Skip over navigation
Courses

For up to the minute changes, please refer to the Registrar's course page.

AAS 372/ART 374/AMS 372Postblack - Contemporary African American Art(LA)As articulated by Thelma Golden, postblack refers to the work of African American artists who emerged in the 1990s with ambitious, irreverent, and sassy work. Though hard to define, postblack suggested the emergence of a generation of artists removed from the long tradition of black affirmation of the Harlem Renaissance, black empowerment of the Black Arts movement, and identity politics of the 1980s and early 90s. This seminar provides an opportunity for a deep engagement with the work of African American artists of the past decade. It will involve critical and theoretical readings on multiculturalism, race, identity, and contemporary art.Chika O. Okeke-Agulu
AMS 376/ART 376American Images(LA)This course examines America through the lens of its images. Pictures created by Americans of all stripes in all periods have been integral to the shaping of American history, culture, and identity. By examining a wide range of image types--from the fine arts and photography to the built environment, scientific illustration, film, and digital media--and by considering these images in terms of their historical, political, social, intellectual, and global contexts, "American Images" will offer both a sweeping and a detailed portrait of America through the rich, sometimes strange history of its art and visual culture.Rachael Z. DeLue
ARC 308/ART 328History of Architectural Theory(HA)This course offers a history of architectural theory, criticism, and historiography from the Renaissance to the present, emphasizing the texts, media and institutions that have supported architecture's claim to modernity since the late 17th Century. Architectural thought is examined in its social and cultural context as it relates both to the Western philosophical tradition and to design method and practice.Lucia Allais
ARC 571/ART 581/MOD 573/LAS 571Research in ArchitectureThis advanced pro-seminar explores architectural research techniques through collaborative investigation of a specific issue facing the field. Rather than study research methods in the abstract, students are asked to actively carry out detailed research in teams and reflect upon its limits and potentials. The research project of each semester is carried through to realization in the form of a book, a conference, or an exhibition organized by the students in subsequent semesters.Staff
ART 212Neoclassicism through Impressionism(LA)A broad study of European painting and sculpture from the French revolution to 1900 with special attention to art's relationship to social, economic and cultural changes. Lectures will explore a range of themes including art and revolution, the rise of landscape, shifting conceptions of realism, and the birth of "modernism" and the avant-garde. Emphasis on major figures including David, Canova, Goya, Ingres, Turner, Courbet, Manet, Monet, Degas, Rodin, Van Gogh and Cézanne.Bridget A. Alsdorf
ART 248History of Photography(LA)A survey of photography from its multiple inventions in the early nineteenth century to its digital omnipresence in the present day. Themes will include photography's power to define the "real"; its emulation and eventual transformation of the traditional fine arts; and its role in the construction of personal and collective memories. Precepts meet in the Princeton Art Museum and Firestone Library to study original images.Anne McCauley
ART 269/LAS 269Objects of Andean Art(LA)This course provides an overview of Pre-Columbian Andean art, taught from objects in the University's art museum and nearby collections. Particular attention will be paid to textiles, organic materials, and their biological origins. Students will have weekly opportunities to examine objects firsthand. Assignments will develop broad art historical research skills of object study, writing about objects, and visual documentation of objects (photography, analytical illustration, etc.) Excursions and demonstrations of materials and techniques, generously supported by PLAS, will make the course ideal for hands-on and experiential learners.Andrew J. Hamilton
ART 315/ARC 315/HLS 315Medieval Architecture(LA)A survey of medieval architecture and urban design from ca. 300 to ca.1500 A.D. The aim will be to explore the major developments in religious and secular architecture in the West from Early Christian times to the Renaissance. Various aspects of architecture will be considered (patronage, functional requirements, planning, form, structure, construction techniques, symbolism, decoration) with the aim of attaining as complete an understanding as possible of architectural developments and urban design in their historical context.Staff
ART 333/ARC 333Renaissance and Baroque Architecture(LA)European architecture from 1420 to the mid-18th century with particular emphasis on its historical and social background. Various architectural styles - Renaissance, baroque, and rococo - are studied in terms of important architects and buildings especially of Italy, France, and England.Carolyn Y. Yerkes
ART 344/LAS 334/POR 367Topics in 20th-Century Art(LA)Exhibiting Experimentalism: Experimental art by definition involves process, discovery, contingency, and the possibility of failure. Museums, by contrast, are institutions traditionally dedicated to the care and preservation of artifacts with permanent value. What then are the possibilities for experiencing experimental work within a museum? Using recent acquisitions of contemporary art by the Princeton University Art Museum as case studies, students will investigate questions of historiography, pedagogy, transgression, critical exhibition practices, and curatorial ethics, culminating in the organization of an exhibition at the museum.Irene V. Small
