Art History Courses

The Art History courses offered in 2020-21 are listed below. For a complete list of the courses that may be offered in other years, please visit the Academic Calendar.

2022/2023: Fall Term

This full-year course is a survey of famous and lesser-known works of painting, sculpture, architecture, and other art forms from Antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Baroque, and the Modern Age. Themes include politics, religion, mythology, gender roles, techniques, conservation and intersections with non-western cultures.

Instructor: D. Cunningham (Fall), K. Romba (Winter).

From Ancient Mesopotamia to Europe during WWII and Syria today, this course examines the enormous impact of war and other military conflicts on cultural heritage, focusing on monuments and works of art. In lectures that move both chronologically through time and geographically from place to place, several themes are explored: cultural damage and destruction during conflict (Temple of Bel, Palmyra), the looting of works of art (Napoleon and the Nazis), erecting monuments to celebrate military victory (Trajan’s Column in Rome), human responses to heritage destruction including restoration and rebuilding (Coventry Cathedral), the desire for recovery of national heritage (Parthenon Marbles) and the rise of international efforts to safeguard heritage (UNESCO). 

Instructor: C. Hoeniger.

Download the full course description (1.4MB)

Instructor: K. Romba.

Instructor: G. Bailey.

Instructor: A. Morehead.

Instructor: A. Behan.

Instructor: J. Russell-Corbett.

Instructor: A. Behan.

Instructor: R. Spronk.

Instructor: J. Kennedy.

Instructor: U. D'Elia.

Instructor: J. Bevilacqua.

Instructor: J. Bevilacqua.

Instructor: G. Bailey

Cultural heritage preservation will be examined both in an expansive way and through specific case studies drawn from all over the world. Emphasis is given to the damage of cultural sites in war and natural disasters, and to different approaches to restoration, as well as to the looting of portable heritage objects, often during periods of conflict. We will focus on the 20th-century achievements in heritage protection, involving international laws and legal conventions, the development of ethical practices in art and architectural conservation, and the rise of organizations such as UNESCO to protect cultural and natural sites worldwide. Students will be introduced to the subject through weekly readings and discussions of important themes, and they will also gain more specialized knowledge and research skills by investigating independently a pair of World Heritage sites. The course format is a seminar with discussions of the readings and presentations of student research.

Download the full course description (200KB)

Instructor: C. Hoeniger.

Instructor: K. Romba.

Instructor: U. D'Elia.

2022/2023: Winter Term

Instructor: J. Kennedy.

Instructor: R. Spronk.

Instructor: TBA.

Instructor: U. D'Elia.

Instructor: TBA.

Instructor: J. Bevilacqua.

This course explores painting, drawing, printmaking and related arts in the seventeenth-century Netherlands. During this time, the Dutch Republic became a center of world trade, religious diversity, and innovation in government, business, and science. A thriving art market developed to serve a prosperous community of middle class consumers -- a new type of art market that prompted artists in Amsterdam, Leiden, Haarlem, Utrecht, and other Dutch cities to craft their own distinctive responses to the international movement known as the Baroque. Artistic specialties such as historical narrative, portraiture, genre, landscape, and still life flourished in new and creative ways. Global trade and colonial exploration brought wealth for investors and entrepreneurs, but these developments came at the expense of enslavement and exploitation of Black and indigenous populations in Africa and the Americas. Our discussions will set Dutch art in the context of early modern colonialism and will consider how Dutch artists responded to social concerns such as race, class, economic inequality, and gender. We will focus on the achievements of artists such as Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen, and Jacob van Ruisdael, with particular attention to the art and life of Rembrandt van Rijn, whose expressive, experimental approach to painting, drawing, and printmaking continues to inspire artists today.

Download full course description (600KB)

Instructor: S. Dickey.

Instructor: K. Romba.

Instructor: TBA.

Instructor: TBA.

