Special Topics in History of Art: The Arts of Empire: Visual Responses to Roman Rule in the Middle East and North Africa
This course explores the role of art, architecture, and material culture in the governance of the Roman Empire. It focuses, in particular, on the ways in which material remains inform us about issues of aesthetics, colonization, cultural identity, and local difference in relation to archaeological sites in the provinces of the Roman Empire where the University of Michigan had done, or is currently doing, archaeological excavation and field survey. These sites include, among others, Carthage in Tunisia, Antioch of Pisidia in Turkey, Karanis in Egypt, and Sepphoris and Tel Anafa in Israel. Lectures, class discussion, and research projects employ artistic, archaeological, and archival materials in the Kelsey Museum whenever possible. Among the objects from the archaeological sites currently on display at the Kelsey Museum are mosaics, stone and terracotta sculptures, pottery vessels, lamps, glass vessels, coins, and items of personal adornment. One objective of student research projects will be to develop contextual information for the materials exhibited at the Kelsey in preparation for a touch screen program that is planned for the gallery. These projects will involve students in thinking about how to convey the significance of this material to museum visitors of all ages.
Estimated cost of materials: $0-$50.