History of Art Graduate Department of Art

Courses

    • (FAH 2017)Art and Archaeology of the Everyday

      In studying material culture the spotlight tracks towards the extraordinary; yet most artefacts are ordinary, banal, and hence frequently overlooked. This seminar asks how we might retrain our analytical gaze upon the objects of the everyday, the aim being a fuller understanding of human interactions within the material world. It tackles the category of ‘the everyday’ from a range of disciplinary perspectives: among them art historical, anthropological and archaeological. We will consider a range of topics, including: the relationship between the everyday and the extraordinary; the multimodal human engagement with artefacts and images; the definition of ‘objects’ vs ‘things’; the agency of material entities in relation to social practices; artifact biographies; the modes of meaningfulness in everyday material culture; spatio-temporal dimensions of the everyday; the power of artifact assemblages; and cognitive perspectives on material culture. Case studies are drawn principally, but not exclusively, from Aegean prehistory.

      References:
      Gell, A., 1998. Art and Agency: Towards a New Anthropological Theory. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
      Highmore, B., 2002. Everyday Life and Cultural Theory: An Introduction. London: Routledge.
      Knappett, C., 2005. Thinking Through Material Culture: An Interdisciplinary Perspective. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
      Knappett, C., and L. Malafouris (eds.), 2008. Material Agency: Towards a Non-Anthropocentric Approach. New York: Springer.
      Miller, D. (ed.), 2005. Materiality. Durham: Duke University Press.
      Renfrew, C., Gosden, C., and E. DeMarrais (eds.), 2004. Substance, Memory, Display: Archaeology and Art. Cambridge: McDonald Institute Monographs.
      Sheringham, M., 2006. Everyday Life. Theories and Practices from Surrealism to the Present. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
      Tilley, C., Keane, W., Küchler, S., Rowlands, M. and P. Spyer (eds.), 2006. Handbook of Material Culture. London: Sage.

    • (FAH 2018H)Art in the Aegean Bronze Age: Contemporary Perspectives

      Many art historians refer to the finest objects of the Aegean Bronze Age (c. 3000-1000 BCE) as ‘art’. Yet most anthropological archaeologists working on this same material resist this term. While there is an interesting debate to be had on the status of this ancient material culture, it has rarely been explicitly framed. This course reviews this state of affairs and explores new approaches to the artefacts / artworks of the Bronze Age Aegean, focusing on notions of practice, gesture, performance, and skill, and drawing on novel ideas emerging in the broader field of material culture studies. The objective is to reveal the various functions and meanings of ancient visual and material culture in this prehistoric east Mediterranean setting.

      Graduate students in Art History benefit from a wide range of perspectives on the status of art in different cultures, ancient and contemporary. This course provides access to material from a prehistoric context that has to be accessed in unique ways, specifically without recourse to written documents. It therefore provides particular challenges to students in their ideas concerning the constitution of the history of art. Furthermore, the course will supply new angles from material culture studies that show intriguing overlaps with visual culture approaches.

    • (FAH 2020H)Attic Vase Painting

      Attic painted pottery constitutes one of the largest corpora of material remains from Greek antiquity. Long treasured by connoisseurs for the beauty of its best pieces, it has come to be recognised as a primary source of cultural and social information about Archaic and Classical Athens. Yet many problems continue to plague its students and new methods of analysis challenge the interpretative assumptions of earlier work. A number of recently published monographs on individual painters expedite a study formerly restricted for serious work to scholars with access to major museum collections.

      Organised largely on the basis of a chronological framework, the seminar encompasses: treatment of individual painters as artistic constructs; discussion of pertinent iconographic questions; and assessment of the social and cultural context in which the paintings were made.

      Evaluation: Students are responsible for one seminar paper and one "response" to another's presentation. A week before their own presentation, students are requested to leave a reading for the rest of the class in the Art Library and to give a copy of their work to their respondent. On the date of the presentation, students are requested to distribute a bibliography of pertinent materials and a brief outline of their paper to aid ready comprehension by all. Normally the written versions of papers submitted will be refined and reduced in scope from the full topic of oral presentation; the determination of the precise topic for the paper should be made in consultation. Oral presentation 25%, response 10%, research paper 65%.

      Language Requirements: Reading knowledge of one of: (preferably) German or French; at least 1 Full Course Equivalent in Greek art/literature at the undergraduate level or equivalent.

    • (FAH 2021H S)Myth and Fantasy in Roman Painting

      The course offers an introduction to some advanced techniques of visual analysis through an engagement with Roman wall painting. At the center of the seminar are the mythological frescoes that once adorned houses and Villas in and around Pompeii and other cities of Vesuvius, before the destruction of 79 CE. While these paintings have been analyzed primarily in contextual and socio-historical terms, our own approach will focus on the role of images in the formation of new forms of subjectivity emerging in the late republican and early imperial periods. Particular emphasis will be placed on the “psychoanalytical” implications of the use of Greek myth in a Roman context, and the usefulness of the notion of “fantasy” for an understanding of the imagery under discussion. Other topics include the image’s relation with its prototypes and the notion of “substitution”, art and empathy, art and spatiality, myth and visual narrative. The course offers an introduction to one of the most important bodies of ancient art (and one that is actually compatible with a broader art history), as well as an introduction to techniques of visual analysis.

      Readings include art historical and historical writings (by J. Elsner, P. Zanker, S. Bartsch, A. Wallace-Hadrill, and others), but also a selection of seminal texts from the fields of critical theory, visual culture, film theory, and “anthropology of the image”.

    • (FAH 2022H)Rhetoric of Space

      Since G.E. Lessing’s categorization of poetry and painting as the ‘arts of time’ and the ‘arts of space’, the concept of space has occupied a special ontological position vis-à-vis the visual arts. Theoretical frameworks hinging upon the concept of space, however, went through a variety of transformations since Panofsky’s appropriation of ‘space’ as a necessary condition for what was to be called the formalist art historical tradition. Taking David Summer’s Real Spaces (2003) as a starting point of our inquiry, this interdisciplinary seminar surveys critical scholarship in various fields of art history and archaeology, as well as those from neighboring disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, on ‘space’ as a unifying concept. Concomitant concepts that will be examined briefly include: virtuality, perception, memory, time, materiality, social and gendered spaces, and world art history. Having surveyed critical methods across disciplines, using space as a categorical concept, the students will have a chance to develop their own critical research projects in the area of their choosing.

      This seminar is a theory course open to graduate students in all fields of art history and archaeology, who are interested in exploring interdisciplinary approaches on the concept of space, in order to bring to bear on their specific art historical project.

    • (FAH2023H)Mind and Materiality: Views from Art History and Archaeology

      This course aims to put the growing interest in neuroaesthetics, neuroarthistory and neuroarchaeology in perspective, through a broader review and exploration of cognitive approaches in art history and archaeology. In particular, we will examine the active role of materiality in cognitive processes. The recent book /How Things Shape the Mind: A Theory of Material Engagement/, by Lambros Malafouris, serves as the core reading for the course.

    • (FAH2025H)Narrative and Time in Greek and Roman Art

      There are numerous ways in which a picture is worth a thousand words.

      This course investigates the complex relationship between narrative and image, and the ensuing notions of temporality in spatially based pictorial media. The focus on ancient Greek and Roman visual culture—from Greek vase painting to Roman historical reliefs—provides a rich ground for exploring different narratological methodologies, which the students will learn throughout the course. The readings, thus, will be partly drawn from a wide range of theoretical sources in narrative studies, from Aristotle’s /Poetics/ to Roland Barthes, as well as more recent approaches to visual narratology in contemporary film studies.

      The course will also address broader philosophical issues regarding notions of time and art, going beyond the domain of narratology proper, and consider the ways in which artworks can acquire temporality, both in and out of their proper socio-historical contexts.

    • (FAH2027H F)Women and Gender in Ancient Greece

      The graduate seminar is a comprehensive exploration of women, both their myth and their reality, in the ancient Greek world, through extant visual and literary representations. The course is organized both by typological subject matter (divine figures, heroines, amazons, courtesans, etc.) and by theme (festivals, drama, religious participation, daily life, marriage), and offers theoretical and methodological insight throughout the course. The students will also read key texts from modern gender theory along with relevant primary and secondary literature on women and gender in ancient Greece.