ART 350/EAS 356Chinese Cinema(LA)Thematic studies in Chinese film (Republic, People's Republic, Taiwan, Hong Kong), 1930s to the present with emphasis on recent years, viewed in relation to traditional and modern Chinese visual arts and literature, colonialism and globalism, Communist politics, gender and family values, ethnicity and regionalism, melodrama and the avant-garde, the cinematic market, artistic censorship, and other social issues.Jerome Silbergeld
ART 351/ARC 351/EAS 357Traditional Chinese Architecture(LA)Thematic introduction to traditional Chinese architecture, urban design and garden building, with attention to principles and symbolism of siting and design; building techniques; modularity of structures and interchangeability of palace, temple, tomb, and domestic design; regional variation.Jerome Silbergeld
ART 400Junior Seminar(LA)An introduction to a range of art-historical approaches and to the writings of key figures in the history of the discipline. Attention is also given to research and writing skills specific to the history of art.Rachael Z. DeLue
ART 422/EAS 422Tea, Large Jars, Warriors, and Merchants in Sixteenth-century Japan(LA)The seminar is taught in conjunction with a special exhibition at the Art Museum, "Chigusa and the Art of Tea in Japan," and examines the diverse arts employed in the pre-modern Japanese practice of chanoyu (tea ceremony), including ceramics, paintings, and architecture. Among the topics considered are the physical and conceptual adaptations of objects for chanoyu, the practice of bestowing proper names on inanimate things, tea men's invention of a new aesthetic ideal, and their creation of multi-media ensembles. The seminar emphasizes the study (and use) of actual tea objects, and readings include translations of pre-modern chanoyu texts.Andrew M. Watsky
ART 442Master Drawings(LA)An introduction to the study of drawings taught entirely from original works of art. Intensive use will be made of the Princeton University Art Museum, with trips to an auction house, dealer, and museums in Washington, D.C. and New York City. Of interest to all planning a career in the arts, collecting, or training their powers of visual analysis. For 2014 the focus will be on French drawings of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century in Princeton.Thomas D. Kaufmann
ART 445/ARC 445Topics in the History and Theory of Architecture in Early-Modern Europe: The Rome of Giovanni Battista Piranesi(LA)The focus of the seminar will be G.B. Piranesi (1720-1778), as architect, antiquarian, polemicist, dealer, and graphic artist. We will endeavor to see Piranesi in context, to understand his accomplishment against the background of his adopted city and the learned culture that flourished there. Piranesi's publications are well represented in Princeton collections, providing opportunities for those who wish to work closely with original sources.Staff
ART 450/FRE 408Seminar. 19th-Century European Art(LA)Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: New Approaches. This course will consider a range of recent scholarship -- both from the academy and museums -- that has shifted understandings of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting. By reading these texts against canonical ones, students will gain a deep and critical perspective on the state of the field. Special attention will be paid to methodology and changing approaches to the blockbuster exhibition. Artists discussed will include Cézanne, Degas, Monet, the Nabis, Pissarro, and Seurat. Field trips to museums in NYC, Philadelphia, and Washington.Bridget A. Alsdorf
ART 459/ARC 459/EAS 459Anxious Megalopolis: Shanghai's Urban Cultures (1842 - to the present)(LA)In the nineteenth century, Shanghai grew to become a bustling port, colonialist beachhead, hub of international commerce in the 30s, and a major testing ground for contemporary architecture today. As a crucial interface between East and West, this city was a place where national and transnational cultures fought and flourished, and stereotypes were forged and discarded. This seminar will cover the emergence of Shanghai's vibrant urban culture as it evolved into the complex megalopolis of today. There will be a trip to Shanghai over fall break funded by the department.Esther da Costa MeyerCary Y. Liu
ART 473/AAS 473/AFS 473Kongo Art(LA)Easily recognized as among the most important examples of canonical African art, Kongo sculpture, textiles, and ritual design are famous for their conceptual density, stylistic variety and rigorous abstraction. The course examines the role of art in the life of the Kongo Kingdom and related peoples, from the arrival of Spanish explorers and missionaries in the 15th century, through the era of Belgian colonization from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries, to the period since political independence in 1960. The seminar coincides with and will explore the Kongo Across the Waters exhibition at the Princeton University Museum.Chika O. Okeke-Agulu
ART 501Introduction to HistoriographyThe literature of art, architecture, and archaeology in Europe until the late eighteenth century. Some sessions may be devoted to East Asia and to other areas. Later interpretations, consequences, and comparisons with other cultures will be considered.Thomas D. Kaufmann
