Art History-Visual Arts

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

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Prof. Barry Bergdoll, 918 Schermerhorn; 212-854-5425; bgb1@columbia.edu

Director of Art Humanities: Prof. Noam Elcott, 907 Schermerhorn; 212-854-7968; nme2106@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

Seminars require an application which is due in the departmental office in 826 Schermerhorn before the registration period in the semester prior to the one in which the course is offered (April for fall courses, November for spring courses). The required application form is available in PDF format on the department website. Students should wait list the seminars to which they apply on SSOL.

Bridge Seminars

Bridge seminars are open to graduate and undergraduate students. As with other seminars, they require an application, which are due in the semester prior to the semester in which the course is offered (August for fall courses, December for spring courses). The required application form is available in PDF format on the department website.

Bridge Lectures

Bridge lectures are open to graduate and advanced undergraduate 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)
  • Holger Klein
  • Rosalind Krauss
  • Kellie Jones
  • Branden Joseph
  • Matthew McKelway
  • Jonathan Reynolds (Barnard)
  • Simon Schama
  • Avinoam Shalem
  • Zoë Strother

Associate Professors

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

Assistant Professors

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

Adjunct Faculty

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

Lecturers

  • Molly Allen
  • Frederique Baumgartner
  • Eliza Butler
  • Hannah Friedman
  • Alexandra Helprin
  • Page Knox
  • Janet Kraynak
  • Sandrine Larrive-Bass
  • Ja Won Lee
  • Daria Melnikova
  • Martina Mims
  • Irina Oryshkevich
  • Elizabeth Perkins
  • Olivia Powell
  • Kelly Presutti
  • Michael Sanchez
  • Susan Sivard
  • Caroline Wamsler
  • Gillian Young

On Leave

  • Profs. Freedberg, Trever (2019-2020)
  • Profs. Crary, de Angelis, Delbanco, Harrist (Fall 2019)
  • Profs. Dehejia, Jones, Krauss, Mylonopoulos, Pistis (Spring 2020)

Major in Art History and Visual Arts

Students electing the combined major should consult with a faculty adviser in the department, as well as with the director of undergraduate studies in the Visual Arts Department.

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

The requirements for the major are as follows:

AHIS W3895Majors' Colloquium: the Literature and Methods of Art History
Seven 3-point lecture courses in art history.
At least one course in three of four historical periods, as listed below.
An additional two courses drawn from at least two different world regions, as listed below.
Two additional lectures of the student's choice
21 points in Visual Arts covering:
Basic Drawing
Sculpture I
Five additional VIAR R3000-level or above course
In the senior year, students undertake 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 about the eligibility of a course to fill the requirement, please consult the director of undergraduate studies.

Historical Periods

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

World Regions

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

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.

Fall 2021: AHIS UN2412
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2412 001/11276 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Frederique Baumgartner 3 60/60

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

Fall 2021: AHIS UN2415
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2415 001/11560 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Room TBA
Jonathan Crary 3.00 20/20

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.

Fall 2021: AHIS UN2602
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2602 001/11358 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Matthew McKelway 3 60/60

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 2021: AHUM UN2604
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2604 001/16858 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Online Only
Xu Tingting 3 20/21
AHUM 2604 002/16713 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Naomi Kuromiya 3 23/21
AHUM 2604 003/16714 T Th 7:40pm - 8:55pm
Online Only
Jeewon Kim 3 21/21
AHUM 2604 004/16715 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
Online Only
Chen Jiang 3 18/21
Fall 2021: AHUM UN2604
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2604 001/11402 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Xu Tingting 3 21/21

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: AHIS GU4110
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 4110 001/11278 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Jonathan Reynolds 3 57/60

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 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.

Fall 2021: AHIS UN3413
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3413 001/11362 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Online Only
Jonathan Crary 4 0/12

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

Fall 2021: AHIS UN3614
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3614 001/13213 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Robert Harrist 4.00 7/12

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.

Fall 2021: AHIS GU4546
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 4546 001/11397 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
John Allan Rajchman 4 13/15

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 2021: AHIS UN3000
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3000 001/12535 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
Online Only
Zoe Strother 3.00 8/12
AHIS 3000 002/12536 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
Online Only
Frederique Baumgartner 3.00 13/12
Fall 2021: AHIS UN3000
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3000 001/12898 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Meredith Gamer 3.00 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.

Spring 2021: AHIS UN3002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3002 001/12537 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Online Only
Barry Bergdoll 3 9/10
Fall 2021: AHIS UN3002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3002 001/11359 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Michael Cole 3 0/10

Spring 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 UN2119 Rome Beyond Rome: Roman Art and Architecture in a Global Perspective. 4 points.