    • (FAH2028H)Art and the Philosophy of Time

      A truly interdisciplinary course by design, on the relationship between Time and Art. Using Concepts of Time as a disciplinary bridge between Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Art History, the course will examine some of the major philosophical thoughts on Time throughout history and explore different ways in which Time and temporality enter into art historical or philosophical discussions on works of art. We will approach each subtopic of Time and its relationship to Art, from both philosophical and art historical perspectives, offering productive avenues for interdisciplinary investigations. Some of these topics include: Time in Ancient Philosophy and Art, Visual Narrative and the Philosophy of Narrative, Renaissance Anachronism, Phenomenology of Time and Art, Time and Modernity, Retrieval and Restoration of the Past, and On Writing History. Close readings of philosophical texts will include excerpts from Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Freud, Heidegger, Bergson, Merleau-Ponty, and Benjamin; we will also be analyzing works of art and their relationship to Time from major periods of Art History, with a focus on Ancient Greece, and touching upon Renaissance, Modern and Contemporary. Students will be encouraged to work on artworks from local museums, notably the ROM.

    • (FAH 2032H)History and Myth

      The seminar will focus on Roman monuments that refer directly to their illustrious past, and which so often display a penchant to amalgamate materials drawn from both history and myth. We will examine how, as images, real historical events took on the trappings of myths of state, and how, conversely, images drawn form Rome's literary past came to be reified in visual form, and were subsumed within official accounts of the state's history. Emphasis will be given to the phenomenon's effects on imagery in private as well as the public sphere. The seminar will be divided into two sections. The first will focus on the imagery of the two great Roman foundation myths – Aeneas and Romulus as founders of the city – and how these came to be regarded as a record of actual events. The second will examine properly historical monuments, and attempt to gauge how these established a new form of mythos.

    • (FAH 2034H)Topics in Roman Imperial Art: Monuments and Metanarratives

      A seminar on Roman Imperial Art and the metanarratives and conceptual frameworks that have shaped its study over the past 120 years. Topics include: the problem of style/form and the transformation of Roman art during the first four centuries of our era; Roman 'classicism'; 'propaganda' and the function of 'state monuments' and 'official' art; the figure of the 'viewer' in archaeological scholarship; spolia and 'damnatio memoriae'; historical commemoration. Monuments under discussion will include the Ara Pacis, Triumphal Arches, Columns of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius, Roman 'Historical Reliefs'.

    • (FAH 2039)The Roman Reception of Greek Art: Image Transfer and Cultural Translation

      Roman Art depended heavily on a preexisting Greek idiom: Roman “self” was, for the most part, expressed in terms of its Greek “other”. This Greek idiom is filtered, appropriated, transformed and reframed, but never abandoned. The seminar takes this Roman processing of Greek art as a paradigm and starting point to address broader issues of cultural translation, of “originals” and its replicas in a culture of copying, of “classicism” and “archaism” as well as concepts of “hybridity”. The material under examination will be statues, reliefs, public architecture and wall paintings from the Roman Imperial period, both from Rome and the Latin West and from the Greek East. A cross cultural and comparative perspective is encouraged, and the readings will include some key texts from the fields of postcolonial theory, translation studies, and critical theory.

    • (FAH1114H F)Multicultural Arts of Medieval Sicily

      This course examines Sicily from the early Christian period to ca. 1400, an era when cultural and religious diversity shaped the patronage, production, and reception of works of art and architecture. It probes works associated with Byzantine, Islamic, and northern European occupations, and investigates the ways in which artistic hybridity is manifest in works of art and interpreted in scholarship. A range of media, from large-scale building projects to manuscripts, textiles, liturgical arts, and excavated artefacts, is examined, including works representative of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic communities.

      Readings include foundational and recent studies of specific contexts and works of art, along with theoretical writings on imperialism, postcolonialism, portability, and Mediterranean studies. Medieval texts also figure prominently.

      Participants in this seminar will be eligible to apply for competitvely-awarded places on a fieldtrip to Sicily fully funded by the Getty Connecting Art Histories Initiative. This fieldtrip will also include student members of a seminar of the same title taught at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts (taught by Dr. Linda Safran, PIMS and Getty Connecting Art Histories Visiting Professor, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Art). On the Getty Connecting Art Histories Initiative, and its funded cooperation between the UofT and the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, please see:

      http://www.getty.edu/foundation/initiatives/current/cah/cah_grantsawarded.html
      http://globalpostglobalmedievalart.blogspot.ca

      Strongly recommended: Reading proficiency in at least one of the following: German, Italian, and French; Latin, Greek, and Arabic helpful.

    • (FAH1118H)The Medieval Treasury

      This course examines medieval church treasuries, their contents and architectural settings, and the ways they have been conceptualized from the Middle Ages to the present. It highlights the diversity of treasury contents, from liturgical chalices to legal documents, who contributed to the shape of such collections and why, and how the collections were documented. Major themes in present-day art history create the conceptual underpinnings of the course, including materiality, collecting and display, mobility, and patronage. The course will provide opportunities for students to work with objects in local museums and to develop research projects in the Digital Humanities.

      Recommended: Reading knowledge of French, German, Italian, and Latin helpful.

    • (FAH1119H)Global Medieval Art in China

      Part of the UofT Getty Connecting Art Histories project, this course examines the arts of medieval China – especially those of the port cities of Guangzhou and Quanzhou –from a multicultural perspective. This course considers how the idea of “medieval art” might be understood with respect to the production of art in China, how such art raises questions about the geography and periodization of native and non-native art forms in China, and how non-native art forms that flourished in China connect to their originating sites and move along the networks of their transmission. While in the past decade art history has embraced the idea of globalization, this seminar seeks to probe the making of medieval Chinese art in postglobal context by introducing the methodological tools of postglobal art history, a new approach to the discipline emerging from developing art histories (i.e., from non-Western nations in which art history has developed as a discipline only since the late 20th century).

    • (FAH 1121 H)The 12TH Century Renaissance?

      Few periods in the Middle Ages have attracted as much attention as the twelfth century. The Crusades, increasing urbanism, the growth of universities, the impact of the revival of Aristotle’s writings, and religious reforms like the Cistercian movement – all mark the twelfth century as a pivotal moment in European history. Scholars have sought to characterize this remarkable period as “The Twelfth-Century Renaissance.” Art historians, too, traditionally highlight this moment by identifying a transition from Romanesque to Gothic. This seminar will investigate the utility of such terminology by examining the original contexts in which twelfth-century art and architecture were produced. An exploration of different media throughout Europe calls into question those historiographic traditions that inform our current understanding of the twelfth century and its place in the broader paradigms of art and history.

    • (FAH 1123H)Art of the Medieval Book

      This seminar investigates a wide range of questions related to the use and function of imagery in medieval books. What are the origins of medieval book illustration in the transition from roll to codex; what kinds of books were typically illustrated – and how; who conceived of the complex pictorial programs found in medieval manuscripts, and how did these programs function? Issues of patronage, audience and reception are central to this seminar, which focuses on specific case studies of manuscripts from throughout Europe dating from the late antique period until the advent of printing.

    • (FAH 1125H)Medieval Pilgrimage Art and Architecture

      This seminar critiques current theories of pilgrimage and investigates selected early Christian, Western medieval, Byzantine, and Islamic destinations. Readings (both primary and secondary sources) and discussions address such features as urbanism, architectural plans, sculptural programs, tombs and shrines, relics and reliquaries, badges and souvenirs. Student presentations/papers will attempt to reconstruct the realia of a specific pilgrimage site. Reading knowledge of at least one foreign language is recommended.

    • (FAH 1126H)Exceptional Cities of the Middle Ages

      A focused investigation of one or more medieval cities that stand out because of their importance as historical and cultural centers. Issues of urban planning, civic identity, and patronage complement in-depth study of local architecture and art. Some of these cities were important throughout the Middle Ages; others offer insights into critical moments in medieval art, architecture, and society. Among the cities that my be considered in any given semester are: Jerusalem, Rome, Constantinople, Paris, Aachen, Cordoba, Cairo, London, and Naples.

    • (FAH 1127H)Early Medieval Art

      Early medieval art has long been viewed in the shadow of Romanesque and Gothic art and architecture, although the seven hundred years between ca. 400 and 1100 produced a wealth of material culture that provides critical insights for understanding the formation of Europe. the seminar will focus in a given semester on one of the following four subdivisions with this period: Merovingian and Migratory, Carolingian, Ottonian, or Insular and Anglo-Saxon. The art and architecture in all of these periods are understood in light of their relationship to the classical past, the development of political and ecclesiastical structures, the importance of the cult of saints, and the rise of monasticism.

