Art History Courses (ARTH)

Courses

ARTH 101 | INTRODUCTION TO THE HISTORY OF ART

Units: 3

This course is an introduction to many of the theories and methods that have been used by art historians. The visual foci will include conventional works of art as well as a variety of other visual media, including the museum setting and its strategies of display.

ARTH 109 | INTRODUCTION TO SOUND ART

Units: 3

A survey of the natural, cultural, historical and artistic experience of sound with an emphasis on the use of sound in artistic and critical engagements with the world. Topics include: acoustic ecology; philosophy of music; musical instrument technology; scientific and mathematical application of sound; radical challenges to musical traditions in the 20th century including electronic, experimental and improvised musics, installations and sound sculpture; technologies of sound reproduction; copyright and technological change; sampling; and DJ culture. Cross-listed as MUSC 109.

ARTH 121 | INTRODUCTION TO MODERN ARCHITECTURE

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

A survey of the intellectual origins, artistic concerns and utopian programs of the Modern Movement in architecture. The course examines how modern architecture responded to the social, political, and technological changes in the years between 1750 and 1960. Topics include a wide range of debates on class, race, gender, nationalism, and colonialism, linking them to the questions of housing, domesticity, privacy, and standardization, as well as to the formal vocabularies of modern architecture. Cross-listed as ARCH 121.

ARTH 133 | INTRODUCTION TO ART HISTORY I

Units: 3

A critical survey of western art history from prehistory through the Middle Ages.

ARTH 134 | INTRODUCTION TO ART HISTORY II

Units: 3

A critical survey of western art history from the Renaissance to the present.

ARTH 136 | THE YEAR 1500: A GLOBAL HISTORY OF ART AND ARCHITECTURE

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This survey introduces students to the art and architecture of some of the many cultures that flourished around the year 1500: Italy and the Netherlands, the Ottoman empire, the Safavid dynasty in Iran, the rising Mughals in India, the Ming dynasty in China, and the Muromachi shogunate in Japan. The class discusses these artistic traditions in their own right, while at the same time emphasizing thematic and stylistic relationships and cross-cultural influences. The survey challenges the primacy of European artistic norms, and invites students to experience the diversity and complexity of the definition of art in the age of exploration.

ARTH 138 | ART AND VISUAL CULTURE

Units: 3-4 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

This introductory seminar is designed to introduce students to the questions and debates that propel art history and the methodologies that have shaped its unfolding shifts in strategy. While topics will vary from year to year, the central focus of the course will be constant: to equip students to look purposefully, critically, and contextually at images, mindful of the ways that meaning is produced and perceived.

ARTH 140 | THE BUDDHIST TEMPLE

Units: 3

This course considers the forms and roles taken by temples as they followed the spread of Buddhism from ancient India throughout the world. We will pay close attention to the roles played by visual and material culture in how Buddhist communities in Asia and the United States have sought balance between tradition and adaptation.

ARTH 144 | INTRODUCTION TO CINEMA

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This course is an introduction to film form and the historical, industrial, and cultural contexts that make form significant for analysis. This class aims to equip students to look purposefully, critically and contextually at the moving image, mindful of the ways that meaning is produced and received.

ARTH 275 | STUDY ABROAD IN ART HISTORY

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

An investigation of site-specific issues or topics in art history, offered by a USD affiliated program abroad. Can be repeated once for credit. Two sections of ARTH 275 can be taken concurrently during a study abroad semester or summer.

ARTH 321 | CITY AND UTOPIA: INTRODUCTION TO HISTORY OF URBANISM

Units: 3

This course surveys the relation between social and physical space in the formation of modern cities, as well as in the formation of modern disciplines, city planning, and urban design. It examines how the projects of social reform and political control shaped the grand urban projects and the “master plans”  of the 19th and 20th centuries. This course is intended to introduce students to a history of ideas in modern urbanism and enhance their understanding of the city as a symbolic form. Cross-listed as ARCH 321.

ARTH 322 | CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This course aims at a synoptic view of architecture and the debates surrounding it from 1945 to the present. In addition to foundational readings in architectural history and theory, this course examines design projects by some of the most influential architects of the second half of the 20th century. Cross-listed as ARCH 322.

ARTH 323 | MEMORY, MONUMENT, MUSEUM: POLITICS OF DISPLAY

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This course examines museums, monuments, and other sites of cultural memory, understood both as powerful institutions and distinct architectural spaces. We will begin with a critical investigation of the legacy of Europe’s and America’s great museums, which epitomize the political aspirations of the colonial empires and nation states that built them. Central to this discussion are the problems that come along with the representations of identity and difference—cultural, racial, class-based and gendered—in the museum. In this course we will tackle the cultural heritage, and symbolic violence of colonialism today, as expressed in the current debates of cultural repatriation and restitution.

