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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "AH 240 "
COURSE NAME: "Introduction to Art Historical Thinking "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2017
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Smyth Hansen Salvadori
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 3:00-4:15 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES:
OFFICE HOURS:

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
What questions do art historians ask, and how do they justify their answers? This introductory course introduces basic components of the discipline of art history: its diversity and art-historical language, its technical terminology, and basic research skills. The course discusses different types of approaches and methodologies to analyze and think about visual evidence. It does so by addressing both the history of the study of art and the emergence of the specific discipline of art history, and by considering recent developments.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

The course is an engagement with art history as an academic discipline. This is approached through considerations of the development of the field and current approaches to the study of art and visual culture.

The course is structured as a three-part team-taught module, each part taught by a specialist in the fields of, respectively ancient, medieval, and early modern and modern art. The advantage of considering art-historical thinking through a period-specific prism is two-fold. Firstly, it highlights how the material (and especially the perception of it) has conditioned methods of study and the questions that can be asked. Secondly, it highlights how the articulation of academic theories and methods are influenced by contemporary concerns. Hence, the course format offers an engagement with the workings of art as well as the work of the art historian.

Each section of the course is structured around a series of thematic case studies that throw light on both historiographical and current approaches. The case studies are based on textual and visual material linked to the study of art of the period in question. To highlight similarities as well as differences across the sections, the case studies are organized under four overarching headings that deal with: object, maker, context and viewer.

The aim of the course is to build up a well-rounded appreciation of art historical traditions and the methodologies of the field. That is, to establish a firm grasp of the aspects that have formed and hindered the study of art, as well as of contemporary approaches to art historical investigation. 


LEARNING OUTCOMES:

Proficiencies
Understanding of the historiographical study of Art History as a field
     •   Significant individuals and theories that have shaped the field
     •   The historical and cultural context that shaped these
Understanding of key art historical methodologies
     •   The character of their theoretical/practical basis
     •   Their advantages and limitation
Understanding of material- and period-specific methodologies
     •   The impact of context (material and cultural) for interpretation
     •   The impact of terminology and expectation
Understanding of current approaches
     •   Exploring how the material can frame new research questions
     •   Impact of new finds and findings

Skills
Cognitive skill: Research – analysis – interpretation
     Evaluation and consideration of evidence; reasoned consideration of methods and motives: willingness to adapt/revise ways of thinking;
     openness to alternative perspectives
Communication skills: verbal and writing abilities
     Organization of material; effective presentations; nuanced discussion; formulation of analytical responses
Collaborative skills
     Investigative response-skills; collaborative contributions; explore complex ideas; thoughtful dialogue

 

TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
There is no set text-book for the course-Good overview: Pooke, G. and Newall, D. (2008) Art History. The Basics. Routledge. & Arnold, D. (2004) Art History. A Very Short Introduction. OUP -REF N.7425.P59 & N.7425.A646 
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
A full bibliography for the course will be provided at the start of the course-(for core bibliographic works see below)-- 

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Further reading suggestions for the course will be provided at the start of the course---  
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Academic participationParticipation in class discussions; sharing ideas; furthering discussion ideas introduced by other class members, etc (3% from each part of the course)10%
Three Annotated bibliographiesDescriptive and evaluative summaries of bibliographic works relevant to the Research Papers (10% each)30%
Three short research papersResearch papers pertaining to each of the three sections (20% each)60%

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
ASuperior work directly addresses the question or problem raised; provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information; demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory; and has an element of originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of readin
BGood work is highly competent; directly addresses the question or problem raised; demonstrates some ability to critically evaluate theory and concepts and relate them to practice; and discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture and reference material. The work provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CSatisfactory work provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings only; it may have some significant structural flaw, absence of information or research background, or too casual and imprecise a treatment, or contain only a minimum of interpretation.
DPoor work lacks a coherent grasp of the material; fails to support its argument with sufficient evidence; indicates a hasty or unconsidered preparation, and/or fails to fulfill the assignment in some way; omits important information and includes irrelevant points.
FFailure work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question; most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:

•   You are expected to participate in all scheduled classes. Absences and late arrival will be noted and may affect your grade. Please refer to the university catalogue for the attendance and absence policy.
•    You are expected to have dealt with food, drink and bathroom needs before class
•    Make-up work is not offered, except in exceptional circumstances and after consultation with the Dean of Academic Affairs
•    No electronic devices are permitted to be used in class.

Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Students should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed.

Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam: a major exam (midterm or final) cannot be made up without the permission of the Dean’s Office. Permission will be granted only when the absence is caused by a serious impediment or grave personal situation. Absences due to conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, etc. will not be excused.

Information on / cancellation of class
•     Additional course information, etc. will be posted on MyJCU. Please check this regularly and, certainly, in advance of each class.
•     In case of unavoidable cancellations of class, notification will be posted at the front desk at Guarini campus. A suitable date and time for a make-up class will subsequently be established.
 

ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

Details of further reading suggestions as well as a relevant bibliography for the course will be provided at the start of the semester.
Core bibliographic works for the course include:

Arnold, D. (2004) Art History. A Very Short Introduction. OUP
Fernie, E. (ed.) (1995) Art History and Its Methods. Phaidon. 
Pooke, Grant, and Diana Newall (2008) Art History: the basics. Routledge. 


Alcock, S:E. and Osborne, R: (eds) (2012) Classical Archaeology. A Second Edition. Wiley-Blackwell.
Borg, B. (2015) (ed.) A Companion to Roman Art. Wiley-Blackwell.
Dyson, S.L. (2006) In pursuit of ancient pasts a history of classical archaeology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. YUP
Friedland, E.A., Sobocinski, M.G. and Gazda, E.K. (eds) (2015) The Oxford Handbook of Roman Sculpture. OUP
Marconi, C. (ed.) (2015) Oxford handbook of Greek and Roman Art and Architecture. OUP.
Marlowe, E. (2013) Shaky Ground: Context, Connoisseurship and the History of Roman Art. Bloomsbury.
Marvin, M. (2008) The Language of the Muses. The Dialogue between Roman and Greek Sculpture. The J. Paul Getty Museum.
Smith, R.R.R. (2002) The use of images: visual history and ancient history. In T.P. Wiseman (ed.), Classics in Progress. Essays on Ancient Greece and Rome: 59-102. OUP.
Stewart, P. (2008) The Social History of Roman Art. CUP


Blair, S. and Bloom, J. (2003) The Mirage of Islamic Art: Reflections on the Study of an Unwieldy Field. AB 85/1: 152-184
Cahn, W. (1969) The artist as outlaw and Apparatchik: Freedom and Constraint in the Interpretation of Medieval Art. In Sker, S. (ed.), The Twelfth Century Renaissance (Exhibition Catalogue of the Museum of Art of the Rhode Island School of Design)  
Cassidy, B. ed. (1990) Iconography at the Crossroads: papers from the colloquium sponsored by the Index of Christian Art, Princeton University, 23-24 March 1990. Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Index of Christian Art (Occasional Papers 2)
Freeman Sandler, L. and Kessler H. (1989) An Exchange on the ‘State of Medieval Art History’. Art Bulletin 71/3: 506-507
Hoffman, E. ed. (2007) Late Antique and Medieval Art of the Mediterranean World.
Kessler, H. (1988) On the State of Medieval Art History. AB 70/2, 166-87
Rudolph, C. ed. (2006) A Companion to Medieval Art: Romanesque and Gothic in Northern Europe. Blackwell
Wharton, A. J. (1995) Refiguring the Post Classical City. Dura Europas, Jerash, Jerusalem and Ravenna

 

COURSE SCHEDULE

Please note - the schedule includes a make-up day on Friday September 22


INTRODUCTION

1. Mon. Aug. 28 - Introduction to the course
Course organization, requirements, logistics, etc.

2. Thurs. Aug. 30 -  Introduction to Art Historical Thinking 
Example of an approach that has influenced how we think about art history: Giorgio Vasari
Essential reading:     Fernie 1995: 22-28 (Vasari)



PART 1 - THINKING ABOUT ANCIENT ART 

Historiographical approaches: the development of the field

3. Mon. Sept. 4      C16-18: Discovery and 'systemization' of ancient art (object)
Interests in ancient art; study and collecting of Greek and Roman works; excavations in Italy; Winkelmann; Kant
Essential reading:    Bartman in Friedland et al. 2015: 15-22 (collecting);  Dyson 2006: 1-19 (protohistory of classical archaeology); Marvin 2008: 103-19 (Wickelmann)

