Art History and Archaeology

Departmental Office: 826 Schermerhorn Hall; 212-854-4505
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/arthistory/

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Prof. Diane Bodart, 914 Schermerhorn Hall; db2920@columbia.edu

Director of Art Humanities: Prof. Zoë Strother, 811 Schermerhorn Hall; zss1@columbia.edu

Coordinator for Undergraduate Programs: Emily Benjamin, 826 Schermerhorn Hall; 212-854-4505; eb3061@columbia.edu

The goal of the major in the Department of Art History and Archaeology is to explore the history of art, architecture, and archaeology across a broad historical, cultural, geographic, and methodological spectrum.

Department courses take advantage of the extraordinary cultural resources of New York City and often involve museum assignments and trips to local monuments. The department offers a major and concentration in art history and in the history and theory of architecture, and a combined major in art history and visual arts.

At the heart of the major is AHIS UN3000 INTRO LIT/METHODS OF ART HIST, which introduces students to different methodological approaches to art history and critical texts that have shaped the discipline. The colloquium also prepares students for the independent research required in seminars and advanced lecture courses, and should be taken during the junior year.

Surveys and advanced lecture courses offered by Barnard and Columbia cover the spectrum of art history from antiquity to the present and introduce students to a wide range of materials and methodologies. Limited-enrollment seminars have a narrower focus and offer intensive instruction in research and writing. The opportunity for advanced research with a senior thesis is available to students who qualify.

The major readily accommodates students who wish to study abroad during junior year. Courses taken at accredited programs can generally count as transfer credits toward the major, but students must gain the approval of the director of undergraduate studies. Similarly, any transfer credit for the major must be approved by the director of undergraduate studies. Generally no more than 12 points of transfer credit are applicable to the major. The form to petition for transfer credit can be found on the department website. Eligible Art History courses taken at Reid Hall and through the Berlin Consortium are counted as Columbia courses, not transfer courses.

All newly declared majors and concentrators should visit the department office and speak with the undergraduate program coordinator about the requirements and their planned curriculum.

The director of undergraduate studies regularly communicates with majors by e-mail to announce departmental events, museum internships, and other news. Students who do not receive these messages should email the undergraduate program coordinator. The director of undergraduate studies is also available to talk to students about their professional goals and plans to study abroad.

Course Information

Lectures

Attendance at the first class meeting is recommended.

Colloquia

For information about enrollment in the required colloquium AHIS UN3000 INTRO LIT/METHODS OF ART HIST students should consult the department during the registration period in the semester prior to the one in which the course is offered. Interested students must sign up using an online form; majors will be informed of the sign-up dates and deadline via the majors mailing list. Enrollment is limited and admission is at the discretion of the instructor. It is recommended that students sign up for the colloquium in their junior year.

Seminars

Students must submit an application in order to be considered for enrollment in department seminars. These applications are due around the time of early registration (April for fall courses, November for spring courses). Interested students can apply using the Google form applications which are linked below each seminar description on the website, as well as in the "Notes" section of each Directory of Classes listing. Students should then join the SSOL wait-list for any seminars they have applied to.

Bridge Seminars

Bridge seminars are open to graduate and undergraduate students. Bridge seminars also require an application, which is due in the semester prior to the semester in which the course is offered (August for fall courses, December for spring courses). Interested students can apply using the Google form applications which are linked below each seminar description on the website, as well as in the "Notes" section of each Directory of Classes listing. Students should then join the SSOL wait-list for any seminars they have applied to.

Bridge Lectures

Bridge lectures are open to undergraduate and graduate students. They do not require an application.

Travel Seminar

In the spring, one or more undergraduate seminars in the Department of Art History and Archaeology may be designated as a travel seminar. Travel seminars receive funding to sponsor travel over the spring break to a distant site related to the subject matter of the seminar.

Study Abroad

Reid Hall, Paris

For information about the Columbia University in Paris Art History Program at Reid Hall, including summer session courses, visit the Office of Global Programs website.

Summer Program in Italy: Archaeological Fieldwork at Hadrian's Villa

Columbia University offers a four-week summer program that provides undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to excavate and learn together at Hadrian's Villa, a UNESCO World Heritage site near Rome and the most important Roman villa. It synthesizes Roman, Greek, and Egyptian architectural and artistic traditions and has attracted scholarly attention for centuries. For more information, visit the program website.

Columbia Summer Program in Venice

The Department of Art History and Archaeology and the Department of Italian offer a summer program based at Co' Foscari University in Venice. The program uses an interdisciplinary approach to understanding Italian culture through study of its language, literature/film, architecture, art history and conservation. and economy. Students have the opportunity to gain a deeper appreciation of the rich Venetian culture, traditions and history. The program is open to qualified undergraduate and graduate students from the U.S. and Italy. For more information, visit the program website.

