Art History and Archaeology

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

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Prof. Michael Cole, 803 Schermerhorn; 212-854-8490; mc3371@columbia.edu

Director of Art Humanities: Prof. Zoë Strother, 811 Schermerhorn; 212-854-8529; zss1@columbia.edu

Coordinator for Undergraduate Programs: Emily Benjamin, 826 Schermerhorn; 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 qualify 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
  • Michael Cole
  • Jonathan Crary
  • Francesco de Angelis
  • Vidya Dehejia
  • David Freedberg
  • Robert E. Harrist, Jr.
  • 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)
  • Ioannis Mylonopoulos
  • Lisa Trever

Assistant Professors

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

Adjunct Faculty

  • Dawn Delbanco
  • Rosalyn Deutsche (Barnard)
  • John Rajchman
  • Stefaan Van Liefferinge

Lecturers

  • Molly Allen
  • Margot Bernstein
  • Frederique Baumgartner
  • Megan Boomer
  • Colby Chamberlain
  • Lucas Cohen
  • Sophia D'Addio
  • Catherine Damman
  • Huffa Frobes-Cross
  • Nina Horisaki-Christens
  • Page Knox
  • Janet Kraynak
  • Sandrine Larrive-Bass
  • Martina Mims
  • Kent Minturn
  • Nicholas Morgan
  • Mikael Muehlbauer
  • Steven Niedbala
  • Irina Oryshkevich
  • Elizabeth Perkins
  • Olivia Powell
  • Julie Siemon
  • Susan Sivard
  • Stefaan Van Liefferinge
  • Caroline Wamsler
  • Alex Weintraub
  • Tingting Xu
  • Benjamin Young

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
At least 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 2021 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 UN2412 Eighteenth Century Art in Europe. 3 points.

This course will examine the history of art in Europe from the late seventeenth to the early nineteenth century. This was a period of dramatic cultural change, marked by, among other things, the challenging of traditional artistic hierarchies; increased opportunities for travel, trade, and exchange; and the emergence of “the public” as a critical new audience for art. Students will be introduced to major artists, works, and media, as well as to key themes in the art historical scholarship. Topics will include: the birth of art criticism; the development of the art market; domesticity and the cult of sensibility; the ascension of women artists and patrons; and the visual culture of empire, slavery, and revolution. The emphasis will be on France and Britain, with forays to Italy, Spain, Germany, India, America, and elsewhere.

AHIS UN2415 History Painting and Its Afterlives. 3.00 points.

This course will study the problematic persistence of history painting as a cultural practice in nineteenth century Europe, well after its intellectual and aesthetic justifications had become obsolete. Nonetheless, academic prescriptions and expectations endured in diluted or fragmentary form. We will examine the transformations of this once privileged category and look at how the representation of exemplary deeds and action becomes increasingly problematic in the context of social modernization and the many global challenges to Eurocentrism. Selected topics explore how image making was shaped by new models of historical and geological time, by the invention of national traditions, and by the emergence of new publics and visual technologies. The relocation of historical imagery from earlier elite milieus into mass culture forms of early cinema and popular illustration will also be addressed

AHIS UN2602 The Arts of Japan. 3 points.

Introduction to the painting, sculpture, and architecture of Japan from the Neolithic period through the present. Discussion focuses on key monuments within their historical and cultural contexts.

AHUM UN2604 Art In China, Japan, and Korea. 3 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.

Spring 2022: AHUM UN2604
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2604 001/13741 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
807 Schermerhorn Hall
Andrea Horisaki-Christens 3 18/21
AHUM 2604 002/15223 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
807 Schermerhorn Hall
Yeongik Seo 3 20/21
Fall 2022: AHUM UN2604
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2604 001/12236 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
Andrea Horisaki-Christens 3 0/21

AHIS GU4110 Japanese Architecture from the Mid-19th Century to the Present. 3 points.

