College Art Association 2020 Grant: Art History Fund for Travel to Special Exhibitions
Bordeamos por la Paz Student Exhibition: Lycoming College, Fall 2020
Lycoming College 2021 Junior Faculty Teaching Award Announcement
Introduction to Art History I: This course offers an introductory overview of the diverse histories of art and architecture around the world from prehistory through the late Middle Ages. It moves through a mostly chronological study of major objects and monuments, looking for differences in style which help to distinguish art-historical periods and cultures from one another, as well as identifying certain affinities. Students learn the skill of visual analysis as combined with contextual inquiry to place visual culture in relation to broader cultural, religious, and historical frameworks. Key questions asked throughout the course will be: how objects functioned within ancient civilizations and what they tell us about the various structures of those societies; how images and buildings expressed religious beliefs (forms of polytheism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism); how and why art was created and viewed in various times and locations; how power was invested in images and how these images impact our world today. Students will develop critical thinking skills in response to scholarly literature and be introduced to disciplinary theories and methods. Fulfills Global Cultural Diversity Requirement.
Introduction to Art History II: This course offers a global approach to the introduction of the history of art from the fourteenth century to the present, focusing on the functions and meanings of art in society. It moves through a mostly chronological study of major artworks from various locations, emphasizing global interactions, the interrelationships between art, politics, and culture, and key shifts in approaches to medium, style, and subject matter. Students learn the skill of visual analysis as combined with contextual inquiry to place visual culture in relation to broader cultural, religious, and historical frameworks. Key questions asked throughout the course will be: the historically constructed and shifting “value” placed on artworks and the concept of the artist; the impact of race, class, gender, and sexuality on the making, reception, and interpretation of artworks; the role of institutions in the making of visual culture and histories; the influence of colonization and diaspora on stylistic developments; how visual culture of the past continues to affect our present realities. Students will develop critical thinking skills in response to scholarly literature and be introduced to key art historical theories and methods. Fulfills Global Cultural Diversity Requirement.
American Art (University of Rhode Island): How have images defined America and Americans in the past? How do they continue to shape ideas of who “we” are today? This course examines key aspects of North American art and visual culture from the invasion (and subsequent invention) of the Americas in 1492, to the World’s Columbian Exhibition held in 1893. Students will come to understand the role of visual culture in the processes of conquest, colonization, independence, revolution, and the ongoing formation of national identities as related to pivotal historical events in the regions now known as the United States, Mexico, and Canada. We will consistently foreground the intersections between race, ethnicity, gender, class, and nation-building in order to complicate traditional mythologies of “discovery,” “progress,” “civilization,” “freedom,” and “patriotism” as related to the study of American art. Students will also engage with the ongoing challenges to dominant constructions of “America” and its peoples made by historically excluded groups, both during the period and today.
Gender and Sexuality in Art (Lycoming College): Gender and sexuality are often vital components of artistic practice that drive modes of expression and shape identities. This course examines the presence of these issues in art through case studies from the nineteenth century through to the present-day. Students will learn to analyze the relationship between the production, reception, and interpretation of art in relation to contextually specific constructions of gender and sexuality. Key interdisciplinary theoretical approaches to the study of Gender & Sexuality and Art will help students to recognize and challenge encoded assumptions regarding gender and sexuality and the ways they intersect with race/ethnicity, religion, and class in art across time and locations. Students will continually explore the ways in which gender and sexuality are constructed by and through visual culture and make connections to key contemporary political and social issues. They will also come to understand the ability for art to make meaningful impact in the world around them by engaging in an activist project on campus. Fulfills Domestic Cultural Diversity Requirement. Cross-listed with Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies major, Social and Economic Justice minor.
Race and Ethnicity in US-American Art (Lycoming College): What does it mean to “be American”? What does American history look like and who has made these representations? This course examines contemporary works by Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian American, Middle Eastern American artists that complicate traditional narratives of US-American history and disrupt the notion of a singular “American” identity. Issues under discussion throughout the course will be: art as a tool of visibility and resistance; patriotism, nationalism, xenophobia and their representations; monuments, memorials, and their controversies; histories of racism in US-American visual and popular culture; borders, im/migrations, and diasporas; the remixing of cultural traditions; hybridity, otherness, and issues of personal and collective identities. Each unit of the course will center around a companion literary text that will be examined in relationship to issues under study, including how the authors engage with history, identity, and representation. Fulfills Domestic Cultural Diversity Requirement. Cross-listed with Social and Economic Justice minor.
Art, Activism, and Social Change in Latin America (Lycoming College, also taught at Tufts University): This course explores some of the most pivotal works of recent Latin American art approached through the critical intersection of art and politics. Students will come to understand the ways these works were created in tandem with, and often in direct response to, key moments of revolution, dictatorship, uneven development, and social upheaval in the region from the 1930s to today. Key issues relative to this study will be: the shift from traditional media to conceptual, performative, technological, and site-specific methods of art making; the creation under and as a reaction to conditions of violence; the limitations and potential for artwork to manifest sociopolitical change; the intersections of gender, race, class, and sexuality with art and politics; and the various frameworks of national, regional, and global subjecthoods that remain pertinent to these artists and their works. Students will put their knowledge into practice by assisting the collective Bordeamos por la Paz in creating embroideries documenting victims of femicide in Ciudad Juárez and will curate a final public installation of their works in the local community. Fulfills Global Cultural Diversity Requirement. Cross-listed with Latin American Studies major, International Studies major, Social and Economic Justice minor.