Columbia Summer Program in Greece

The Department of Art History and Archaeology and the Program in Hellenic Studies offer a new summer program in Athens. "Curating the Histories of the Greek Present" examines aspects of Greek history and culture through the organization of an art exhibition  under the general theme of the environment. The project is structured around classroom seminars, museum and site visits, walking tours, and workshop sessions in which students will learn about and gain experience in all stages of curating an exhibition. For more information, visit the program website.

Departmental Honors

In order to be considered for departmental honors, students must write a senior thesis and have a GPA of at least 3.7 in the major. The faculty of the Department of Art History and Archaeology submits recommendations to the College Committee on Honors, Awards, and Prizes for confirmation. Normally no more than 10% of graduating majors receive departmental honors in a given academic year. 

Senior Thesis Prize

A prize is awarded each year to the best senior honors thesis written in the Department of Art History and Archaeology.

Professors

  • Alexander Alberro (Barnard)
  • Zainab Bahrani
  • Barry Bergdoll
  • Julia Bryan-Wilson
  • Michael Cole
  • Jonathan Crary
  • Francesco de Angelis
  • David Freedberg
  • Anne Higonnet (Barnard)
  • Kellie Jones
  • Branden W. Joseph
  • Holger A. Klein
  • Rosalind Krauss
  • Matthew McKelway
  • Jonathan Reynolds (Barnard)
  • Simon Schama
  • Avinoam Shalem
  • Zoë Strother

Associate Professors

  • Diane Bodart
  • Zeynep Çelik Alexander
  • Noam M. Elcott
  • Elizabeth W. Hutchinson (Barnard)
  • Subhashini Kaligotla
  • Ioannis Mylonopoulos
  • Lisa Trever

Assistant Professors

  • Gregory Bryda (Barnard)
  • Meredith Gamer
  • Eleonora Pistis
  • Michael J. Waters

Adjunct Faculty

  • Dawn Delbanco
  • Rosalyn Deutsche (Barnard)
  • Rachel Grace Newman
  • John Rajchman

Lecturers

  • Margot Bernstein
  • Frederique Baumgartner
  • Colby Chamberlain
  • Lucas Cohen
  • Sophia D'Addio
  • Alessandra di Croce
  • Xiaohan Du
  • Nicholas Fitch
  • William Gassaway
  • Nina Horisaki-Christens
  • Page Knox
  • Janet Kraynak
  • Sandrine Larrive-Bass
  • Martina Mims
  • Kent Minturn
  • Nicholas Morgan
  • Freda Murck
  • Steven Niedbala
  • Irina Oryshkevich
  • Elizabeth Perkins
  • Nina Rosenblatt
  • David Schneller
  • Julie Siemon
  • Susan Sivard
  • Leslie Tait
  • Matthew Teti
  • Stefaan Van Liefferinge
  • Caroline Wamsler
  • Leah Werier
  • Cathy Zhu

Guidelines for all Art History and Archaeology Majors, Concentrators, and Interdepartmental Majors

Courses

HUMA UN1121 MASTERPIECES OF WESTERN ART (Art Humanities) does not count toward the majors or concentrations, and no credit is given for Advanced Placement exams.

Grading

Courses in which a grade of D has been received do not count toward the major or concentration requirements.

Only the first course a student takes in the department may be taken for a grade of Pass/D/Fail. Classes taken in the Architecture or Visual Arts departments to fulfill the studio requirement may be taken for a grade of Pass/D/Fail.

Senior Thesis

The senior thesis project consists of a research paper 35-45 pages in length. It is a year-long project, and students writing a thesis must register for AHIS UN3002 Senior Thesis for the fall and spring terms. Much of the fall semester is devoted to research, and the spring semester to writing.

All thesis writers are required to participate in class and, on alternate weeks, meet as a group or individually with the instructor. Group meetings are designed as a series of research and writing workshops geared toward students' research projects. Students receive a total of six credits for successful completion of the thesis and class.

In order to apply, students follow a selection process similar to the one currently used for seminars. Students must identify a thesis topic and secure a faculty adviser in the Department of Art History and Archaeology. Applications must indicate the subject of the thesis, a short annotated bibliography, and the name and the signature of the adviser, followed by a one-page statement (400 words) outlining the topic, goals, and methodology of the thesis.

The application deadline is set for August before the senior year. Please check the department website for exact dates. Applications may be delivered in person or emailed to the coordinator for undergraduate programs. The director of undergraduate studies, in consultation with the thesis adviser, reviews the applications.

Students who intend to write a thesis should begin formulating a research topic and approaching potential faculty sponsors during the spring of the junior year. Currently, the department offers the Summer Research Travel Grant fellowship, which supports thesis-related research and travel during the summer. Additional senior thesis research funding during the academic year is administered through Columbia College and General Studies. 