4. Wed. Sept. 6       

19: Great artists; big collections (maker)

Greek art and Roman art; international big digs and academies; Fürtwängler and Kopienkritik; Hegel and Zeitgeist

Essential reading:      Arnold 2004: 7-80 (theories); Bartman in Friedland et al. 2015: 21-24 (collections); Hall 2014: 5-12 (history of study of classical archaeology); Smith 2002: 59-72 (artists and art)

5. Mon. Sept. 11     

C19-20: Connoisseurship and social history of art (context)
Taxonomies of ancient art and artists: effects of wars, nationalism, and communism; social history, style, and non-elite art; ‘decline’ of Roman art and teleology of late antique art; Morelli; Beazley, Marx
Essential reading:     Elsner 2000: esp 251-5, 260-2 (teleology); Fernie 1995: 103-5 (Morelli); Marvin 2008: 139-44 (Morelli and connoisseurship); Petersen in Borg 2015: 214-21 (‘plebian’ art); Stewart 2008: 4-9 (New Art History)

6. Wed. Sept. 13      

C20: Patronage, identities – and archaeology (viewer)

New Art History, New Archaeology; (post)processualism and ‘the great divide’; the contextual and historical turn; Freud; Derrida; Renfrew


Essential reading:     Fehr in Marconi 2014: 579-85, 595 (sociohistorical approaches); Renfrew 1980: esp 295-8 (archaeology, anthropology, classics); Smith 2002: 67-74, 96-97 (the ‘contextual turn’)


Contemporary approaches: case studies in current developments of the field

7. Mon. Sept. 18
     

Thinking about ‘the object’

What might influence artistic forms and styles? (top-down) cultural interaction; internal diversity; semantic systems; code-switching; Hölscher

Essential reading:      Marlowe 2013: 64-70 (constancy of style); Varner 2006: 284-7 (eclectic rhetoric); Wallace-Hadrill 1998: esp 83-86 (‘code switching’)

8. Wed. Sept. 20       

Thinking about ‘the maker’                        Annotated bibliography 1 due


Who are the ‘makers’ of ancient art – workshops, artists, patrons? signatures and viewed statements; rethinking replication
Essential reading:     Beard 1991: 12-19 (viewing Greek pots); Fejfer 2008: 29-33, 407-19, 426-9 (dedication, commission, portrait prototypes); Osborne 2010: esp 231-6, 243-51 (signatures on pots); Stewart 2008: 32-38 (patrons and customers); Squire in Borg 2015: 175-88 (signatures of Roman artists)

9. Fri. Sept. 22         

Thinking about ‘the context’  

What is the relationship between display context and object? Rhetoric of form (replication) and style (decorum); patronage and display

Essential reading:     Marconi 2009: 157-63, 166-68 (Parthenon decoration); Marvin 2008: 151-64 (types and copies); Trimble 2014: 139-45, 145-49 (setting and replication of honorific portraits)

10. Mon. Sept. 25     

Thinking about ‘the viewer’

In the act of viewing, what is the relationship between viewer and object? Agency and performativity; visual culture and globalization; Gell

Essential reading      Trimble in Friedland et al. 2015: 606-19 (viewing art); Versluys in DeRose Evans 2013: 436-40 (local and global); Whitley 2012: 579-90 (agency in art)


PART 2: THINKING ABOUT EARLY MODERN AND MODERN ART

Historiographical approaches: the development of the field

11. Wed. Sept. 27 


12. Mon. Oct. 2        
 Research paper 1 due


13. Wed. Oct. 4 


14. Mon. Oct. 9 


15. Wed. Oct. 11 


Contemporary approaches: case studies in current developments of the field

16. Mon. Oct. 16  


17. Wed. Oct. 18         Annotated bibliography 2 due


18. Mon. Oct. 23  


19. Wed. Oct. 25  



PART 3: THINKING ABOUT MEDIEVAL ART


Historiographical approaches: the development of the field

20. Mon. Oct. 28              Medieval Art: Discovered, invented, and evaluated (Object)            Research paper 2 due
16-19th-centuries concepts about the art and architecture of a ‘Middle Age’: from decline to sublime; Renaissance, Reformation, Counterreformation; Antiquarians and Nationalists; Enlightenment, beauty, and the sublime; Wincklemann and Goethe; the Gothic Revival
Essential reading:        Rudolph in Rudolph 2006: 1-16 (historiography of western Medieval art)

