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Haverford College

2011-12 Course Catalog

At Bryn Mawr: History of Art, 2011-2012

DescriptionFacultyMajor RequirementsMinor RequirementsRequirements for HonorsCoursesDepartment Homepage


Students may complete a major or minor in History of Art.

The curriculum in History of Art immerses students in the study of visual culture. Structured by a set of evolving disciplinary concerns, students learn to interpret the visual through methodologies dedicated to the historical, the material, the critical and the theoretical. Majors are encouraged to supplement courses taken in the department with history of art courses offered at Haverford, Swarthmore and the University of Pennsylvania. Majors are also encouraged to study abroad for a semester.

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Professor David J. Cast
Professor Christiane Hertel
Associate Professor Homay King
Professor and Chair Steven Z. Levine
Professor Gridley McKim-Smith
Professor Lisa R. Saltzman
Lecturer Diala Touré
Assistant Professor Alicia W. Walker

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Major Requirements

The major requires 11 units, approved by the major adviser. A usual sequence of courses would include at least one 100-level "critical approaches" seminar; four 200-level lecture courses; four 300-level seminars; and junior seminar in the fall semester of the junior year and senior conference in the spring semester of senior year. In the course of their departmental studies, students are strongly encouraged to take courses across media and areas, and in at least three of the following fields of study: Ancient and Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque, Modern and Contemporary, Film and Non-Western.

With the approval of the major adviser, courses in fine arts or with significant curricular investment in visual studies may be counted toward the fulfillment of the distribution requirements, such as courses in ancient art offered by the Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology department or in architecture by the Growth and Structure of Cities department. Similarly, courses in art history taken abroad or at another institution in the United States may be counted. Generally, no more than two such courses may be counted toward the major requirements.

A senior paper, based on independent research and using scholarly methods of historical and/or critical interpretation must be submitted at the end of the spring semester. Generally 25-40 pages in length, the senior paper represents the culmination of the departmental experience .

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Minor Requirements

A minor in history of art requires six units: one or two 100-level courses and four or five others selected in consultation with the major adviser.

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Requirements for Honors

Seniors whose work is outstanding will be invited to submit an honors thesis instead of the senior paper. Two or three faculty members discuss the completed thesis with the honors candidate in a one-hour oral examination.

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HART B100 The Stuff of Art (Cross-listed as CHEM B100)

An introduction to chemistry through fine arts, this course emphasizes the close relationship of the fine arts, especially painting, to the development of chemistry and its practice. The historical role of the material in the arts, in alchemy and in the developing science of chemistry, will be discussed, as well as the synergy between these areas. Relevant principles of chemistry will be illustrated through the handling, synthesis and/or transformations of the material. This course does not count towards chemistry major requirements, and is not suitable for premedical programs. Lecture 90 minutes, laboratory three hours a week. Enrollment limited to 20.

HART B104 Critical Approaches to Visual Representation: The Classical Tradition

An investigation of the historical and philosophical ideas of the classical, with particular attention to the Italian Renaissance and the continuance of its formulations throughout the Westernized world.

HART B107 Critical Approaches to Visual Representation: Self and Other in the Arts of France

A study of artists’ self-representations in the context of the philosophy and psychology of their time, with particular attention to issues of political patronage, gender and class, power and desire.

HART B108 Critical Approaches to Visual Representation: Women, Feminism, and History of Art

An investigation of the history of art since the Renaissance organized around the practice of women artists, the representation of women in art and the visual economy of the gaze.

HART B110 Critical Approaches to Visual Representation: Identification in the Cinema

An introduction to the analysis of film through particular attention to the role of the spectator. Counts toward Film Studies concentration.