Senior thesis applications may be found at: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/arthistory/undergraduate/forms.html

Summer Research Travel Grant

The department offers the Summer Research Travel Grant, which may be used for travel to museums, building sites, libraries, archives, and other places of interest relevant to the thesis project. Students normally use these funds to conduct research during the summer before senior year.

Travel grant applications require a carefully edited thesis proposal, itemized budget, and supporting letter from a faculty sponsor. Applications are due in April of the student's junior year. Students will be notified of deadlines as they become available. Please contact the coordinator for undergraduate programs with any questions.


Major in Art History

Please read Guidelines for all for Art History and Archaeology Majors, Concentrators, and Interdepartmental Majors above.

The year-long senior thesis project (for qualified students; see below) AHIS UN3002 Senior Thesis may substitute for one elective lecture course. Seminars may substitute for lecture courses and may count toward fulfillment of the distribution requirements. Barnard Art History courses count toward the majors and concentration requirements. 

The requirements for the major are as follows:

AHIS UN3000INTRO LIT/METHODS OF ART HIST
Seven lecture courses in Art History:
At least one course in three of four historical periods, listed below
An additional two courses in two different world regions, listed below
Two additional lectures of the student's choice
Two seminars in art history
A studio course taken in the Visual Arts or Architecture departments (which may be taken Pass/D/Fail)

Historical Periods

  • Ancient (pre-400 CE/AD)
  • 400-1400
  • 1400-1700
  • 1700-Present

World Regions

  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Europe/North America/Australia
  • Latin America
  • Middle East

NOTE: These chronological divisions are approximate. In case of ambiguities, please contact the director of undergraduate studies.


Major in History and Theory of Architecture

Please read Guidelines for all for Art History and Archaeology Majors, Concentrators, and Interdepartmental Majors above.

Majors can take advantage of one of the strengths of the department by focusing on architectural history. This track combines an introductory studio in architectural design with a slightly modified program in art history.  Major requirements were updated in February 2019; please contact the director of undergraduate studies with any questions.

The requirements for the major are as follows:

AHIS UN3000INTRO LIT/METHODS OF ART HIST
Seven lecture courses in art history, one of which must be AHIS UN1007 Introduction to Architecture, and three of which must focus on architectural history. Courses must cover four of five general areas:
Ancient Mediterranean
Medieval Europe
Renaissance and Baroque
18th-20th century
Non-Western
Two seminars in art history or architectural history
Architectural Studio:
ARCH UN1020Introduction To Architectural Design and Visual Culture


 NOTE: These chronological divisions are approximate. In case of ambiguities, please contact the director of undergraduate studies.


Major in Art History and Visual Arts

Please read Guidelines for all for Art History and Archaeology Majors, Concentrators, and Interdepartmental Majors above.

Students interested in the combined major should contact the coordinator for undergraduate programs in the Art History department, as well as the director of undergraduate studies in the Visual Arts department. 

Up to two 3-point courses in art history may be replaced by a related course in another department, with approval of the adviser. The combined major requires the completion of sixteen or seventeen courses. It is recommended that students interested in this major begin working toward the requirements in their sophomore year.

The requirements for the major are as follows:

AHIS UN3000INTRO LIT/METHODS OF ART HIST
Seven lecture courses in art history:
At least one course in three of four historical periods, as listed below
An additional two courses in two different world regions, as listed below
Two additional lectures of the student's choice
21 points in Visual Arts covering:
VIAR UN1000BASIC DRAWING
VIAR UN2300Sculpture I
or VIAR UN2200 Ceramics I
Five additional VIAR 3-point studio courses (15 points)
In the senior year, students must complete either a seminar in the Department of Art History and Archaeology or a senior project in visual arts (pending approval by the Visual Arts Department).

NOTE: These chronological divisions are approximate. In case of ambiguities, please contact the director of undergraduate studies.

Historical Periods

  • Ancient (pre-400 CE/AD)
  • 400-1400
  • 1400-1700
  • 1700-present

World Regions

  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Europe/North America/Australia
  • Latin America
  • Middle East

Concentration in Art History

Please read Guidelines for all for Art History and Archaeology Majors, Concentrators, and Interdepartmental Majors above.

The requirements for the concentration are as follows:

Seven lecture courses in art history:
At least one course in three of four historical periods, listed below
An additional two courses in two different world regions, listed below
Two additional lectures of the student's choice

NOTE: These chronological divisions are approximate. In case of ambiguities, please contact the director of undergraduate studies.

Historical Periods

  • Ancient (pre-400 CE/AD)
  • 400-1400
  • 1400-1700
  • 1700-present

World Regions

  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Europe/North America/Australia
  • Latin America
  • Middle East

Concentrators are not required to take the majors colloquium, a seminar, or a studio course.


Concentration in History and Theory of Architecture

Please read Guidelines for all for Art History and Archaeology Majors, Concentrators, and Interdepartmental Majors above.

