History of Art & Architecture

  • CAS AH 580: Architectural Technology and Materials
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing or consent of instructor.
    An introduction to the history of architectural construction, technologies, and materials, and their consequences in the built environment. Students receive a practical understanding of the building process and of its social and cultural contexts.
  • CAS AH 584: Greater Boston: Architecture and Planning
    May be repeated for credit as topics change. Topic for Spring 2017: Boston Architecture. A project- and research-based seminar on Boston's most famous modern renewal project. Students visit and conduct in-depth research on Government Center's spaces and buildings, seen in the context of mid-century American urban, social, and architectural history.
  • CAS AH 585: Twentieth-Century Architecture and Urbanism
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing or permission of instructor.
    Topic for Spring 2015: TBA.
  • CAS AH 587: Green Design
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior, senior, or graduate standing.
    Explores sustainability and green architecture from the eighteenth century to present. Charts intersections of nature and built environments through methods from architectural and urban history, history of technology, and environmental history. "Green architecture" examined within historical and spatial context.
  • CAS AH 589: Topics in Nineteenth-Century Art
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior or senior (or graduate student).
    Topic for Spring 2017: Impressionism through Symbolism. European art, 1848-1900, is examined in light of contemporary developments in politics, science, religion, literature, music, and the history of ideas.
  • CAS AH 591: Seminar in Photographic History
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior or senior standing, or consent of instructor.
    Topic for Spring 2017: Documentary Photography. A study of changing uses, definitions, and archives of documentary photography from 1839 to the present. Topics include urban photography, war imagery, topographical and survey landscapes, architectural records, social reform photography, New Deal imagery, and digital documents.
  • CAS AH 598: The Sister Arts
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor.
    Explores intimate but conflicted relations between word and image in western culture. Centers on case studies, from ancient Greece to modern America, that illustrate the means by which artists and writers have attempted to combine showing and telling. Also offered as CAS EN 594.
  • GRS AH 716: African Diaspora Arts in the Americas
    Graduate Prerequisites: graduate standing.
    Study of the transmission of African artistry in the Caribbean, South America, and the United States from the period of slavery to the present. Topics include Kongo and Yoruba arts and their influence on the arts of Santeria, Vodun, and carnival. Also offered as GRS AA 716.
  • GRS AH 726: Colloquium in Japanese Art
    Graduate Prerequisites: graduate standing or consent of instructor.
    Offered in conjunction with CAS AH 326, Arts of Japan. An exploration of artistic media and architectural types from Neolithic periods to the twentieth century. Focuses on narrower themes and issues arising from the general topics introduced in the lectures.
  • GRS AH 802: Seminar: Art Historical Writings
    This seminar considers the history and methods of art history through the writings of Vasari, Bellori, Winkelmann, Kant, Hegel, Wolfflin, Riegl, Warburg, Panofsky, and Gombrich, among others.
  • GRS AH 805: Professional Development and Placement Seminar
    Graduate Prerequisites: completion of PhD oral exam.
    Offers advanced PhD students the opportunity to present and discuss works-in-progress and structured guidance for the tasks involved in academic and curatorial job applications.
  • GRS AH 812: Seminar: Portraiture
    Topic for Fall 2012: Portraiture from 1300-1600. Topics include the influence of ancient art and literature, tropes of animation (especially the "speaking portrait"), the visualization of identity, and the relationship between biography and art history.
  • GRS AH 822: Seminar: African Art
    Graduate Prerequisites: graduate standing or consent of instructor.
    In-depth discussion of special topics in the study of African art and architecture. Topic for Fall 2016: Post-Colonial Theory and Visual Culture in Africa. Underscores the continuing importance of post-colonial theory to understanding the history of African art. Topics include the construction of ethnicity in North Africa, the emergence of Senegalese Sufi arts in response to colonialism, art and political struggle in the Congo.
  • GRS AH 846: Seminar: Romanesque and Gothic Art
    Graduate Prerequisites: graduate standing or consent of instructor.
    Topic for Fall 2017: Medieval Art & Beyond. The first half of the class surveys the art of the Middle Ages. The second half focuses on big topics raised by this material including: Pathos, the Body, Self-Denial and Spirituality, and Death and Representation.
  • GRS AH 853: Seminar: Renaissance Art and Architecture
    Topic for Fall 2016: Beginnings and Endings: The Life of Artistic Style in the Renaissance. This seminar critically and historically considers the ways in which artistic style is thought to begin and end, with specific focus on the concept of style in Italian Renaissance art and architecture.
  • GRS AH 863: Seminar: Baroque Art and Architecture
    Topic for Spring 2017: Johannes Vermeer. Explores Vermeer's art and career through various perspectives and methods of art history, and situates his astonishingly small production of about 35 paintings within the cultural and social worlds for which they were created.
  • GRS AH 867: Material Culture
    Graduate Prerequisites: graduate standing or consent of instructor.
    Introduction to the theory and practice of the interdisciplinary study of material culture, which includes everything we make and use, from food and clothing to art and buildings. Explores contemporary scholarship from a range of disciplines. Also offered as GRS AM 867.
  • GRS AH 884: Seminar: Nineteenth-Century Architecture
    Topic for Fall 2016: John Sloane. John Soane (1753 - 1837) is one of Britain's most famous architects, whose work continues to be of great relevance to designers today. The seminar looks at theory, context, and history behind Soane's celebrated body of work, and afterlife of his achievements.
  • GRS AH 887: Seminar: American Art
    Topic for Spring 2017: Picturing Property: Real Estate in American Visual Culture. Explores the roles that visual representations have played in U.S. real estate markets and examines the creative ways that American artists and writers have interpreted the objects, figures, and practices of land business during the past two centuries.
  • GRS AH 891: Seminar: Photography
    Graduate Prerequisites: graduate standing or consent of instructor.
    Historical, archival, and theoretical examinations of photography, with emphasis on its role both as document and as art. Topic for Fall 2017: The Photographic Book. Examines the photographic book throughout the years from 1839 to the present. Concentrates on the book as a unique form for the medium, and image/text relationships, narrative structures, and the cultural constructions of the book's message.