This course will examine Japanese architecture and urban planning from the mid-19th century to the present. We will address topics such as the establishment of an architectural profession along western lines in the late 19th century, the emergence of a modernist movement in the 1920's, the use of biological metaphors and the romanticization of technology in the theories and designs of the Metabolist Group, and the shifting significance of pre-modern Japanese architectural practices for modern architects.  There will be an emphasis on the complex relationship between architectural practice and broader political and social change in Japan.

Fall 2021 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 UN3017 Architecture and Deception. 4.00 points.

Fittingly in the age of fake news, this seminar addresses how lying, deception, concealment, and forgery have shaped the history of architecture and its historiography. It deals not only with architects’ lies, but also with how their architecture can be deceptive in many different ways. It also analyses how architectural narratives—including biographies—and historical accounts have been shaped by falsehoods and distortions. While addressing philosophical issues that remain relevant to our present, the course will examine some of the most influential architects and key works of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth century—a pivotal time within intellectual history for the definition of the concept of ‘truth’ and also, therefore, of its opposite. Students will learn how to make use of the many lenses through which architecture can be investigated. The goal is not only to acquire a foundation in European architectural history, but also, more broadly, to develop the skills necessary to analyze architecture and to deal with original architectural objects and texts, as well as to cultivate a critical attitude towards architectural literature

AHIS UN3413 Nineteenth-Century Criticism. 4 points.

Prerequisites: junior or senior standing, and the instructor's permission.

Selected readings in 19th-century philosophy, literature, and art criticism, with emphasis on problems of modernity and aesthetic experience. Texts include work by Diderot, Kant, Coleridge, Hegel, Emerson, Flaubert, Ruskin, Baudelaire, and Nietzsche.

AHIS UN3614 Landscape and the Visual Arts in China. 4.00 points.

The landscape of China is marked by sites that have acquired lasting cultural significance the interactions of the visual arts and myth, ritual, and literature. Representations of these sites, which include sacred mountains, scenic areas, and tourist destinations, promoted habits of viewing that directed visitors to seek out unusual vistas, strange rock formations, or ancient monuments. Memories of historical events or famous people associated with the sites added to their mystique. Among the most notable sites that will be covered in the seminar are Mt. Tai, a mountain sacred in both Confucian and Daoist thought; Mt. Huang, an area of spectacular, rugged peaks that became a popular tourist site in the seventeenth century; Tiger Hill, a frequent destination of literati visitors from the Suzhou area; and the Orchid Pavilion, a site in Zhejiang Province that gained fame through its association with a famous calligrapher. The seminar will introduce students to a broadly interdisciplinary approach to the visual arts drawing on methodologies from art history, anthropology, the history of religion, and other fields. No knowledge of Chinese is expected, but students who do know the language will be guided to appropriate sources. Readings in the history and theory of landscape in the West also will be included in the seminar in order to broaden the range of questions that can be asked about the experience of landscape in China

AHIS UN3615 Imperial (Re)Visions: Art and Empire in India. 4.00 points.

This seminar aims to teach students how to look at, think about, and engage critically with the visual culture of British India. Together, we will examine the repercussions of the Anglo-Indian colonial encounter on the disciplines of painting, decorative arts, photography, and architecture. We shall not only study the objects themselves, but interrogate the cultural, political, and intellectual circumstances under which they were produced, circulated, collected, and displayed. Finally, we will explore the legacy of the British empire today—its influence on contemporary art, the politics and practices of museum displays, repatriation debates, and beyond

AHIS GU4503 Planning and Programming An Exhibition, Subject: Childhood. 4.00 points.