The requirements for the concentration are as follows:

AHIS UN1007Introduction to the History of Architecture
Seven lecture courses in art history, one of which must be AHIS UN1007 Introduction to the History of Architecture, and three of which must focus on architectural history. Courses must cover four of five general areas:
Ancient Mediterranean
Medieval Europe
Renaissance and Baroque
18th-20th century
Non-Western

Concentrators are not required to take the majors colloquium, a seminar, or a studio course. 

 

Fall 2022 Undergraduate Lectures and Bridge Lectures

UNDERGRADUATE LECTURES: 2000-level courses. Attendance at first class meeting is strongly recommended. BRIDGE LECTURES: 4000-level courses. Bridge lectures are open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students. They do not require an application. Attendance at first class is strongly recommended.

AHIS UN2108 Greek Art and Architecture. 3.00 points.

Introduction to the art and architecture of the Greek world during the archaic, classical, and Hellenistic periods (11th - 1st centuries B.C.E.)

Fall 2022: AHIS UN2108
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2108 001/12693 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
612 Schermerhorn Hall
David Schneller 3.00 45/60

AHIS UN2317 Renaissance Architecture. 4 points.

This course examines the history of architecture between roughly 1400 and 1600 from a European perspective outward. Employing a variety of analytical approaches, it addresses issues related to the Renaissance built environment thematically and through a series of specific case studies. Travelling across a geographically diverse array of locales, we will interrogate the cultural, material, urban, social, and political dimensions of architecture (civic, commercial, industrial, domestic, ecclesiastical and otherwise). Additional topics to be discussed include: antiquity and its reinterpretation; local identity, style, and ornament; development of building typologies; patronage and politics; technology and building practice; religious change and advancements in warfare; the creation and migration of architectural knowledge; role of capitalism and colonialism; class and decorum in domestic design; health and the city; the mobility of people and materials; architectural theory, books, and the culture of print; the media of architectural practice; the growth of cities and towns; the creation of urban space and landscape; architectural responses to ecological and environmental factors; and the changing status of the architect.


Students must register for a required discussion section.

Fall 2022: AHIS UN2317
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2317 001/12192 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
612 Schermerhorn Hall
Michael Waters 4 47/60

AHUM UN2604 ARTS OF CHINA, JAPAN AND KOREA. 3.00 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

Introduces distinctive aesthetic traditions of China, Japan, and Korea--their similarities and differences--through an examination of the visual significance of selected works of painting, sculpture, architecture, and other arts in relation to the history, culture, and religions of East Asia

Fall 2022: AHUM UN2604
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2604 001/12236 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
807 Schermerhorn Hall
Andrea Horisaki-Christens 3.00 21/21
AHUM 2604 002/19939 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
832 Schermerhorn Hall
Cathy Zhu 3.00 19/21

AHIS UN2615 Survey of Dynastic Chinese Painting with Modern Comparisons. 4.00 points.

How did painting become the dominant expression of dynastic China, the pride of both the imperial court and the educated elite? This course will explore answers to that question through the study of selected Chinese paintings. The focus will be on influential paintings from the late Han dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty in 1911. Most paintings of the dynastic era will be introduced with a contemporary image from the 20th or 21st century. These recent works will allow us to consider continuities, ruptures, and transformations. Paintings functioned as guides to heaven and on correct behavior, entertainment, assertions of authority and legitimacy, celebrations of longevity, as well as ways to criticize and to complain. Because analogy and metaphor are fundamental to Chinese language and visual art, we will examine visual symbols, auspicious imagery, and the rhetoric of resistance. After successfully completing this course, you will be better able to articulate a research question, read more critically, write a visual analysis, and impress friends and family as you name a painting used in restaurant décor

Fall 2022: AHIS UN2615
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2615 001/17790 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
807 Schermerhorn Hall
Alfreda Murck 4.00 17/60

AHUM UN2800 Arts of Islam, 700-1000 CE. 4.00 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

This lecture course offers a comprehensive and chronological overview of the major masterpieces of art and architecture of the Muslim world between circa 700-1000 AD. Topics concerning the rise of Arabic as the official language of the new Muslim Empire and the aesthetic transformation it went from script to calligraphy, the shaping of sacred spaces and liturgical objects, rulers’ iconographies and urban designs, as well as daily-life objects, will be discussed. Mecca, Madina, Jerusalem, Damascus, Fustat (old Cairo), Qayrawan, Cordoba, Baghdad, Samarra, Balkh, Bukhara and early Fatimid Cairo are the major playgrounds to illustrate particular moments of shifting powers and aesthetic paradigms in the early days of the Muslim empire, suggesting a more differentiate picture of the arts of Islam in the age of imagining a world-wide empire. The past narratives for these regions will be critically presented by both looking at the medieval sources and the modern historiographies for these regions and by highlighting the varied ideologies at play. Taking this critical vein of studying the arts of the early Muslim age, past narratives will be reconsidered, while enhancing our awareness to the complicated, if not sometimes manipulated, processes of giving works of arts meanings and values