    • (FAH 1142)Multicultural Middle Ages

      This course examines settings in which cultural or religious diversity helped shape the patronage, production, and reception of works of art and architecture. Readings include foundational and recent studies of specific contexts and works of art, including monuments in Sicily, Spain, and England. The seminar will grapple with theoretical writings on imperialism and postcolonialism, and problems associated with national identity in the creation, reception, and scholarly analyses of medieval art. Medieval texts also figure prominently. A range of media, from large-scale building projects to manuscripts, textiles, and liturgical arts, are assessed.

    • (FAH 1246H)Renaissance Gothic: Architecture and the Arts 1460-1540 Medieval/Renaissance

      Few periods are as dynamic as the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century, an epoch that resists classification - is it medieval or modern? The course concentrates on architecture and architectural design as object and as frame for experience. We will examine notions of artistic mode and personal style at a time when a revised Gothic vocabulary coexisted with an imported Italianate or 'antique' manner. We will investigate the rising status of the artist as individual. And we will treat ornament as the basis of a new subjective aesthetic and as a kind of artistic signature.

      Lectures will survey the great Late Gothic churches and town halls of Germany, France, and the Netherlands, as well as the carved altarpieces of Tilman Riemenschneider and his contemporaries. We will analyze microarchitecture - choir screens, pulpits, and the like - as a newly-centered field of practice. The early assimilation of Italianate elements in northern architecture and the concept of 'hybridity' will be discussed. The class will also examine the arts in Iberia: the so-called Isabeline Style in Spain, with its imaginative synthesis of native Islamic and Northern European design, and the Portuguese Manueline manner, so closely tied to the country's new-found maritime wealth. Time will be devoted to certain theoretical issues: notions of periodization in the writing of history and art history, modernist and post-modern approaches to ornament, and literary theories of narrative. Topics include historical approaches to nature, mysticism and meditative experience, religious narrative, notions of time and space, and the relationship between the arts, music, and literature. Among the artists considered will be Albrecht Durer, Hieronymus Bosch, Jan Gossaert, Adam Kraft, Anton Pilgram, Benedikt Ried, Martin Chambiges, and Juan Guas.

      There will be readings by Leon Battista Alberti, Albrecht Durer, Erwin Panofsky, Henri Focillon, Jacques Derrida, and others. Articles and historical documents will be discussed at each meeting. Students are required to deliver an oral report and to present a paper on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor.

      French, German, Spanish, or Portuguese highly recommended.

    • (FAH3000H S)Making Pictures in Medieval China

      This seminar examines the art industry of China’s Middle Period, roughly from the early 3rd century when the Han empire (206 BCE-220 CE) collapsed to the mid-14th century when the Mongol Yuan dynasty (1276-1368) ended. This period witnessed several key events in Chinese art history—the coming of age of sculpture, the florescence of both mural and scroll painting, and the development of a distinctive “medieval” mode of art criticism, among others. The course highlights materiality in art making, investigating materials, methods, and processes of sculpture and painting on the one hand, and on the other, exploring the significance of materials, facture, as well as pictorial intelligence during these medieval centuries, when the making of artworks constituted the intersecting point of artistic style, religious beliefs, transregional commerce, and politics. In tandem with an in-depth reading of early scroll paintings and their critiques, the course pays particular attention to mural painting and sculpture of varied materials/formats that were created for Buddhist chapels and underground tombs.

      Students are expected to give short presentations on course readings and to write a final research paper. Readings include classic and recent studies on key issues in medieval Chinese art history, together with theoretical works on “iconology of material,” formalism, and “global” art history.

      Reading proficiency in at least one of the following languages: Chinese, German, Japanese

      Participants in this seminar will be eligible to apply for competitively awarded places on a field trip to the Dunhuang caves fully funded by the Getty Connecting Art Histories Initiative. This field trip will also include student members of a seminar of the same title taught at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts (taught by Profs. Li Qingquan and Zou Qingquan). On the Getty Connecting Art Histories Initiative, and its funded cooperation between the UofT and the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, please see:

      http://www.getty.edu/foundation/initiatives/current/cah/cah_grantsawarded.html
      http://globalpostglobalmedievalart.blogspot.ca

      See Other Graduate Courses for related seminars in Medieval Studies.

    • (FAH1201H)Art, Space and Ritual in Renaissance Convents

      This seminar will explore the architecture and works in different art media made for monastic spaces and associated ritualistic activities, as well with the luminal status of the religious female self. We will examine the fascinating images that were produces and which constitute productive episodes of visual tension that transformed the regulated usage of the spaces they ornamented. The aims of the seminar are multiple: to provide students with knowledge of Renaissance conventual art from its rise to its directional shift during the Tridentine religious reform; to consider the methods and contexts through which conventual art has been approached in recent decades.

    • (FAH1202H)Correggio and the Problem of Italian Renaissance Art

      Two major exhibitions, symposia and several new publications have recently re-considered the art of the Italian painter Correggio (1489-1534), but its understanding remains problematic within the current paradigms of Renaissance art. Correggio’s art has generated oppositional responses in the scholarship, ranging from its characterization as “proto-baroque,” to its being considered a putative embodiment of “Renaissance classicism,” and to its supposed exemplary status as a “post-classical” artist. One of the central questions underlying the seminar is: what is the place of Correggio’s art in current Renaissance art history? The works of Correggio and responses to them will be examined, therefore, not just in and of themselves, but as paradigmatic of the interpretative impasse that characterizes Renaissance art history as it is currently practiced. The seminar will consider Correggio’s most ambitious works – his altarpieces, dome decorations and erotic images – and reconstruct their referential structures and meanings.
      The examination of such an undervalued protagonist of Italian Renaissance art as Correggio serves as a springboard for reflecting upon larger problems in the field: the ontological status of Renaissance art history, its methods and approaches, and the present-day "crisis" of interpretation.
      Reading knowledge of Italian, German and/or French is recommended.

    • (FAH1203H)Art and Monasticism in Renaissance Italy

      The seminar will explore some of the most crucial artistic innovations of the Italian Renaissance and their symbiotic relation to monasticism. Engaged with the pursue of learning and religious reform issues, Renaissance monks became major agents of the cultural and spiritual changes that affected Italian society during a stressful period of foreign invasions, political turmoil and religious angst. Monks' investments in art were extraordinary and in multiple art media, involving key experimental artists of Renaissance art history, including Mantegna, Raphael, and Correggio. Histories of Italian Renaissance art have, however, downplayed their role to a minimum, presenting the innovative artworks for their monastic spaces as mere local enterprises. To rethink a corpus of works as interconnected contributions to the development of a renewed monastic art, this seminar discusses works in different art media that actively participated in the definition of the modern Renaissance art.
      Reading level of Italian is expected.

    • (FAH1205H)Early Modern Intermediality

      With the material turn, art historians have been engaged in imaginative explorations of the uses and meanings of materials in early modern art and visual culture. This course focuses on crossings from one medium to another (intermediality or intermateriality) whether through conscious imitation (material mimesis) or translation. We will look at explicit statements of medium-specificity in treatises; the situating of drawing as the unifying art; border crossings in the well-known art theoretical debate of the 16th century, the paragone; anxiety about deception (terracotta that feigns stone, stucco that imitates gold). A principal preoccupation will be with the intermedial effects of the introduction of printed images. For while intermediality Is as old as art itself, there is an intensification with the introduction of print, when all media became graphic, only to be remedialized again. The chronological span is 15th-18th centuries and the geographic reach is global, with a particular focus on Europe and Latin America (where print was translated into painting and architecture often and in unexpected ways). We will spend time on signal works of intermediality (Roger van der Weyden, Rubens, Gianlorenzo Bernini) as well as many anonymous works, especially in the Americas (16th-18th centuries). This course is historiographically-oriented, tracking the reception of these historical artefacts alongside the modern call for truth-to-materials and the post-war call for medium-specificity in abstract art. A goal of the course is to develop a lexicon of terms specific to intermediality (pictorialization, linearization, resurfacing, flattening, modelling, etc.).

    • (FAH1221)Inside the Painter’s Studio

      Painters at work in Italy, France and Germany, 1550-1700. The aim of this seminar is to understand studios as places for painting, teaching, selling and modeling, and hence painters as craftsman, teacher and team boss, negotiator and salesroom manager. Research topics include: the physical location and environment of painters’ studios; painting as a corporeal act; painting as a performance for studio visitors; self-representation of painters at work; bodily traces in paintings (fingerprints and finger painting); visual and literary evidence of production. An eclectic array of approaches and sources will be used: material culture, anthropology, scientific conservation, social and economic history, and literary analysis. Source material will include biographies, letters, diaries, account books, inventories, testaments, lawsuits, technical manuals and (naturally) prints, drawings and paintings. Reading knowledge of Italian, German or French is required.

