Special Topics: Arts of China: Society, History and Politics
Bo Liu
Monday & Wednesday
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
G-026 Tisch
3 Credit Lecture
This course will take an interdisciplinary approach to the arts of China from the Neolithic period through the twentieth century. We will consider examples of different media (including painting, calligraphy, bronze vessels, bronze mirrors, sculpture, ceramics, architecture and mural) in the context of Chinese literature, politics, philosophies, and religions, with some attention to dialogues with other cultures, such as Europe and Western Asia. Specific topics, including relation between images and texts, artists' places within specific social structure, intellectual theories of the arts, and questions of patronage, will be discussed. The course will ask the students to think over questions like "Why was a particular artifact considered a masterpiece?" "What kind of values it represented and what were the ideologies behind it?" "Who would want it and why?" "What is the stake for people to debate and compete on different artistic themes, styles and tastes?" Questions like these guides the students to view and think of artworks critically and lead them to understand the sophisticate role of art as a social product that is defined by certain social contexts and at the same time remodel the latter through various ways. Although students will read and analyze Chinese primary sources in translation when appropriate, previous knowledge on Chinese is not required. Estimated cost of materials: $50 or more, but less than $100. III. 3