This bridge seminar studies the history of childhood, through a 2022 Boston Institute of Contemporary Art exhibition. To Begin Again was planned to consider how we imagine childhood in our present moment. How do 20 of today’s major artists, many of whom are parents, and belong to an inclusive range of backgrounds, represent the beginnings of human life? Now, the socially stratified consequences of Covid-19 on families and education are also at stake. Due to Covid-19, the timing of the ICA exhibition has allowed an interval in which to re-think what exhibition programming might consist of, in light of the exhibition’s subject, and recent history. Thanks to a Harvard Radcliffe Institute grant, a virtual seminar will convene museum, childhood and education experts to discuss best practices and new possibilities. Students will attend the workshop as well as an artist’s talk, and meet with the exhibition curator, as well as several museum education professionals, to understand how a museum exhibition comes into being. Assignments will include practicing aspects of research and writing necessary to a successful exhibition. A crucial resource and practicum for the seminar will be a website of the museum programming seminar, funded and managed by the Harvard, Radcliffe Institute, to which seminar graduate students will contribute. This seminar requires long reading assignments at the start of the semester, professional interactions with eminent scholars, and independent work in the second half of the semester. It is therefore suitable only for the most advanced undergraduates

AHIS GU4546 Gilles Deleuze: Thinking in Art. 4 points.

The philosophy of Gilles Deleuze has emerged as one of the richest, most singular adventures in post-war European thought; Foucault considered it the most important in France, and more generally, in the 20th century. In all of Deleuze's work there is a search for a new 'image of thought.' But how did art figure in this search, and how did the search in turn appeal to artists, writers, filmmakers, architects, as well as curators or critics? In this seminar, we explore the complex theme of 'thinkin in art' in Deleuze, and its implications for art in the 21st century or for the global contemporary art of today.

AHIS GU4727 Medieval Monuments and Memory. 4.00 points.

The medieval world was filled with monuments that defined both the places people lived and traveled through and the ways they understood their communities. This course investigates how architecture and sculpture shaped medieval perceptions of the past and how medieval patrons hoped to make a mark on the future. Case studies will explore the commemoration of the dead, the definition of political identities, the construction of local histories, the presentation of older architectural elements inside new structures, the creation of new stories to redefine preexisting sites, and other relevant topics. We will also discuss how modern restorations, neo-medieval monuments, museum collections, and political discourse impact how medieval monuments are made meaningful today

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

Spring 2022: AHIS UN3000
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3000 001/13726 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Meredith Gamer 3.00 12/12
Fall 2022: AHIS UN3000
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3000 001/12194 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Noam Elcott 3.00 0/12

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 2022: AHIS UN3007
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3007 001/13728 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Barry Bergdoll 4 10/12

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.

Spring 2022: AHIS UN3002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3002 001/13727 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
934 Schermerhorn Hall
Michael Cole 3 4/10
Fall 2022: AHIS UN3002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3002 001/12195 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Diane Bodart 3 0/10

Spring 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 UN1007 Introduction to the History of Architecture. 4 points.

This course is required for architectural history and theory majors, but is also open to students interested in a general introduction to the history of architecture, considered on a global scale. Architecture is analyzed through in-depth case studies of key works of sacred, secular, public, and domestic architecture from both the Western canon and cultures of the ancient Americas and of the Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic faiths. The time frame ranges from ancient Mesopotamia to the modern era. Discussion section is required.

Spring 2022: AHIS UN1007
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 1007 001/13718 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
614 Schermerhorn Hall
Michael Waters 4 88/110

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.)

Spring 2022: AHIS UN2108
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2108 001/13720 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
612 Schermerhorn Hall
David Schneller 3.00 51/60
Fall 2022: AHIS UN2108
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2108 001/12693 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Ioannis Mylonopoulos 3.00 0/60

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 2022: AHIS UN2405
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2405 001/13721 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
501 Schermerhorn Hall
Alexander Alberro 3 150/170

AHIS UN2427 Twentieth-Century Architecture. 4.00 points.