    • (FAH1224H)Renaissance in Miniature

      The development of Renaissance art has often been traced on the basis of large scale works, including grandiose palaces, monumental funerary chapels, colossal sculptures, imposing fresco cycles and massive tapestries. Small format works of art, however, constitute an area of artistic performance that deserves further scrutiny and critical attention. This seminar explores the role of miniaturization in the ideation and reception of art produced between 1400 and 1550. The recent theoretical rethinking of the notion of smallness offers new grounds for reflecting on a corpus of Renaissance small-size works, which provide some of the most compelling responses to questions about performativity, preciousness, and portability. The seminar will also focus on issues of the making, function, meaning, and exchange of small-size works of art and objects produced in different media.

    • (FAH 1226H)Architecture and Alchemy Before Modernism

      A study of the intersection of architecture and science. Topics will include natural magic, theories of vision, matter and materials, technology, machines and divination primarily in the buildings and architectural theory of late medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Europe.

    • (FAH1231H)Northern Renaissance Sculpture

      This course questions the near-exclusive focus on painting as the quintessential artistic medium of the Renaissance in Northern Europe and the paradigms it has generated. As a spatial and tactile medium, sculpture raises its own set of problems and issues. Sculpture was many things in the early modern period—and not all of these centered on the portrayal of the human body. People we now recognize as sculptors belonged to different guilds, fashioning objects as different as monumental tombs of stone and capacious wooden choir stalls. The borderline between sculpture and architecture was a porous one. Equally problematic was the division between sculpture and painting; renowned painters designed sculpture and competed in the communication of sacred stories with carvers of narrative reliefs. The course examines sculpture’s agency in modulating power relations, in directing devotional practice, in forming visual narratives, in realizing notions of antiquity, and as a collectable object.
      The course will include visits to both the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Royal Ontario Museum to examine major works of sculpture in these local collections.

    • (FAH 1243H)The Economic Lives of Renaissance & Baroque Artists

      This seminar considers two neglected topics: 1) the poetry and psychoses of money; and 2) the real-life intricacies of making and marketing art. During the past two decades, art historians increasingly have recognized the importance of economic factors in the making, selling, and display of art, yet there remains a notable imbalance between the rich socio-economic literature on Dutch and Flemish painting of the 17th century and the relative scarcity of comparable literature for Italian painters. Moreover, the vast majority of studies of the economics of 17th-century painting has focused on patronage (especially in Italy) and market mechanisms (the North), at the expense of the artists themselves as money makers. Questions that will be studied in this seminar include: How did painters earn their incomes, including secondary earnings from dealings and investments; what were their pricing and marketing strategies; and what was their socio-economic status in relation to craftsmen, musicians, professors, lawyers, etc? The costs of making paintings will also be studied, both direct costs (e.g. pigments, canvas, stretchers) and indirect (rent, assistants, models), given that net earnings are what mattered but seldom are discussed. Of particular interest is how the price of paintings and hence the artist's income varied in relation to such factors as the status of the patron, subject matter (history, portrait, genre), style (degree of finish, Venetian/Roman/Dutch), and medium oil, fresco). Other important variables include the relation of price and originality, autograph or studio; copy, variant or original composition), presence or absence of a signature, and the painter's gender.

    • (FAH 1245H)Pieter Bruegel and Netherlandish Sixteenth-Century Painting

      The work of Pieter Bruegel and his contemporaries in the mid sixteenth-century Netherlands will be the focus of the seminar. Methods of social history and of structuralist analysis will be applied to painting and graphic arts. Relations between the Netherlands and Italy, Renaissance art criticism, and the representation of word and image will be examined. Other topics will include the rise of genre painting and landscape imagery, adaptations of religious art in the context of the Reformation, and the importance of Antwerp as a centre for the arts. Students will discuss readings for each class, offer an oral presentation, and submit a paper on a subject chosen in consultation with the instructor.
      Language Requirements: French required, German highly recommended.

    • (FAH 1246H)Renaissance Gothic: Architecture and the Arts 1460-1540

      Few periods are as dynamic as the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century, an epoch that resists classification - is it medieval or modern? The course concentrates on architecture and architectural design as object and as frame for experience. We will examine notions of artistic mode and personal style at a time when a revised Gothic vocabulary coexisted with an imported Italianate or 'antique' manner. We will investigate the rising status of the artist as individual. And we will treat ornament as the basis of a new subjective aesthetic and as a kind of artistic signature.
      Lectures will survey the great Late Gothic churches and town halls of Germany, France, and the Netherlands, as well as the carved altarpieces of Tilman Riemenschneider and his contemporaries. We will analyze microarchitecture - choir screens, pulpits, and the like - as a newly-centered field of practice. The early assimilation of Italianate elements in northern architecture and the concept of 'hybridity' will be discussed. The class will also examine the arts in Iberia: the so-called Isabeline Style in Spain, with its imaginative synthesis of native Islamic and Northern European design, and the Portuguese Manueline manner, so closely tied to the country's new-found maritime wealth. Time will be devoted to certain theoretical issues: notions of periodization in the writing of history and art history, modernist and post-modern approaches to ornament, and literary theories of narrative. Topics include historical approaches to nature, mysticism and meditative experience, religious narrative, notions of time and space, and the relationship between the arts, music, and literature. Among the artists considered will be Albrecht Dürer, Hieronymus Bosch, Jan Gossaert, Adam Kraft, Anton Pilgram, Benedikt Ried, Martin Chambiges, and Juan Guas.
      There will be readings by Leon Battista Alberti, Albrecht Dürer, Erwin Panofsky, Henri Focillon, Jacques Derrida, and others. Articles and historical documents will be discussed at each meeting. Students are required to deliver an oral report and to present a paper on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor.
      French, German, Spanish, or Portuguese highly recommended.

    • (FAH 1249)Margaret of Austria and the Renaissance in the Netherlands: Hieronymus Bosch, Jan Gossaert, Albrecht Dürer et al

      Margaret of Austria, the daughter of Emperor Maximilian and regent of the Netherlands, is renowned as one of the most highly educated and sophisticated female patrons of the arts during the Renaissance. Having lost two husbands to early death, she defied her father’s wishes to remarry and became one of Europe’s most competent governors. From her court at Mechelen, she was at the center of the remarkable artistic revival at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Margaret and her nobles were the leading patrons of Hieronymus Bosch, while she, herself, collected important paintings by Jan van Eyck, Jan Gossaert, and many others. Her commissions for tapestries helped nurture the preeminent workshops of Brussels during these years. And her church with its tombs at Brou remains one of the outstanding dynastic structures of the European nobility. Margaret’s sights were truly international. Raised in France, and resident for a time in Spain and Savoy, she welcomed numerous foreign artists to her court, meeting with both Albrecht Dürer and Lucas Cranach during their visits to the Low Countries.

      The course will focus partly on Margaret of Austria’s wide-ranging engagement with the arts at her court and partly on the art industry of nascent Antwerp. There will be considerable discussion of the unique paintings by Hieronymus Bosch. There will be further lectures on the development of urban culture, on the rise of Antwerp as a center and market for the arts, on the mythological pictures of Jan Gossaert, on the genesis of landscape painting and secular imagery of common experience, on the cult of antiquity, on Netherlandish carved altarpieces, on the early printing industry and the production of woodcuts and engravings. Other media such as tapestry, illuminated manuscripts, and stained glass will also be considered. Particular attention will be paid to gender studies, socio-economic and anthropological perspectives, and the history of collecting. We will examine, as well, historical notions of the Renaissance and their applicability to Northern Europe and the Netherlands.

      Readings will include essays by Hans Belting, Erwin Panofsky, Keith Moxey, Joseph Koerner, and Paul Vandenbroeck. Students will deliver brief reports on the readings, a major oral presentation, and a term paper.

      During the Fall term of 2010, an optional trip will be organized to New York to view the exhibition of Jan Gossaert’s works at the Metropolitan Museum.

