HART 394.001

Special Topics: Text and Image in Early Modern China

270 Tappan
W 1:00pm - 4:00pm
3 Credit Seminar

This course aims to consider the complex relationships between text and image in comparative perspective. It is designed to help students develop a sense of both the advantages and potential pitfalls of explicit comparative research by exploring how certain initial assumptions, material conditions, social constraints or canon formation could foster different pictorial strategies historically. The primary focus of discussion will be painting and poetry. Just as the literature of "Ut Pictura Poesis" developed in Classical and Early Modern Europe, so did theories about picturing the verbal develop in Classical and Early Modern China. Some critical terms and concepts developed in China have no obvious counterpart in European criticism and vice-versa, but students will be surprised to find considerable overlap. Some leading theories emphasized pictorial description, others poetic tropes, bodily movement and so on, each with its own premises regarding the nature of emotion, the role of the artist, and protocols of artistic appreciation. We will make extensive use of online sources providing good images and translations of Chinese paintings and texts at the Freer Gallery in Washington D.C. The course will culminate in a trip to the Freer Gallery to view original Chinese paintings that students have chosen to study during the term.

No cost for materials.

Category for Concentration Distributions: C. Asia (Includes China, Japan, India, Southeast Asia), 3. Early Modern