Texas Tech University

Art History Course Offerings

Summer 2020
Art History Course Schedule & Course Descriptions

ARTH 4340 Renaissance Art
Summer I: June 2-July 3
MTWRF 10:00-11:50 ART B01
Instructor: Dr Steele
Topic: Art & Life in 15th Century Florence: A Study of Aesthetic and Intellectual Directions in the Age of Humanism
Prerequisites: ARTH 2302 (Survey II) or ART 1309 (Art Appreciation), or instructor consent. Repeatable for credit in different emphasis.

The purpose is to introduce students to culture in 15th-century Florence, within which patrons and artists developed distinctive means of expressing ideas and values that we characterize as Renaissance art. Individual works are presented in the context of themes and issues rather than as a series of artists' biographies. Knowledge of these representative themes, in turn, offers the means to explore works of art in terms of relationships to such factors as religious ideology; patrons' concerns and artists' interests; humanism, civic identity, and religion; interplay between "scientific" attitudes and emergent art theory; and issues of gender.

Fall 2020 
Art History Course Schedule & Course Descriptions

Undergraduate Survey Courses - Fall 2020

ARTH 1301 Art History Survey I
Sec. 001: MWF 10:00-10:50  ART B01  Mr Rafiei
Sec. 002: TR     12:30-1:50   ART B01  Dr Elliott
Sec. 003: TR     3:30-4:50     ART B01  Dr Elliott

ARTH 2302 Art History Survey II (satisfies multicultural requirement)
Sec. 001: MWF 10:00-10:50  ARCH 01  Dr Chua

ARTH 3303 Art History Survey III (writing intensive)
Sec. 001: MWF 11:00-11:50  ARCH 01  Ms Weintraub
Sec. 002: TR      12:30-1:50  ARCH 01  Dr Orfila

Survey descriptions are available in the Texas Tech University 2019-2020 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog.

Undergraduate Upper-level Courses - Fall 2020

ARTH 3320 Medieval Art of Europe
MW 3:00-4:20 ART B01
Instructor: Dr. Elliott
Topic: The Medieval City in Italy 1250-1400
Prerequisites: ARTH 1301, 2302, and 3303 or instructor consent. Open to non-majors with instructor consent.

This course will study several Italian cities in the late medieval period (13th -14thc) within a broad socio-politico-cultural context. We will examine urban planning, art and architecture in cities such as Florence, Naples, Padua, Rome, and Siena, and some other centers, in terms of civic identity, public and private patronage, trade and economy, the cult of saints and relics, and the relationship of the arts to politics and to religious and devotional practice – all integral parts of medieval urban life. We will explore these developments through the lenses of iconography, patronage, viewer reception, visionary experience, and performance theory. We will encounter St Francis of Assisi and the works of Giotto, Duccio, and Simone Martini.

ARTH 3366 18th and 19th Century Art
TR 3:30-4:50 ARCH 01

Instructor: Dr Chua
Topic: Black Atlantic: Art and Global Empire 1650-1850
Prerequisites: Suggested: ART 1301 (Survey I), ARTH 2302 (Survey II)

For much of the modern history of the Atlantic, slavery was very much an unstated fact – quietly assumed, rarely questioned. Only during the long 18th century did it become a problem for the French and British empires; only then did it glaringly contradict the promise of freedom and equality offered up by the Revolution. During this period, the Atlantic economy – what had been a largely unblemished system of circulating commodities like sugar and tobacco – took on a color: black. This upper-level undergraduate course will examine this complicated and conflict-ridden historical period through art and visual representation produced in France, Britain, the Caribbean, and the American colonies. We will look at the diverse ways in which the Atlantic economy was given visual form, and will try to put "capitalism" and "empire" back into the problem of slavery. How do we understand the geographical basis of artifacts produced in the various countries that make up the Atlantic region, including the culturally betwixt and between? And, if representation presumes a notion of publicness, subjecthood, even citizenship (to "represent" is to stand in for someone or something), how was representation as such challenged by the colonial encounter?