Fall 2022: AHUM UN2800
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2800 001/12553 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
612 Schermerhorn Hall
Avinoam Shalem 4.00 49/60

AHUM UN2901 MASTERPIECES-INDIAN ART & ARCH. 3.00 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

Introduction to 2000 years of art on the Indian subcontinent. The course covers the early art of Buddhism, rock-cut architecture of the Buddhists and Hindus, the development of the Hindu temple, Mughal and Rajput painting and architecture, art of the colonial period, and the emergence of the Modern

Fall 2022: AHUM UN2901
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2901 001/19945 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
832 Schermerhorn Hall
Subhashini Kaligotla 3.00 18/21
Spring 2023: AHUM UN2901
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2901 001/13416 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
807 Schermerhorn Hall
Charlotte Gorant 3.00 21/21

Fall 2022 Undergraduate Seminars and Bridge Seminars

UNDERGRADUATE SEMINARS: 3000-level courses open to undergraduate students only. Interested students must fill out and submit an online application form in the semester prior to when the course will be offered (April deadline for fall courses, November deadline for spring courses). Please visit the "Courses" page on the department website and select the upcoming semester to find a list of undergraduate seminar descriptions and links to seminar application forms. BRIDGE SEMINARS: 4500-level courses open to advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Applications are due in August for fall courses, and January for spring courses. Please visit the "Courses" page on the department website and select the upcoming semester to find a list of undergraduate seminar descriptions and links to seminar application forms.

AHIS UN3410 Approaches to Contemporary Art. 3 points.

This course examines the critical approaches to contemporary art from the 1970s to the present. It will address a range of historical and theoretical issues around the notion of "the contemporary" (e.g. globalization, participation, relational art, ambivalence, immaterial labor) as it has developed in the era after the postmodernism of the 1970s and 1980s.

Fall 2022: AHIS UN3410
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3410 001/12197 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Branden Joseph 3 12/12

AHIS UN3456 Picturing People: Photography & the Body. 4.00 points.

How did changing modes of representation reflect and contribute to shifting conceptions of embodiment and identity? This advanced undergraduate seminar explores the complex relationship between photography and the human body in the United States since the introduction of photography in 1839. Moving decade by decade, this course traces the development of photography alongside social and political change that altered how human bodies were understood, represented, inhabited, and controlled. We will examine a variety of photographic genres that figure the body, including personal portraits, ethnographic images, identification images, documentary photography, and fashion photography. Alongside the close examination of photographs, we will read key primary sources, scholarship in art history, and theoretical texts. Two field trips—one to Columbia’s Art Properties and one to the Metropolitan Museum of Art—will give us an opportunity to have our own embodied encounters with historical photographs. Although the course explores the period between 1839 and 1970, we will reflect upon the legacy of historical photographic practices in the years since and in the contemporary world

Fall 2022: AHIS UN3456
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3456 001/12198 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
934 Schermerhorn Hall
Katherine Fein 4.00 12/12

AHIS UN3703 Sin Autorizacion: Themes in Contemporary Cuban Art. 4.00 points.

This course is planned in conjunction with the exhibition Sin autorización, to be on display at the Wallach Gallery in Fall 2022. Using the exhibition and its works as a guide, this class focuses on main themes within Cuban art from the last few decades. Rather than proceeding in chronological order, each unit will address a theme present both within the greater history of contemporary Cuban art and works from the exhibition itself. The course will make use of public programming for the exhibition, as well as direct access to the artists included in the exhibition, through in-class visits and workshops, as possible. While we will focus on contemporary art from Cuba, we will begin by grounding our study within Caribbean cultural theory and important scholarship in Caribbean art history. Using Caribbean theory will help to contextualize and situate contemporary Cuban art within the greater field of art history and cultural theory

Fall 2022: AHIS UN3703
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3703 001/14892 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
934 Schermerhorn Hall
Gwen Unger 4.00 7/12

AHIS GU4517 Hadrian's Villa: An Imperial Court and Its Spaces. 4.00 points.

This seminar aims to understand Hadrian’s Villa by contextualizing it within the broader network of Roman imperial residences—palaces and villas alike—and by focusing on the relationship between architectural spaces and decoration on the one hand, and social practices and daily routines on the other. Basing on the findings of Columbia’s own excavations, special attention will be devoted to the cultic life at the villa, with particular emphasis on its non-elite inhabitants and the relationship between “high” and “low” forms of religiosity. The scope of the seminar is interdisciplinary: applications of students from all departments are welcome. Familiarity with Greek and Roman art, architecture, and history is strongly recommended

Fall 2022: AHIS GU4517
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 4517 001/15466 W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Francesco de Angelis 4.00 8/15

AHIS GU4646 Foucault and the Arts. 4 points.