HART B115 Classical Art (Cross-listed as ARCH B115, CITY B115 and CSTS B115)

An introduction to the visual arts of ancient Greece and Rome from the Bronze Age through Late Imperial times (circa 3000 B.C.E. to 300 C.E.). Major categories of artistic production are examined in historical and social context, including interactions with neighboring areas and cultures; methodological and interpretive issues are highlighted. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B125 Classical Myths in Art and in the Sky (Cross-listed as ARCH B125 and CSTS B125)

This course explores Greek and Roman mythology using an archaeological and art historical approach, focusing on the ways in which the traditional tales of the gods and heroes were depicted, developed and transmitted in the visual arts such as vase painting and architectural sculpture, as well as projected into the natural environment. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B190 The Form of the City: Urban Form from Antiquity to the Present (Cross-listed as CITY-B190 and HART-B190)

J.Cohen, C.Hein
This course studies the city as a three-dimensional artifact. A variety of factors–geography, economic and population structure, politics, planning and aesthetics–are considered as determinants of urban form. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B204 Greek Sculpture (Cross-listed as ARCH B205)

One of the best-preserved categories of evidence for ancient Greek culture is sculpture. The Greeks devoted immense resources to producing sculpture that encompassed many materials and forms and served a variety of important social functions. This course examines sculptural production in Greece and neighboring lands from the Bronze Age through the fourth century B.C.E. with special attention to style, iconography and historical and social context. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B205 Introduction to Film (Cross-listed as ENGL B205)

M. Tratner, H. Nguyen
This course is intended to provide students with the tools of critical film analysis. Through readings of images and sounds, sections of films and entire narratives, students will cultivate the habits of critical viewing and establish a foundation for focused work in film studies. The course introduces formal and technical units of cinematic meaning and categories of genre and history that add up to the experiences and meanings we call cinema. Although much of the course material will focus on the Hollywood style of film, examples will be drawn from the history of cinema. Attendance at weekly screenings is mandatory. Counts toward Film Studies concentration. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B206 Hellenistic and Roman Sculpture (Cross-listed as ARCH B206)

This course surveys the sculpture produced from the fourth century B.C.E. to the fourth century C.E., the period beginning with the death of Alexander the Great that saw the transformation of the classical world through the rise of Rome and the establishment and expansion of the Roman Empire. Style, iconography and production will be studied in the contexts of the culture of the Hellenistic kingdoms, the Roman appropriation of Greek culture, the role of art in Roman society and the significance of Hellenistic and Roman sculpture in the post-antique classical tradition. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B209 Topics in Chinese Cultural History (Cross-listed as EAST-B210)

This is a topics course. Topics vary. Current course description: The Chinese Visual Imagination.

HART B210 Medieval Art

An overview of artistic production in Europe from antiquity to the 14th century. Special attention will be paid to problems of interpretation and recent developments in art-historical scholarship. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B212 Medieval Architecture (Cross-listed as CITY B212)

This course takes a broad geographic and chronological scope, allowing for full exposure to the rich variety of objects and monuments that fall under the rubric of "medieval" art and architecture. We focus on the Latin and Byzantine Christian traditions, but also consider works of art and architecture from the Islamic and Jewish spheres. Topics include: the role of religion in artistic development and expression; secular traditions of medieval art and culture; the use of objects and monuments to convey political power and social prestige; gender dynamics in medieval visual culture; and the contribution of medieval art and architecture to later artistic traditions.

HART B213 Theory in Practice: Critical Discourses in the Humanities (Cross-listed as PHIL-B253, COML-B213, FREN-B213 and GERM-B213)

R. Dostal
This seminar provides exposure to influential 20th-century French thinkers. It will examine three major currents: Postcolonial Theory, Feminist Theory, Post-Structuralist Theory. The primary goal here is to introduce students to exciting and difficult critical thought that will prove useful to their future studies and will begin to develop necessary critical skills. While the materials covered are primarily grounded in French intellectual history, the course will also spend time situating these intellectual currents in broader transnational and transdisciplinary contexts. This is a required course for the French major. Course taught in English and serving the humanities.

HART B215 Russian Avant-Garde Art, Literature and Film (Cross-listed as RUSS-B215)

T. Harte
This course focuses on Russian avant-garde painting, literature and cinema at the start of the 20th century. Moving from Imperial Russian art to Stalinist aesthetics, we explore the rise of non-objective painting (Malevich, Kandinsky, etc.), ground-breaking literature (Bely, Mayakovsky) and revolutionary cinema (Vertov, Eisenstein). No knowledge of Russian required. Counts toward Film Studies concentration.