      Recommended languages in order of importance: German, French, Dutch

    • (FAH 1288H)Gianlorenzo Bernini: Bernini and the Baroque Portrait

      Each iteration of this seminar has focused on a specific aspect of the art and biographical legacy of Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680), the major sculptor, architect and painter of the Roman Baroque. Topics treated in the past include the Bernini Biographies, Bernini and Portraiture, and Bernini and the Terracotta Sketch. The seminar, organized when possible in conjunction with exhibitions of Bernini’s work, immerses students in the major issues and debates across the historiography and encourages fresh thinking and the use of current methods. A detailed course description is provided when the course is offered again.

    • (FAH1299H F)Heinrich Wölfflin's Principles of Art History (1915) @ 100: A Worldwide Reception History

      Organized conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the Swiss art historian Heinrich Wölfflin’s Kunstgeschichtliche Grundbegriffe [1915] (Principles of Art History), perhaps the most widely read work of art history ever written, this seminar explores the worldwide reception of this foundational and controversial work of formalism. Written during World War I, the Principles has and continues to attract a worldwide readership, from Beijing to Buenos Aires, in and outside the academy, drawing people into art history and influencing the terms in which they understand it. Received positively and negatively, as in turn a colonialist work, anti-colonial and post-colonial, as at once one of art history’s unacknowledged operating system and its scapegoat, the Principles are art history’s crucible and its pandora’s box. This seminar will conduct a close reading of the text and its crucial intertexts, and, in the second part of the seminar, the research workshop, we will investigate how this text reaches into many corners of art history, visual culture, as well as into neighboring disciplines, how it has been confronted by and stimulated theoretical renewal in the discipline (up to and including the neural turn in art history).

      The 2015 Wölfflin seminar will be conducted concurrently with graduate seminars on this topic given by art history professors at 10 different universities around the world. You and the other graduate students in Tokyo, Delhi, Sao Paulo and elsewhere will be reading a similar curriculum and “meeting” online for group discussions about seminar topics and your research topics. The seminar reading materials will be supplemented by digital content (videos of master classes, interviews and discussions with important scholars and so on) and a digital space where you can meet co-participants from the consortium. The seminar culminates in a virtual international conference at which research from graduate students in the consortium will be presented. This seminar and the book at the center of it supports research into a very wide range of topics in the history of art and architecture, photography, decorative arts, and visual culture not just in Western art but in Asian and Colonial Latin American art.

      Consortium of Universities: University of Toronto (Canada); University of Zurich (Switzerland); University of Fribourg (Switzerland); University of Munich (Germany); Ghent University (Belgium); Sorbonne, Paris (France) University of Queensland (Australia); Jawaharlal Nehru University (India); Federal University of Sao Paulo (Brazil); Johns Hopkins University (U.S.); Central Academy of Art, Beijing (China)

    • (FAH 1410H)Artwriting, Past and Present

      This course provides a historical and thematic examination of "Artwriting" in its many forms from c.. 1750 to the present. Special attention will be paid to the relationships between text and object, to the institutional contexts of artwriting, and to its current concerns.

      In 2012, we will focus on the theme "Landscape and Language," examining the many imbrications of the textual and visual in the Western landscape tradition since the 18th century and in its more recent incarnations in land and environmental art. We will begin with the theoretical matrices of landscape as a genre in the 18th and 19th centuries, examining the discourses of the sublime and picturesque in their own rights and as they were materialized in the visual arts and landscape architecture. Issues of colonization and empire will figure in these discussions. We will also consider John Ruskin's highly influential writings on Turner's work. In the 20th century, we will focus on conceptual art's double relationships with language and landscape, looking especially art the practices of the group and periodical called Art & Language. Artwriting was central to many artists in the 1960s and 1970s; we will consider to what extent this writing was integral to Land art. We will discuss allied practices in contemporary art's responses to 'nature.'

    • (FAH1411H)Art and Analogy

      Analogy and metaphor are central to the way humans think and make sense of the world, whether in culture (the pattern is common in literature, music, and architecture), politics, or science (Rutherford’s foundational analogy between the atom and solar system, for example). People think analogically because it is a potent shorthand that makes a connection, a comparison. It places its terms in useful but also restrictive ways. Art and Analogy investigates a fundamental range of questions in art history and the practice of artmaking: in what ways are art objects, the processes of their making, and their reception analogues? How is art related to the world: as a mirror, a material segment, a copy? Perhaps digital technologies have altered the nature of art itself by challenging the ancient pattern by which the arts are compared and ranked (“Ut Pictura Poesis,” for example). We will also examine how the narratives that make up art history are extensively based on analogical thinking, including the pattern that sees artist X as the artist Y of country Z (“Tom Thomson was the van Gogh of Canada,” for example). Are such analogies helpful? In what ways can they be misleading? Can we validly analogize across cultures and temporalities, as when Liu Haisu was dubbed the “Cézanne of China”? While analogizing is ubiquitous and forms a link between art history, the visual arts, and both scientific and humanistic cultural norms generally, we will seek to understand the roots and implications of analogical thinking in visual art and writing about art from c. 1700 to the contemporary period.

    • (FAH1456H)Theories of Photographic Manipulation: Prehistories to Pictorialism

      This seminar is an elective for students studying the history and theory of photography, but also for those with interests in some emerging and particularly interdisciplinary areas of the study of modern art. This course will be taught concurrently with a major exhibition on this theme taking place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to which an optional trip for members of the seminar is tentatively planned.

      The “neutrality” of photography has been challenged almost from its very first introduction, and indeed, even from within its many and occasionally persuasive prehistories. This course will serve as an investigation into the many dimensions—technological, aesthetic, and epistemic—of photographic manipulation during the first seventy-five years of the medium’s history. Among the issues to be examined in detail are the numerous models, motives, and motifs implicated in the alteration of photographic representations, drawn from fields as apparently divergent as painting, microscopy, the Victorian novel, human physiology, and political propaganda. An organising principle of our study will be to inquire how manipulation was achieved and how it was signalled to or concealed from its viewers. Ultimately, we will attempt to analyse the interests competing with neutrality or objectivity in whose service these manipulations were mobilised, and to explore the diverse sources of photography’s variable, but undeniable, authority.

    • (FAH1458H)Viewing History: The Visual Experience of the Past, 1750-1900

      This graduate seminar will explore the transformation in how historical knowledge was represented and experienced visually during the long Nineteenth Century. This will be accomplished by a focused study of the relationships among European history paintings, three-dimensional historical artifacts, simulacral recreations of physically and temporally distant environments, and the rapidly evolving modes of historical writing. The new level of intimacy between audience and history was not simply expressed in contemporary historiographical tendencies; rather, these became laboratories for various models for understanding the relationship between a seeker of historical knowledge and her object. Drawing upon a wide range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, this course will examine the evidentiary crossroads at which the visual representation of the past found itself in this critical period in modern culture. It is hoped that this course will be useful to students interested in the origins of modern visual culture, the history of the display of works of art, visual simulations and recreations, and the relationship of evidence to the historical enterprise.

    • (FAH1459H)Photography, Illusion, and Knowledge in 19th-Century Europe

      How did the medium of photography participate in the production of knowledge during the Nineteenth Century? This course endeavours to respond to that query by examining how the particular properties of objectivity and neutrality attributed to photography shaped—and were shaped by—discourses of realism, truth, and evidence. A number of specific themes will organize our investigations, including: the paradox of photographing invisibility; the implications of manipulation and nonintervention; serial and narrative imagery; the status of illusion and deception; temporality and its technical and conceptual bases; and the analogy of photography to human vision. These thematic studies will be complemented by close examination of specific photographers, works of art, optical devices, and spaces of visual entertainment and instruction from throughout the century. This is an elective seminar designed to explore the relationship between art historical approaches to Nineteenth-Century photography and the broader historical question of how visual knowledge is produced, distributed, and interpreted.

    • (FAH 1462H)Photography and Scientific Representation in the 19th-Century

      This course investigates the dynamic relationship between photography and the natural, physical, and human sciences in the 19th Century. We will be concerned with a number of pressing questions: How did photography compete and collaborate with other modes of scientific representation for the mantle of authority? How did scientific photography enter into the canon of the history of photography, and at what cost? What role did the medium play in the rise of scientific professions, and in science education? How did photography complicate or clarify the categories of scientific realism and anti-realism? Ultimately, we explore varied strategies of the production of scientific knowledge by photographic means, and the cultural and social implications of these activities.