Tuesday November 1 - No class (Italian holiday)

21. Mon. Nov. 6        The Romantic, the Nationalist, the Orientalist, and the Universalist Middle Ages (Object and Maker)
19th-century concepts about the art and architecture of a ‘Middle Age’: Gothic Art ‘enshrined’; the ‘birth’ of late antiquity: Riegl and Kunstwollen and the Rome vs Orient debate; Orientalism and Islamic Art
Essential reading:        Rudolph in Rudolph 2006: 16-26 (historiography of western Medieval art); Wharton 1995: 1-14 (Orientalism and late antiquity); Blair and Bloom 2003: 152-6 (historiography Islamic art)

22. Wed. Nov. 8      Formalism, Iconography and Intent  (Object, Maker and Context)
c. 1900-1950 concepts about the art and architecture of a ‘Middle Age:’ formalism, style and iconography; the iconography of style; the impact of politics and war in Europe; the “medieval U.S.A.”; the “birth” of Romanesque and the impact of Modern Art
Essential reading:        Rudolph in Rudolph 2006: 26-39 (historiography western med. Ar)t; Cassidy in Cassidy 1990: 3-11 (historiography of and issues in iconographic studies); Blair and Bloom 2003: 153-6 (historiography Islamic art)

23. Mon. Nov. 13     Meaning Patronage and Viewing (Object, Maker, Context and Viewer)
c. 1950-1990 concepts about the art and architecture of a ‘Middle Age:’ historiographical awareness, building on and critiquing the field; semiotics; viewer response; the rise of feminist and gender studies in medieval art history
Essential reading:     Kessler 1988 (state of the question on Medieval art); Freeman Sandler and Kessler 1989 (discussion about the state of the question on Medieval art); Blair and Bloom 2003: 156-8 (historiography Islamic art)


Contemporary approaches: case studies in current developments of the field

24. Wed. Nov. 15    Thinking about ‘the object’
How are the style, form, medium, and subject matter of artworks to be understood? Does medium, affect style, form and subject? Does subject affect style and form? How does “received” artistic tradition affect style, form and subject? How do contemporary (medieval) cultures affect style, form and subject?
Essential reading:        Elsner in Hoffman 2007: 11-18 (style in Late Antiquity); Golombek in Hoffman 2007 (textiles and Islamic art); Moxey in Cassidy 1990: 27-31 (critique of Panofsky via new emphases in the study of iconography)

25. Mon. Nov. 20             Thinking about ‘the maker’          Annotated bibliography 3 due
Who are the ‘makers’ of medieval art – workshops, artists, patrons, “designers” in the form of learned advisers, anti-establishment forces
Essential reading:        Cahn 1969 (role of the artist); Caskey in Rudolph 2006: 193-212 (patronage in Romanesque and Gothic Art)

26. Wed. Nov. 22      Thinking about ‘the context’ and the ‘viewer’ (part 1)
What is the relationship between the physical viewing context and the artwork? Public, communal and private viewing contexts; accessibility and meaning; in the act of viewing, what is the relationship between the viewer and the artwork? How was seeing construed in the middle ages? How do feminism, gender and queer studies contribute to the discourse?
Essential reading:       Caviness in Rudolph 2006: 65-85 (medieval viewers); Hahn in Rudolph 2006: 45-64 (medieval visuality)

27. Mon. Nov. 27     Thinking about ‘the context’ and the ‘viewer’ (part 2)
What is the relationship between the physical viewing context and the artwork? Public, communal and private viewing contexts; accessibility and meaning; in the act of viewing, what is the relationship between the viewer and the artwork? How was seeing construed in the middle ages? How do feminism, gender and queer studies contribute to the discourse?
Essential reading:       Caviness in Rudolph 2006: 65-85 (medieval viewers); Hahn in Rudolph 2006: 45-64 (medieval visuality)



ASSESSMENT

28. Wed. Nov. 29      Discussion of course content


29. Dec 4-8       Discussion of course content