This course examines some of the key moments of architectural modernity in the twentieth century in an attempt to understand how architecture participated in the making of a new world order. It follows the lead of recent scholarship that has been undoing the assumption that modern twentieth-century architecture is a coherent enterprise that should be understood through avant-gardist movements. Instead, architectural modernity is presented in this course as a multivalent, and even contradictory, entity that has nonetheless had profound impact on modernity. Rather than attempting to be geographically comprehensive, it focuses on the interdependencies between the Global North and the South; instead of being strictly chronological, it is arranged around a constellation of themes that are explored through a handful of projects and texts. Reading primary sources from the period under examination is a crucial part of the course

Spring 2022: AHIS UN2427
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2427 001/15590 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
612 Schermerhorn Hall
Zeynep Celik Alexander 4.00 45/60

AHIS UN2600 THE ARTS OF CHINA. 3.00 points.

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

An introduction to the arts of China, from the Neolithic period to the present, stressing materials and processes of bronze casting, the development of representational art, principles of text illustration, calligraphy, landscape painting, imperial patronage, and the role of the visual arts in elite culture.

Spring 2022: AHIS UN2600
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2600 001/15709 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
807 Schermerhorn Hall
Robert Harrist 3.00 14/25

AHUM UN2604 Art In China, Japan, and Korea. 3 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.

Spring 2022: AHUM UN2604
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2604 001/13741 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
807 Schermerhorn Hall
Andrea Horisaki-Christens 3 18/21
AHUM 2604 002/15223 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
807 Schermerhorn Hall
Yeongik Seo 3 20/21
Fall 2022: AHUM UN2604
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2604 001/12236 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
Andrea Horisaki-Christens 3 0/21

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

Spring 2022: AHUM UN2901
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2901 001/13742 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
807 Schermerhorn Hall
Kalyani Ramachandran 3.00 18/21
AHUM 2901 002/13743 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Tara Kuruvilla 3.00 17/21

AHIS GU4027 Architecture and Associated Arts in Western Europe from 1066 until 1399: Building with Blood, Sweat, and Tears. 3.00 points.

This course will study building practice, sculpture, and architectural ornamentation in Western Europe during the Middle Ages. The monuments selected belong to a period that starts when architecture moved away from Roman antique models and ends just before the re-adoption of Classical standards in the Renaissance. In this course the originality of medieval architecture, its relationship with earlier and later monuments, and the dramatic effort involved in its creation will be discussed. Major themes of medieval society such as pilgrimages, crusades, piety, the cult of relics, and the social and intellectual context of the Middle Ages are also part of this lecture. The course will also introduce students on how to harness digital technologies such as laser scanning or photogrammetry for the study of medieval art. No preliminary knowledge of medieval history or architectural history is needed and no knowledge of digital technologies or specific computer skills is expected. (Virtual) Museum visits will complement the regular lectures

Spring 2022: AHIS GU4027
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 4027 001/14420 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
612 Schermerhorn Hall
Stefaan Van Liefferinge 3.00 22/60

AHIS GU4031 Art of Italy: 1300-1520. 3.00 points.

This course is a survey of the art of Italy from the early fourteenth century until the onset of the Reformation. It will cover the major artists and cultural centers of the peninsula, examining them in the context of broader artistic currents and conventions of the period. Special attention will be paid to the social, political, and historical factors that led to changes in the visual arts as well as the impact of cultures beyond classical antiquity on the form and iconography of paintings and sculptures in the Early Renaissance. The lectures will provide students with a deeper understanding of the canonical works of Italian artists from Cimabue and Giotto to Leonardo da Vinci and Giovanni Bellini, of the development of new criteria for assessing the visual arts, of the relationship between artists, patrons, and audiences in the period. The readings, in turn, will familiarize them with key primary sources of the fourteenth and fifteenth century, as well as the writings of distinguished Renaissance scholars from the nineteenth century until the present

Spring 2022: AHIS GU4031
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 4031 001/15055 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
612 Schermerhorn Hall
Irina Oryshkevich 3.00 48/60

AHIS GU4042 AFR AMER ARTISTS IN 20/21 CENT. 3.00 points.