HART B227 Topics in Modern Planning (Cross-listed as CITY B227, FREN B227 and GERM B227)

This course examines topics in planning as defined by specific areas (modern European metropoles) or themes (the impact of oil). It is a writing intensive course. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B229 Comparative Urbanism (Cross-listed as CITY B229, ANTH B229, EAST B229)

This is a topics course. Topics vary. Enrollment limited to 20 with preference to Cities majors. Current topic description: Conquest, subordination, hybridities, resistance and post-colonial reconfigurations have shaped cities and citizens worldwide for millennia. Beginning from the work of Fanon, we explore political economics, architecture, planning, culture and social struggle via British rule (Hong Kong, Belfast), French domination (Paris, North Africa) and dialectics of the U.S.-Mexico border. The class entails systematic comparison through research, discussion and writing. Cross-listed as CITY-B229, ANTH-B229 and EAST-B229. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B230 Renaissance Art

A survey of painting in Florence and Rome in the 15th and 16th centuries (Giotto, Masaccio, Botticelli, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael) with particular attention to contemporary intellectual, social and religious developments. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B234 Picturing Women in Classical Antiquity (Cross-listed as ARCH B234 and CSTS B234)

We investigate representations of women in different media in ancient Greece and Rome, examining the cultural stereotypes of women and the gender roles that they reinforce. We also study the daily life of women in the ancient world, the objects that they were associated with in life and death and their occupations. Counts toward Gender and Sexuality Studies concentration. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B238 The History of Cinema 1895 to 1945 Silent Film: From United States to Soviet Russia and Beyond (Cross-listed as ENGL B238, COML B238 and RUSS B238)

This course will explore cinema from its earliest, most primitive beginnings up to the end of the silent era. While the course will focus on a variety of historical and theoretical aspects of cinema, the primary aim is to look at films analytically. Emphasis will be on the various artistic methods that went into the direction and production of a variety of celebrated silent films from around the world. These films will be considered in many contexts: artistic, historical, social and even philosophical, so that students can develop a deeper understanding of silent cinema’s rapid evolution. Counts toward Film Studies concentration. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B241 New Visual Worlds in the Spanish Empire 1492 - 1820

The events of 1492 changed the world. Visual works made at the time of the Conquest of the Caribbean, Mexico and South America by Spain and Portugal reveal multiple and often conflicting political, racial and ethnic agendas.

HART B242 Material Identities in Latin America 1820-2010

G.McKim Smith
Revolutions in Latin America begin around 1810. By the 20th and 21st centuries, there is an international viewership for the works of Latin American artists, and in the 21st century the production of Latina and Latino artists living in the United States becomes particularly important.

HART B250 Nineteenth-Century Art in France

Close attention is selectively given to the work of Cézanne, Courbet, David, Degas, Delacroix, Géricault, Ingres, Manet and Monet. Extensive readings in art criticism are required. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B253 Survey of Western Architecture (Cross-listed as CITY B253 and HIST B253)

The major traditions in Western architecture are illustrated through detailed analysis of selected examples from classical antiquity to the present.

HART B254 History of Modern Architecture (Cross-listed as CITY B254)

A survey of the development of modern architecture since the 18th century. The course concentrates on the period since 1890, especially in Europe and North America.

HART B260 Modern Art

This course will involve an inquiry into the history of 20th-century visual culture, European and American, through an exploration of art practice, art history, art criticism and art theory. Against the dominant and paradigmatic theorization of modernism, the course will introduce and mobilize materials aimed at its critique. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B266 Contemporary Art: 1945 to the Global Present

America, Europe and beyond, from the 1950s to the present, in visual media and visual theory.

HART B272 Topics in Early and Medieval China (Cross-listed as EAST B272 and CITY B273)

This is a topics course. Course content varies. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B280 Video Practices: Analog to Digital (Cross-listed as ENGL-B280)

H. Nguyen
This course explores the history and theory of video art from the late 1960’s to the present. The units include: aesthetics, activism, access, performance and institutional critique. We will reflect on early video’s "utopian moment" and its manifestation in the current new media revolution. Feminist, people of color and queer productions will constitute the majority of our corpus. Prerequisite: ENGL/HART B205 Intro to Film or consent of the instructor. Counts toward Gender and Sexuality Studies concentration. Counts toward Film Studies concentration. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B282 Arts of Sub-Saharan Africa

This course examines the significant artistic and architectural traditions of African cultures south of the Sahara in their religious, philosophical, political and social aspects.

