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ARTHIST 100N: The Artist in Ancient Greek Society (CLASSICS 18N)

Given the importance of art to all aspects of their lives, the Greeks had reason to respect their artists. Yet potters, painters and even sculptors possessed little social standing. Why did the Greeks value the work of craftsmen but not the men themselves? Why did Herodotus dismiss those who worked with their hands as "mechanics?" What prompted Homer to claim that "there is no greater glory for a man than what he achieves with his own hands," provided that he was throwing a discus and not a vase on a wheel? Painted pottery was essential to the religious and secular lives of the Greeks. Libations to the gods and to the dead required vessels from which to pour them. Economic prosperity depended on the export of wine and oil in durable clay containers. At home, depictions of gods and heroes on vases reinforced Greek values and helped parents to educate their children. Vases depicting Dionysian excess were produced for elite symposia, from which those who potted and painted them were exclu more »
Given the importance of art to all aspects of their lives, the Greeks had reason to respect their artists. Yet potters, painters and even sculptors possessed little social standing. Why did the Greeks value the work of craftsmen but not the men themselves? Why did Herodotus dismiss those who worked with their hands as "mechanics?" What prompted Homer to claim that "there is no greater glory for a man than what he achieves with his own hands," provided that he was throwing a discus and not a vase on a wheel? Painted pottery was essential to the religious and secular lives of the Greeks. Libations to the gods and to the dead required vessels from which to pour them. Economic prosperity depended on the export of wine and oil in durable clay containers. At home, depictions of gods and heroes on vases reinforced Greek values and helped parents to educate their children. Vases depicting Dionysian excess were produced for elite symposia, from which those who potted and painted them were excluded. Sculptors were less lowly but still regarded as "mechanics," with soft bodies and soft minds (Xenophon), "indifferent to higher things" (Plutarch). The seminar addresses such issues as we work to acknowledge our own privilege and biases. Students will read and discuss texts, write response papers and present slide lectures on aspects of the artist's profession.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
Instructors: Maxmin, J. (PI)

ARTHIST 101: Introduction to Greek Art I: The Archaic Period (CLASSICS 161)

The class considers the development of Greek art from 1000-480 and poses the question, how Greek was Greek art? In the beginning, as Greece emerges from 200 years of Dark Ages, their art is cautious, conservative and more abstract than life-like, closer to Calder than Michelangelo. While Homer describes the rippling muscles (and egos) of Bronze Age heroes, his fellow painters and sculptors prefer abstraction. This changes in the 7th century, when travel to and trade with the Near East transform Greek culture. What had been an insular society becomes cosmopolitan, enriched by the sophisticated artistic traditions of lands beyond the Aegean "frog pond." Imported Near Eastern bronzes and ivories awaken Greek artists to a wider range of subjects, techniques and ambitions. Later in the century, Greeks in Egypt learn to quarry and carve hard stone from Egyptian masters. Throughout the 6th century, Greek artists absorb what they had borrowed, compete with one another, defy their teachers, tes more »
The class considers the development of Greek art from 1000-480 and poses the question, how Greek was Greek art? In the beginning, as Greece emerges from 200 years of Dark Ages, their art is cautious, conservative and more abstract than life-like, closer to Calder than Michelangelo. While Homer describes the rippling muscles (and egos) of Bronze Age heroes, his fellow painters and sculptors prefer abstraction. This changes in the 7th century, when travel to and trade with the Near East transform Greek culture. What had been an insular society becomes cosmopolitan, enriched by the sophisticated artistic traditions of lands beyond the Aegean "frog pond." Imported Near Eastern bronzes and ivories awaken Greek artists to a wider range of subjects, techniques and ambitions. Later in the century, Greeks in Egypt learn to quarry and carve hard stone from Egyptian masters. Throughout the 6th century, Greek artists absorb what they had borrowed, compete with one another, defy their teachers, test the tolerance of the gods and eventually produce works of art that speak with a Greek accent. By the end of the archaic period, images of gods and mortals bear little trace of alien influence or imprint, yet without the contributions of Egypt and the Near East, Greek art as we know it would have been unthinkable.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
Instructors: Maxmin, J. (PI)

ARTHIST 102: Introduction to Greek Art II: The Classical Period (CLASSICS 162)

The class begins with the art, architecture and political ideals of Periclean Athens, from the emergence of the city as the political and cultural center of Greece in 450 to its defeat in the Peloponnesian War in 404. It then considers how the Athenians (shell-shocked from war and three outbreaks of plague) and the rest of 4th century Greece rebuild their lives and the monuments that define them. Earlier 5th century traditions endure, with subtle changes, in the work of sculptors such as Kephisodotos. Less subtle are the outlook and output of his son Praxiteles. In collaboration with Phryne, his muse and mistress, Praxiteles challenged the canons and constraints of the past with the first female nude in the history of Greek sculpture. His gender-bending gods and men were equally audacious, their shiny surfaces reflecting Plato's discussion of Eros and androgyny. Scopas was also a man of his time, but pursued different interests. Drawn to the interior lives of men and woman, his torment more »
The class begins with the art, architecture and political ideals of Periclean Athens, from the emergence of the city as the political and cultural center of Greece in 450 to its defeat in the Peloponnesian War in 404. It then considers how the Athenians (shell-shocked from war and three outbreaks of plague) and the rest of 4th century Greece rebuild their lives and the monuments that define them. Earlier 5th century traditions endure, with subtle changes, in the work of sculptors such as Kephisodotos. Less subtle are the outlook and output of his son Praxiteles. In collaboration with Phryne, his muse and mistress, Praxiteles challenged the canons and constraints of the past with the first female nude in the history of Greek sculpture. His gender-bending gods and men were equally audacious, their shiny surfaces reflecting Plato's discussion of Eros and androgyny. Scopas was also a man of his time, but pursued different interests. Drawn to the interior lives of men and woman, his tormented Trojan War heroes and victims are still scarred by memories of the Peloponnesian War, and a world away from the serene faces of the Parthenon. His Maenad, who has left this world for another, belongs to the same years as Euripides' Bacchae and, at the same time, anticipates the torsion and turbulence of Bernini and the Italian Baroque. The history and visual culture of these years remind us that we are not alone, that the Greeks grappled as we do with the inevitability and consequences of war, disease and inner daemons.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
Instructors: Maxmin, J. (PI)

