Foregrounds questions about visual arts: What are the purposes of the visual arts? What approaches might we use to understand them? How do they relate to the societies and cultures in which they are located? May focus on individual writers, movements, historical periods, genres or topics.
Autumn 2013 Engaging Visual Arts: Visual Arts in the Modern Era This course will explore art and social change from the Renaissance to the present, looking at literary, political and artistic sources of dynamic shifts in European and American culture through a study of major works of visual art and written texts. Beginning with the High Renaissance and continuing to Neoclassical art and Romantic painting and poetry, the course will examine Realism in art, Impressionism and urban alienation, the rise of the irrational in art, the collapse of tradition at the beginning of the twentieth century, the rise of avant-garde movements such as Futurism, Dadaism and Surrealism, modernism and expressionism in art as a response to the two world wars, and the transition from modernism to post-modernism in a globalized world.
Student learning goals
Students will gain a broad understanding of European and American art and culture since 1500.
Students will learn to identify major trends and movements in art and literature, along with the political and social contexts of these movements.
Students will gain skills in visual and literary analysis through close reading of works of art and texts.
Students will learn to think and to write analytically about art and culture.
Students will learn to work collaboratively, analyzing images and texts and discussing them in context.
Students will gain a strong background for further study in the culture, literature and arts of the time period addressed.
General method of instruction
Lecture, discussion and collaborative group learning
Interest in art, literature, history and culture required.
Class assignments and grading
Short writing assignments, tests, art project with accompanying research paper or term paper, with final presentation.
Writing assignments, art projects, tests and class participation.