This course will approach the art of the Roman empire from two vantage points. In its first half, it will consider it from the inside. Through a regional survey of the art and architecture produced in the provinces of the Roman empire between the 2nd c. BCE and the 4th c. CE, it will focus on the mechanisms by which models emanating from Rome were received and adapted in local contexts (so-called “Romanization”), as well as on the creative responses that the provincials’ incorporation into the empire elicited. The second half of the course will consider the art of the Roman empire from the outside, i.e., from the perspective of its neighbors in the Middle East and in Africa, as well as its self-proclaimed successors and imitators. On the one hand, we will see how ancient states such as the kingdom of Meroë and the Parthian empire, or regions such as the Gandhara, interacted with the visual culture of Rome and its empire. On the other, we will explore the degree to which the classical roots of the modern colonial empires in Asia, Africa, and the Americas both managed and failed to shape the visual cultures that these empires developed.

Spring 2021: AHIS UN2119
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2119 001/12531 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Online Only
Francesco de Angelis 4 112/132

AHIS UN2305 RENAISSANCE IN IMPERIAL SPAIN. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: Required discussion section AHIS UN2306
The course will survey Renaissance art in Hapsburg Spain, considered in the wide geographical context of the extended and dispersed dominions of the different crowns of the Spanish monarchy, which connected the Iberian Peninsula with Italy, Flanders and the New World. It will concern visual art in its various media, mainly painting, sculpture and architecture, but also tapestries, prints, armor, goldsmithery and ephemeral decoration, among others. Works of the main artists of the period will be introduced and analyzed, giving attention to the historical and cultural context of their production and reception. The course will particularly focus on the movement of artists, works and models within the Spanish Hapsburg territories, in order to understand to what extent visual arts contributed to shaping the political identity of this culturally composite empire

Spring 2021: AHIS UN2305
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2305 001/12558 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Diane Bodart 3.00 25/60

AHIS UN2400 NINETEENTH-CENTURY ART. 4.00 points.

How do you represent a revolution? What does it mean to picture the world as it “really” is? Who may be figured as a subject or citizen, and who not? Should art improve society, or critique it? Can it do both? These are some of the many questions that the artists of nineteenth-century Europe grappled with, and that we will explore together in this course. This was an era of rapid and dramatic political, economic, and cultural change, marked by wars at home and colonial expansion abroad; the rise of industrialization and urbanization; and the invention of myriad new technologies, from photography to the railway. The arts played an integral and complex role in all of these developments: they both shaped and were shaped by them. Lectures will address a variety media, from painting and sculpture to the graphic and decorative arts, across a range of geographic contexts, from Paris, London, Berlin, and Madrid to St. Petersburg, Cairo, Haiti, and New Zealand. Artists discussed will include Jacques-Louis David, Francisco Goya, Théodore Géricault, J.M.W. Turner, Adolph Menzel, Ilya Repin, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Mary Cassatt, James McNeill Whistler, C. F. Goldie, Victor Horta, and Paul Cézanne

Spring 2021: AHIS UN2400
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2400 001/13471 T Th 8:40am - 9:55am
Online Only
Meredith Gamer 4.00 78/90

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 2021: AHIS UN2405
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2405 001/12559 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Online Only
Alexander Alberro 3 122/150

AHIS UN2500 The Arts of Africa. 3 points.

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

Introduction to the arts of Africa, including masquerading, figural sculpture, reliquaries, power objects, textiles, painting, photography, and architecture. The course will establish a historical framework for study, but will also address how various African societies have responded to the process of modernity.

Spring 2021: AHIS UN2500
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2500 001/12532 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Zoe Strother 3 30/33

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 2021: AHUM UN2604
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2604 001/16858 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Online Only
Xu Tingting 3 20/21
AHUM 2604 002/16713 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Naomi Kuromiya 3 23/21
AHUM 2604 003/16714 T Th 7:40pm - 8:55pm
Online Only
Jeewon Kim 3 21/21
AHUM 2604 004/16715 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
Online Only
Chen Jiang 3 18/21
Fall 2021: AHUM UN2604
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2604 001/11402 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Xu Tingting 3 21/21

AHIS UN2612 A History of China in 27 Objects. 3 points.