ARTH 330 | SPECIAL TOPICS IN THE HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN

Units: 3

A focused investigation of select issues in architectural and design history. Topics vary. Cross-listed as ARCH 330.

ARTH 331 | ART IN PUBLIC SPACES

Units: 3

A consideration of the expressive import and historical context of art in public places, with emphasis on work since World War II.

ARTH 333 | MODERN ART: 1780-1920

Units: 3

This course will examine the emergence of modern art in Western Europe during the years of radical transformation bracketed by the French Revolution and the First World War: from Jacques-Louis David’s images of Revolution and Empire, and Goya’s dissonant revelations of human irrationality, to the fragmentation of Cubism, irony of Dada, and subjectivity of Surrealism.

ARTH 334 | ART OF THE TWENTIETH AND TWENTY FIRST CENTURIES IN EUROPE AND THE AMERICAS

Units: 3

From World War I to the close of the Cold War, from the advent of the movies to the electronic promiscuities of the Web, the unities of the modern world have dissolved into the multiplicities of postmodernity. The ways that art has intersected with the momentous shifts in life will be considered. In the utopian dreams of Constructivism, philosophical reveries of Cubism, subversions of Dada, and introversions of Surrealism and Expressionism, and in the low-brow allusion of pop art, unboundedness of performance art, and media-mimicking interventions of the 1990s, artists have probed the meaning of human experience and action in the 20th and 21st centuries.

ARTH 336 | HISTORY AND THEORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Units: 3

This course surveys the history of photography from its origins in the early 19th century to the present. Students will explore historical debates about photography’s status as a fine art, as well as current issues in photographic theory.

ARTH 340 | BIOGRAPHIES OF WORLD CITIES

Units: 3

This course is a focused survey of the arts and architecture of a great city throughout history. It examines how shifting social contexts and patronage shaped the monuments of art and architecture; how the function and meaning of these monuments have changed in subsequent stages of the city's history; how the traces of past architecture - the archaeological strata - structure the city's present form; and how the monuments record the individual experiences and collective memory of a city's inhabitants. Students will learn to analyze art and architecture based on firsthand experience, field surveys, and faculty-guided research. Offered mainly as a study abroad course by the USD faculty during the winter Intersession or summer programs. Cities may include Rome, Istanbul, Madrid, Paris, London, Mexico City and Los Angeles, among others. Cross-listed as ARCH 340.

ARTH 345 | THE AVANT-GARDE AND MASS CULTURE: ART AND POLITICS

Units: 3

This course will examine the intersections between mass culture and the artistic movements in the first decades of the 20th century which came to be known as the “historical avant-garde.” Class discussions will focus on the question of aesthetic autonomy versus the social/political engagement of art. We will investigate the way the technologies of modern communication and mass media which made art available to a larger public at the beginning of the century — photographic reproduction, cinema, and, more recently, television — have transformed the production and reception of art.

ARTH 354 | ART SINCE 1960

Units: 3

This course examines art of the past half century in the United States, Europe and Asia. Moving from Pop, Conceptual and Performance art of the 1960s to installation, public intervention, and the dematerialized arena of the world wide web, the class will consider the ways that artistic strategies forge meaning within the frame of historical circumstance.

ARTH 355 | THE CITY IN ART AND FILM

Units: 3

This course will examine representations of the city in 20th- and 21st-century art and film. From the science fiction presentiments of Metropolis, Alphaville, and Blade Runner, to the suburban dystopia of American Beauty, the rhapsodic romanticism of Manhattan, and the engulfing megalopolis of Salaam Bombay, the city has figured as a powerful force and subject within film. So, too, artists have tackled the city not only as subject matter but as an arena in which to act. From the frenetic manifestations of the futurists and the pointed interventions of Krzysztof Wodiczko, Jenny Holzer, and Robert Irwin, to the populist strategies of Banksy and Rick Lowe, artists have moved into the real space of the world.

ARTH 356 | RACE, ETHNICITY, ART AND FILM

Units: 3

This course examines representations of race and ethnicity in art and film. Focusing on work of the 20th and 21st centuries in the United States, students will consider the ways that theoretical perspectives and lived experience are articulated in art and film.

ARTH 360 | ASIA MODERN

Units: 3

The study of modernism in art often dwells on developments in Europe and America. What was the Asian experience of modernism, and how did it affect the course of the visual arts? This course examines the contributions to modern art by Asians and Asian-Americans.

ARTH 361 | CHINOISERIE AND JAPONISME

Units: 3

“Chinoiserie” and “Japonisme” were two movements in European art that drew inspiration from the art and material culture of the Far East. This course challenges students to synthesize a balanced and historically informed understanding of the ways that images and objects can acquire new contexts and meanings when they travel cross-culturally.

