senior art history majors given priority. Prerequisite: one introductory art history course.
* HSAR 477b / EAST 402b, Chinese Art and Archaeology at the Yale University Art Gallery Gabrielle Niu
This course is a study of major works in Chinese art and archaeology, as well as an investigation into collection history at the Yale University Art Gallery (YUAG). The course moves chronologically through major periods and sites of Chinese art and archaeology, with special attention paid to those represented by works in the YUAG. Classroom sessions are based on discussion and readings of primary texts in translation and secondary scholarship, while museum sessions involve close visual analysis and discussion of objects either in the galleries or object study classrooms (OSC). During museum sessions, students also examine the provenance of objects and associated archival materials. Students learn about the history of collecting Chinese objects throughout the 20th century and its relationship to the University. HU
* HSAR 480b, Women Artists Carol Armstrong
This seminar focuses on women artists of the 19th and 20th centuries in Western Europe and the United States, while also looking back to the Renaissance through the 18th centuries, and forward to our own "global" moment. Beginning with the advent of feminist art history, it moves chronologically, intertwining the history of women artists with such questions as: What are the pros and cons of singling out women artists? What were the institutional restraints on women's entering the the canon of "great" art? How did conceptions of "femininity," female agency, and the "male gaze" intersect with the history of art by women? How did women's roles as artist's patrons or models inflect their own or others' activities as artists? How did the political revolutions of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries change things for women artists? How did the public and private spheres of modernity shape the role of women in the story of "modernism"? How did the first, second, and third waves of feminism address the problem of the women artist? How did/do matters of sex and gender intersect with those of race and class in the identity politics of contemporary world art? What is feminist art? HU
* HSAR 489b / MMES 294b / NELC 270b, Politics of Modern Middle Eastern Art Sultan AlQassemi
This course surveys political underpinnings of Arab art in the twentieth century, and the socio-political conditions that have shaped cultural production in Arab (and surrounding) states. Through its focus on creative practices and strategic use of the arts—by governments and by independent artists/collectives alike—this course seeks to shed light on an often neglected dimension of the modern history of the Arab World and the wider Middle East. HU
* HSAR 490b / FILM 320b, Close Analysis of Film Oksana Chefranova
Ways in which traditional genres and alternative film forms establish or subvert convention and expectation and express thematic and ideological concerns. The balancing of narrative containment and excess, as well as action and image. Use of body and voice, space and music. Examples include films by Antonioni, Zhang, Ozu, and Hitchcock. Prerequisite: FILM 150. HU
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm, M 7pm-9pm
* HSAR 492a, Visual Encounters in the Early Modern Atlantic World Cecile Fromont
This course examines the visual, material, and political encounters between men and women from Europe, Africa, and the Americas from the era of European expansion inaugurated circa 1450 to the Atlantic slavery abolitionist period of the mid-eighteen hundreds. It seeks to bring a multicultural framework to the understanding of the early modern period. We examine the role of images, material exchange, and visual reckoning in the emergence and trajectory of key early modern institutions and endeavors that, in turn, helped shape our current world: the Atlantic slave trade, representations of otherness in European and non-European art, religious encounters and conflicts, visual and material exchange in scientific explorations, imperialism, and colonialism. Special attention is given to the enduring effects of these interactions in contemporary European societies and emphasis is brought to a critical consideration of the idea of the Renaissance and Early Modernity as a keystone of histories of ‘Western’ art, culture, and science. HU
* HSAR 493b / AMST 484b / WGSS 462b, Visual Kinship, Families, and Photography Laura Wexler
Exploration of the history and practice of family photography from an interdisciplinary perspective. Study of family photographs from the analog to the digital era, from snapshots to portraits, and from instrumental images to art exhibitions. Particular attention to the ways in which family photographs have helped establish gendered and racial hierarchies and examination of recent ways of reconceiving these images. HU
* HSAR 498a or b, Independent Tutorial Staff
For students who wish to pursue a subject in the history of art not otherwise covered by departmental offerings. May be used for research or directed reading under faculty supervision. A term paper or its equivalent and regular meetings with the adviser are required. To apply for admission, a student should present a prospectus and a bibliography, signed by the adviser, to the director of undergraduate studies. Enrollment limited to History of Art majors.
* HSAR 499a or b, The Senior Essay Staff
Preparation of a research paper (30-35 pages in length) on a topic of the student's choice, under the direction of a qualified instructor, to be written in the fall or spring term of the senior year. In order to enroll in HSAR 499, the student must submit a project statement on the date that their course schedule is due during the term that they plan to undertake the essay. The statement, which should include the essay title and a brief description of the subject to be treated, must be signed by the student's adviser and submitted to the DUS. All subsequent deadlines are also strict, including for the project outline and bibliography, complete essay draft, and the final essay itself. Failure to comply with any deadline will be penalized by a lower final grade, and no late essay will be considered for a prize in the department. Senior essay workshops that will meet periodically throughout the term are also mandatory. Permission may be given to write a two-term essay after consultation with the student's adviser and the DUS. Only those who have begun to do advanced work in a given area and whose project is considered to be of exceptional promise are eligible. The requirements for the one-term senior essay apply to the two-term essay, except that the essay should be 50-75 pages in length.