ARTH 403
Clark Visiting Professor Seminar: The Making of African Art Spring 2022
Division I
Cross-listed ARTH 503 / ARTH 403

Class Details

Where does African art come from? How do ritual objects from the African continent became works of art in western museums? What kind of discourses transformed artefacts (religious, magic, mundane or extraordinary) into fine arts masterpieces? How did European early modern and western contemporary texts qualify and impact the reception of African objects from the period of colonization and after? Discourse shapes materiality and visuality. Manipulations fashion things. The gaze acclimates to different volumes and forms. In this course, these different aesthetic regimes of the modern era will be explored regarding African art. From Olfert Dapper (Dutch polymath of the late 17thcentury) to Michel Leiris (French novelist and ethnographer of the 20th century) we will follow the diverse histories of African artefacts and creative processes as they developed in the West into the loose and pluridiscipinary domain of African Art History. The course will be an occasion to read different texts regarding African artefacts from 1680 to 1930 and discuss the perception of these objects in Europe as well as their transfiguration into the property and aesthetic objects of European museum.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 16
Expected: 16
Class#: 3779
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: research paper, class presentations
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: second-year graduate students, then first-year graduate students, then advanced undergraduate students; places for 8 undergraduate and 8 graduate students assured
Distributions: Division I
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ARTH 503 Division I ARTH 403 Division I

Class Grid

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