Michel Foucault was a great historian and critic who helped change the ways research and criticism are done today – a new ‘archivist’. At the same time, he was a philosopher. His research and criticism formed part of an attempt to work out a new picture of what it is to think, and think critically, in relation to Knowledge, Power, and Processes of Subjectivization. What was this picture of thought? How did the arts, in particular the visual arts, figure in it? How might they in turn give a new image of Foucault’s kind of critical thinking for us today? In this course, we explore these questions, in the company of Deleuze, Agamben, Rancière and others thinkers and in relation to questions of media, document and archive in the current ‘regime of information’. The Seminar is open to students in all disciplines concerned with these issues.

Fall 2022: AHIS GU4646
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 4646 001/12199 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
807 Schermerhorn Hall
John Allan Rajchman 4 16/30

AHIS GU4728 Digital Art History: New Methods for Studying European Medieval Architecture and Associated Arts. 4.00 points.

This seminar will explore the use of digital technologies in art history through studying new approaches to medieval art and architecture. For about thirty years, digital technologies have played an increasing role in the humanities. Recently, the phenomenon has significantly gained momentum. In the field of art history, this growth can be attributed to a wider availability of digital tools and the decreasing cost of advanced technologies. Lidar scanning, photogrammetry, virtual reality, high resolution photography, 3D modeling, and so on are now frequently part of art historical studies and publications. In this seminar, students are invited to evaluate the pros and cons of addressing digital technologies for art history. Starting from the subfield of medieval architecture, the seminar will address questions that appear today in many fields and periods of art history. The seminar will include hands-on practical experience. Students with or without technical skills are encouraged to join this seminar

Fall 2022: AHIS GU4728
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 4728 001/15596 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Stefaan Van Liefferinge 4.00 9/12

AHIS GU4742 African American Visual and Decorative Arts, 1650-1900. 4.00 points.

This course surveys the earliest forms of visual production by North Americans of African descent, spanning the period from 1650-1900. Our focus encompasses decorative arts and crafts (furniture, pottery, quilts), architecture, and the emerging field of African American archeology, along with photography and the fine arts of painting and sculpture. We will consider how certain traditions brought from Africa contributed to the development of the early visual and material culture of what came to be called the United States. We will also reflect on how theories of diaspora, and resistance help us understand African American and American culture in general

Fall 2022: AHIS GU4742
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 4742 001/13458 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
934 Schermerhorn Hall
Kellie Jones 4.00 9/15

AHIS GU4743 Colonial Visual Systems: Constructing a "New World". 4.00 points.

This course will examine the visual organizational systems used by Europeans during their colonization of the Americas, specifically the Caribbean. These systems were used in several ways: first to classify that which Europeans had never encountered through botanical and zoological illustration, then, as tools to assert control over groups of people and land through mapping practices and ethnographic illustrations. As such, the course will examine the broad history of colonialism and the transAtlantic slave trade, beginning in the early fifteenth century and ending with twentieth-century tourist photos. The course will study the ways these visual systems were marshaled to create narratives that persist to this day, including the construction of race and use of the Picturesque as a pro-slavery tool that rendered the Caribbean as a pastoral haven. Stressing the development of image analysis skills and primary source materials, the main requirement will be a final 15-20 page paper. Over the course of the semester, we will work on developing this paper together; the end goal is that students will have a paper they can use for conference presentations or even rework for publication. At the end of the course, the student will be versed not only in colonial history but in the ways visual systems have functioned to construct systems of power and control

Fall 2022: AHIS GU4743
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 4743 001/15056 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
934 Schermerhorn Hall
Rachel Grace Newman 4.00 15/16

Majors Colloquium

The Majors Colloquium is a required course for all majors in the department. See the department website for more information. Students must sign up online by the deadline, which is posted on the department website.

AHIS UN3000 INTRO LIT/METHODS OF ART HIST. 3.00 points.

Required course for department majors. Not open to Barnard or Continuing Education students. Students must receive instructors permission. Introduction to different methodological approaches to the study of art and visual culture. Majors are encouraged to take the colloquium during their junior year

Fall 2022: AHIS UN3000
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3000 001/12194 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Noam Elcott 3.00 17/16
Spring 2023: AHIS UN3000
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3000 001/13402 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
934 Schermerhorn Hall
Avinoam Shalem 3.00 10/12

AHIS UN3007 Major's Colloquium: Intro to the Literature and Methods of Architectural History. 4 points.

This course, on the one hand, examines the intertwined histories of art history and architectural history from the late nineteenth century onwards and, on the other, focuses on questions that have been central to architectural history since the field’s beginnings. It combines theoretical inquiry with practical training in historical research. Students will be asked to carry out research projects in various archives in New York City and complete a single writing assignment in stages.