ARTHIST 105B: Medieval Journeys: Introduction through the Art and Architecture (ARTHIST 305B, DLCL 123)

The course explores the experience and imagination of medieval journeys through an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, and skills-based approaches. As a foundations class, this survey of medieval culture engages in particular the art and architecture of the period. The Middle Ages is presented as a network of global economies, fueled by a desire for natural resources, access to luxury goods and holy sites. We will study a large geographical area encompassing the British Isles, Europe, the Mediterranean, Central Asia, India, and East Africa and trace the connectivity of these lands in economic, political, religious, and artistic terms from the fourth to the fourteenth century C.E. The students will have two lectures and one discussion session per week. Depending on the size of the class, it is possible that a graduate student TA will run the discussion session. Our goal is to give a skills-oriented approach to the Middle Ages and to engage students in creative projects that will satisfy either the Ways-Creative Expression requirement or Ways-Engaging Difference. NOTE: for AY 2018-19 HISTORY 115D Europe in the Middle Ages, 300-1500 counts for DLCL 123.
Last offered: Spring 2020 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-CE, WAY-ED

ARTHIST 106: Byzantine Art and Architecture, 300-1453 C.E. (ARTHIST 306, CLASSICS 171)

This course explores the art and architecture of the Eastern Mediterranean: Constantinople, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch, Damascus, Thessaloniki, and Palermo, 4th-15th centuries. Applying an innovative approach, we will probe questions of phenomenology and aesthetics, focusing our discussion on the performance and appearance of spaces and objects in the changing diurnal light, in the glitter of mosaics and in the mirror reflection and translucency of marble.
Last offered: Spring 2021 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

ARTHIST 142: Architecture Since 1900 (CEE 32G)

Art 142 is an introduction to the history of architecture since 1900 and how it has shaped and been shaped by its cultural contexts. The class also investigates the essential relationship between built form and theory during this period.
Last offered: Winter 2021 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

ARTHIST 143A: American Architecture (AMSTUD 143A, ARTHIST 343A, CEE 32R)

A historically based understanding of what defines American architecture. What makes American architecture American, beginning with indigenous structures of pre-Columbian America. Materials, structure, and form in the changing American context. How these ideas are being transformed in today's globalized world.
Last offered: Autumn 2019 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

ARTHIST 147: Modernism and Modernity (ARTHIST 347)

This course focuses on European and American art and visual culture between the mid-nineteenth and the mid-twentieth centuries. We will begin and end in Paris, exploring visual expressions of modernism as they were shaped by industrialization and urban renewal, the fantasies and realities of Orientalism and colonial exploitation, changing gender expectations, racial difference, and world war. Encompassing a wide range of media, the course explores modernism as a compelling dream of utopian possibilities challenged by the conditions of social life in the context of diversity and difference.
Last offered: Spring 2021 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

ARTHIST 152: The American West (AMSTUD 124A, ENGLISH 124, HISTORY 151, POLISCI 124A)

The American West is characterized by frontier mythology, vast distances, marked aridity, and unique political and economic characteristics. This course integrates several disciplinary perspectives into a comprehensive examination of Western North America: its history, physical geography, climate, literature, art, film, institutions, politics, demography, economy, and continuing policy challenges. Students examine themes fundamental to understanding the region: time, space, water, peoples, and boom and bust cycles.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-A-II, WAY-SI

ARTHIST 164: History of World Cinema III: Queer Cinema around the World (ARTHIST 364, CSRE 102C, CSRE 302C, FILMEDIA 100C, FILMEDIA 300C, GLOBAL 193, GLOBAL 390, TAPS 100C, TAPS 300C)

Provides an overview of cinema from around the world since 1960, highlighting the cultural, political, and economic forces that have shaped various film movements over the last six decades. We study key film movements and national cinemas towards developing a formal, historical, theoretical appreciation of a variety of commercial and art film traditions. Specific topics may vary by term/year/instructor. This term's topic, Queer Cinema around the World, studies the relationship of gender, sexuality, and cinematic representation trans-regionally and transnationally. Moving beyond the Euro-American focus of gender and sexuality studies and queer cinema courses, this course will foster an examination of queerness, sexual minorities, same-sex desire, LGBTQI+ rights, censorship, precarity, and hopefulness in relation to race, nationalism, religion, and region. Through film and video from Kenya, Hong Kong, India, The Dominican Republic, South Korea, Spain, Palestine, Argentina, the US (Black, indigenous cinemas, for instance), South Africa, Colombia etc., this course will engage with a range of queer cinematic forms and queer spectatorial practices in different parts of the world.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
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