Topic outline

  • Course Description

       incense burner Evangelist figures and angel  

    The aim of this class is to introduce students to the history of art and its objects from the period of the cities and empires in the Ancient Near East up to the beginning of the European Renaissance in the 15th century. We will study works of painting, sculpture and architecture from a vast array of different cultures with an aim to developing students’ analytical capacities in looking at and understanding a work of art formally, culturally and contextually within both the History of Art and the History of the History of Art.

    The class text is Neil MacGregor's History of the World in 100 Objects. Note this is also a radio series and is supported on the website below so you can listen rather than read the text should you wish to do so. Please note that in addition to the MacGregor we will also be reading Zainab Bahrani's Graven Image and a number of articles (All of these you will have to read yourself). The Bahrani book is available in the bookstore. All the articles will be available through the links posted in the class schedule below.

  • Assignments and Grading

    There will be work due weekly in this class so you will need to keep on top of it. Click below for details on these and on grading for the class. Please we'll also be having two exams - a Midterm and a Final.

  • Architecture that you will need to know

    We will also be studying architecture in this class. Because MacGregor's book is focused on objects we will need to supplement it with articles on buildings and urban design. You will be responsible for a number of world historical sites these will be posted here over the course of the semester as we study them.