Courses

Courses

Fall Semester 2013
  • HAVC-C735

    ART AND CULTURES OF ANCIENT MESOAMERICA

    Credits: 3.00

    The art and architecture of ancient Mexico as well as that of selected neighboring areas, will be examined against the background of the growth of complex cultural systems. The course will consist of readings and lectures including the presentation of visual materials dealing with ancient Mesoamerica (a culture area), and the archaeological and historical research which sheds light on its development. Museum visits to RISD and Brown will allow us to become familiar with real pre-Columbian art and artifacts for a closer association to ancient cultures that produced them.
    Also offered as HPSS C735. Register in the course for which credit is desired
  • HAVC-H322

    ARTIST'S TALK: KENTRIDGE

    Credits: 3.00

    This course analyzes the most commanding artists' lecture-performances of our time, focusing on the rhetorical strategies and performative gambits that contemporary artists muster in service of their public image. It is also a practical course in rhetoric, or how to give an artist's talk. In the first few classes we analyze some of the classic modernist debates around self-representation- the quandaries of talking a little or talking a lot, for example - and explore high modernist texts as Matisse's Notes of A Painter and Picasso's 1933 self-curated retrospective. The class considers a range of landmark lectures, from those of Ben Shahn to John Cage, Robert Morris and Frank Stella. The last section of the course addresses William Kentridge's lecture-performances in tandem with developing individual student's rhetorical skills, both through presentations of other artist's work and their own.
  • HAVC-H339

    CRITICAL VOCABULARY OF CONTEMPORARY ART

    Credits: 3.00

    This class provides an introduction to contemporary art theory and its philosophical underpinnings. Through critical readings in philosophy, literary theory, psychoanalysis, and art history, this course aims to familiarize students with the occasionally obscure, and sometimes blustery language of contemporary art. Each class we approach a single term: such as "fetish," "neo-avant-garde" or "relational aesthetics;" or analyze dialogic pairings like "author/authority" or "origin/originality." We examine the historical trajectories and philosophical underpinnings of these terms, charting their shifting and at times contradictory meanings. We also discuss some of the key texts of contemporary art in which these critical terms appear, and finally we consider what is at stake in the use of this critical vocabulary.
  • HAVC-C792

    DIALOGUE ACROSS THE DIASPORA: HAITI, SOUTH AFRICA, ART, AND NARRATIVES OF RESISTANCE

    Credits: 3.00

    On December 5, 2013, the exhibition "Reframing Haiti: The Gods Are Always Amongst the People" exhibit will open at the South African National Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa. This course will take advantage of that occasion to engage in the dialogue between Haiti and South Africa. This is an unprecedented opportunity for RISD students to work on a major international exhibition of art that represents a culture, a history, and a nation. We will be a part of the research surrounding the exhibition, researching the biographies of the artists and the times in which they lived. Informing the course will be the reading of historical narratives and narrative fiction. The tumultuous history of the two countries and the challenges of racial injustice and poverty will be explored in novels by Edwidge Danticat, René Depestré, Alex La Guma, Zakes Mda, Phaswane Mpe, and Antjie Krong. Questions we will be asking include: how does one narrate atrocity; what has been called "historical catastrophic" contexts? What is the role of the artist and art in impoverished circumstances? How do socially conscious artists, writers, and performers balance the aesthetic and the political in their work? What is the relationship between aesthetics and politics? How do South African and Haitian artists speak to each other through their works? What potentials are there for greater dialogue? This seminar will also involve weekly communication with South African students working on the exhibition in Cape Town.
    Also offered as HPSS-C792 and LAS-C792. Register in the course for which type of credit is desired.
  • HAVC-H741

    EARLY 20TH CENTURY ART

    Credits: 3.00

    Introduction to Western art c.1900-1950. Course surveys major art movements (such as Cubism, Futurism, Dada, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism), while exploring their social context. Artists covered include: Picasso, Matisse, Kandinsky, Malevich, Duchamp, Stettheimer, Douglas, Rivera, O'Keefe, Pollock. Format consists of lectures and class discussions.
  • HAVC-H509

    EGYPT & THE AEGEAN IN THE BRONZE AGE

    Credits:

    The Bronze Age saw the development of several advanced civilizations in the Mediterranean basin. Perhaps the best-known among these is the civilization of Pharaonic Egpyt. This course will focus on the art and architecture of Egypt and their neighbors to the north: the Aegean civilizations known as Cycladic, Minoan, and Mycenaean. While art historical study of these cultures will be emphasized, evidence for trade and other cultural interchange between them will also be discussed. The course will cover such topics as the Pyramids of Giza, the Tomb of Tutankhamun, and the Palace of Knossos.
  • HAVC-H608

    HAVC MUSEUM FELLOWSHIP

    Credits: 3.00

    Registration by application only. Application is restricted to concentrators in History of Art and Visual Culture. A call for applications will be sent to all HAVC concentrators.
  • LAEL-LE34

    HISTORIES OF PHOTOGRAPHY I

    Credits: 3.00

    Part I of a two-semester course that will survey major topics in the Histories of Photography. Emphasis will be given to the diverse cultural uses of photography from its invention to the present day. Such uses include: the illustrated press; amateur photography; studio photography; industrial, advertising, and fashion photography; political and social propaganda; educational and documentary photography; and photography as a medium of artistic expression. Much attention will be paid to how photographs construct histories, as well as being constructed by them.
    Major Required Art History credit for Photo majors
    Liberal Arts elective credit for nonmajors on a space available basis.
  • HAVC-H101

