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141 - 150 of 210 results for: ARTHIST

ARTHIST 406: The Alchemy of Art: Substance and Transformation in Artistic Practice (ARTHIST 206)

This seminar considers materiality and processes of material transformation as core elements of artistic practice and the history of making, largely from Sumer (3rd Millennium BCE) until the Early Modern period (18th Century in the West), but with several modern comparisons. Major points of focus will include pre-modern perceptions of the elemental properties of materials as matter, the reflexive relationship between materials and imagination, and the diverse ways in which societies have associated specific substances with social and cultural values. Humanistic perspectives on such issues are augmented by complementary insights from the physical sciences, and references are made to current ideas regarding material agency, affordances, and the imperfect separability of nature and culture. Indeed, a central question underlying all the readings is how to distinguish natural from synthetic: where does nature end and art begin, or maybe where does nature stop?
Last offered: Winter 2021

ARTHIST 406A: Persian Poetry: Text, Space, and Image (ARTHIST 206A, COMPLIT 126, COMPLIT 226)

Featuring several sessions led by distinguished artist Ala Ebtekar, this course traces the nexus of word and image across a millennium of Persian poetry. Our aim is to look at how texts have been represented through images and enacted in public performances, from the tenth century to the present. Topics will range from high to popular culture and include the visual representation of narrative in illuminated manuscripts, the function of calligraphy on sacred and profane buildings, the performance of poetry in mediaeval courts, the use of images in dramatic tellings of the national epic, and the practice of divination by books. What kinds of space are created in these different instances of text and image coming together? What does it mean for our understanding - and experience - of history if verses from the 13th or 14th century are inscribed on the interior of taxi cabs that navigate through the contemporary Iranian city? And how does an ancient text come alive in a performance that seeks to recreate the space of its origin? These are some of the questions that will be explored through an examination of primary sources (both texts and images) as well as theoretical analyses.
Last offered: Spring 2022

ARTHIST 406B: Audiovision in the Medieval Cult of Saints

Medieval art is silent in modern times. Often displayed in sterile museum galleries, it is presented without analytical consideration of the intended envelope of sound, chant, prayer, and recitation. Stripped of this aural atmosphere, the objects have lost the power to signify and to elicit affect. This course, in response, restores aspects of the original soundscape to explore the entanglement of chant and image in medieval times. It is the first to engage with the impact of AudioVision in experiencing medieval art in its original historical context, focusing on the golden statue of Ste. Foy at Conques in Auvergne, France, and its eleventh-century public worship. ARTHIST 206B (the undergraduate version of the course) fulfills DLCL 122: Medieval Manuscripts: Digital Methodologies core course for the Medieval Studies Minor.
Terms: Win | Units: 5

ARTHIST 407: The Resurrected Body: Animacy in Medieval Art (ARTHIST 207)

This course explores the relationship of spirit and matter in medieval art and architecture, more specifically how the changing appearance of objects and spaces evokes the presence of the metaphysical as glitter, reverberation, and shadow. We will engage objects and monuments across the Mediterranean, studying the way they were staged in order to produce the perception of liveliness. The phenomenology of liveliness will be tied to the development of the theology of resurrection of the body.
Last offered: Autumn 2019

ARTHIST 407B: The Art of Travel: Medieval Journeys to the Unknown (ARTHIST 207B)

In many ways, the reasons that medieval people traveled are not unlike our own: to see new sights, make new connections, and return home to regale others with their exploits. Of course, travel was also a more complicated affair, limited to those who could afford the time and money to leave home. Focusing on three famous medieval travelers the pilgrim Egeria, the businessman Benjamin of Tudela, and the invented traveler John Mandeville this course will explore the visual and cultural landscape of global travel in the premodern age.
Last offered: Autumn 2021

ARTHIST 407D: Race and Ethnicity in Premodern Europe (ARTHIST 207D, HISTORY 215B, HISTORY 315B)

How do historians, art historians, and literary historians of premodern Europe shape their research and their teaching around questions of race? How do current debates on race theory shape our perception of the past and deepen historical inquiry? This graduate colloquium focuses on the most recent publications on race in medieval and early modern studies to reflect on such questions while examining the challenges that race studies put on historical definitions, research methodologies, as well as teaching institutions.
Last offered: Winter 2021

ARTHIST 407E: Sacred Play: The Material Culture of Christian Festivals (ARTHIST 207E)

The twentieth-century American poet and esotericist Robert Duncan once called for a return of the medieval calendar, citing its many feast days as an antidote to the modern 'weekend.' Indeed, the medieval Christian calendar was built on festivals, multimedia affairs that took place both within and outside of the purview of the Roman Catholic church, involving visual art, theatrical performances, and religious devotion. Festivals also played a vital role in the spread of Roman Catholicism across the world, especially in colonial contexts, where these spectacular events reveal tensions between colonizers and indigenous populations. This seminar examines the material culture of Catholic festivals from antiquity to the present, exploring how these elaborate events created spaces of both conformity and resistance.
Last offered: Winter 2022

ARTHIST 408: Hagia Sophia (ARTHIST 208, CLASSICS 173, CLASSICS 273)

This seminar uncovers the aesthetic principles and spiritual operations at work in Hagia Sophia, the church dedicated to Holy Wisdom in Constantinople. Rather than a static and inert structure, the Great Church emerges as a material body that comes to life when the morning or evening light resurrects the glitter of its gold mosaics and when the singing of human voices activates the reverberant and enveloping sound of its vast interior. Drawing on art and architectural history, liturgy, musicology, and acoustics, this course explores the Byzantine paradigm of animation arguing that it is manifested in the visual and sonic mirroring, in the chiastic structure of the psalmody, and in the prosody of the sung poetry. Together these elements orchestrate a multi-sensory experience that has the potential to destabilize the divide between real and oneiric, placing the faithful in a space in between terrestrial and celestial. A short film on aesthetics and samples of Byzantine chant digitally imprinted with the acoustics of Hagia Sophia are developed as integral segments of this research; they offer a chance for the student to transcend the limits of textual analysis and experience the temporal dimension of this process of animation of the inert.
Last offered: Winter 2022

ARTHIST 408A: Abject Subjects and Divine Anamorphosis in Byzantine Art (ARTHIST 208A, CLASSICS 119, CLASSICS 319)

Entering the space of the church immediately interpellated the medieval subject, transforming him/her into an abject self, marred by sin. This psychological effect of pricking the conscience was enhanced by the architectural panopticon channeled through the icon of Christ the Judge in the dome confronting the faithful. The texts recited and chanted during the liturgy further helped streamline the process of interpellation: these homilies and chants were structured as a dialogue implicating the sinful self. This course will explore the ecclesiastical space as a divine anamorphosis, an image of God that envelops the subject, transforming him/her into the object of the divine gaze.
Last offered: Spring 2022

ARTHIST 408B: The Art of Medieval Spain: Muslims, Christians, Jews (ARTHIST 208B)

The seminar reveals the religious and ethnic hybridity of the art medieval Spain, where the lives, material cultures, and artistic practices of Muslims, Christians, and Jews were more intertwined than any other region of the medieval world. We work thematically rather than strictly chronologically in order to build a model of engagement with medieval art in which the movement of ideas and objects between the three major religions is in itself a focus of study.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5
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