ARTH 4308 Seminar in Art History
TR 9:30-10:50 ART B01
Instructor: Dr. Wolff
Topic: Resistance in Paradise: Modern/Contemporary Caribbean Art
Prerequisites: Suggested: ARTH 2302 (Survey II) and ARTH 3303 (Survey III)

The Caribbean conjures images of piña coladas with paper umbrellas, idyllic beaches, pristine shorelines, and all-inclusive resorts. While indeed a bustling tourism industry populates various parts of the Caribbean, it only conveys one small facet of a very complex region. Underneath the veneer of these calm waters resides a dynamic reality full of cultural fusions, tensions, and reclamations that are never at rest. This course takes this friction between reality and representation in the Caribbean as its jumping-off point. We will explore the many 20th and 21st century artists who respond to and resist the idea of the Caribbean as an idyllic site of rest and relaxation, and instead seek to reframe the arts of the region on more historically accurate terms—that is to say, as the beating heart of global modernity. Arts relating to the African Diaspora, Indigenous Taíno culture, and the legacy of European colonialism will be emphasized. Beginning with the visual impact of the Spanish-American War in 1898 and ending with the arts of today, we will explore myriad Caribbean islands, including Jamaica, the Bahamas, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Students will be expected to play an active role in this seminar through regular class participation and reading presentations. Students will also produce a final research project based on the course topic.

ARTH 4389 Topics in 20th and 21st Century Art
MW 12:30-1:50 ARCH 01
Instructor: Dr Orfila
Topic: Art of the 1960s: The Era of the New Media
Prerequisites: Suggested: ART 1301 (Survey I), ARTH 2302 (Survey II)

In the 1960s, American and European artists reacted against the discourse of modernism institutionalized at the end of the Second World War. The main artistic movements of this decade (Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptual Art), and the theoretical debates they spurred, established the foundations of contemporary art. Modernism rigidly stood for medium-specificity; that is, the idea that the unique and proper area of competence for a form of art corresponds with the ability of an artist to manipulate those features that are "unique to the nature" of a particular medium. Consequently, the artists who reacted against modernism invented new forms of multi-media art, performance, happenings, etc. They also explored the use of newly developed technology (video, computers, information technology, etc.) for the creation of art. This period thus saw the first blossoming of new media art, one that paved the way for contemporary manifestations. This course will examine the art and critical reception of the work of artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Yayoi Kusama, Robert Morris, Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol, and Naum Paik.

Graduate Courses - Fall 2020

ARTH 5305 Topics in Art History
W 3:00-5:50 ART B02
Instructor: Dr Wolff
Art and Revolution in Latin America

This seminar considers how Latin American revolutions have served as vehicles for artistic production in the region, both historically and into today. We will take a wide temporal and geographical lens—from the Haitian Revolution at the turn of the 19th century to the 1994 Zapatista Uprising in Mexico—to consider not only how visual arts give shape to political life in Latin America, but also how "revolution" itself cannot be contained by any singular historical definition. We will examine artistic interventions and responses to these revolutionary shifts at all levels of society, from daily life, to state surveillance, to transnational relations, and across the last 200 years. These revolutions have rippled outward with such ferocity that their impact continues to radiate today in the region (and globally), prompting contemporary artists to respond to events that occurred centuries ago. To that end, this course will privilege decolonial methodologies, considering the relationships between colonial structures of power and modern/contemporary artistic production. Visual and performative arts related to indigenous and Afro-diasporic cultures will be emphasized. Students will be expected to be active seminar participants, leading reading discussions and producing a final research paper on the course topic.

ARTH 5382 Modern & Contemporary Art
TR 9:30-10:50 ART B02
Instructor: Dr Orfila
Topic: Art of the 1960s: The Era of the New Media

In the 1960s, American and European artists reacted against the discourse of modernism institutionalized at the end of the Second World War. The main artistic movements of this decade (Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptual Art), and the theoretical debates they spurred, established the foundations of contemporary art. Modernism rigidly stood for medium-specificity; that is, the idea that the unique and proper area of competence for a form of art corresponds with the ability of an artist to manipulate those features that are "unique to the nature" of a particular medium. Consequently, the artists who reacted against modernism invented new forms of multi-media art, performance, happenings, etc. They also explored the use of newly developed technology (video, computers, information technology, etc.) for the creation of art. This period thus saw the first blossoming of New Media art, one that paved the way for contemporary manifestations. This course will examine the art and critical reception of the work of artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Yayoi Kusama, Robert Morris, Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol, and Naum Paik.