HART 481.001

HistArt/ClArch The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Iran

T 9:00am - 12:00pm
A Museum Studies Program Graduate Student and Undergraduate Minor Elective
3 Credit Lecture

HistArt/ClArch 481 launches an exciting collaborative effort in exhibition design for a show to open in Fall 2015 at the Kelsey Museum. "Ancient Animations: Seals and the Social Network in the Persian Empire" will be an experimental interactive digital experience including creative video games, punctuated by loan objects from museums worldwide. "Animations" will explore the art of seals as a medium of ancient interactive communication culminating in the era of the vast and multicultural Persian Empire. The core art and its rich contextual backdrop emerge from archives of administrative documents ratified with the seals of individuals and officials. Together they illuminate visual art in expressive dialogue with the human condition--ranging from the institutional dynamics of kingship, the spiritual spheres of cult and cosmos, to the varied social lives of real people: queens, camel drivers, wine suppliers, and professional travel guides. Introductory lectures/seminar discussions of readings and issues provide the necessary background for all students, selectively surveying the visual culture of ancient Iran from late prehistory (c. 4000 BCE) through the Persian Empire (550-330 BCE). The course has significant historical content but it is also an active practicum course on museum visions and design strategies. Students in the disciplines of the College as well as those from realms such as studio art and design, education, information sciences, and software engineering are all welcome to join a project that has room for diverse talents. Basis of evaluation: Participation. One midterm. Several short critical responses (to readings, films, artifacts). One term project for the exhibition--topics tailored to individual interests.

Estimated cost of materials: $50 or more, but less than $100.

Category for Concentration Distributions: A. The Middle East (Includes Western and Central Asia, and North Africa) 1. Ancient