This semester's special topic explores the lives and accomplishments of women artists, writers, and art patrons in early modern Europe, with a focus on the Netherlands and England. Even as traditional misogynist literature denied the capacity of women for intellect and agency, a lively community of female artists and writers defied cultural stereotypes to express creativity, exchange ideas, and produce knowledge in the arts and sciences. Class readings and discussions will consider both stereotypical perceptions of women as expressed in visual art and literature and the many ways in which female makers and thinkers dismantled them. Attention will be given to artists such as Judith Leyster, Gesina TerBorch, and Maria Sybilla Merian, writers such as Anna Maria van Schurman and Aphra Behn, and collectors of art and naturalia such as Agnes Block, Henrietta Fermor, and Margaret Cavendish.

Class activities will consist primarily of readings, discussion, and individual research projects. We will visit the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and Special Collections in Jordan Library for first-hand study of prints, books and other sources related to our topic. If logistics permit, we will design a small exhibition on our theme, to be displayed at Special Collections. This semester's special topic explores the lives and accomplishments of women artists, writers, and art patrons in early modern Europe, with a focus on the Netherlands and England. Even as traditional misogynist literature denied the capacity of women for intellect and agency, a lively community of female artists and writers defied cultural stereotypes to express creativity, exchange ideas, and produce knowledge in the arts and sciences. Class readings and discussions will consider both stereotypical perceptions of women as expressed in visual art and literature and the many ways in which female makers and thinkers dismantled them. Attention will be given to artists such as Judith Leyster, Gesina TerBorch, and Maria Sybilla Merian, writers such as Anna Maria van Schurman and Aphra Behn, and collectors of art and naturalia such as Agnes Block, Henrietta Fermor, and Margaret Cavendish. 
Class activities will consist primarily of readings, discussion, and individual research projects. We will visit the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and Special Collections in Jordan Library for first-hand study of prints, books and other sources related to our topic. If logistics permit, we will design a small exhibition on our theme, to be displayed at Special Collections. 

Download full course description (800KB)

Instructor: S. Dickey

Instructor: R. Spronk.

Instructor: J. Kennedy.

Instructor: TBA.

Instructor: A. Behan.

2021/2022:

Art in the West from Antiquity to Modernity

ARTH 120/6.0

A survey of famous and lesser-known works of painting, sculpture, architecture, and other art forms from Antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Baroque, and the Modern Age. Themes include politics, religion, mythology, gender roles, techniques, conservation and intersections with non-western cultures.

EXCLUSION: When both ARTH 116* and ARTH 117* are taken they exclude ARTH 120.

Instructor: U. D'Elia

Download the 2020/21 Fall Syllabus. (336KB)

Need art? Check out this introductory video to ARTH 120!

PREREQUISITE FOR ALL 200-LEVEL COURSES: Level 2 or permission of the Department.


Medieval Art​

ARTH 212/3.0

An introduction to the arts of the Middle Ages (c.300-1400) from the origins of Christian art under the Emperor Constantine, through the Early Christian, Byzantine, Romanesque and Gothic Periods. The focus will be on major monuments and personalities. 

PREREQUISITE: Level 2 or above or permission of the Department.

Instructor: M. Reeve

Download the ARTH 212 Course Description. (914KB)


Renaissance Art and Architecture Before 1500

ARTH 214/3.0

A study of Renaissance art and architecture before 1500 within the context of the social, political and economic history of Western Europe. Key monuments, themes and concepts will be stressed.

PREREQUISITE: Level 2 or above or permission of the Department.

Instructor: C. Hoeniger

Download the ARTH 214 Course Description (141KB)


Renaissance Art and Architecture after 1500

ARTH 215/3.0

A study of Renaissance art and architecture after 1500 within the context of the social, political and economic history of Western Europe. Key monuments, themes and concepts will be stressed.

PREREQUISITE: Level 2 or above or permission of the Department.

Instructor:  D. Cunningham 

Winter 2021 course will be fully asynchronous.

Download the ARTH 215 Course Description. (111KB)


Introduction to the Arts of Africa

ARTH 234/3.0

The course presents an introduction to the arts and visual culture of Africa, encompassing traditional or “classic” African arts, as well as modern and contemporary African arts. It explores the diversity and shifting concepts of African art over time, and the ways objects related to specific African communities circulated and gained new meanings outside the continent. Through theoretical and practical analyses, students will be stimulated to reflect on how the African art field was shaped by scholars, curators, artists, and public interaction during its main turning points.

