This course on the methods and historiography of art history offers art-history majors an overview of the discipline since the late 18th century. The course surveys influential definitions of the discipline, the evolving tasks it has set itself, and the methods it has developed for implementing and executing them. Works of art will inevitably enter into our discussions, but the main objects of study will be texts about art as well as texts about methods for an historical study of art. Topics include: style and periodization; iconography, narratology, and phenomenology; the social functions of images and the social history of art; art and the material world; art, gender, and sexuality; and art as a global phenomenon.
Format: lecture; discussion
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
six 1,000-word analytical essays plus one 2,000-word writing project
any 100-level ARTH course or permission of instructor
Art History majors and required of them
Students submit one 1,000-word essay every other week, for a total of six short essays. In addition, they submit a 2,000 writing project at the end of term. The purpose of the essays is to analyze the arguments and rhetoric of influential art-historical scholarship and criticism. The subject of the course, then, is how to write as an art historian. We discuss not only the content of the essays we read and write but also the form, both outside of class in office hours and also in class.