Museum Studies: Histories and Practices (Lycoming College): This course investigates the place of the museum in society from a variety of historical and contemporary perspectives. Why did museums emerge and what role have they played in shaping our understanding of art, history, culture, and community? What goes into organizing, preserving, investigating, and interpreting a collection for the public? How have museums responded to key ethical questions and challenges of our current time? What function might museums serve in the future? Students will come to understand what careers are available in museums (aided by guest visits from museum professionals) and will gain practical experience in curating an exhibition at the Lycoming College Art Gallery. Cross-listed with History major.
Eye, Mind, Body: Art from 1900-1970 (Lycoming College): This course is an in-depth exploration of modern and postmodern art. Radical experiments in art making from 1900 to 1970 fundamentally changed the nature of artistic expression, moving from the primacy placed on visual mediums, such as painting and sculpture, towards new forms of making that engaged the mind and body in their form and content. The course takes a global approach so students will come to understand the differing ways modern art emerged and changed within and outside of traditional “centers.” Key questions that will be addressed throughout the semester are: What is the nature of beauty in the 20th century? Can an idea be a work of art? What is the role of the artist in modern society? How have artworks reflected or pushed back against moments of political and social upheaval? How did/does gender, race, class, sexuality, histories of colonialism and diaspora impact the creation of modern art and its interpretation?
Art Historical Methods and Research (Lycoming College): This capstone seminar asks students to think critically about the history and practice of interpreting art objects in order to establish their own positionality as self-reflective art historians capable of producing a major research project. Each week students will investigate a diverse range of theories, methods, and debates that have come to shape the discipline of art history today. Short writing assignments will help build students’ ability to apply theory and method and demonstrate critical thinking on key ethical debates relevant to art history. Students will produce their own substantial research project on a topic of their choosing that will culminate in an advanced research paper and formal presentation to the Art Department.
Differencing the Canon: Women, Art, and Representation (Millsaps College): This course introduces students to key issues and theoretical approaches associated with the study of women and art across the globe from the Renaissance to the present day. Rather than presenting an inverted history, privileging the achievements of women over men, students will be given the tools to deconstruct intersectional mythologies of representation and explore critical issues of gender, race, sexuality, class and nationalisms in relation to visual culture. Throughout the course, we examine the social, political and cultural conditions in which women artists have produced artwork, while at the same time uncover the ways in which gender and race have always been encoded within art history. Cross-listed with Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies major.
Contemporary Art (Millsaps College): This course is a global study of contemporary art from the 1970s through to today. Through in class discussions, readings, and the visual and written analysis of artworks, we will examine the unique character and experience of global contemporary life, paying close attention to its social, cultural, and political contexts. Key frameworks to this study will be issues of: gender and sexuality, race and identities, trauma and exile, the environment, dissent and activism, authorship and originality, memory, space, and the body. After taking this course, students will be able to identify strategies of artistic decision-making as well as evaluate the function of artistic expression by reflecting on the ways in which art may affirm, challenge, or alter a viewer’s perspective. Our class will also partner with the art collective, Bordeamos por la paz, an experience that will inform class discussion and be incorporated into a final CEL project.
Modern Art (Millsaps College): This course offers a survey of avant-garde modern art from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Rather than tracing a “progression” of traditions solely from Europe and the US, this course critically acknowledges the existence of multiple modernities around the globe. Under this lens, students will come to understand the ways in which modern art emerged and changed both within, and outside of, traditional “centers” of artistic production. Students will be introduced to key concepts that shape the study of modern art history, as well as continually challenged to utilize these methodologies in their own independent and comparative analysis. Some issues that will be addressed include: the role of the artist and work of art in society; the influence of gender, race, class, sexuality, histories of colonialism and diaspora on both art-making and interpretation; the intersection of art and politics; and the shift towards experimental approaches to the art object. The course content and assignments will leave students with the ability to persuasively analyze works of modern art in ways that address key social, cultural, and political histories that influenced their making and contemporary interpretation. Virtual exhibition curated by students: Shifting Focus
Controversies in the Visual Arts (Millsaps College): This seminar is focused on major art works that have elicited a range of scholarly responses in order to provide an in-depth study of the variety of methodological approaches utilized by art historians. Through the study of just five works of art, we will undertake close analysis of critical texts that utilize different methods of analysis stemming from formalism, semiotics, marxism and social histories of art, psychoanalysis, structuralism, feminist and postcolonial approaches, etc. In doing so, students will understand critical approaches to constructing a scholarly argument in order to make a clear case about these complex art works from a particular perspective. This close reading will be utilized as practice for each students’ own formal research paper and presentation, which will be centered on an artwork of their choosing and will offer an advanced and nuanced art historical analysis from a particular methodological lens.
Visualizing a Nation: Twentieth Century Art from Mexico (Tufts University): This course introduces students to the major artists, objects and themes of Mexican art history from the late 19th Century through to the present day. Visual art has historically been both directly and indirectly engaged in the collective formation of national identities in Mexico. While students may be able to name the most famous artists associated with Mexican nationalism – such as the muralists – this course expands their conceptualization of national narratives through the inclusion of a wide variety of producers and discourses. We continually consider “official” visual narratives of citizenship and national identity, as well as counter-narratives posed by artists along the lines of gender, sexuality, race and belonging. Students will also engage with the global interconnectedness of art from Mexico, understanding its long history as a political, intellectual and artistic center.