PREREQUISITE: Level 2 or above or permission of the Department.

Instructor: J. Bevilacqua


Baroque Art

ARTH 253/3.0

A survey of the visual culture of Europe and its colonies in the Baroque age (ca. 1580-1750). Attention is given to developments in all aspects of the visual arts, with emphasis on painting, sculpture, architecture, and the graphic arts, and on the achievements of artists such as Rembrandt, Rubens, Poussin, Velasquez, and Bernini.

PREREQUISITE: Level 2 or above or permission of the Department.

Instructor: N/A


Culture and Conflict (REMOTE)

ARTH 260/3.0

An investigation of the impact of war on art and architecture, as well as human attempts to preserve cultural heritage. A chronological or thematic approach may be taken, with focus placed on one or more case studies, such as: the Sacks of Rome, the Napoleonic wars, Nazi looting, the Cultural Revolution in China, Afghanistan under Taliban rule.

PREREQUISITE: Level 2 or above or permission of the Department.

Instructor: C. Hoeniger

Download the ARTH 275 Course Description. (1MB)


Introduction to Global Design

ARTH 275/3.0

This course will introduce students to the history of craft and design since the seventeenth century in the context of the spread of industrialization and colonialism. Students will consider frameworks and key concepts for understanding design and craft, including production, consumption, style, use, materials, technology, ornament, expression vs. standardization, and authorship.

PREREQUISITE: Level 2 or above or permission of the Department.

Instructor: A. Behan

Download the ARTH 275 Course Description (235KB)


Architecture 1900 to the Present

ARTH 292/3.0

An examination of modern architecture in the western world, from 1900 to the present.

PREREQUISITE: Level 2 or above or permission of the Department.

Instructor: K. Romba

Download the ARTH 292 Fall 2020 Syllabus (114KB)


Self/Image: The Portrait

ARTH 293/3.0

From ancient Egyptian mummies to contemporary selfies, portraits have reflected and shaped ideals of personal and collective identity in diverse cultures and historical periods. This course explores the art of portraiture and its significance in human society. Specific case studies may vary.

PREREQUISITE: Level 2 or above or permission of the Department.

Instructor: S. Dickey (Winter 2022)

Download the ARTH 293 Course Description (139KB)

PREREQUISITE FOR ALL 300-LEVEL COURSES: Level 3 or permission of the Department.


The Artwork as Material Object

ARTH 301/3.0

A study of selected objects with a focus on materials and meanings.

PREREQUISITE: Level 3 or above.

Instructor: A. Behan (Winter 2022)

Download the ARTH 301 Course Description


Topics in Modern and Contemporary Art History: Global African Diaspora

ARTH 305/3.0

Description: Coming soon

RECOMMENDATION:  ARTH 226/3.0 and ARTH 228/3.0

Instructor: J. Bevilacqua


Gothic Art in Europe c. 1150-1400

ARTH 308/3.0

This course examines the changes in European art later known as ‘Gothic’. With a focus on England, France, Spain, Italy and Germany, this class will consider major monuments across the media, from manuscript painting to architecture, stained glass, sculpture and ars sacra. Throughout, monuments will be placed in their appropriate social, historical and patronal contexts.

PREREQUISITE: Level 3 or above.


Art & Feminisms

ARTH 310/3.0

This course will examine the connections between art, art history and intersectional feminisms. Students will be introduced to a number of the key issues and critical frameworks that have informed diverse, transnational feminist approaches to art, art history and art criticism.

PREREQUISITE: Level 3 or above.

Instructor: N/A


Gender and Modernism

ARTH 311/3.0

A study of gender in relation to modern visual culture from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries using theoretical frameworks drawn from feminist art history and gender studies. Topics to be studied include fashion and modernity, consumer culture, gendered and transgendered artistic identities, and the gendering of Modernism.

RECOMMENDATION: ARTH 226/3.0 and ARTH 228/3.0 

PREREQUISITE: Level 3 or above.