Spring 2023: AHIS UN3007
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3007 001/13404 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
832 Schermerhorn Hall
Zeynep Celik Alexander 4 6/12

Senior Thesis

The year-long Senior Thesis program is open to majors in the Department of Art History and Archaeology. For more information, please visit the Senior Thesis information page on the department website.

AHIS UN3002 Senior Thesis. 3 points.

Prerequisites: the department's permission.

Required for all thesis writers.

Fall 2022: AHIS UN3002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3002 001/12195 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Diane Bodart 3 6/10
Spring 2023: AHIS UN3002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3002 001/13403 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Diane Bodart 3 5/10

Spring 2023 Undergraduate Lectures and Bridge Lectures

UNDERGRADUATE LECTURES: 2000-level courses. Attendance at first class meeting is strongly recommended. BRIDGE LECTURES: 4000-level courses. Bridge lectures are open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students. They do not require an application. Attendance at first class is strongly recommended.

AHIS UN2309 Early Modern Architecture (1550-1799). 3 points.

This course examines the history of early modern architecture from a European perspective outward. It starts with the time of Michelangelo and Palladio and ends in the late eighteenth century.  It addresses a number of transhistorical principal issues and analytical approaches while focusing on to a series of roughly chronological thematic studies. Travelling across courts, academies, streets, and buildings devoted to new institutions, this course examines the cultural, material, urban, social, and political dimensions of architecture, as well as temporal and geographic migrations of architectural knowledge. Topics will also include: the resurgence of interest in antiquity; the longue durée history of monuments; changes in building typology; the patronage and politics of architecture; technological developments and building practice; architectural theory, books, and the culture of print; the growth of capital cities; the creation of urban space and landscape; the formalization of architectural education; and the changing status of the architect.

Spring 2023: AHIS UN2309
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2309 001/13399 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
612 Schermerhorn Hall
Eleonora Pistis 3 45/45

AHIS UN2405 Twentieth-Century Art. 3 points.

  The course will examine a variety of figures, movements, and practices within the entire range of 20th-century art—from Expressionism to Abstract Expressionism, Constructivism to Pop Art, Surrealism to Minimalism, and beyond–situating them within the social, political, economic, and historical contexts in which they arose.  The history of these artistic developments will be traced through the development and mutual interaction of two predominant strains of artistic culture: the modernist and the avant-garde, examining in particular their confrontation with and development of the particular vicissitudes of the century’s ongoing modernization.  Discussion section complement class lectures. 

Spring 2023: AHIS UN2405
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2405 001/13400 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
614 Schermerhorn Hall
Branden Joseph 3 90/90

AHIS UN2702 Pre-Columbian Art and Architecture. 3 points.

The Western Hemisphere was a setting for outstanding accomplishments in the visual arts for millennia before Europeans set foot in the so-called “New World.” This course explores the early indigenous artistic traditions of what is now Latin America, from early monuments of the formative periods (e.g., Olmec and Chavín), through acclaimed eras of aesthetic and technological achievement (e.g., Maya and Moche), to the later Inca and Aztec imperial periods. Our subject will encompass diverse genre including painting and sculpture, textiles and metalwork, architecture and performance. Attention will focus on the two cultural areas that traditionally have received the most attention from researchers: Mesoamerica (including what is today Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, and Honduras) and the Central Andes (including Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia). We will also critically consider the drawing of those boundaries—both spatial and temporal—that have defined “Pre-Columbian” art history to date. More than a survey of periods, styles, and monuments, we will critically assess the varieties of evidence—archaeological, epigraphic, historical, ethnographic, and scientific—available for interpretations of ancient Latin American art and culture.

Spring 2023: AHIS UN2702
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2702 001/13401 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
612 Schermerhorn Hall
Lisa Trever 3 60/60

AHUM UN2901 MASTERPIECES-INDIAN ART & ARCH. 3.00 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

Introduction to 2000 years of art on the Indian subcontinent. The course covers the early art of Buddhism, rock-cut architecture of the Buddhists and Hindus, the development of the Hindu temple, Mughal and Rajput painting and architecture, art of the colonial period, and the emergence of the Modern

Fall 2022: AHUM UN2901
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2901 001/19945 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
832 Schermerhorn Hall
Subhashini Kaligotla 3.00 18/21
Spring 2023: AHUM UN2901
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2901 001/13416 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
807 Schermerhorn Hall
Charlotte Gorant 3.00 21/21

AHIS GU4089 NATIVE AMERICAN ART. 3.00 points.

