History of Art & Architecture

  • CAS AH 500: Topics in History of Art & Architecture
    May be repeated for credit as topic varies. Two topics are offered Fall 2021. Section A1: Chinese Optics. Surveys different approaches to vision, from Chinese theories of light to contemporary photography in Beijing. The course explores ideas of visibility to address issues of gender and race. Examines optical devices, Buddhist caves, Jesuit court painting, cameras, etc. Section B1: American Art and the Civil War. Explores the ways that Northern and Southern painters, sculptors, photographers, illustrators, and popular image makers interpreted slavery and sectional strife in the years surrounding the Civil War.
  • CAS AH 503: Art Historical Methods
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing and at least two 300-level AH courses.
    This seminar explores a wide range of theories and methodologies (including semiotics, Marxism, psychoanalysis, structuralism, feminism, post-structuralism, postcolonial studies, and critical race theory) employed by art historians and critics to assess art produced in a global context since 1900.
  • CAS AH 504: Topics in Religion and the Visual Arts
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing or consent of instructor.
    In-depth discussion of special issues in the study of religion and art. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Topic for Fall 2019: Sacred Precincts of East Asia. Introduction to East Asian art and architecture through studies of sacred precincts across China, Japan, and Korea. Each class focuses on an important religious site and its connection with other disciplines such as religious studies, literature, social history, and anthropology.
  • CAS AH 507: Digital Curation: Towards National Parks: Art and Nature, Nature and Nation
    Before national parks, wild locations attracted artists, photographers and poets. Their works made these areas known to tourist-viewers. Prepare a digital exhibition and map artist- advocates as they explored mountains, forests and waterfalls. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Aesthetic Exploration, Digital/Multimedia Expression, Creativity/Innovation.
    • Aesthetic Exploration
    • Digital/Multimedia Expression
    • Creativity/Innovation
  • CAS AH 520: The Museum and The Historical Agency
    History, present realities, and future possibilities of museums and historical agencies, using Boston's excellent examples. Issues and debates confronting museums today examined in the light of historical development and changing communities. Emphasis on collecting, display and interpretation.
  • CAS AH 521: Curatorship
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor.
    Graduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor.
    Topic for Spring 2021: Examines exhibition strategies of museums and curators to decentralize and decolonize paradigms of art, privilege and forefront previously marginalized histories and perspectives, and shape new and inclusive approaches to exhibition-making within current political debates
  • CAS AH 527: Topics in Art and Society
    May be repeated for credit as topics change. Three topics are offered Fall 2021. Section A1: Castles and Cathedrals. Course aims to develop students' ability to analyze monuments, iconography and the personal, didactic, propagandistic and entertaining functions of medieval objects, castles and cathedrals. Splendid treasures and vast buildings analyzed against their social, political, cultural and religious backgrounds. Section B1: The Art of the U.S. In Black and White. Examines efforts to integrate African American art history and the art history of the United States in ways that neither perpetuate the center-periphery topographies of the discipline nor elide questions of race in pursuit of a disingenuously colorblind art history. Section C1: TBA.
  • CAS AH 532: Japanese Print Culture
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing or permission of instructor.
    Seminar on print culture of Japan from the eighteenth century to the present. Study of woodblock prints, photographic prints, book art, print advertisements, postcards, and manga. Focus on their function as both artistic expression and instruments of mass communication.
  • CAS AH 533: Seminar: Greek Art and Architecture
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120)
    Topic for Fall 2021: Greek Painting. Painting was the most esteemed genre of ancient Greek art, famed for its beauty and ability to fool the eye. We study panel and wall painters, colorists who collaborated with sculptors and architects, and craftsmen who decorated pottery Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, Oral and/or Signed Communication, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Oral and/or Signed Communication
    • Research and Information Literacy
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS AH 534: Seminar in Roman Art
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing or consent of instructor.
    In-depth examination of varying topics in the study of Roman art and architecture. Topic for Spring 2020: The Pax Romana. Roman art and architecture at the height of the Roman Empire under the Five Good Emperors (Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius) with introductory sessions on Augustus, the Julio-Claudians, and the Flavians.
  • CAS AH 541: Courtly Commissions: Ottoman Art and Architecture
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing or consent of instructor.
    Explores the artistic patronage of the Ottoman court, fifteenth to seventeenth centuries. Questions of self-fashioning, artistic agency, courtly behavior, decorum, and the formation of an imperial style frame the discussion of specific works of art and architecture.
  • CAS AH 543: Latin American Art and the Cold War
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing or above.
    Study of Latin American artistic practices in relation to Cold War political frameworks, such as development and dependency discourses, the impact of the Cuban Revolution, U.S. and Soviet cultural policies, and the rise of numerous political dictatorships.
  • CAS AH 546: Places of Memory: Historic Preservation Theory and Practice
    Covers key aspects of the history, theory, and practice of historic preservation. Preservation is discussed in the context of cultural history and the changing relationship between existing buildings and landscapes and attitudes toward history, memory, invented tradition, and place. Also offered as CAS AM 546 and CAS HI 546.
  • CAS AH 547: Gothic Art
    Sources, background, and development of Gothic art. Painting, sculpture, and architecture during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
  • CAS AH 548: Global Heritage Conservation
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor.
    Examining global approaches towards heritage conservation through a study of concepts, charters and case studies, using themes such as world heritage, cultural tourism, historic towns, new design, intangible heritage, authenticity, integrity, recent past, historic landscapes, conflict, disasters, revitalization and reconstruction.
  • CAS AH 554: Boston Architectural and Community History Workshop
    Focuses on class readings, lectures, and research on a single neighborhood or community in Boston (or Greater Boston). Greatest emphasis is on using primary sources-- land titles and deeds, building permits, fire insurance atlases and other maps. Topic for Fall 2021: Brighton Project. Explore the architectural and urban transformation of Brighton from agricultural fields, country estates, and Boston's primary nineteenth-century cattle market and meat packing district into a dense neighborhood. We scrutinize sources that cultivate the rich history of urban form and settlement.
  • CAS AH 557: High Renaissance and Mannerist Art in Italy
    Topic for Fall 2021: Drawing in Early Modern Italy. This seminar considers the role of drawings in workshop practice, the transition to drawings as autonomous artworks, and the relationship between invention and sketches. Attention also given to the history of materials and connoisseurship, as well as to the mobility of drawings as artworks.
  • CAS AH 563: Global Baroque: Art and Power in the Seventeenth Century
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing or consent of instructor.
    Investigates the interaction between art and structures of power in 17th- century Europe, with particular attention to its global dimensions. Focus on Rubens, Rembrandt, Velazquez, and Bernini but also other forms of cultural production that circulated through global trade.
  • CAS AH 582: Historic Houses
    Studies the preservation of historic homes as museums, a phenomenon involving more than 26,000 houses throughout the U.S. since 1850. Considers Boston's excellent examples as works of architecture and design and as icons in debates about national and regional identities. Topic for Fall 2021: Historic House Museums in Boston and Beyond. Boston and New England have numerous house museums. From circa 1850, such buildings were saved internationally. But why? Do they address contemporary audiences? Uses case studies and visits; contextualizes international movement. Considers group memory, invented traditions, civic-national identities, romantic nationalism.
  • CAS AH 589: Topics in Nineteenth-Century Art
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior or senior (or graduate student).
    Topic for Spring 2021: Impressionism Through Symbolism. Major currents in European art of the second half of the nineteenth century, from Impressionism through Symbolism. Weekly discussion of readings, both classic and recent. Students present a research-based oral report, subsequently developed into a final paper.