Instructor: E. Cavaliere

Instructor: M. Reeve 


Modern Architecture in Germany: A Social History

ARTH 306/3.0

This survey examines key German buildings and monuments from the beginning of German Confederation to the end of the Third Reich. Emphasis will be placed on situating this architecture in its broader cultural and social context.

PREREQUISITE: Level 3 or above.

Instructor: K. Romba

Download the ARTH 306 Course Description (1MB)


Art in the Age of Internet

ARTH 319/3.0

An examination of the impact of networked digital technologies on the production, display and reception of global contemporary art. From artists’ early experiments with computers in the 1960s to the post-internet and algorithmic arts of the 21st century, students will be introduced to key practices, technologies, theories and debates.

PREREQUISITE: Level 3 or above. It is recommended that students have taken ARTH 120.

Instructor: J. Kennedy

Download the ARTH 319 Course Description


Photography in Canada 1839-1938  

ARTH 342/3.0

Through lectures, readings, and research, this course explores the nature, practice, and impact of photography in Canada between 1839 and 1939. By examining how the new medium was used to confirm, complement, and contest older forms of aesthetic expression, written documentation, or visual evidence, it traces the role of photography in Canadian society during this critical period of Canadian nation building.

PREREQUISITE: Level 3 or above.

Instructor: J. Schwartz (Winter 2022)


Sculpture, Gender, and the Body in the Italian Renaissance

ARTH 346/3.0

This course will examine the sculptures that filled Italian cities from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries, some heroic, others pathetic or erotic. We will explore how sculptors worked with a variety of materials to bring to life effigies of diverse bodies, in relation to Renaissance debates about gender, sex, religion, class, and politics.

PREREQUISITE: Level 3 or above.

Instructor: U. D'Elia (Winter 2022)

Download the ARTH 346 Course Description (6.9MB)


Propaganda in Visual Culture: From the Altar to the X-Box - Online Version through Continuing and Distance Studies

ARTH 350/6.0 (ONLINE)

This course will examine the ways in which visual culture can function as social, political or religious propaganda.  With reference to examples produced from c.1600 to the present, it will deal with a variety of media and the ways in which developments in technology contribute to the spread of propaganda.

Instructor: J. Russell Corbett (Winter 2022)

Website


Architecture of the Baroque Period

ARTH 370/3.0

Baroque and Rococo architecture and urbanism of Europe and beyond including Italy, France, Iberia, Central and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, New Spain (Mexico), Peru, Brazil, India, Macau, Phillipines. Includes Italian bel composto, impact of theater, salon culture in Paris, indigenous contributions outside Europe, ephemera, gardens.

PREREQUISITE: Level 3 or above.

Instructor: G. Bailey (Winter 2022)


The City

ARTH 383/3.0

This course examines the phenomenon of the city, a settlement of high density that has, throughout history, offered many distinctive social and cultural experiences. The focus of this course will be urban art, architecture, planning, and material culture, and their relationship to those experiences. Specific urban case studies, Western and non-Western, will provide the foundation for our study. 

PREREQUISITE: Level 3 or above.

Instructor: K. Romba

Download the ARTH 383 Course Description (139KB)


Internship

(Note: all internships must meet COVID-19 related public health guidelines; remote internships will be preferred).

ARTH 395/3.0

Students in Art History and Fine Art can apply to take a practical internship in a museum or gallery, where they would undertake research or curatorial activities. All internships must be approved in advance by written application to the Undergraduate Chair. Approval will depend on the quality of the proposal and the academic record of the applicant. Students are required to write a report about their experience and are evaluated jointly by the employer and a faculty member from the Department of Art. It is the responsibility of students to arrange internships. Please review the Internship Guidelines and Internship Application Form and Internship Description Template

NOTE: Depending on location, substantial travel and subsistence costs may be involved.

Download the ARTH 395 Course Description (76KB)

Instructor: Various

PREREQUISITE FOR ALL 400-LEVEL COURSES: Level 4 and registration in an ARTH Major or Medial Plan and a GPA of 1.9 and 24.0 units in ARTH


Hacking the Museum

ARTH 403/3.0

This project-based seminar explores the interface of digital technologies, museums, and cultural heritage interpretation. Students build practical knowledge and theoretical understandings around technology, audience interpretation and knowledge creation.