    HISTORY OF ART & VISUAL CULTURE 1

    Credits: 3.00

    This is a required course to introduce students to fundamental works of art and design from diverse cultures and chronological periods. It will use basic art historical methods of formal, stylistic, and iconographical analysis in the study of these works thereby providing students with the tools necessary for critical looking and analysis essential for the education of artists and designers. Emphasis will be placed on the relation between artifacts and culture, with the assumption that the production of works of art and design is a form of cultural knowledge, as well as on the cultural conception of the role of the artist and designer, on various techniques and materials, and on the social context of the works discussed.
    Required for graduation for all undergraduates, including transfers. There are no waivers for HAVC-H101.
  • HAVC-H574

    HISTORY OF DESIGN: PREMODERN

    Credits: 3.00

    The first of a two-semester overview of design history tracing major developments in the decorative arts and material culture from Antiquity to the Renaissance. Lectures will provide a framework for the study of design processes throughout history, analyzing artifacts for evidence of production technology, function, iconography, and patronage. Objects will be studied in conjunction with their original context from humble domestic spheres to the extravagant palatial setting. Artifacts from the RISD Museum will be featured in regular visits with the understanding that it is best to analyze works directly when asking questions about appropriate design technology and cultural consumption. Course topics will cover diverse material from the excavated remains of ancient furniture, to Byzantine textiles, to the mechanics of 16th-century plate armor, as well as the rise of the artist/artisan designer with the dissemination of the ornamental print.
  • HAVC-H653

    INDIGENOUS ARCHITECTURE OF THE AMERICAS

    Credits: 3.00

    This course will attempt to identify, analyze, and understand non-western architectural traditions of Native people in North America, Mesoamerica, and South America. An attempt will be made to understand both environmental and cultural components people integrated into their choices of construction materials, spatial arrangements, and in some cases urban planning. Particular emphasis will be placed on the appropriation and socialization of landscapes through architecture, and how landscape was used to express greater cultural concerns. The following cultures will be discussed: Mound Builders and the Mississippians; the Iroquois; Coastal Northwest coast cultures; the Arctic; the Southwest; the Maya; and Ancient Peru.
  • HAVC-H734

    METHODOLOGIES OF ART AND VISUAL CULTURE

    Credits: 3.00

    This seminar offers students an opportunity to reflect on a variety of approaches to the study of art history and visual culture. Students will be asked to think about how historians of art and visual culture have selected their objects of study, framed their questions, and voiced their arguments. Students will also consider how the discipline of art history has been constituted, its relationship to the field of visual cultural studies, and to other models of interdisciplinarity.
  • HAVC-H542

    NINETEENTH CENTURY ART

    Credits: 3.00

    Introduction to nineteenth-century Western art, with the emphasis on Europe. Course situates art in its social context, addressing phenomena such as political revolution, urbanization, industrialization, mass culture, and empire. Artists covered include: David, Giricault, Turner, Courbet, Manet, Frith, Eakins, Monet, Morisot, Seurat, Rodin and Gauguin. Format consists of lectures and class discussions.
  • HAVC-H401

    POSITIONS AND PRACTICE: HISTORY AND THEORY OF HUMANITARIAN DESIGN

    Credits: 3.00

    How much naivete and how much critical acumen are needed to carry off a work of "humanitarian design"? What are the terms of discussion? Would it hobble the enormous effort of motivating an intervention to know the implications of those terms, their derivations, their implications, the thought structures in which they are embedded? Taking its clue from the practice of "critical social work," this course will consider both critical theory and models of practice that deal with the problems and potentials of working with traditionally underserved populations in different contexts. It presumes that no effort in fieldwork can afford to ignore the insights offered by critical theory; it equally presumes that theory cannot afford to dismiss the efforts made by productive field work. The course will draw upon readings, class discussions, case study analysis, research, guest lecturers, and film to address the question raised in defining the correct admixture of intellectual and physical effort required in realizing architecture and design that can empower without merely enforcing power structures.
    /Class Level: Sophomore and above
  • HAVC-H742

    SEM: ART AND THEORIES IN THE POSTCOLONIES

    Credits: 3.00

    This seminar considers how the legacies of colonialism, and the processes of decolonization in Africa, Asia and Latin America have shaped contemporary art. We address the rhetoric of globalism through the lens of colonialism and its aftermaths, and examine the proposed relationships among various kinds of "posts" - postmodernism, postcolonialism, poststructuralism, post-history. A wide range of contemporary art, much of it from the southern hemisphere will be addressed. Readings include Said, Appiah, Bhabha, Spivak, Coetzee, Mbembe, Hardt and Negri, Bourriaud, Mirzoeff and Demos.
  • HAVC-016G

    SEM: ART SCHOOL HISTORIES

    Credits: 3.00

    This Graduate level seminar-co-taught by a member of RISD's Department of History of Art and Visual Culture and the Director of Education at the RISD Museum--offers students opportunities to think historically and critically about the institution we're all part of: art school. We will explore its origins, practices, values, politics, and poetics as well as the relevance of its past for the future.
    Course Level: Undergraduate, Senior and 5th year
  • HAVC-H465

    SEM: BUDDHIST ART

    Credits: 3.00

    This will be a seminar and workshop course dedicated to Buddhist art and architecture. The course will be concentrated mostly on China, but will include an introduction to Buddhism in India as well as lectures on the transmission of Buddhism to China via the Silk Road (Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia). We will explore the phenomenon of the Buddhist cave from the point of view of painting, sculpture, architecture and landscape with the aim to understand the relationship between religion and place. We will also explore the relationship of grottoes and rocks to other religions active on the Silk Road at the same time (Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, Taoism, Shamanism, Nestorian Christianity) to problematize the relationship between religion and culture. I plan a focus on the grottoes of Kyzyl, Bezeklik, and Kumtura in Xinjiang province, Mogao (Dunhuang), Bingling, and Maijishan in Gansu province, Xumishan in Ningxia province, Yungang in Shanxi province, Longmen in Henan province, Leshan in Sichuan province and Dazu in Chongqing. These Chinese Buddhist grottoes date to different dynasties and construction activities at these sites ranges from the 4th to the 14th century. Particular attention will be dedicated to the site of Xumishan, which is the site where the instructor conducts archaeological fieldwork.
    Sophomore and Above
  • HAVC-H583

