HISTART 617-001

Visual Valence: Case Explorations in the Critical Analysis of Material Culture: Materiality, Tangibility, and the Place of the Object

Tisch G026
W 1:00-4:00pm
3 Credit Seminar

After the "visual turn" in the humanities, we now have the "material turn," in which new attention is being paid not only to what was formerly called the decorative arts (eg armor, maiolica, tapestries) but also to a broad range of objects generated by and for the non-elite (eg tin badges, dolls, cooking ware). Thus, the formerly conservative call for a "return to the object" might be taking on new meaning. This course considers the possibilities and challenges of the turn, and ponders what art history might contribute. Particular attention is paid to such issues as interaction and use, tangibility and the sense of touch, visuality and the sense of sight, and strategies of museum display, alongside a consideration of various media (like wood or glass) and formats such as the book arts and culinary culture.

Textbooks/Other Materials: All readings are free on CTools.