Art history’s so-called “global turn” has been underway for over twenty years, but it would be difficult to say that it has yielded a consistent set of methodological approaches. When we consider a project global in scope does that mean simply thinking beyond national or regional designations? Are we are looking for expansive networks of materials and makers? Evidence of intercultural exchange? In this seminar, we will begin by looking at several recent approaches to defining global art history and consider terms like contact, exchange, appropriation, transculturation, and cosmopolitanism. We will discuss the spatial vocabulary of oceans and borderlands and the dynamics of power engendered by colonialism, imperialism, and racialization. Thereafter, our weekly case studies will come from the students’ research projects. Though students are not expected to begin the seminar with an argument for their final paper, they should arrive with a topic in mind that pertains to a “global” art history subject in the period between 1500 and 1900 CE. In consultation with the professor, each student will then select readings to discuss with the group so we can work together to come up with questions and approaches that are commensurate to the topic. Our course may end in affirming the heterogeneity of global methods, deciding that this is a benefit rather than deficit. The collective aim is to understand, problematize, and reformulate the approaches available to us so that we can better address the topics that interest us as a group.
The Class: Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: Students are required to participate in discussion every week, lead one week of discussion, give a brief paper presentation, and submit a 20-page final essay.
Enrollment Preferences: Graduate students, then advanced undergraduate students with permission of the professor.
Distributions: Division I