    SEMINAR: AFRICAN AMERICAN ART

    Credits: 3.00

    This course explores the diversity of form, style, and narrative content of works created by African American artists from the antebellum period to the present. Specific attention will be devoted to several underlining issues including but not limited to identity, race, class, ethnicity, representation, sexuality and aesthetic sensibilities.
  • HAVC-C729

    THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF JERUSALEM

    Credits: 3.00

    Jerusalem has earned a special eminence among the famed ancient cities of the world. Its sanctity to Jews, Christians, and Moslems has made the city a focus of discussions and controversies regarding the evolving and changing identifies throughout its long urban history. Early and recent studies and discoveries, as well as old and new theories with a special emphasis on the Roman, Byzantine, and Early Islamic periods (ca. 63 BCE - 1099 CE) will be examined in the seminar. A particular focus will be placed on how to identify ethnicity, religious identity, and gender in the archaeological record. Though politics and religion have often biased related scholarship and the way excavations and their interpretations have been presented to the public, the goal of the seminar is to understand and examine various opinions and viewpoints. This seminar will consist of regular meetings, with illustrated lectures, student presentations, and discussions. In addition to the presentations, weekly reading assignments, a mid-term exam, and a final term paper will be required.
    Also offered as HPSS C729. Register in the course for which credit is desired
  • HAVC-C503

    THE POWER OF IMAGES: ART & RITUAL IN RENAISSANCE ITALY

    Credits: 3.00

    This course explores Italian art from ca. 1350 to 1600 within a ritual framework. A ritual can be defined as a codified, solemn, event that occurs within specific temporal and spatial cadres upon occasions such as marriage, birth, death, a ruler's visit to a city ('entry'), a calamity, or a feast day. Rituals work through the display of symbolic objects [here understood as 'images'] such as statues, reliquaries, paintings, elaborate costumes, or flags for which the role of artists was primordial. The power of images resides in their ritual use: colorful paraphernalia and sacred objects flaunted in city-wide processions could ward off the plague, honor a local saint, and turn princely entries or funerals into successful events. Through their symbolic and artistic components, rituals create authority, assert identity, define social status, and maintain order in society. We will study the extant objects themselves as visual evidence for such phenomena as well as representations (in the form of paintings and prints) of ceremonies, spectacles, processions, or ritual domestic settings. We will analyze art through inter-disciplinary methodologies: material culture, anthropology, social history, and iconography. Learning about artistic conventions and traditions will guide us to evaluate to what extent works of art manipulate reality in a 're-presentation' - rather than provide a mere illustration.
    Also offered as HPSS C503. Register in the course for which credit is desired.
  • HAVC-H447

    VISUAL CULTURE IN FREUD'S VIENNA

    Credits: 3.00

    This course will examine the visual culture pertinent to Sigmund Freud and his contemporaries in turn-of-the-century Vienna. We shall look at the modernist art of Austrian painters such as Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, as well as the "minor" arts of illustration, photography, scientific imaging, and film in light of Freud's psychoanalytic ideas. Classes will be devoted to topics such as avant-garde postcard design, ethnographic photography, and scientific images including x-rays and surgical films. The silent erotic "Saturn" films that were screened in Vienna from 1904-1910 will also be considered. Requirements include mid-term and final exams, two essays, and interest in the subject (no past experience needed).
  • LAEL-LE05

    WORLD ARCHITECTURE: FROM PRE-HISTORY TO PRE-MODERN: IDEAS AND ARTIFACTS

    Credits: 3.00

    This history of architecture course, co-taught by an architectural historian and an architect, introduces key ideas, forces, and techniques that have shaped world architecture through the ages prior to the modern period. The course is based on critical categories, ranging from indigenous and vernacular architecture, to technology, culture, and representation. The lectures and discussions present systems of thought, practice and organization, emphasizing both historical and global interconnectedness, and critical architectural differences and anomalies. Each topic will be presented through case studies accompanied by relevant texts. The students will be expected to engage in the discussion groups, prepare material for these discussions, write about, and be examined on the topics.
    Major requirement: ARCH majors only
    Registration by Architecture department, course not available via web registration
    Liberal Arts elective credit for nonmajors on a space available basis.
  • HAVC-H656

    WORLD TEXTILES: TRADE, TRADITIONS, TECHNIQUES

    Credits: 3.00

    Interdisciplinary by their very nature, textile traditions share a global history. Around the world textiles have found place in cultures as signifiers of social identity, from the utilitarian to the sacred, as objects of ritual meaning and as objects of great tangible wealth. The evolution of textile motifs, designs, materials and technology across Asia, Africa and the Americas will be explored utilizing the RISD Museum of Art with frequent visits to the textile and costume collections. We will examine such topics as: the function of textiles in the survival of traditional cultures, the impact of historic trade routes and ensuing colonialism, industrialization and its subsequent effect on traditional techniques of textile manufacture. Students will also have opportunity to examine various methods of textile display, analysis and storage appropriate to items of cultural heritage via case studies of specific objects in the RISD Museum.
Wintersession 2014
  • HAVC-H332