HART B299 History of Narrative Cinema, 1945 to Present (Cross-listed as ENGL B299)

This course surveys the history of narrative film from 1945 through the contemporary moment. We will analyze a series of styles and national cinemas in chronological order, including Italian Neorealism, the French New Wave and other post-war movements and genres. Viewings of canonical films will be supplemented by more recent examples of global cinema. While historical in approach, this course emphasizes the theory and criticism of the sound film, and we will consider various methodological approaches to the aesthetic, socio-political and psychological dimensions of cinema. Fulfills the history requirement or the introductory course requirement for the Film Studies minor.

HART B305 Classical Bodies (Cross-listed as ARCH B303)

An examination of the conceptions of the human body evidenced in Greek and Roman art and literature, with emphasis on issues that have persisted in the Western tradition. Topics include the fashioning of concepts of male and female standards of beauty and their implications; conventions of visual representation; the nude; clothing and its symbolism; the athletic ideal; physiognomy; medical theory and practice; the visible expression of character and emotions; and the formulation of the "classical ideal" in antiquity and later times. Counts toward Gender and Sexuality Studies concentration. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B306 Film Theory (Cross-listed as ENGL B306 and COML B306)

An introduction to major developments in film theory and criticism. Topics covered include: the specificity of film form; cinematic realism; the cinematic "author;" the politics and ideology of cinema; the relation between cinema and language; spectatorship, identification and subjectivity; archival and historical problems in film studies; the relation between film studies and other disciplines of aesthetic and social criticism. Each week of the syllabus pairs critical writing(s) on a central principle of film analysis with a cinematic example. Class will be divided between discussion of critical texts and attempts to apply them to a primary cinematic text. Counts toward Film Studies concentration. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B311 Topics in Medieval Art (Cross-listed as CITY B312)

This is a topics course. Course content varies. Current topic description: Through case studies of specific cultural groups and their architectural traditions, this seminar traces the development of Islamic sacred space during the seventh to the 20th centuries, from North America to India. Readings address both the historical contexts in which buildings were produced as well as the rituals and beliefs that gave them meaning. Critical texts from architectural theory provide students with a foundation in the methods and concepts that have shaped scholarly discourse on sacred space in the modern era.

HART B323 Topics in Renaissance Art (Cross-listed as CITY B323)

Selected subjects in Italian art from painting, sculpture and architecture between the years 1400 and 1600.

HART B331 Palladio and Neo-Palladianism (Cross-listed as CITY B331)

A seminar on the diffusion of Palladian architecture from the 16th century to the present. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B334 Topics in Film Studies (Cross-listed as ENGL B334)

This is a topics course. Content varies. Current topic description: Picturing the Invisible. In what ways do film, photography and digital media shape the space of public appearance? To what extent are political, social and cultural recognition predicated on the capacity to appear in photographs, on film, on television, on the internet, and in classrooms and museums? We will explore topics such as 1) how invisible and marginal subjects are to be pictured; 2) how existing repertoires of images affect who and what can appear; and 3) how the censorship, circulation and exhibition of images factor into public visibility. Counts toward Gender and Sexuality Studies concentration. Counts toward Film Studies concentration.

HART B336 Topics in Film (Cross-listed as ENGL B336)

This course examines experimental film and video from the 1930s to present. It will concentrate on the use of found footage: the reworking of existing imagery in order to generate new aesthetic frameworks and cultural meanings. Key issues to be explored include copyright, piracy, archive, activism, affect, aesthetics, interactivity and fandom. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B340 Topics in Baroque Art (Cross-listed as COML B340)

This is a topics course. Course content varies. Counts toward Gender and Sexuality Studies concentration. Not offered in 2011-12

HART B348 Advanced Topics in German Cultural Studies (Cross-listed as GERM B321, CITY B319 and COML B321)

C.Hertel, I.Meyer
This is a topics course. Course content varies. Topic for 2011-12 is The Transnational Cosmopolitanism of Swiss Literature. Counts toward Gender and Sexuality Studies concentration. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B350 Topics in Modern Art

This is a topics course. Topics vary. Current topic description: Portraiture and Self-Portraiture, from 16th-century courts to the internet today.

