Special Topics in History of Art: Images and Artifacts: Anthropological Perspectives
210 Tappan
M 1:00-4:00pm
3 Credit Seminar
Meets with Anthrcul 558.002

Understanding images and visual, sensory phenomena and messages may seem to be an intuitive process but acquiring visual literacy and learning how to think visually, are actually like learning a new language with its own special alphabet, lexicon and syntax. One might "know" a thing visually, but may not be able to describe that same thing. In addition to learning how to think visually and to become visually literate, this multi-media seminar is also devoted to exploring a history-spanning range of anthropological and art historical theories of artifacts and images produced by hand and through technological mediation. In this connection, we will consider artifact- and image-making as forms of instrumental action and agency (versus artifact and images as passive objects or subjects). This seminar traverses the globe in exploring cultural "case studies" of media--paints, inks, paper, cameras, ceramics, biological substances, etc.--and artifact/image-making--calligraphy, totems, sculptures, home decoration, landscape painting, cartoons and caricatures, tchotchkes, political gifts, photomontages, and collages--among other forms of expression and their occasioning circumstances.

Estimated cost of materials: $100 or more, but less than $150, but all readings will be on reserve.