    ARCHITECTURE OF UTOPIA

    Credits: 3.00

    This course will examine the different ways many cultures have conceived of Paradise and/or Utopia, with a focus on the formation and expression of these "places" in spatial, architectural, and urban terms. We will investigate, for example, the Daoist Immortal abodes of Han China, the enclosed gardens of Islamic Spain, "ideal cities" of the Italian Renaissance, and the high-tech industrial wonderlands promised by early-twentieth century Modernists. In every case we will ask how the use of architectural designs, real or fantastic, have been used to define these alternative worlds, and what they suggest about the individuals and societies that produced them.
  • HAVC-H302

    ART & LIT: TROJAN WAR

    Credits: 3.00

    The Trojan War is one of the most influential stories in the history of Western culture. After a brief examination of the archaeological evidence for such an event, this course will focus on the art and literature inspired by the Trojan War from Ancient Greece through modern times. Readings will include selections from Homer, Virgil, Chaucer, and Shakespeare, and take into account return stories such as the Odyssey. Art with Trojan iconography will be explored from ancient vase-paintings and sculptures through Renaissance and Baroque depictions, up to a contemporary graphic novelization and a brief discussion of films on the subject. Major themes include the interaction of art and literature, and the mutability of an established narrative at the hands of subsequent creators.
  • HAVC-H405

    ART AFTER STONEWALL: GENDER, IDENTITY, AND VISUAL CULTURE IN THE UNTED STATES: 1970-1990

    Credits: 3.00

    This course will examine the impact of the rise of the gay and lesbian civil rights movement on American visual culture. It will examine closely the art practices of such openly queer artists such as Nan Goldin, Harmony Hammond, Glenn Ligon, Ray Johnson, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Paul Thek, but also the influences of ideas of drag, heterotopias, performativity and sexual difference on such artists as Vito Acconci, Lynda Benglis, Gordon Matta-Clark, Robert Morris, and Cindy Sherman. A central focus will be the uses of the abandoned waterfront of New York City as a staging ground for works of art and as a sexual arena for a newly visible gay subculture. The Woman?s Building in Los Angeles will be discussed in terms of the ways in which it negotiated an uneasy alliances between feminist and lesbian practices. We will think about Nan Goldin's Witness Against Our Vanishing exhibition in relationship to the AIDS epidemic and the so-called Culture Wars. Readings will include writings by Judith Butler, Douglas Crimp, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Samuel Delany, Michel Foucault, and Susan Sontag.
  • HAVC-H320

    BAROQUE ROME

    Credits: 3.00

    This course examines art in Rome from 1580-1700, a dynamic period that shaped much of the city as we know it today. We will analyze architecture, sculpture and urban planing through the work of Bernini and Borromini along with paintings and printed works by artists such as Caravaggio, Cortona and Artemisia Gentileschi.
  • HAVC-H467

    CINEMA AND PAINTING

    Credits: 3.00

    As an art form, cinema is often thought to be much closer to photography than to painting. This course challenges that assumption by examining the work of: artists who have achieved success in both media (such as David Lynch and Julian Schnabel); avant-garde artists who combine the two media (such as Stan Brakhage); and filmmakers who have taken paintings as their subject matter (such as Michelangelo Antonioni, Andrei Tarkovsky, Derek Jarman and Maurice Pialat).
  • HAVC-C578

    ETHNOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION AND DISPLAY

    Credits: 3.00

    This course is object-centered and will explore the theories and methodologies that have been adopted for the display of ethnographic materials in museums over time. Students will have the opportunity to visit a number of local and regional museums, exhibitions and private collections. We will talk to collectors and to curators, and engage in exercises that focus on the display of objects for general audiences. This will give students a general background on such questions as: how can 3D objects best be displayed? What information should objects be displayed with? What are the goals of an ethnographic exhibition? How are exhibitions organized? Is modern technology making museums obsolete? What are the repatriation regulations, and how have they impacted collectors and museums? The course will require a number of weekend visits to collections, as well as a final project that will be object-centered.
    Also offered as HPSS-C578. Register in course for which credit is desired.
  • HAVC-H620

    FEMMES FATALES & DOMESTIC NUNS: IMAGES OF WOMEN IN 19th and 20th CENTURY WESTERN ART

    Credits: 3.00

    In European and American art of the 19th and early 20th centuries, women were often presented in extreme ways: either as blood-thirsty creatures from Greek mythology, as Salome obsessed with the decapitation of a lover, as poison flowers and vamps; or as personifications of love and virtue, household angels, noble virgins dying out of self-sacrifice. The literature and, later, cinema supported this dichotomy that can be still traced in contemporary culture. In this course we will analyze the images of blessed and cursed women in Western art of the last two centuries.
  • HAVC-H669

    IMAGES OF THE THRESHOLD: THE MEDIEVAL PORTAL

    Credits: 3.00

    Doors and doorways imply transition from one place to another. Some of the greatest sculpture in the Middle Ages was created to mark this transitional area. In this course we will consider the meaning of the door, through readings and practical exercises. We will then look at the development of the sculpted portal in the 11th century, study the abstract portals on pilgrimage churches of the 12th century, consider the way the portal was modified in response to the growing urbanism of the 13th century and conclude with Claus Sluter's portal in Dijon (1385-1393), which changes some of the basic assumptions of this rare combination of sculpture and architecture.
  • HAVC-H534

    ISLAMIC ART & ARCHITECTURE IN INDIA

    Credits:

    Islamic rulers dominated the Indian subcontinent between 1192 and 1858. Some of the most spectacular and exquisite works of art and architecture in South Asia were produced under Islamic patronage. This course will look at the architecture, manuscript paintings, and decorative arts of the period. The age-old question arises: Should Islamic art be considered a geographical, religious, historical, or cultural phenomenon? The class will examine works of art as instruments in the process of establishing an empire as well as expressions of political and religious power.
  • HAVC-H591

