ASIA 103
East Asian Art Spring 2022
Division I Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed ASIA 103 / ARTH 103

Class Details

This course is an introduction to the history of East Asian art from prehistory to the present with particular emphasis on China, Korea, and Japan. Through thematic units, we look at artworks in their original contexts and consider how cross-cultural exchanges stimulated new interpretations across time and space. We examine a broad range of objects including ritual bronze vessels, Buddhist temples, landscape paintings, woodblock prints, and installations. We also discuss these artworks in relation to other forms of creative expression such as ritual practice, performance, and literature. How is East Asia defined geographically and culturally? How did the exchange of ideas, trade, and travel impact the formation of East Asian art? How do artworks and artifacts help us understand East Asia’s past? These fundamental questions guide our discussion. Through this course, you will learn to think critically about shared and diverse human experiences across cultures and historical periods. We will also discuss the historiography of East Asian art and analyze why certain types of objects were historically underrepresented in museum spaces and academic scholarship. Artworks from the Williams College Museum of Art and Special Collections also form an integral part of the course.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 30
Expected: 25
Class#: 3802
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: attendance, class participation, worksheets, visual analysis paper (2-3 pages in length), midterm and non-cumulative final exam, virtual exhibition project and presentation
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Open to all students regardless of major
Distributions: Division I Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ASIA 103 Division I ARTH 103 Division I
DPE Notes: This course fulfills the Difference, Power, and Equity requirement by investigating the ways that migration and cross-cultural exchange shaped artistic developments in East Asia. Students will reflect on the cultural production of diverse peoples and traditions within this geographical region and confront the ways in which historical legacies of imperialism and colonialism continue to shape international relations.
Attributes: ARTH pre-1800 Courses
GBST East Asian Studies Electives

Class Grid

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