HART B354 Topics in Art Criticism (Cross-listed as COML-B354 and HEBR-B354)

Individual topics in art-historical methodology, such as art and psychoanalysis, feminism, post-structuralism or semiotics are treated. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B355 Topics in the History of London (Cross-listed as CITY B355 or HIST B355)

Selected topics of social, literary and architectural concern in the history of London, emphasizing London since the 18th century. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B358 Topics in Classical Art and Archaeology (Cross-listed as ARCH B359 and CSTS B359)

A research-oriented course taught in seminar format, treating issues of current interest in Greek and Roman art and archaeology. Prerequisites: 200-level coursework in some aspect of classical or related cultures, archeology or art history. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B362 The African Art Collection

D. Touré
This seminar will introduce students to the African art holdings that are part of the Art and Archaeology Collections.

HART B367 Asian American Film, Video and New Media (Cross-listed as ENGL B367)

The course explores the role of pleasure in the production, reception and performance of Asian American identities in film, video and the internet, taking as its focus the sexual representation of Asian Americans in works produced by Asian American artists from 1915 to present. In several units of the course, we will study graphic sexual representations, including pornographic images and sex acts some may find objectionable. Students should be prepared to engage analytically with all class material. To maintain an atmosphere of mutual respect and solidarity among the participants in the class, no auditors will be allowed. Counts toward Gender and Sexuality Studies concentration. Counts toward Film Studies concentration. Not offered in 2011-12.

HART B377 Topics in Modern Architecture (Cross-listed as CITY B377)

This is a topics course on modern architecture. Topics vary. Current topic description: This course uses the global architecture of oil–its extraction, administration and resale–to examine the impact of international economic networks on architecture and urban form since the mid-19th century.

HART B380 Topics in Contemporary Art (Cross-listed as GERM B380 and HEBR B380)

This is a topics course. Course content varies. Current topic description: Even as "performance art" came to stand as a dynamic site of aesthetic experimentation and critical inquiry, it was only the most explicit instance of the ethical and political claims to "representation" at work and at play across a history of 20th century visual practice. Portraiture and photography, video and film became sites and situations of expressions and subversions of categorical identities. It will be the challenge of the seminar to immerse students in the project of re-thinking the aesthetic and ethical implications of the bodies that structure visual modernity and its inheritance.

HART B397 Junior Seminar

C.Hertel, S.Levine
Designed to introduce majors to the canonical texts in the field of art history and to formalize their understanding of art history as a discipline. Required of and limited to History of Art majors.

HART B399 Senior Conference

D.Cast, A.Walker, L.Saltzman
A seminar for the discussion of senior research papers and such theoretical and historical concerns as may be appropriate to them. Interim oral reports. Required of all majors; culminates in the senior paper.

HART B403 Supervised Work

Advanced students may do independent research under the supervision of a faculty member whose special competence coincides with the area of the proposed research. Consent of the supervising faculty member and of the major adviser is required.

HART B425 Praxis III

Students are encouraged to develop internship projects in the college’s collections and other art institutions in the region.

HART B610 Topics in Medieval Art

This is a topics course. Course content varies. Current course description: Constantinople, Queen of Cities. Admission by permission of instructor.

HART B645 Problems in Representation-Realism

This seminar examines, as philosophy and history, the idea of realism, as seen in the visual arts since the Renaissance and beyond to the 19th and 20th centuries. Admission by permission of instructor.

HART B650 Topics in Modern Art

S. Levine
Topics include semiotics, psychoanalysis, phenomenology, deconstruction, feminism, Marxism. Current topic description: Manet, Monet and Modernism. Admission by permission of instructor.

HART B680 Topics in 20th C. Art

L. Saltzman
This is a topics course. Course content varies. Current topic description: Photography and its Afterlife. This seminar will engage the history and theory of photography, as well as its "afterlife" in contemporary art and other forms of visual culture.

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