ARTH 500 Fall 2013 Clark Visiting Professor Seminar: The Intentional and the Unintentional

Cross Listed as ARTH400
This seminar looks at the place of intention┬┐or the absence thereof┬┐in the making and reception of art through both a selection of critical and theoretical texts that grapple with this question and a series of case studies of objects and images. In the first instance the seminar is historiographic, addressing a body of 20th-century writings, from the New Critics to the poststructuralist Death of the Author, that question the place of authorial intent in the evaluation or interpretation of a work, as well as the targets of these critiques and more recent responses to them (in wresting authority away from the producer, have we given over too much to the consumer?). Keeping in mind these theoretical points of reference, the seminar will move to a range of historical case studies in (mainly) Western art, from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, evaluating both human intention (artists, patrons, even viewers) and the various forms of its absence. We will consider miraculous ("acheiropoietic") objects, images "made by nature" and other nonhuman actors (why do cats paint?), the place of the unconscious, artwork made using the operations of chance, collaborations in which any singular intention is difficult to establish, examples in which intention is simply inaccessible to the interpreter, and examples in which it is, or seems, all too apparent. Students may present and write on examples from their particular fields of specialization.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation, brief presentations of readings, a final presentation and a research paper of 15-20 pages
Additional Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis, not available for the Gaudino option
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: places for 8 undergraduate [ARTH 400] and 8 graduate students [ARTH 500] assured; preference given to senior Art History majors and Graduate Program students
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Divisional Attributes: Division I
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Enrollment Limit: 16
Expected Enrollment: 16
Class Number: 1480
ARTH500-01(F) SEM CVPS:The Intentional&Unintentn Division 1: Languages and the Arts Rebecca E. Zorach
R 1:10 PM-3:50 PM Clark Art Seminar Room 1480
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