ARTH 370 | MUSEUM STUDIES

Units: 3

This course exams the history, theory, structure, and roles of museums, alternative spaces, and art in public places programs. The class will meet with a number of southern California museum professionals.

ARTH 371 | CURATORIAL PRACTICE

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

This course considers the dynamics of curatorial work and delves into the ways that collections and exhibitions are shaped. Students gain direct experience working with objects and exhibition planning in USD’s Hoehn Galleries and Print Study Collection. May be repeated for credit.

ARTH 372 | EXHIBITION DESIGN

Units: 3

A hands-on course in the design of museum and gallery exhibition installations. Students will deal with all aspects of presentation in the Hoehn Galleries, and will make use of local museum opportunities.

ARTH 375 | STUDY ABROAD IN ART HISTORY

Units: 3-4 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

An investigation of site-specific issues or topics in art history, offered by a USD affiliated program abroad. Can be repeated once for credit. Two sections of ARTH 375 can be taken concurrently during a study abroad semester or summer.

ARTH 376 | ART AT EL PRADO MUSEUM, MADRID, SPAIN

Units: 3 Repeatability: No

This course is designed to equip students to analyze and reflect on works of art, enlisting some of the theories and methods that have been used by art historians. The class is structured around art in the collection of the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain, with emphasis on works from the sixteenth through the early nineteenth centuries. Students will also consider the museum setting and its strategies of display. Offered as a study abroad course in Madrid.

ARTH 382 | PUBLIC ART STUDIO SEMINAR

Units: 3

This course focuses on the role of the artist outside of the gallery/museum context. Tangential to this investigation will be discussions that engage social, political, and urban issues relevant to this expanded public context. Traditional approaches of enhancement and commemoration will be examined in light of more temporal and critical methodologies. Historical examples will be studied and discussed, including the Soviet constructivist experiments, the situationists, conceptual art, and more recent interventionist strategies. Cross-listed as ARTV 382.

ARTH 393 | CRITICAL METHODS IN THE ANALYSIS OF VISUAL CULTURE

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

An advanced seminar exploring current art historical debates, with special emphasis on the impact of critical theories (e.g. feminism, psychoanalysis, Marxism, deconstruction) on the practices of creating, looking at, and writing about works of art. Topics vary. May be repeated for credit.

ARTH 395 | METHODS IN ART HISTORY

Units: 3

Advanced seminar on the methods and theories that shape the interpretation of works of art. The course is based on the close reading and discussion of art historical texts that have influenced the development, aims, and practice of the discipline. Through a series of reading and writing assignments, students will gain familiarity with various interpretative and analytical strategies, and be able to distinguish between different kinds of readings of artworks. Required for all Art History Majors. Prereq: Nine units in Art History. Art History students are strongly advised to enroll in this course during their junior year.

ARTH 494 | SEMINAR

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

Discussion, research and writing focus in-depth on topics that shift each semester. Recent topics have included: Caravaggio and Baroque Italy; Rubens and Rembrandt; Printmaking in the History of Art; Renaissance to Revolution; Old Masters in the Modern Museum; Picturing East and West; Envisioning the Orient; Colonialism and Art History; Ends of Art: Histories of the Fin de Siècle; Matisse and Picasso; Soviet Art; The American Home, 1850-1950; What is American Art?; Problems in Art History of the US; Whitman, Warhol: Democratic Culture; Collections, Collecting, Collectors: History, Theory, Madness; Li(v)es of the Artist: Biography and Art History; Theories of Word and Image; Art Now. Seminars are often taught by visiting art historians and curators and, when possible, draw on the resources of San Diego’s museums and collections.

ARTH 495 | IMAGE WORLD/WRITTEN WORD: SENIOR THESIS SEMINAR

Units: 3

This course offers the possibility of pursuing an independent writing project in a supportive group setting. Art History majors will develop a preparatory draft for their senior thesis. Other majors will have the opportunity to craft a writing project of their choice connected with the history or theory of images.

ARTH 496 | SENIOR THESIS

Units: 1

Each senior will conceive a research project drawing on historical, theoretical, and critical strategies. Every semester.

ARTH 498 | MUSEUM INTERNSHIP

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

Working firsthand with curators, exhibition designers, and registrars, in education programs, and in outreach and development offices at area museums, students gather crucial practical experience in the field. Students in recent years have done internships with USD’s Hoehn Print Study Collection, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Timken Museum, the New Children’s Museum, the Museum of Photographic Arts, Lux Art Institute, and Quint Contemporary Art.

ARTH 499 | INDEPENDENT STUDY

Units: 1-3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

A project developed by the student in coordination with an instructor. The project should investigate in-depth a field of interest to the student not covered by established art history courses.