Courses

ProSeminar Series: Fall 2017

ProSeminar Series: Winter 2018

The Pro Seminars are organized by Lisa Claypool, Associate Chair of Graduate Studies and Research Programs in Art & Design.

400/500/600-Level Art History Seminar Courses

NOTE: these courses are taught in conjunction. The combined enrollment for 400/500 level courses is 12 students. All students require consent of the department to register in the following courses. Refer to Bear Tracks for current schedule (term, days and times) these courses are offered.

HADVC 400/600 B1: Theory and Method in the History of Art, Design and Visual Culture
*3 (winter term) Thursday, 14:00 - 16:50, FAB 2 30
Instructor: Steven Harris
This course aims to provide students with an introduction to theories and methodologies in the study of art history and visual culture. We will look at both formal and contextual approaches to art and cultural history, as well as at more recent uses of theoretical paradigms from outside the discipline. The readings will demonstrate that art history has had an exchange of ideas and approaches with other fields throughout its own history. If this course aims to inform students about past and current approaches to the history of art and visual culture, it is not focused on a single theoretical or methodological paradigm; it introduces students to a variety of approaches, some of which contradict one another. Students are expected to improve their reading and conceptual skills by engaging critically with these texts, and also to improve their ability to look at and think about visual imagery by considering the analyses made by others. Prerequisites: Consent of Department. Students are expected to have completed one 300-level HADVC course with a minimum grade of B.

HADVC 409/509 A1: Topics in the History and Theory of Sustainable Design
*3 (fall term) Tuesday, 11:00-13:50, FAB 2 30
Instructor: Joan Greer
This course deals with the history and theory of sustainable design. Using an inclusive working definition of “design” as something that is created for a purpose and as the result of human activity, and of “sustainable” as meaning tenable in the long run from both social and environmental points of view, this course will consider the traditional fields of graphic design, industrial design, architecture and urban planning but also look beyond these to include other, less tangible design forms, such as the design of "knowledge", digital information design and service design. While human activity forms a starting point it will also be problematized and repositioned, with the appropriateness of this stance and the term "human" itself examined. Prerequisites: Consent of Department. Students are expected to have completed one 300-level HADVC course with a minimum grade of B. Not open to students with credit in HADVC 309: The History and Theory of Sustainable Design.

HADVC 411/511 A1: Special Topics in Art History (The History of Museums)
*3 (fall term) Thursday, 8:00-10:50, FAB 2-30
Instructor: Lianne McTavish
Museums are no longer considered “neutral” spaces that simply preserve valuable objects for the education and enjoyment of the public. Questions have been raised about the social function of museums: Do these institutions reinforce class distinctions? Do organized exhibition spaces guide the visitor through a narrative of national identity? Whose (hi)story is told in museums and who gets to tell it? Who benefits, financially or otherwise, from museum exhibits? Students will analyze different approaches to these questions by reading historical and theoretical texts about the earliest cabinets of curiosities, the “universal survey museum” of the nineteenth century, and contemporary organizations. Our case studies will be based on museums and display areas in Alberta, mostly local ones, with a few corresponding readings about these organizations. Prerequisites: Consent of the department. Students are normally expected to have completed one 300-level course with a minimum grade of B.

HADVC 411/511 B1: Special Topics in Art History (Vision and Visuality: Looking and Knowing during the Late Medieval and Early Modern Periods)
*3 (winter term) Tuesday, 14:00-16:50, FAB 2-30
Instructor: Lianne McTavish
Visual perception might seem to be a strictly natural process, and yet it has a history. Scholars from a range of disciplines now study visuality, moving beyond biological understandings of vision to examine historically and culturally specific ways of seeing the world. Art historian Hal Foster encourages the investigation of “how we see, how we are able, allowed, or made to see, and how we see this seeing or the unseen therein,” (Vision and Visuality, 1988, ix). This course will undertake such an investigation by considering different theoretical approaches to visuality, focusing on European visual culture, art, medicine and “science” from the twelfth through the eighteenth centuries. Topics will include the social regulation of looking and being looked at; the relationship between seeing and the other senses, especially touch; and various technologies of visual investigation, including microscopy. Prerequisites: Consent of the department. Students are normally expected to have completed one 300-level course with a minimum grade of B.

HADVC 412/512 A1: Topics in Asian Art: Touching Objects
*3 (fall term) Thursday, 14:00 – 16:50, FAB 2-30
Instructor: Lisa Claypool
This seminar will introduce students to innovative examples of recent art historical scholarship on two senses of the word “touch:” 1) to have the emotions tugged at – to be “touched” – by objects, and; 2) to see objects not only with the eye, but also to apprehend them sensuously, with the hand and body. It will span a broad chronological range of Chinese objects, from 11th-century handscrolls to 18th-century porcelain dishes to 21st-century performance arts. Students are not expected to have any prior experience with Chinese art and design. Prerequisites: Consent of Department. Students are expected to have completed one 300-level HADVC course with a minimum grade of B.

HADVC 412/512 B1: Traditionalism in Modern Japanese Art and Design
*3 (winter term) Tuesday, 9:30-12:20, FAB 2-30
Instructor: Walter Davis
As industrialization, colonialism, and nationalism profoundly reshaped East Asia in the late-19th and early twentieth centuries, Japan rapidly transformed itself to survive and flourish in a new era. This seminar examines how Japanese artists, designers, intellectuals, and institutions addressed one of the fundamental challenges posed by their nation’s modernization—how to reformulate and develop Japanese art and design without abandoning their nation’s ostensibly unique and longstanding culture. Focusing on painting, prints, and sculpture produced between the Meiji Restoration of 1868 and the end of the Pacific War in 1945 but also taking into account such modes of expression as architecture, commercial design, and fashion, we will investigate visual and material manifestations of neo-traditional values within such modern contexts as art schools, artistic societies, public exhibitions, commercial art galleries, and publishing ventures. Seminar sessions will articulate weekly themes through consideration of select works of art and design, student research reports on assigned topics, and discussion of primary and secondary sources. Term work will include periodic writing assignments, in-class reports, and a substantial research project that issues in a research paper and a conference-style presentation. Prerequisites: Consent of Department. Students are expected to have completed one 300-level HADVC course with a minimum grade of B. Not open to students with credit in ART H 412/512 taken in Winter 2017.