    JAPANESE PRINTS

    Credits: 3.00

    This course focuses on Japanese woodblock prints, the 17th - 19th century vibrant urban art form that emerged as a portrayal of townspeople's festive pastimes, and became known as ukiyo-e "pictures of the floating world." We will examine evolution of two major ukiyo-e genres, portraits of beautiful women and the Kabuki Theater actors. Discussions will embrace prints by Harunobu and Utamaro, great masters of femininity, and by the leading actor-artists of the Torii and Katsukawa lineage as well as by a bold innovator Sharaku with his emotionally charged close-ups. We will explore the landscape genre in prints by Hokusai and Hiroshige and images of warriors in the art of Kuniyoshi. Considered will be book illustration and single-sheet prints, commercial and deluxe private publications, materials and methods of print production, censorship regulations, as well as customs and traditions of the old Japan as they appear on prints. Students will take two terminology tests and write a research paper.
  • HAVC-H463

    SCIENCE OF ART

    Credits: 3.00

    This course will examine scientific and technical applications developed by Western artists and visual theorists from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century. Concentrating on pictorial traditions, the course will address what artists, authors and artist/engineers have referred to as scientific, technical, mechanical, and purely mental solutions to optical, proportional and quantitative visual problems. General themes will be perspective, form, color, and mechanical devices, and will include discussions on intellectual training, notebooks, treatises, and collecting. The course will examine artists such as Masaccio, Leonardo, Piero della Francesca, D|rer, Serlio, Carlo Urbino, Cigoli, Rubens, Vel`zquez, Saenredam, Vermeer, Poussin, Andrea Pozzo, Canaletto, Phillip Otto Runge,Turner, Delacroix, Monet, and Seurat.
  • HAVC-H449

    SELF-PORTRAITURE AND THE DEATH OF THE AUTHOR

    Credits: 3.00

    This course will focus on the history of self-portraiture and modes of self-identity from the vantage point of feminism, queer theory, and of post-modernist critiques of the so-called author function. We will look closely at self-portraits by artists ranging from Rembrandt van Rijn to Cindy Sherman, and from Albrecht Durer to David Wojnarowicz. Students will be asked to write about artists' self-portraits and also construct their own written and visual autobiographies. We will read memoirs by artists, as well as essays by Barthes, Foucault, and Krauss.
  • HAVC-H531

    SENSUOUS AND SACRED: THE ART AND CULTURE OF INDIA

    Credits:

    This course will investigate the visual arts and culture of India over a period of 4000 years. Students will participate in a study of the various kinds of works to be considered in terms of form, function and "cognitive style" of the beholder. We shall also look behind the scenes at displays and visual documentation as signs of current thinking about what Indian art, past and present, may be. The class will visit the RISD Museum to view the current display of South Asian objects as well as meet curators engaged in studying and displaying the material and visual culture of India.
  • HAVC-H692

    SOVIET VISUAL PROPAGANDA

    Credits:

    The course will study methods and kinds of Soviet propaganda from the Great October Revolution to the collapse of the U.S.S.R. We will focus particularly on painting, poster, and film as tools of ideological indoctrination in a totalitarian society.
  • HAVC-H660

    THE IMAGE OF AMERICA IN EUROPEAN FILM

    Credits: 3.00

    During this seminar we will discuss how America is seen by contemporary European artists and intellectuals. Jean Baudrillard's famous book "America" as well as films by Antonioni ("Zabriskie Point"), Makaveyev ("WR: Mysteries of the Organism") and Herzog ("Stroszek") will number among the works analyzed in the class.
  • HAVC-H662

    THE MYTH OF THE CITY IN 19TH AND 20TH CENTURY WESTERN ART

    Credits: 3.00

    This course will examine the role played by urban mythology in 19th and 20th - century European and American art. We will study the late - 19th - century idea of the flaneur, which influenced both visual arts and literature. We will discuss the Futurists' fascination with machines and the Surrealists' concept of a city perceived as a human body. We will analyse the Impressionists' views of Parisian streets, Frans Masereel's woodcuts The City, de Giorgio Chirico's metaphysical paintings and Edward Hopper's nostalgic images of the American metropolis. We will study how the interest in urban reality has influenced the development of new art movements of the last two centuries.
  • HAVC-H746

    WHAT IS VISUAL CULTURE?

    Credits: 3.00

    This course will investigate our dependency on the visual and how our relationships with images in terms of how we identify others and ourselves have changed over time. We will consider how images have been used as strategies of political, religious, social, and gender authority, and how the technological innovations of the last few decades has vastly influenced the permeation of visual culture on a global scale.
Spring Semester 2014
  • HAVC-C519

    AFRICAN ARTS & CULTURE: SELECTED TOPICS

    Credits: 3.00

    The course offers an introduction to the arts of several sub-Saharan African communities. We will explore the creative process and the context of specific African traditions as well as the impact of the African diaspora on the arts of other communities, particularly in the Caribbean.
    Also offered as HPSS C519. Register in the course for which credit is desired.
  • HAVC-H584

    ART OF ANCIENT CHINA

    Credits: 3.00

    This course provides a general overview of the art and archaeology of ancient China from prehistory (Paleolithic and Neolithic) to the early dynastic period (Han dynasty 206 bce -220 ce). We will concentrate on topics such as the peopling of East Asia, the transition to settled life, domestication and the development of agriculture, the iconography of early settled societies, the emergence of early state societies, bronze age rituals of the Shang and Zhou dynasties, the political use of bronze and jade in the dynastic period, and the burial customs and architecture of the early imperial period.
  • HAVC-C726

