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New Undergraduate Course Supplement 2022

ARTH 20.04 Faith and Empire: Art in the Early Modern World

When the Iberian mariner Ferdinand Magellan landed in the Philippines, he brought with him two Flemish sculptures. Presented to the recently converted governor of the island of Cebu, these sculptures both centered Christian worship in the South China Sea and staked a claim for Spanish colonization. This course examines the role of art and objects, like Magellan’s gifts, that stand at the intersection of religion and colonial ambitions across the early modern world (ca. 1550-1750). Set against the social, political, and devotional contexts of the period, this course explores the transcultural development of the arts across media. In this discussion-based seminar, students will engage with readings that explore early modern art in Europe and its empires. Working directly with the collections of the Hood Museum and other campus resources, students will also learn object-based approaches to art history. Particular attention will be given to material culture, sculpture, decorative arts, and printmaking. Additionally, students will encounter theoretical discourses on exchange, hybridity, hierarchies, and collecting. This seminar will highlight the Dutch Republic, the Habsburg Empire, and their colonies in the Americas, Asia, and Africa. Each week of the seminar will examine themes including: the global circulation of images; the development of national identities; trade in materials; objects as agents of conversion; and conceptions of race. Finally, this course will examine the place of religion and imperialism in the development of collections and museums. As a final project, students will organize an exhibition at the Hood Museum of Art related to the course topic.

Degree Requirement Attributes

Dist:ART; WCult:W

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.