    • (FAH1464H)The Recalcitrant Icon

      The idea that modernity is of necessity secular is increasingly coming into tension with the myriad forms of contemporary religiosity that surround us today, including iconic images, both secular and sacred. This seminar attends to how this tension plays itself out in art history, with a view to revising our disciplinary presuppositions in a way that allows us to address this important aspect of contemporary image-making, both in the West and elsewhere. In order to examine the fate of religiosity and the icon in our thinking about images, we will juxtapose the sublimation of religion into the aesthetic in the powerful and far-reaching early formulations of Romanticism and Hegel with more recent reconsiderations of the modes of efficacy of images, iconoclasm/iconoclash, and the nexus between religion and media. Examples will be taken not only from Christianity and Judaism but also from other religious traditions such as Islam and Hinduism. Readings, mostly from art history, philosophy and anthropology, will be chosen from the work of GWF Hegel, Jean-Marie Schaeffer, Hans Belting, Walter Benjamin, David Freedberg, Charles Taylor, Dario Gamboni, Bruno Latour, Marie-Jose Mondzain, Barry Flood, Alfred Gell, Christopher Pinney, Boris Groys, David Morgan, Hent de Vries, Jean-Luc Nancy, Samuel Weber, James Elkins and others.

    • (FAH1471H)The Aesthetics of Democracy

      This seminar asks whether and how democracies in a range of historical and geographic contexts have been predicated on, or have produced, certain forms of representativeness/representation, where ‘form’ is understood in its broadest aesthetic sense. Of particular interest here is what happens to these representational imperatives in situations of cultural plurality (colonialism, postcoloniality, war/occupation, multiculturalism, diaspora, cosmopolitanism). Our point of departure is the formulation of the link between aesthetics and politics in the work of Jacques Rancière: this is the primary focus of the first half of the seminar, alongside other scholars’ engagements with his ideas. The second half will take its direction from the seminar participants: we will either workshop the ideas from the first half in relation to a set of specific contexts, chosen from participants’ areas of interest (developed in consensus and subject to the availability of resources), or delve deeper into issues raised in the first half.

      The issue of the relationship between aesthetics and politics is central to both the theory and the practice of art. Jacques Rancière’s salutary rethinking of this relationship, in a manner that includes but is not confined to ‘fine art’, has become increasingly influential in the Anglophone academy and contemporary art circles over the past decade. With its flexible outline, this seminar will enable students with a range of different geographical and historical interests to engage with this important thinker on aesthetic theory from the current generation of Continental philosophers.

    • (FAH 1475H)Picasso

      This course provides an opportunity to take the investigation and "construction" of other key artists (Michaelangelo, Caravaggio) into the modern period.

    • (FAH1476H)Surrealism and Art

      This course deals with Surrealism from its inception in 1924, through the work of the principal surrealist artists in various media, including the production of objects that break down the conventional distinctions amongst media (photography, sculpture, and painting), and between the categories of art, utensils, and detritus. Surrealist art is tied up with texts -- poetic, automatist, philosophical, and political -- informed by psychoanalysis and anthropology. We will consider key works by Lautréamont, Aragon, Breton, Bataille, Caillois, Leiris, Lacan, and Kojève, as well as the writings of the artists themselves.

    • (FAH 1477H)Psychoanalysis and the Visual

      This seminar examines psychoanalytic approaches to visual materials and to vision itself. Concepts such as the gaze, the unconscious, the uncanny, sublimation, scotomas and fetishes will be explored in relation to the creation, reception and collection of visual artefacts in assorted media. We will also examine debates waged over psychoanalytic interpretations of particular works of art. Readings include Freud, Kristeva, Cixous, Lacan, Silverman, Deleuze, Bersani and others.

    • (FAH 1478H)Art and Animation

      This seminar examines the age-old dream of creating animate art, from lifelike paintings and moving statues to automata and androids. In addition to tracing historical shifts in the way Western culture has imagined its artificial counterparts through works of literature, fine arts and film, a major focus of the course will be the effect these creations have on concepts of the human. Readings include Castle, Dick, Freud, Hawthorne, Hoffman, Kleist, Shelley, Stafford, Ovid and Villiers de I'lsle-Adam.

    • (FAH1481H)Automotive Affects

      Our contemporary ‘global’ condition is often characterized by tropes that draw on an earlier modernist excitement about the automobile – circulation, flows, smoothness, speed, connectivity, superhighways – as well as its downsides: risk, insecurity, pollution, blockages, car bombs, kitsch (girlie calendars, billboards, Las Vegas). Drawing on approaches from “new materialism”, anthropology, critical geography, architectural theory and cinema studies as well as art history and critical theory, this seminar attempts to rethink these affects of automotive modernism in relation to spaces, times, and assemblages that aren’t easily subsumed within modernist narratives of modernity.

    • (FAH 1482H)The Time of Art History

      This thematic, method–oriented seminar surveys the recent rethinking of the temporality of art history, partly occasioned by what is often (problematically) called art history’s “global turn”. How do we think art history beyond a linear progression of styles and periods (Kubler, Focillon, Moxey)? What is the time of the image: is it anachronic/anachronistic (Didi-Huberman, Nagel and Wood)? What does it mean to be modern, to be contemporary, and for whom; does it make sense to speak of multiple modernities and heterogeneous temporalities (Latour, Smith, Kapur, Mercer, Harootunian, Wu Hung, Enwezor)? In addressing such questions, the course appropriately attempts to draw on scholarship across a wide range of locations and periods; participating students are invited to bring to the table any contexts of specific interest.

    • (FAH1486)Bloomsbury and Vorticism

      This course examines two early twentieth-century British modernist movements and their key artists and writers (including Vanessa Bell, Jacob Epstein, Roger Fry, Wyndham Lewis, Ezra Pound, and Virginia Woolf, among others). Topics include the groups’ complex politics, contributions to aesthetic theory, exploration of text/image relations, response to World War One, and sexual politics.

    • (FAH 1492H)Retreating the Aesthetic

      The seminar this term is devoted to the study of the work of French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, and specifically the ontological priority of the praxis of art that he gives in his thinking of the politics and ethics of subjectivity, community, the senses, bodies, globalization, and technique. Attention will also be paid to such art historical topics as: representation/presentation, the image, the portrait, and spectacle. On a weekly basis we will engage in close readings of such books by Nancy as The Muses, The Ground of the Image, and Being Singular Plural, along with the work of other philosophers and theorists who serve as his major points of reference (Hegel, Kant, Freud, Heidegger, Bataille, Blanchot, Derrida).

      Contemporary scholars engaged in the explication of Nancy’s work serve as reliable guides to our own critical examination. These include: Alison Ross, Ian James, Ginette Michaud, Philip Armstrong, Ian Balfour, Louis Kaplan (the latter four are contributors to a special issue of the Journal of Visual Culture that I am co-editing on “Jean-Luc Nancy and the Sense of the Visual,” forthcoming, spring 2010). Finally, the seminar finds roots in my own current research/book project, The Decision Between Us: aporetic aesthetics and the unbecoming community (Univ. of Chicago, forthcoming, 2011).

      Thorough preparation of weekly reading assignments is mandatory, and active and informed participation in discussion is expected. The majority of written work that students will undertake will be in the form of a term paper, affording the opportunity either to further examine an aspect of Nancy’s work or, to engage in a comparative reading of his work with that of another philosopher/theorist of art and aesthetics. All topics will be chosen within the first two weeks of the term and a research agenda must receive approval from the instructor before it is pursued. The term paper assignment offers an opportunity to venture beyond the limits of the course readings and bibliography and to begin to develop an original argument.

      It is recommended, although not required, that students have completed the “Methodologies” course before taking this seminar. A background in modern Western philosophy may prove useful, although is not necessary. Gaps in one’s knowledge of these discourses can be filled through supplemental reading, and I encourage students to consult with me on regular basis as to their ongoing progress in the course. At a minimum, bi-weekly one-on-one meetings during the semester are customary and welcomed.

    • (FAH 1493H)The Archive: Logics, Limits, and Remains

      This seminar critically investigates archival logics in terms of their motivating forces, founding principles and desired objectives by deconstructing notions of origin and end, the evidentiary, the formal, and the mnemonic, as these are predicated upon the law of the arche, whether in the form of archives, architecture, archaeology, and related discourses and disciplines. The course will not only examine practices of appropriation, accumulation, and preservation, but will also consider how these generate inassimilable remains as archival excess. Weekly meetings will involve In-depth reading and analysis of the following key texts: Foucault’s The Archaeology of Knowledge; Derrida’s Archive Fever; Agamben’s Remnants of Auschwitz: The Witness and the Archive; Freud’s, Civilization and Its Discontents; Yerushalmi’s, Freud’s Moses: Judaism Terminable and Interminable; and Benjamin’s “Theses on the Philosophy of History.” Art historical references will be drawn from conceptual art, institutional critique, and a so-called “archival impulse,” in contemporary art as evidenced in the work of Thomas Hirschorn, Tacita Dean, and The Atlas Group, amongst others.

