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Art History (AH)


AH 1100 - World Art - 3 credits

Fall and Spring Semesters

World Art is designed to introduce students to major works of art from across the globe spanning a wide specrtum of time—from the ancient epoch to the present.  Students will start by identifying such compositions and linking them to the civilizations that created them and the eras (periods/movements) from which they emerged.  Students will also be challenged to apply the proper range of related terms to analyze the compositions on an aesthetic level.  Lastly, students will be challened to think critically about the broader social context (political, economic, historic, technological, etc.) surrounding such works.

This course meets the General Education International/ Global Interdependence requirement or the General Education Humanities Breadth requirement.


AH 2000 - Identity & Visual Culture: A Global Perspective - 3 credits

How are personal and social identities constructed and how do they change?  In what ways are identities personally, socially, or politically significant?  This Art History course will study such questions in a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary manner.  We will investigate both contemporary and historical issues surrounding critical theories and approaches from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas as they relate to the arts.  Among other things, the following topics will be studied and explored:  “primitivism;” “otherness;” colonialism, nationalism, ethnicity and hybridity; a sense of place; social order, gender, sexual orientation, religion in intercultural contexts; style and ethnicity; symbolism, meaning, and interpretation; social order (a systems view); and the phenomenology of “self” in art.  Taken together, these themes are viewed as constructs that frame our understanding of art.  In the process we will examine how artists have contested dominant representations of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, as well as other minority “subjectivities,” and how artists have proposed alternatives to such constituencies.  Among other things, weekly writing assignments, both in-class and online, are designed to engage students with course topics, foster creative and critical thinking, and allow instructor assessment and evaluation of students’ progress.  

This course meets the General Education Diversity Requirement or the General Education Global Requirement.


AH 2498 - Film Criticism - 3 credits

Surveys representative examples of various styles and genres of motion pictures to enable students to recognize and evaluate the creative processes and criticism that are unique to film. (Same course as COM 2498).

This course meets the General Education Humanities Breadth and Reading/Writing Enhancement requirement.


AH 2720 - A History of Photography - 3 credits

Offered periodically within a three-year academic cycle

SA 2720 presents a survey of historical, philosophical, and aesthetic developments in photography since its origins in 19th century France to the present with an emphasis on global perspectives and identities. Students will be introduced to the key historical figures and the movements they were associated with. In the process, various technical processes will be covered (as well as the camera’s evolution), appropriate vocabulary will be introduced, and the impact of photographic imagery upon mass culture will be examined.

This course meets the General Education International/Global Interdependence requirement.


AH 2930 - Contemporary Art - 3 credits

Alternate Spring Semesters

The aim of this course is to provide the student with an understanding of the current art scene through an exposure to the many styles and ideas that have emerged in recent years. Through field trips to museums and galleries and visits from professionals in the Boston area, students will study contemporary artists from many parts of the world with an emphasis on gender and cultural balance. The focus will be on learning to appreciate the work aesthetically as well as examine how it fits into a political, historical and biographical context. A second aim of the course is to expose the student to representative examples of current critical thought.

This course meets the General Education Humanities Breadth requirement.


AH 2935 - Modern Art - 3 credits

Offered periodically within a three-year academic cycle

Modern Art is a chronological survey of European and American Modern art movements from the late eighteenth century (starting with Neoclassicism) through to roughly 1960 and the advent of Pop art. Traditional media such as painting, sculpture, architecture, as well as newer forms such as photography will be addressed, especially regarding their broader cultural, political, technological, and environmental contexts.

This course meets the General Education International/Global Interdependence requirement or the General Education Humanities Breadth requirement.


AH 2960 - Non-Western Art - 3 credits

This course introduces non-Western cultural perspectives. Emphasis is placed on African, Middle-Eastern, Asian, Oceanic, and native American (Pre-Columbian) art forms throughout history. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an historical understanding of art as reflective of non-Western social and cultural development.

This course meets the General Education International/Global Interdependence requirement.


AH 2970 - History of Graphic Design - 3 credits

This course examines the historical development of graphic design as a discipline, by looking at the work of specific individuals and movements whose innovations have shaped visual communication. Studies the relationship between graphic design and its audience. Examines the social impact of design by looking at such innovations as the printing press, photography, and the computer. In addition, students will explore the aesthetic development of graphic design and look at how it has impacted contemporary sensibilities.

This course meets the General Education International/Global Interdependence requirement.


AH 3010 - Research Methods in World Art - 3 credits

Spring Semester

Research Methods in World Art covers major works of art from across the globe spanning a wide specrtum of time—from the ancient epoch to the present.  Students will be challenged to apply the proper range of related terms to analyze the compositions on an aesthetic level and will be challened to think critically about the broader social context (political, economic, historic, technological, etc.) surrounding such works in order to examine human creativity and diversity throughout history.  This course follows a methodological approach to the discipline, focusing on the writing and research process itself and in critically assessing the art-historical literature in the process. 

This course meets the General Education Reading/Writing Enhancement requirement.

Prerequisite: AH 1100.