ARTH 434
Renaissance Time Spring 2020
Division I

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Time defines the Renaissance, whether framed as the “rebirth” of the past or the foundation of the present. Either way, past historians molded this period with time as their medium, fixing the Renaissance at the dynamic center of history. Flowing from historiographic foundations, this course will follow diverse art historical streams of Renaissance time to the present. How do Renaissance images play along by pointing to times outside of their frames? What are the implications for the historical worlds-the contexts-we build around objects in order to understand them? How do we navigate the role our own perspectives, interests, and desires play in the form we give to the past? How has time shaped the historic hegemonies of geographic place, and how might we re-deploy temporal strategies to dislodge them? This is a Renaissance course that explores topics fundamental to the broader history of art, and one that ranges widely in focus from the theoretical to the concrete. We will base our discussions both on class readings and on object-based assignments in local museums designed to explore the living relationships we forge with the art of cultures long since gone. Accordingly, students will spend (lots of) time with Renaissance works at the Clark Art Institute, and work with/at WCMA to shape new narratives that bridge past and present while honoring them both.
The Class: Type: seminar, component of museum-based coursework
Limit: 19
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class discussions and written preparation (students have a range of choices); two brief essays based on museum assignments (one with wall label); and a 10- to 15-page research paper
Prerequisites: one 100-level Art History course and any other Art History course, or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Art History and History majors and graduate students in the History of Art
Distributions: Division I
Attributes: ARTH pre-1800 Courses

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