    • (FAH 1520H)Photography and Modernism

      This course examines the rise of the photography as an independent artistic medium at the beginning of the twentieth century (i.e., the Secessionist movements) and the role of photography in the historical avant-garde movements of Europe and North America in the period between 1900 to 1950. The course will review how photography provided new ways of seeing and representational practices for such Modernist movements as Dada, Futurism, Bauhaus, and Surrealism in the period between the two World Wars. We will investigate primary source texts and images as well as contemporary historical and critical writings to ascertain the aims and doctrines of photographic modernism and to comprehend both its possibilities and its limits.

    • (FAH1755H)Architecture and the Project of Industrial Modernity

      European architects since the Enlightenment have felt compelled to respond to the advance of industry in articulating their discipline’s purpose and ambitions. This course will examine a series of instances in which designers have not merely engaged with new building technologies, methods, and programs, but have elevated industrial modernity to become an object of critical architectural reflection. In reading these case studies carefully, the seminar will explore a range of historiographic frameworks through which the industrialization of architecture has been conceived.
      Anchored in the “long nineteenth century,” the course emphasizes the interrelation of two major tendencies: the appropriation of new construction technologies and the design of spaces for modern forms of mass production and mass consumption. Other themes include the rise of the engineering profession; nationalism and empire; and transformations in the everyday experience of space.

    • (FAH 1800H)James Wilson Morrice

      James Wilson Morrice (1865-1924) is the Canadian artist most closely associated with issues of early modernism. Born in Montreal, he was educated there and in Toronto (law, University of Toronto, 1882-89), but found his true vocation only when his family allowed him to travel to London, then Paris, to study art. While he remained resident in Paris the rest of his life, he returned to Canada annually until 1916, and was regularly represented in Canadian exhibitions throughout his career. A quiet retiring personality, Morrice nonetheless achieved a certain critical acclaim in Paris before the First World War, and numbered many prominent painters and writers among his friends, primarily within the large Anglo-American community in the period of the Nineties through the turn-of-the-century, but in Fauve circles after 1905 when he became associated with the Salon d'Automne.

      Each participant in the seminar will be expected to investigate Morrice's relationship to one of his artist friends such as the Americans Maurice Prendergast and Robert Henri, or the Frenchmen Albert Marquet and Henri Matisse or with an evident mentor such as Whistler or Manet. The intention is to demonstrate how the study of a Canadian figure can be enlarged significantly through the use of the often extensive and methodologically varied literature available on French, American, and British subjects.

      Topics are chosen and developed through round-table discussions in the early weeks of the seminar, and are presented to the group in penultimate form. The written paper, submitted at end of term, counts for the entire grade.

    • (FAH 1801H)Portraiture in Canda, 1750-1870: Painting into Photography

      This seminar will examine the evolution of portraiture in Canada from the final decade of the French Regime to the accomplishment of Confederation, offering possibilities of investigating technical, social, and stylistic developments within a new area of study in the Art Department that links with our recently established specialization in the history of photography. This was a period of remarkable growth in the incidence of portraiture in Canada, in part due to the heightened apparatus of local governance, but mainly as a consequence of increased immigration and the dramatic rise of a newly wealthy middle class in the wake of growing trade and the onset of the industrial revolution. Portraiture was purveyed initially in the form of oil paintings and watercolours, then proliferated in a range of more popular idioms, including miniatures and silhouettes, culminating finally in daguerreotypes, and contact and projection printed photographs, often elaborately hand-coloured in the later period, better to compete with still-popular oil and watercolour paintings. The seminar will also situate Canadian studies within a broader understanding that encompasses British and European influences and the cross-border traffic of itinerants operating within the Atlantic, St. Lawrence, and Great Lakes regions.

    • (FAH 1870H)Recent Canadian Art in the International Perspective Ecological Art in Canada since the 1960s

      In 2011-12, we will investigate the intersections of four definitive frames in the discipline of art history, using Canadian art and artists in their interactions with international practices as case studies. As the title of this course suggests, we habitually use national groupings to organize our field. More particularly, we employ genres such as landscape, land art, and public art to contour our thinking. Since Montesquieu and Winckelmann in the 18th century, we have also relied on what Thomas Da Costa Kaufmann calls the “geography of art,” defined as “the effect of the environment, cultural and natural, on what humans have created.” Finally, when we speak of the “contemporary” as a temporal category, we tend to assume that it is a global, not national, phenomenon. Our case studies will embrace land & environmental art in Canada since the 1960s. Looking at theoretical materials, international art, and the work of Joyce Wieland, Michael Snow, Paterson Ewen, N.E. Thing Co., Stan Douglas, Isabelle Hayeur, Edward Burtynsky, Roy Arden, Fastwürms, Jeff Wall and others, we will ask if there is a “Canadian” contribution in this genre? While we will range broadly, there will be opportunities for research on nearby works of art and archives held in Toronto.

    • (FAH 1901H)Tom Thomson

      Tom Thomson is widely considered to be one of Canada's most significant artists, a key figure in the emergence of a recognized school of Canadian painting in the first quarter of the twentieth century. While he is also one of the most thoroughly investigated figures in the field, recent studies have suggested a range of new approaches, and this seminar offers the opportunity for students to present papers that could spread new light on our understanding of Thomson's sources - his relationship to the ideas and work of other artists, to popular imagery, to photography, etc. - and of his influence, both as a painter and as a cultural figure inextricably bound into many of the core values of Canadian identity during his lifetime, and in increasingly more complex ways ever since.

    • (FAH 1920H)From Primitivism to Globalism: Theories of Otherness in Modern and Contemporary Arts

      In this seminar we will examine the potency of ideas of "Otherness" in the development of modern and contemporary arts in the last century and the thorny process of interpreting works of art by contemporary non-Western artists in relation to this larger history. Beginning with an analysis of the political and philosophical genealogy of "primitivism" with all of its attendant notions of exoticism, eroticism, and primordialism, the course will then trace the shifting critical theories employed by art historians, critics, visual anthropologists, feminists, and cultural studies scholars alike to frame the politics of representation that underlie our understanding of the contemporary productions of transnational artists.

    • (FAH 1921H)GeoAesthetics

      Many notable contemporary artists take the earth and our human and technological relationship to it as their subject matter (for example, Ana Mendieta, Richard Long, Andy Goldsworthy, James Turrell, Olafur Eliasson, Edward Burtynsky). Art historians, human geographers, environmentalists, and cultural critics have written copiously on the many aspects of the arts of the land in this period. We will investigate and draw inspiration from three central yet too often mutually isolated areas: art history as it understands landscape depiction and land art, what Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari call "geophilosophy," and perhaps most significantly, the practice and reflections of artists as they interact with and challenge the discourses of art history and aesthetics in these areas.

    • (FAH 1923H)Modernist Exiles in Postcolonial Perspective

      This seminar will focus upon the space of exile for artists hailing from outside the European modernist sphere but long active within it. It will ask how displaced artists of non-Western descent, such as South African, Caribbean or Vietnamese artists in Paris, or South Asian artists in London, shaped notions of difference and identity through their nomadic existence and artistic practice. Furthermore, this seminar addresses how 'exile' as a category operates in a postcolonial age. In a world characterized by movement, how does the notion of exile (and diaspora, refugeeism and nomadism) with all its attendant myths of creativity, freedom, nostalgia and loss apply to postcolonial artists?

    • (FAH1933H)Canadian Artist: Michael Snow

      This course examines the work of the Canadian artist Michael Snow, with attention to the principal issues that his work in painting, photography, sculpture, film, music, and combinations of these have instigated. Snow's work has been central to theoretical debate in film studies. It has been addressed as a test case in the service of various critical arguments advanced by critics and philosophers in France, the United States, and Canada. These include Annette Michelson, Regina Cornwell, Theresa De Lauretis and P. Adams Sitney (among film critics), Julia Kristeva (writing on the relative roles of European intellectual and American artist), and Jean François Lyotard (in establishing the field of the postmodern). In Canada, Snow's work has been crucial to discussion of national cultural identity. Readings will reflect the range of Snow's theoretical and critical reception internationally. The course deals with a full range of Snow’s works in visual media (i.e., the Walking Woman series of the 1960s, the sculptural installations of the 1970s, the photo works, holograms and moving-picture installations since the 1980s) and Snow's films, including New York Eye and Ear Control, Wavelength, ‹-----› (Back and Forth), `Rameau's Nephew' by Diderot (Thanx to Dennis Young) by Wilma Schoen, and To Lavoisier, Who Died in the Reign of Terror.