This course is a survey of visual production by North Americans of African descent from 1900 to the present. It will look at the various ways in which these artists have sought to develop an African American presence in the visual arts over the last century. We will discuss such issues as: what role does stylistic concern play; how are ideas of romanticism, modernism, and formalism incorporated into the work; in what ways do issues of postmodernism, feminism, and cultural nationalism impact on the methods used to portray the cultural and political body that is African America? There will be four guest lectures for this class; all will be held via zoom

Spring 2022: AHIS GU4042
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 4042 001/13788 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
612 Schermerhorn Hall
Kellie Jones 3.00 42/60

Spring 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 UN3104 The Art of the Gods: Images of the Divine in the Ancient Mediterranean. 4.00 points.

Divine images made the gods present, gave physical and tangible form to something not (often) to be seen or touched, and served as a crystallization of the religious imagination of society. The way different cultures represented the divine can tell us a lot about the use of images in those cultures, as well as communicating much about how the gods themselves were understood. This topic connects art historical concerns of form, material, and style to rituals, social practices, and religious beliefs. This course will combine these elements, showing the interconnections between physical appearance and sacred function in the Greek and Roman world; Mesopotamia and Egypt will act as crucial points of comparison

Spring 2022: AHIS UN3104
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3104 001/13729 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
934 Schermerhorn Hall
Alexander Ekserdjian 4.00 12/12

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 2022: AHIS UN3444
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3444 001/13730 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
934 Schermerhorn Hall
Jonathan Crary 4 10/12

AHIS UN3454 Zines by Artists. 4.00 points.

Most often associated with the explosion of punk rock at the end of the 1970s, self-published booklets, fanzines, or simply ’zines actually arose first in the context of science fiction collectors in the 1930s. Beginning in the early 1970s (independently of, and before the advent of punk music), artists adopted and developed the format as a vehicle for visual expression, drawing from precedents in pop art, artists’ books, mimiographed literary magazines, historical avant-garde movements such as dada, and more contemporaneous developments in conceptual art and mail art. Overlooked in favor of artists’ books and artists’ magazines, on the one hand, and in favor of various types of music- or personal expression-based zines, on the other, the artist’s zine forms a rich and multifaceted genre spanning over five decades of practice. This course will examine the artist’s zine in the contexts of both art and music history, issues related to the expression and exploration of race, gender, and sexaulity, and the notions of networking and community building. Although distinct from the development of punk rock, artists’ zine practice has forged and maintains a close connection to it and to its evolution into Queercore, Riot Grrrl, and Afropunk, all of which are covered in the course readings

Spring 2022: AHIS UN3454
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3454 001/14346 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Branden Joseph 4.00 11/14

AHIS UN3455 The Art of the Document. 4.00 points.

This course addresses the tension between art and document, or making and recording, in twentieth-century visual culture. The first half investigates the aesthetics and politics of documentary photography and film, including conflicts between realism and modernism. The second half examines the use of documents and documentation by postmodern art and subsequent transformations in the style, form, and truth-content of documentary practices

Spring 2022: AHIS UN3455
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3455 001/15045 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Benjamin Young 4.00 9/12

AHIS UN3503 Contemporary Arts of Africa. 4 points.

This course takes up a question posed by Terry Smith and applies it to Africa: "Who gets to say what counts as contemporary art?" It will investigate the impact of modernity, modernism, and increasing globalism on artistic practices with a special focus on three of the major centers for contemporary art in sub-Saharan Africa: Senegal, South Africa, Nigeria.

Some of the topics covered will be: the emergence of new media (such as photography or cinema), the creation of "national" cultures, experiments in Pan-Africanism, diasporic consciousness, and the rise of curators as international culture-brokers. The course will examine the enthusiastic embrace by African artists of the biennial platform as a site for the production of contemporary art. What differential impact has French vs. British colonialism left on the arts? How are contemporary artists responding to calls for restitution on African cultural heritage?

