ARTH 575
Regression as Modern Fantasy: Archaism, Primitivism, Prehistory
Last Offered Fall 2018
Division I
This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

This course analyzes the implications of European modernity’s engagement with cultural artifacts it wanted to classify beneath the prefix “pre.” We take as our object an aesthetic strategy employed with increasing frequency by modern artists in Europe after 1800: the self-conscious mobilization of visual forms thought to telegraph priority to later advancements, whether historically or developmentally. Our inquiry, beginning with the German Nazarenes and extending into the early twentieth century around the moment of WW1, foregrounds such strategies as key to grasping new notions of temporality and geography that emerged in European modernity. We will inquire into the historical and intellectual contexts that sustained chronological and cultural primitivisms, including the history of colonialism, discoveries of Paleolithic cave art, and the emergence of the modern disciplines of archeology, anthropology, ethnography, child psychology, and psychoanalysis. Alongside close visual scrutiny of some of modernism’s most canonical and problematic objects, including key works by Picasso and Gauguin, we will examine the literature that proliferated in this period devoted to the art of peoples deemed “primitive,” including the Greeks in the pre-classical period, non-Western peoples, and children.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 16
Expected: 12
Class#: 1218
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: seminar presentations, research paper
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: graduate students, then advanced undergraduate students
Distributions: Division I

Class Grid

Updated 2:19 pm

Course Catalog Search

(searches Title and Course Description only)



Start Time
End Time