    • (FAH1934H)Cosmopolitan/Comparative Modernisms

      The critical tools acquired from postcolonial and postmodernist discourses - coupled with the growing interest in and studies of the global contemporary art market - have enabled critics, scholars, and curators to broaden historical understandings of the modern. This seminar will address Said’s discussions of the “voyages in” of exiles in interwar and postwar modern Europe, Stuart Hall’s subtle readings of the visual cultures and identities in postwar Britain, and Kobena Mercer’s ongoing projects on the overlapping, imbricated nature of modernist practices, alongside new thinking on cosmopolitanisms by Kristeva, Benhabib and Clifford. These important approaches in the EuroAmerican sphere run parallel to ever-deepening studies of locally-situated, often nationally focused but globally-conscious artistic scenes around the world (often misnamed alternative modernities), including work by Geeta Kapur and Partha Mitter on India, Okwui Enwezor and Chika Okeke, on parts of the African continent, and Gerardo Mosquera and Guy Brett on sites in Latin America.

      This course broadens an ever deepening interest in the global implications of the modern, in a department that features a growing number of scholars with interest and expertise in global modern and contemporary visual cultures and art histories. It will enable graduate students to gain greater insight into current debates on contemporary uses of cosmopolitanism in light of historical models and understandings of the modern.

    • (FAH 1935H)Contemporary Art Practices and the Modernist Archive

      While the allure and mechanisms of the archive have held the attention of modernist scholars for well over a decade, the interest in mining its contents has shifted with the ascendance of the global contemporary—With its presentist and universalist claims, at once disavowing the need for modernist genealogies and simultaneously re-orchestrating them to explain current “global art currents,” theories of the global contemporary seem to require a “backward glance” in the work of artists hailing from beyond the received boundaries of the modern.

      This seminar will address the history of thought surrounding the modernist archive, particularly in light of its presence in the work of many artists from postcolonial and post-trauma sites. It will ask how conversations about imperial nostalgia, postcolonial melancholy and other forms of memory work play out in the works of these artists and how they inform critical re-imaginings of both the materiality and representational politics of the archive. Readings will include Agamben, Buchloh, Derrida, Demos, Enwezor, Foster, Huyssen, and Mbembe.

    • (FAH1940H)Photography and Humour

      What are the ways in which photography as a visual and narrative medium induces laughter and provides amusement? This course explores this question by focusing on major photographic genres throughout the history of the medium and by examining major photographic humourists in particular. The course is particularly concerned with the analysis of key images (both old and new) that mock conventional assumptions made about the nature and function of photography in terms of its claims to truth, identity and reference. The course also includes readings of major philosophers and cultural theorists on the subject of humour and applies them to thinking about photography.

    • (FAH1951H)Contemporary Chinese Art and its Discontents

      This seminar offers a survey of contemporary Chinese art with an emphasis on the contested conditions of art production, display, and interpretation.

      Organized as a series of case studies, this seminar will encourage students to situate contemporary Chinese art within the critical debates on glocalisation, neoliberal world order, and postsocialist condition. Special attention will be given to the positions and interventions of writers from the disciplines of philosophy, anthropology, and sociology together with the leading authors of contemporary Chinese art such as Wu Hung, Ackbar Abbas, Karen Smith, Minglu Gao, Hanru Hou.

    • (FAH1956H)Can Art History Speak Chinese?

      Art history's growing assimilation of regions and cultures outside of Europe and North America has led to a rethinking of the very premise of the discipline itself. As well phrased by James Elkins, "can art history become a discipline that keeps a recognizable shape wherever it is practiced? Are its methods, concepts and purposes suitable for art outside of Europe and North America?...if not, are there alternatives that are compatible with existing modes of art history?" This course encourages students to explore the contested uses of art history in light of the recent studies of Chinese art. Primary attention will be given to the applicability of art historical concepts and methods to non-Western art, which bears the great potential for advancing our understanding of Chinese art yet at the same time the risk of obscuring alternative historiography and epistemology.

    • (COL5100H F)The Late Barthes: The Neutral, Mourning, and Photography

      This seminar examines some of the principal themes in the work of Roland Barthes over what were to be the last three years of his life. Enabled by the recent publication and translation of his lecture courses at the College de France (The Neutral; The Preparation of the Novel), and the mourning diary that he kept in the wake of his mother's death, the course seeks to understand the central importance of the notion of the neutral, the experience of mourning, the evidence of photography, and the notations of homosexual erotics in Barthes' writing and teaching from his Inaugural Lecture at the College on January 7, 1977 to his seminal book on photography, Camera Lucida. Other texts that we will discuss include: Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes; Incidents; as well critical works by Maurice Blanchot, Jacques Derrida, D.A. Miller, Diana Knight, Eduardo Cadava, Geoffrey Batchen and others.

  • Required Courses, courses not fitting into a particular time period, and courses offered in other departments.

    • (FAH 1001)Methods in Art History

      An examination and discussion of major texts and issues related to the theory and practice of art history.

      Required of all PhD students. (With the written permission of the DGS, students may satisfy this requirement with an equivalent course from another institution. In this case, they may substitute another graduate seminar for FAH 1001H in their program).

  • Only one full-course equivalent with these prefixes are permitted in any one degree program.

    • (FAH 3000H,Y)Special Studies In The History Of Art

      (Only 1.0 FCE with this prefix is permitted in any one degree program)

    • (FAH 3011H)Readings in Ancient Art

    • (FAH 3012H)Readings in Medieval Art

    • (FAH 3013H)Readings in Renaissance and Baroque Art

    • (FAH 3014H)Readings in Modern and Contemporary Art

  • The following collaborative programs are available to students in participating degree programs:

    • (GER6000H F)Reading German for Graduate Students

      Time: Tue 3-5, Room: CR405
      Instructor: TBA
      In this course German reading knowledge is taught following the grammar-translation method designed for graduate students from the Humanities. It is an intensive course that covers German grammar with focus on acquiring essential structures of the German language to develop translation skills. The course is conducted in English, and consequently participants do not learn how to speak or write in German, but rather the course focuses exclusively on reading and translating German. Prior knowledge of German not mandatory. By the end of the course, students should be able to handle a broad variety of texts in single modern Standard German.

    • (GER6000H S)Reading German for Graduate Students

      Time: Tue 3-5, Room: CR405
      Instructor: TBA
      In this course German reading knowledge is taught following the grammar-translation method designed for graduate students from the Humanities. It is an intensive course that covers German grammar with focus on acquiring essential structures of the German language to develop translation skills. The course is conducted in English, and consequently participants do not learn how to speak or write in German, but rather the course focuses exclusively on reading and translating German. Prior knowledge of German not mandatory. By the end of the course, students should be able to handle a broad variety of texts in single modern Standard German.
      PDF

    • (FSL 6000H)Reading French Course for Graduate Students

      Open to Masters and PhD graduate students who need to fulfill their graduate language requirement. On a case by case basis, students with prior language qualifications can access the exam-only option (still with course registration) after prior screening by the home department in support of the exam-only option. A grade of Credit/NonCredit (70% is the minimum grade for CR) will be entered on their transcripts.

      Students are not permitted to audit this course.

      This course is designed to develop students' reading skills particularly as they pertain to research interests. Some remedial grammar, but the primary emphasis is on comprehension of a wide variety of texts in French.

      Required texts:
      (1) Stack, Reading French in the Arts and Sciences.
      (2) Resnick, Essential French Grammar.

      Recommended texts:

      (1) Collins-Robert, French-English, English-French Dictionary.
      (2) Bescherelle, L 'Art de conjuguer.

      Assignments and evaluation: Two to four in-class tests (100%). Consult instructor for details.

      Schedule: Tuesday, 4pm to 6pm

      Link

  • You may enroll yourself on SWS/ROSI in any undergraduate language course at no additional cost. Do keep in mind that if you intend on completing the course you must receive a minimum grade of 70% and your transcript will only show it as a Pass or Fail. If you are finding it difficult to continue please drop full year courses on SWS/ROSI before February 24th, 2014 and half year courses by .

    If you encounter a restriction on Rosi please contact the Graduate Assistant.

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