Spring 2022: AHIS UN3503
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3503 001/13731 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
934 Schermerhorn Hall
Zoe Strother 4 10/15

AHIS UN3609 Kyoto: Art, Architecture, and Urbanism. 4.00 points.

This seminar examines Kyoto, Japan’s capital from 794 to 1868, through a study of its art and architecture, and how visual experience is shaped by the city’s particular urban setting and natural environment from its founding to the present. The course will begin by exploring the impact of the city’s original grid plan, the architecture and art of its Buddhist temples, and the strategic role of water in the city’s history. Pictorial representations of the city on folding screen paintings and in printed guidebooks created during the 16th-18th century will guide us in studying Kyoto’s early modern transformation and the development of the city’s rowhouses (machiya). The course will also focus throughout on the old capital’s role in the specialization of such arts as textiles and ceramics. Note: A travel component of the course is pending

Spring 2022: AHIS UN3609
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3609 001/18426 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
807 Schermerhorn Hall
Matthew McKelway 4.00 12/12

AHIS UN3621 Rethinking Chinese Painting. 4.00 points.

This seminar reconceptualizes traditional Chinese paintings (hua) through the perspectives of medium and format. The class sections are arranged in chronological order. We will investigate the distinct formats of portable paintings from the 2nd to 18th centuries (including funerary banners, handscrolls, hanging scrolls, albums, screens, and fans) and the representations of paintings of various formats in tombs and other architectural-pictorial contexts. We will probe into the new notions and thoughts presented by the new pictorial formats, and examine how they have been conventionalized and re-developed by later works. The goal is to foreground frame, scale, surface and ground, as carriers as well as boundaries, of image in the discussions of image, and to see painting as the happenings that were schematized and realized by these external, yet also intrinsic, agents. Students will have the chance to peruse the artworks in museum visits, and are expected to do presentations that address the selected pictures with format insights. Class discussions will be both theoretical and object-oriented, exploring the depths of visual analyses on a par with methodological reflection. Reading proficiency in Chinese is recommended, but not a prerequisite

Spring 2022: AHIS UN3621
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3621 001/15046 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Xu Tingting 4.00 13/16

AHIS GU4512 Interpretive Archaeology. 4.00 points.

The objective of this graduate seminar is to bring a historiographical dimension to the training of students enrolled in archaeology and art history of the ancient world or Classics, by providing them with the keys to various readings of ancient Greek societies and their material culture and the way these have been constantly renewed since the nineteenth century. Through class discussions of ancient sources and modern texts, the seminar will develop ways of identifying the interpretive models that have shaped classical scholarship up to now. The seminar will offer the opportunity to discuss these models, be they supplementary or conflicting, in order to move towards an ever more explicit reasoning on the interpretations of ancient sources and archaeological evidence

Spring 2022: AHIS GU4512
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 4512 001/15056 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
934 Schermerhorn Hall
Alain Duplouy 4.00 6/15

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 2022: AHIS GU4741
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 4741 001/15225 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
807 Schermerhorn Hall
John Allan Rajchman 4.00 16/25

AHIS GU4949 Architecture in the Age of Progress. 4.00 points.

This course focuses on buildings and design theories from the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States that were responding to industrialization and rapid urbanization. Based on the premise that modernism in architecture has as much to with attitudes toward change as it does a particular set of formal traits, this class will examine those works that responded to significant technological and social upheaval in an effort to welcome, forestall, or otherwise guide change. We will look at broad themes of the period, including national character, rapid economic growth, the quickened pace of urban life, and shrinking distances due to emerging forms of transportation and communication, all in the light of new methods and materials of construction, new functional programs, and the growing metropolis

Spring 2022: AHIS GU4949
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 4949 001/13732 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
930 Schermerhorn Hall
Samuel Isenstadt 4.00 11/15