Introduction to Japanese Art
This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the history of Japanese visual culture, introducing cultural productions of the archipelago from ancient times through the present day. Although primarily a chronological historical examination of key artistic monuments, the class will also discuss thematic issues such as the materiality of artworks, cultural exchange, the conceptions of nature and naturalness, and the relationships between art and religion, class, politics, and society.
Estimated cost of materials: $0-$50.
HISTART Concentration Distributions: C: Asia, 2. Medieval, 3. Early Modern
An additional aim of the class is to develop skills of visual analysis. By a series of in-class and written exercises, we will learn to use the material and visual qualities of the artifacts of the past to gain insight into other cultures and historical periods. We will also consider how our own analyses and interpretations reveal as much about ourselves as they do about our objects of study.
At the end of the semester, you should have a better understanding of many aspects of Japanese history, thought, religion, and visual culture; you should also have developed a heightened awareness of and sophistication about the visual world in general.
No prior knowledge of Japanese language, art, or culture is necessary or assumed for this class. All are welcome!
This course fulfills the LS&A Humanities distribution requirement