This course looks closely at objects and images produced by Native North Americans across history. Grounding our study in essays and guest lectures from Native scholars, we will investigate the significance of the works and how and to whom meaning is communicated. Beginning with an introduction that links aesthetics and worldview using the conventional organizing principle of the culture area, we quickly move on to case studies that take up key issues that persist for Native people living under settler colonialism today, including questions of sovereignty, self-expression, transformation and representation. Along the way, we will also tackle historiographic questions about how knowledge about Native art has been produced in universities and museums and how Indigenous people have worked to counter those discourses

Spring 2023: AHIS GU4089
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 4089 001/14594 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
807 Schermerhorn Hall
Elizabeth Hutchinson 3.00 44/45

Spring 2023 Undergraduate Seminars and Bridge Seminars

UNDERGRADUATE SEMINARS: 3000-level courses open to undergraduate students only. Interested students must fill out and submit an online application form in the semester prior to when the course will be offered (April deadline for fall courses, November deadline for spring courses). Please visit the "Courses" page on the department website and select the upcoming semester to find a list of undergraduate seminar descriptions and links to seminar application forms. BRIDGE SEMINARS: 4500-level courses open to advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Applications are due in August for fall courses, and January for spring courses. Please visit the "Courses" page on the department website and select the upcoming semester to find a list of undergraduate seminar descriptions and links to seminar application forms.

AHIS UN3433 Enlightenment and Archaeology. 4 points.

In this seminar, we will study the emergence of the disciplines of Near Eastern and Classical archaeology, antiquarian interests and collecting practices in eighteenth and nineteenth century Europe. This European scientific interest was centered around the ancient past of lands under the Ottoman empire in the Near East and the Eastern Mediterranean. Students will learn about antiquarianism and the development of the scientific discipline of archaeology, how it defined itself and set itself apart from its predecessor, focusing on the earliest collecting and documentation of antiquities, the start of organised excavations, the origins of the modern museum and early archaeological photography.

Spring 2023: AHIS UN3433
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3433 001/13405 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
934 Schermerhorn Hall
Zainab Bahrani 4 7/12

AHIS UN3444 Reflexivity in Art and Film. 4 points.

This seminar will explore a range of individual works of Western art from the 16th century to late 20th century in which the tension between illusionism and reflexivity is foregrounded. It will focus on well-known paintings and films in which forms of realism and verisimilitude coexist with features that affirm the artificial or fictive nature of the work or which dramatize the material, social and ideological conditions of the work’s construction. Topics will include art by Durer, Holbein, Velazquez, Watteau, Courbet, Morisot, Vertov, Deren, Godard, Varda, Hitchcock and others. Readings will include texts by Auerbach, Gombrich, Brecht, Jameson, Barthes, Didi-Huberman, Bazin, Lukacs, Mulvey, and Daney

Spring 2023: AHIS UN3444
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3444 001/13406 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Jonathan Crary 4 12/12

AHIS UN3453 Women Artists in Eighteenth-Century Europe. 4 points.

This seminar will examine the career and artistic production of women artists in the long eighteenth century in Europe, with a specific focus on Italy, France and Britain. Recent research has shown that many women managed to become professional artists during this period. But how successful were they? And what did their work consist of? To date, the historical recovery of data about their career and oeuvre remains a work in progress. In contrast, the few women artists who reached international fame in the eighteenth-century – in part because they were members of otherwise overwhelmingly male art academies – have received significant scholarly attention by art historians that include Angela Rosenthal and Mary Sheriff, among others, and have been the subject of important monographic exhibitions in the past two decades. In light of this state of the research, we will study the cases of canonical artists, such as Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807), as well as the cases of still understudied (yet sufficiently documented) artists, such as Marie Geneviève Bouliar (1763-1825). Our primary task will be to examine the different ways in which women who became artists navigated the eighteenth-century social order – an order where the terms “woman” and “professional artist” were commonly understood as contradictory – and analyze their art with a critical understanding of the expectations, aesthetic and otherwise, that they were held to. Topics of discussion will include: training; the hierarchy of genres; women artists and media, including miniature, engraving and sculpture; self-portraiture and gender expectations; women artists and art criticism; and emulation and authorship.

Spring 2023: AHIS UN3453
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3453 001/13407 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
806 Schermerhorn Hall
Frederique Baumgartner 4 10/12

AHIS GU4741 Art and Theory in a Global Context. 4.00 points.

What is “globalization”? How does it change the way we think about or show art today? What role does film and media play in it? How has critical theory itself assumed new forms in this configuration moving outside post-war Europe and America? How have these processes helped change with the very idea of ‘contemporary art’? What then might a transnational critical theory in art and in thinking look like today or in the 21st century? In this course we will examine this cluster of questions from a number of different angles, starting with new questions about borders, displacements, translations and minorities, and the ways they have cut across and figured in different regions, in Europe or America, as elsewhere. In the course of our investigations, we will look in particular at two areas in which these questions are being raised today -- in Asia and in Africa and its diasporas. The course is thus inter-disciplinary in nature and is open to students in different fields and areas where these issues are now being discussed

Spring 2023: AHIS GU4741
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 4741 001/13408 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
807 Schermerhorn Hall
John Allan Rajchman 4.00 20/25