    ARTS OF THE AMERICAS AND THE PACIFIC

    Credits: 3.00

    This course is designed to acquaint students with a variety of non-Western aesthetic expressions in the Americas and the Pacific. The course will explore the indigenous contexts, both contemporary and historical, in which these art forms are or were created and function. We will look at the art and its context in selected communities of the American northwest coast such as the Inuit, Kwakiutl and Haida, the Southwest of the US, such as the Hopi and Navajo, and parts of Australia, Papua-New Guinea and some of the Pacific islands.
    Also offered as HPSS C726. Register in the course for which credit is desired
  • HAVC-C221

    BLAKE AND HOGARTH

    Credits: 3.00

    William Hogarth was a painter and engraver whose satirical serial works helped shape the English novel. William Blake illustrated the writings of others and published his own poems and satires in ?illuminated books? uniting visual and verbal art. Students will read challenging poetry and critical literature, and must be prepared to do independently conceived research in art history, history, material culture, and/or literary criticism and to present the fruits of their investigations to the class.
    Also offered as LAS C221. Register in the course for which credit is desired.
  • HAVC-H490

    CONTEMPORARY ART & ITS CRITICS

    Credits: 3.00

    This seminar will examine a series of canonical readings of contemporary art, focusing primarily on key writings published in the journal October and the magazine Artforum since 1975. We will engage in detail with such overarching critical concepts as postmodernism, neo-avant-garde, site-specificity, and relational aesthetics. We will also examine readings that draw on concepts such as the fetish, the abject, the informe, the gaze, primitivism, and postcolonialism. Finally, we will attend to issues of writerly style and method, seeking to understand the wide variety of tools that critics and art historians employ to understand, historicize, and enrich our understanding of works of contemporary art.
    Also offered as PAINT 4516 for junior painting majors
  • HAVC-H579

    FRENCH SURREALISM

    Credits: 3.00

    French Surrealism played an important role in the development of 20th-century European and American art. The arrival of French Surrealists to New York during the Second World War influenced American artists and exposed more than a European audience to the movement. In this course will study French surrealist painting, literature, and cinema in the context of intellectual and philosophical currents (such as psychoanalysis). We will discuss Odilon Redon, Gustave Moreau, and Giorgio de Chirico, the precursors of the movement, Andre Breton, the author of the "Surrealist Manifesto of 1924," Dora Maar and Meret Oppenheim - unfairly considered only as "muses" at the beginning of their careers. Special focus will be put on the work by Max Ernst, Man Ray, Luis Bunuel, and Leonora Carrington.
  • HAVC-H608

    HAVC MUSEUM FELLOWSHIP

    Credits: 3.00

    Registration by application only. Application is restricted to concentrators in History of Art and Visual Culture. A call for applications will be sent to all HAVC concentrators.
  • HAVC-H102

    HISTORY OF ART & VISUAL CULTURE 2 (TOPICS)

    Credits: 3.00

    Students will select one course from introductory level offerings. The choice of topics is intended to give each first-year student a chance to work with a broad but culturally and chronologically bounded field of art and design, under the teaching of an expert in that field. Students will have the opportunity to become familiar with art historical texts particular to the selected topic and will develop skills of critical reading and writing about the works of art.
    Required for graduation for all undergraduates including transfers, unless waived by the HAVC department head with the substitution of an equivalent college course.
    Course scheduled to be taken by first year students in Spring semester of freshman year. Seats for other students, such as transfers and upperclass, are available, but limited."

    Click here for the Spring 2014 Course Descriptions for each section.

  • HAVC-H544

    HISTORY OF DESIGN II: MODERN - POST-MODERN

    Credits: 3.00

    A complement to the fall semester History of Design: Antiquity to the Renaissance, this course continues the developmental trajectory of design and the decorative arts beginning in the mid-17th century with Baroque court designers and the unity of style in furnishings and interiors. Following themes will also include: the rise industrial design to serve the middle class consumer, the function of pattern books in the dissemination of taste and style, the pivotal role of expositions and World's Fairs, the inception of design schools and the search for 'good design'. Emphases will be placed on the significant contributions of individual craftsmen and designers and their firms, as well as movements and the institutions that support them, including Morris & Co., the Bauhaus, Droog and many others. Lectures will be supplemented with regular gallery visits to the RISD Museum, highlighting pieces in the collection that best characterize the ingenuity, technology, function, and aesthetic interests of their times.
  • HAVC-H527

    INTRO: RENAISSANCE FLORENCE

    Credits: 3.00

    What was the Italian Renaissance and how did it begin? In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the city of Florence experienced a burst of creative activity in the visual arts together with the birth of a new "cognitive style." This course will consider the art (sculpture, architecture, painting) of the Italian Renaissance in Florence, from about 1380 - 1500. Our lens will be the social history of art: the class will examine subjects such as patronage (the trade guilds, the Medici family), the physical character of the city, its economic and social structure, the invention of perspective as form and symbol, performance art, and the intricacies of political and religious life in visual culture. Beginning with Cimabue and Giotto, we will explore the innovations of Brunelleschi, Leon Battista Alberti, the unfortunate "Fat Carpenter," Lorenzo Ghiberti, Masaccio, Donatello, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Leonardo da Vinci, Vasari's Lives of the Artists, and its ultimate hero, Michelangelo.
  • LAEL-LE19

    MASTERS OF ANIMATED FILM

    Credits: 3.00

    This course is an historical and critical study of the work of selected masters of animated film. A spectrum of animated film techniques, styles, national schools, etc., will be presented. The course will cover the period from the pre-Lumiere epoch to the end of the 1970's. The relationships between animated film and other visual art forms will also be studied.
  • HAVC-H734

