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ARTH 200-B Perspectives of Art History

  • Thursdays, 2:45-5:45 pm
  • EV 1.605
  • Instructor: Dr. Steven Stowell

This year-long course introduces students to the broad sweep of art history, from the paleolithic to the modern eras. It helps students develop their skills of visual analysis, their ability to recognize art of different periods and styles, and their understanding of how these relate to each other and to broader social and historical contexts.
The overall structure of the course is derived from the canonical tradition of art history as it has been constructed in the west from the eighteenth century onwards – a tradition which chronologically orders bodies of work said to exemplify developments through time, while making certain assumptions about what constitutes "art," and about which periods, places, and people are most worthy of study. However, lectures will also question the supremacy of this canonical perspective and its approach to organizing knowledge. Students will thus have the opportunity to learn from the canon and to develop an understanding of the objects it celebrates, while developing an awareness of its limitations. The course, in which mandatory tutorials play a vital role, is taught with art history majors in mind as it is a core component of the art history undergraduate degree and provides a knowledge base that enables further study in the field.

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