ART 566/SPA 593/LAS 566Seminar in Contemporary Art and Theory: The Aesthetics of HungerWhat kinds of aesthetics issue forth from need? Taking its name from Brazilian film director Glauber Rocha's 1965 manifesto, this course investigates how practitioners and critics have sought to understand political, social, economic, and material limitations as generative conditions for aesthetic form. Moving between Latin American debates of the 1960s and 70s and the contemporary moment, we examine how hunger, scarcity, and imperfection inform such concepts as violence, excess, subject formation, image circulation, geopolitics, neodevelopmentalism. Case studies include works of literature, art, cinema, philosophy, and historiography.Irene V. SmallRachel L. Price
ART 574Seminar in Japanese Art and Archaeology: Painting Painting, JapanHistorically Japanese painters worked in modes based on previous paintings: idioms associated with subject matter, national source, and formal qualities. Yamatoe, or "Japanese painting," first identified paintings depicting indigenous landscapes and came to be associated with an array of formal characteristics and native subjects. Karae, or "Tang painting," indicated styles and subjects associated with China. A mode often endured for centuries, even as new ones appeared (such as Yoga, or "Western painting"). This longevity and concurrence had many consequences, including the creation of hybrids that remade meaning.Andrew M. Watsky
ART 588/GER 520Topics in Literary and Cultural Theory: "Psychoanalytic Turns"Seminar addresses turns to psychoanalysis in history and criticism of art and literature. In our reading of psychoanalytic theories (Freud, Ferenczi, Klein, Lacan) and critical writings that have followed them, paths and detours lead to questions of terminology, translation, perception, mediation, representation. Forays are made onto terrain of works of art and literature that might be understood as instances of psychoanalytic criticism and/or critiques of psychoanalysis. Need for critical reflection on meaningfulness of psychoanalytic theories for current scholarship in the humanities is a guiding concern of this course.Brigid Doherty
CLA 547/PAW 503/HLS 547/ART 534Problems in Ancient History: Politics & ReligionThis interdisciplinary seminar explores the intersection of politics and religion in the ancient world. The special case to be studied, exempli gratia, will be Augustus' Res Gestae, although individual projects may range across the Mediterranean throughout Antiquity, and may focus on any form of surviving evidence (historical, literary, monumental, numismatic, etc.).Michael KoortbojianEdward J. Champlin
ENV 347/HUM 347/ART 389/AMS 352/ENG 384Arts & Humanities: Essential Tools For Environmentalists(LA)Is the climate blazing? Our cities have food deserts? Your groundwater supplies are contaminated with toxins? Historians, literary scholars, and artists to the rescue! This course explores how to deploy the humanities and arts to grapple with our most urgent environmental challenges--and is affiliated with a fall 2014 What Arts & Humanities Are Good For PEI series of panel events. The course asks how, exactly, we can put the indispensable methods and insights of the arts and humanities to work to create more sustainable places and to enact more equitable and effective environmental policies.Jenny Price
GER 372/ART 372/ECS 372Writing About Art (Rilke, Freud, Benjamin)(LA)Seminar addresses significance of works of art, and of practices of writing about visual art, in the work of three great writers of German in the early 20th-century: poet Rainer Maria Rilke; founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud; and philosopher and critic Walter Benjamin. Emphasis on close reading and critical analysis. Readings drawn from variety of fields and genres, including: lyric poetry, experimental prose, psychoanalytic theory, cultural analysis, aesthetic theory, criticism. Topics include: situation of work of art in modernity; art and the unconscious; the work of art and the historical transmission of culture in modern Europe.Brigid Doherty
HUM 470/ART 470/AMS 470/ENV 471Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities: Revisiting Nature's Nation - An Ecocritical History of American Art(LA)This course critically explores the interface of American art and environmental history while laying the basis for a groundbreaking traveling exhibition on the subject being organized by the Princeton University Art Museum. Using emerging interpretive strategies of "ecocriticism," we will approach American art as creative material that has imagined and embodied environmental issues concerning land use, species extinction, pollution, climate change, sustainability, and justice in a variety of historical contexts since the 18th century - when the foundations of "ecology" as an idea first began to materialize.Karl E. KusserowAlan C. Braddock
REL 207/ART 220Visualizing Buddhism: Art, Religion, and Philosophy(EM)Art, ritual, and material culture can be powerful expressions of religious belief. This course is organized around conceptual themes governing key philosophies, rituals and art forms in Himalayan Buddhism. Students will gain a basic introduction to Buddhist religion and history, as well as coming to understand the inestimable role of art and material culture in religion, seeing the ways in which artworks can express ideas, epitomize practices, and transmit beliefs. The course will involve topics from the past 2500 years, emphasizing regions of South Asia that include northern India, Nepal, and Tibet.Eric R. Huntington
VIS 392/ART 392Issues in Contemporary Art(LA)A required seminar for Art and Archaeology Program 2 majors and Program in Visual Arts certificate students emphasizing contemporary art practices and ideas. The course addresses current issues in painting, drawing, sculpture, film, video, photography, and performance installation. It includes a visiting artist lecture series, critiques of students' work, and excursions to galleries, museums and/or artists' studios.Martha Friedman