    METHODOLOGIES OF ART AND VISUAL CULTURE

    Credits: 3.00

    This seminar offers students an opportunity to reflect on a variety of approaches to the study of art history and visual culture. Students will be asked to think about how historians of art and visual culture have selected their objects of study, framed their questions, and voiced their arguments. Students will also consider how the discipline of art history has been constituted, its relationship to the field of visual cultural studies, and to other models of interdisciplinarity.
  • HAVC-H542

    NINETEENTH CENTURY ART

    Credits: 3.00

    Introduction to nineteenth-century Western art, with the emphasis on Europe. Course situates art in its social context, addressing phenomena such as political revolution, urbanization, industrialization, mass culture, and empire. Artists covered include: David, Giricault, Turner, Courbet, Manet, Frith, Eakins, Monet, Morisot, Seurat, Rodin and Gauguin. Format consists of lectures and class discussions.
  • HAVC-H632

    PERFORMANCE ART: BETWEEN MEDIA AND MASS MEDIA

    Credits: 3.00

    The main feature of Performance Art is its immediacy. As other forms of time-based art, Performance depends upon its documentation. The course explores the history of Performance Art through the media used to document it: photography, cinema, radio, books, journals, posters, objects, video, digital technologies and the Internet. The goal of the course is to show how the history of Performance Art is deeply connected with the development of mass media and technology in our society. Performance artists have been exploring mass media both as an instrument and as the content of their practice since the beginning of the Modern era. The course has an historical and theoretical approach, considering Performance Art from a wide perspective including social and cultural events at large and crossing the boundaries between visual art, design, theatre and subcultures. We will start with historical avant-gardes like Futurism and Dada up to contemporary art and activist practices like parades, flash mobs and re-enactments, passing through Action Painting, Situationism, Body Art and Relational Aesthetics.
  • IDISC-1726

    RE-IMAGINING CITIES

    Credits: 3.00

    This cross-disciplinary studio/Liberal Arts course will create a unique space between the History of Art and Architecture and the Art and Design Studio to develop innovative ways to rethink the image of a city. Through reading, research, writing and making, students will explore how the city has always been an engine of production, a magnet for capital, a transmitter of cultural ideas and a concentration of diverse ways of being and living. We will examine how a city is imagined, how we interpret the city through memory and nostalgia, as well as how we preserve and erase. We will study two historically significant cases: Venice as a mercantile hub that largely rejected Classical influences and adopted Byzantine models connected with the East; and Paris as it redefined and reshaped itself during the late nineteenth century to become the quintessentially Modern metropolis. Finally, we will examine the changing image of our city, Providence. Through lectures, site visits and guest speakers we will explore how this once industrial city is redefining itself as an intellectual district. The final result of the semester will be a group installation of a large-scale new map of Providence that will be installed in a public housing facility in the city.
    Course Level: Junior and above
    Also offered as HAVC-H726. Register in course for which credit is desired.
  • HAVC-H726

    RE-IMAGINING CITIES

    Credits: 3.00

    This cross-disciplinary studio/Liberal Arts course will create a unique space between the History of Art and Architecture and the Art and Design Studio to develop innovative ways to rethink the image of a city. Through reading, research, writing and making, students will explore how the city has always been an engine of production, a magnet for capital, a transmitter of cultural ideas and a concentration of diverse ways of being and living. We will examine how a city is imagined, how we interpret the city through memory and nostalgia, as well as how we preserve and erase. We will study two historically significant cases: Venice as a mercantile hub that largely rejected Classical influences and adopted Byzantine models connected with the East; and Paris as it redefined and reshaped itself during the late nineteenth century to become the quintessentially Modern metropolis. Finally, we will examine the changing image of our city, Providence. Through lectures, site visits and guest speakers we will explore how this once industrial city is redefining itself as an intellectual district. The final result of the semester will be a group installation of a large-scale new map of Providence that will be installed in a public housing facility in the city.
    Course Level: Junior and above
    Also offered as IDISC-1726. Register in the course for which credit is desired
  • HAVC-H751

    REFORM MOVEMENTS IN DES. 1851-1914

    Credits: 3.00

    The course offers a focused examination of the Arts and Crafts, Aesthetic, and Art Nouveau movements in design. In addition to individual designers such as Dresser, van de Velde, Wright, and Behrens, attention will be given to reform institutions (the Victoria and Albert Museum), design businesses (Wiener Werkstaette, United Workshops), and theories of materials, labor, and style. Central themes of the class will be the concept of "reform" itself and the tension between utopian and commercial goals within reform movements. Class meetings will involve lectures, discussion of texts, and collaborative exercises in close looking at objects.
  • HAVC-H468

    RENAISSANCE AND BAROQUE MYTHOLOGIES

    Credits: 3.00

    This course will examine the rediscovery of classical mythology, its uses, transformations and modes of formal expression from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries. Emphasis will be placed on such artists as Botticelli, Raphael, Titian, Michelangelo, Rubens and Poussin, whose works will be explored through an investigation of formal structures, including their reliance or departure from earlier prototypes, textual material, reception and meaning. Interactions between such other genres as landscape and religious art will be considered and student projects will center around an in-depth study of individual artists or of thematic considerations.
    Sophomore and above
  • HAVC-H445

    SEM: CRITICAL DISCOURSE ON THE BLACK FEMALE BODY

    Credits: 3.00

    This seminar focuses on the history, discourses and transformations of the black female body as contested site of sexuality, resistance, representation, agency and identity in American visual culture. Organized thematically, with examples drawn from painting, sculpture, photography, film, popular culture and mixed media installations, we examine how the deployment, manipulations and construction of the signification of the asexualized mammy complex is juxtaposed against the jezebel vixen in a shifting terrain from the antebellum era through the ?post-racial? decade of the 21st century.
  • HAVC-H540