This course introduces twenty-seven significant monuments and objects comprising a selective overview of 4000 years of traditional Chinese culture. Through these twenty-seven objects, we will think about historical currents, consider materials (clay, stone, bronze, lacquer, paper, silk, ink, and wood), how things were made, how these objects were used among the living, and why some of them were buried with the dead. Because analogy and metaphor is fundamental to Chinese language, we will examine visual symbols, auspicious imagery and rhetoric of resistance that had their origins in literature. The goal of the course is to raise awareness of visual clues in Chinese art and to establish basic visual literacy. 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.

Spring 2021: AHIS UN2612
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2612 001/12533 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Online Only
Alfreda Murck 3 42/60

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 2021: AHIS UN2702
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 2702 001/12534 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Online Only
Lisa Trever 3 56/75

AHUM UN2901 Masterpieces of Indian Art and Architecture. 4 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 2021: AHUM UN2901
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHUM 2901 001/17486 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Online Only
Seher Agarwala 4 16/21

Spring 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 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.

Spring 2021: AHIS UN3410
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3410 001/12539 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Online Only
Branden Joseph 3 11/12

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 2021: AHIS UN3444
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3444 001/12542 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Online Only
Jonathan Crary 4 10/12

AHIS UN3316 Mediterranean Maps. 4.00 points.

How do maps construct, rather than represent, territories, identities, pathways, and temporalities? From esoteric personifications of the continents to portolan nautical charts, this seminar investigates maps of the Mediterranean Sea and its borderlands from 1300-1700. We will probe cartographic visualization systems to understand what kinds of perspectives and orientations specific maps presumed, invited, or denied. Topics include port city commerce, wayfinding and navigation, the rise of Mercator's projection, and mapping shifting boundaries. At the heart of this course is the Mediterranean itself, which we will trace west with colonial expeditions beyond the present-day strait of Gibraltar

Spring 2021: AHIS UN3316
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3316 001/12538 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Online Only
Diana Mellon 4.00 5/12

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 2021: AHIS UN3433
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3433 001/12560 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Online Only
Zainab Bahrani 4 5/12

AHIS GU4521 Sin and Sodomy. 4.00 points.

For the unrepentant sins of their inhabitants God had Sodom and Gomorrah, the ignominious twin cities from Genesis, shattered to smithereens. Throughout the Middle Ages, the tale was invoked to justify harsh judgment of mortal sins of the flesh and “unnatural” sex acts, in particular those occurring between members of the same sex. This bridge seminar focuses on the church’s desire to control the potential of human sexuality to subvert its order of “natural” law. Through historical texts and artworks from the period, we will analyze the wide diversity of medieval attitudes toward non-normative sex and eroticism in a variety of contexts, from the construction of the phenomenon of sodomy in early and high medieval exegesis, the eradication of pre-Christian fertility rituals in northern and eastern Europe, the playful undermining of gender roles in secular medieval romances, to illicit accounts of public sex in pleasure gardens and bath houses, and monumental hellscapes rendered with graphic visualizations of sexual violence. Moving chronologically through the Middle Ages, we will end by addressing modern questions surrounding the sexuality of Jean the Duke of Berry and Albrecht Dürer, and Hieronymus Bosch’s fixation with butt play. Discussion will be informed by critical readings in queer theory, feminism, and gender studies by Jack Halberstam, David Halperin, Susan Stryker, to name a few, and by medievalists employing these methods, such as Roland Betancourt, Caroline Walker Bynum, Michael Camille, Dyan Elliott, and Robert Mills

Spring 2021: AHIS GU4521
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 4521 001/12543 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
807 Schermerhorn Hall
Gregory Bryda 4.00 10/12

AHIS GU4760 Great Waves: Arts of the Floating World. 4.00 points.

“Pictures of the Floating World” (Ukiyo-e) constitute one of the most significant developments in the history of Japanese art, and one that would have a profound impact on the history of art in Europe and the west in the early modern period. These images were created on all pictorial formats, from scroll paintings and painted fans to woodblock prints, wooden posters, lanterns, and kites. Because these images pervaded so many different media, Ukiyo-e images offer a unique lens through which to examine the role art in an early modern society as well as the very nature of that society. Our course will focus primarily on the woodblock print, a popular pictorial form that was accessible to broad sectors of society, and will focus on woodblock prints created in the city of Edo between 1700 and 1860. The course will be shaped around three approaches: brief weekly lectures to introduce prominent images and themes; discussion of readings that offer critical perspectives; and if possible, direct examination of works of art in the collections of Columbia University and other institutions and collections in New York

Spring 2021: AHIS GU4760
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 4760 001/19165 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Online Only
Matthew McKelway 4.00 2/15