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ARTH 290

Topics in The History of Art

An in-depth study of a particular topic in the history of art. It may be an examination of a specific artist, group or movement or an exploration of a particular theme or issue in art.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities Varies according to topic offered 1/4 - 1/2 - 1 course

Fall Semester information

Sarah Cowan

290A: Tps:Music Videos and American Visual Art

This art history course asks how musical artists working in the U.S. since the 1980s have engaged and critiqued contemporary art and visual culture through their music videos. Studying the intersections of commercialism and avant-garde art, students will analyze how music videos have actively shaped recent American discourses around race, gender, sexuality, class, religion, and other facets of identity. Themes explored in the course include imagination as Black feminist and queer strategies, homophobia and "satanic panic," the contestation of feminine innocence, and the ethics of appropriation and censorship. The course situates popular cultural production in socio-historical context, such as the so-called culture wars of the 1980s, globalization, and recent activist movements against police violence and sexual violence. Artists considered in the course include Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Nas X, Lizzo, and Madonna. A motivating goal of this course is to provide students with the tools to critically engage with their everyday culture. There are no prerequisites for this course.


Spring Semester information

Lyle Dechant

290A: Tps:Illuminated Manuscripts


Lyle Dechant

290B: Tps:Medieval Visions


Pauline Ota

290C: Tps:Early Modern & Modern Japan