ARTH 430
Aesthetics and Human Variety: European Representations of Oceania Fall 2018
Division I
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Using European representations of the inhabitants of Oceania as the primary materials of our investigation, this seminar will explore the connections to be made among theories of beauty, practices of art making, and the construction of race as a scientific concept in the second half of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century. In Europe, this was a period that gave rise to aesthetics as a branch of philosophy, to several theories of the origins of human difference, to debates over the abolition of slavery, and to no fewer than fifteen expeditions to the Pacific Ocean. This course will investigate the crucial role that pictures played in all of these developments. Though students will not be required to write their research papers on pictures of Oceania, they should consider the central questions of the course: What purposes do the various conceptions of race serve? What are the aesthetic assumptions made by theorists of race? How do models of making art influence European ideas about foreigners? How do the pictures of foreign peoples impact the construction of race?
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 10
Class#: 1988
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class discussion, weekly reading responses, an oral presentation, and a 15- to 20-page research paper
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: none
Distributions: Division I

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