    SEM: INSIDE THE MUSEUM

    Credits: 3.00

    This course will introduce students to the various activities that take place in the Museum, both the public functions and the behind-the-scenes operations. It will also focus on the range of issues that museums in general are currently addressing such as ethics, provenance, audience, and architecture. There will be visits to storage areas with curators to understand the scope of the collection, as well as sessions on topics such as conservation, education, installation, and exhibition development. Written assignments will include preparing catalogue entries for recent acquisitions, developing gallery guides, analyzing current exhibitions and/or devising proposals for reinstallation of the permanent collection. The course is designed particularly for those students who have had little behind-the-scenes experience in museums.
    Also offered as GRAD 500G 01 with limited seating for graduate students desiring graduate seminar credit. Register in the course for which credit is desired.
  • HAVC-H725

    SEM: MODERN EXHIBITION CULTURE

    Credits: 3.00

    This seminar explores the place of exhibitions in modern culture (c. 1750-1950). We will consider a broad range of exhibition types, including the art museum, the wax museum, the morgue, the panorama, the department store, and the world's fair. As we move from venue to venue, we will compare rhetorics of display and we will ask how the viewing of objects in space might contribute to the formation of class, national, racial, and gender identities
  • GRAD-750G

    SEM: OPEN SEM IN HAVC

    Credits: 3.00

    This experimental seminar is a space for students to explore issues in the history of art and visual culture. You may work, independent-study style, on any topic that specially interests you. Research will be done in dialogue with fellow students and a faculty facilitator. On the first day of class we will discuss topics of common interest, and develop a provisional semester plan and a list of readings. As the conversation develops over subsequent weeks, our plan may be adjusted or even completely revised. Coursework will be tailored to the needs of individual participants. This class is recommended for HAVC Concentrators. Any graduate students interested in the history of visual culture are invited to join this seminar.
    Graduate HAVC Concentrators and Graduates
  • HAVC-H750

    SEM: OPEN SEM IN HAVC

    Credits: 3.00

    This experimental seminar is a space for students to explore issues in the history of art and visual culture. You may work, independent-study style, on any topic that specially interests you. Research will be done in dialogue with fellow students and a faculty facilitator. On the first day of class we will discuss topics of common interest, and develop a provisional semester plan and a list of readings. As the conversation develops over subsequent weeks, our plan may be adjusted or even completely revised. Coursework will be tailored to the needs of individual participants. This class is recommended for HAVC Concentrators. Any graduate students interested in the history of visual culture are invited to join this seminar.
    Juniors and above, For Graduate credit see GRAD-750G-01
  • HAVC-H406

    SEM: THE BAUHAUS

    Credits: 3.00

    The seminar will focus on the theories and practices developed at the revolutionary German art school. Drawing on original statements by Bauhaus figures, as well as a wealth of recent literature, students will consider questions raised at the Bauhaus about the unity of the arts, the role of art and design in politics and the economy, the professional status of women in the arts, and the pedagogy of art and design. Attention will be given to how understanding of the Bauhaus has changed over time, and what the Bauhaus represents today.
    Sophomore and Above
  • HAVC-H631

    SEM: THE GOTHIC CATHEDRAL

    Credits: 3.00

    This course will study the architecture, sculpture, stained glass, and treasury objects (metalwork and manuscripts) which were the Gothic cathedral. Our study will begin with an examination of the reasons such work was created and explore the stylistic origins of the cathedral in northern France in the early 12th century. We will then look at the cathedral's subsequent development and modification in England, southern France, Italy, and Germany during the 12th through 15th centuries.
  • HAVC-H652

    SYNAGOGUES, CHURCHES, MOSQUES

    Credits: 3.00

    This course will focus on architectural buildings and remains of synagogues, churches, and mosques in Palestine from antiquity (the sixth century BCE) through the end of the Ottoman period (1917). Beyond the physical components of the houses of worship, and dealing with architectural, technological, and iconographic matters, we will investigate the spiritual and religious characteristics of the relevant structures. One of the goals will be to examine how these institutions influenced each other throughout the history of their architectural development.
  • HAVC-H505

    THE "MASTERPIECES" RETURN: A CRITICAL ART HISTORY OF CINEMA

    Credits: 3.00

    Our visual culture has become unthinkable without screened moving images. Writers have imitated film; leaders have used cinema as propaganda; artists have mediated film language; and artists have made avant-garde films. Critics establish rules for film evaluation, even as artists challenge traditional notions of masterpiece. Contemporary film-makers continue to offer visual spectacles, political debates, and intriguing psychological plots. How can we define modern, post-modern, and contemporary masterpieces of cinema as industrial production and capitalist bio-politics? How do we make aesthetic judgments after a century of cinema? Students will study film interpretation and realize how cinema can shape our technological, aesthetic and political environment. Course requirements: two papers, short reports, and weekly class discussions of films and readings.
  • HAVC-H597

    TOPICS IN DECORATIVE ARTS IN AMERICA

    Credits: 3.00

    Some of the finest furniture, silver, pewter, ceramics, and textiles in America furnished the homes of eighteenth-century Rhode Islanders. In this course these so-called "decorative arts" are examined as historical evidence of both household life and of style in early America. Understanding the decorative arts in the context of their original architectural interiors is emphasized in field trips to historic house museums in the Providence area and through first-hand experience with the collections of the RISD Museum.
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Seminars give students an opportunity to share their ideas about what they're reading and discovering.