HISTART 689-002

Upper Level Seminar:
Liminality and Spaces of Transition

M W 10:00am - 11:30am
3 Credit Seminar

Liminality has become a widely influential concept for art history. This seminar will explore the concept and related terms in depth by looking at the different ways in which it has been used and theorized, both in the past and presently. The course has two parts: In the first, we will study texts that delve into the aesthetics, the ritual, and the spatial and material aspects of liminality. Our case studies in this part will allow us to think about how precisely abstract concepts concerning movement and transition can be brought to bear on something supposedly unchanging and tangible in its composition such as art and material culture. They will be from a field within which the term 'liminality' has been used widely, the Middle Ages in Europe, and present a range of media as well as taking us to portals, doors, triptychs and harbors. In the second part, we will delve into the case studies that you propose and would like to work with. These may be from any period or geocultural region which you are able to introduce the class to as a basis for methodological discussion.

Textbooks/Other Materials: All materials will be provided.

Course Requirements: Motivation to engage with theoretical texts, which we will sometimes have to translate, is a prerequisite.

Intended Audience: Graduate students and senior undergraduates who enjoy reading and working with texts and concepts.

Estimated Cost of Materials: $0-50

HISTART Concentration Distributions: Europe and the United States, Transhistorical.