Instructor: N. Vorano (Winter 2022)


Cultural Heritage Preservation

ARTH 405/3.0

An investigation of how cultural heritage has been preserved in different parts of the world in the past and the present, focusing on methods used to ameliorate or prevent damage and destruction caused by the environment, war, looting and restoration. Case studies will be drawn from the UNESCO World Heritage list.

PREREQUISITE:   Level 4 and registration in an ARTH Major or Medial Plan and a GPA of 1.9 and 24.0 units in ARTH

Instructor: C. Hoeniger

Download the ARTH 405 Course Description (700KB)


Studies in the History of Textiles and Dress

ARTH 410/3.0

This course traces the global flows of textiles and focuses on understanding how labour, desire, and economics shape textile production, circulation, and consumption. It will trace changes in economics, technology, and taste from the mid-sixteenth century to the present day.

PREREQUISITE:  Level 4 and registration in an ARTH Major or Medial Plan and a GPA of 1.9 and 24.0 units in ARTH

Instructor: A. Behan

Download the ARTH 410 Course Description (900KB)


Topics in Medieval Art History  

ARTH 415/3.0

A detailed study of one area or topic in the history of medieval European art.

PREREQUISITE:   Level 4 and registration in an ARTH Major or Medial Plan and a GPA of 1.9 and 24.0 units in ARTH

Instructor: M. Reeve (Winter, 2022)

Download the ARTH 415 Course Description (179KB)


Non-Western Art in Western Collections 

ARTH 434/3.0

A consideration of the history of collecting and public collections; of museum policy and practice; and of Western notions of art and culture as they are applied in the museum to non-Western art.

PREREQUISITE:  Level 4 and registration in an ARTH Major or Medial Plan and a GPA of 1.9 and 24.0 units in ARTH. 

Instructor: A. Behan


Anthropological Theory and Art History

ARTH 436/3.0

This course will examine a range of anthropological theories and will assess their potential methodological roles in art historical analysis.

PREREQUISITE: Level 4 and registration in an ARTH Major or Medial Plan and a GPA of 1.9 and 24.0 units in ARTH. 

Instructor: K. Romba (Winter 2022)

Download the ARTH 436 Course Description (82KB)


Critical Writing on Photography: Meaning and Practice 

ARTH 442/3.0

This seminar focuses on historical and contemporary critical writing to explore historical and contemporary perspectives on the nature, theory, and practice of photography. It is a course about ideas rather than images - ideas about photographs, about looking at photographs, and about reading photographs - ideas that have governed the way we look at, respond to, and draw meaning from photograph

PREREQUISITES:  Level 4 and registration in an ARTH Major or Medial Plan and a GPA of 1.9 and 24.0 units in ARTH. 

Instructor: J. Schwartz


Caravaggio and Artemisia 

ARTH 451/3.0

Explores Caravaggio, Artemisia Gentileschi and contemporaries in Baroque Italy. Considers issues such as naturalism/idealism, patronage, populist piety, gender. One of the goals is to look at the ways in which these artists' personalities have been projected onto their work by scholars, essayists, novelists, and filmmakers.

PREREQUISITE:  Level 4 and registration in an ARTH Major or Medial Plan and a GPA of 1.9 and 24.0 units in ARTH. 

Instructor: G. Bailey (Winter 2022)


Curatorial Studies

ARTH 460/3.0

This seminar, held at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, integrates historical, theoretical, and practical approaches to contemporary curatorial issues.

Anne Whitelaw has suggested that: “While the object is the fundamental component in the study of the visual arts, we come to know that object through the mediation of art institutions.” Those very same art institutions fundamentally shape curatorial practices. Each week this course will investigate the formation and significance of one type of art institution in the Canadian context – archive, history museum, public gallery, university gallery, artist run center, heritage center, commercial gallery, publishing – thinking about issues such as mandate, funding, collecting practice, exhibition design, community relationships, and the role of the artist as shaping curatorial practices. Throughout this course you will be offered opportunities to research your own emerging specialized curatorial interests as they might be shaped by institutional forces, as well as assignments that provide practical experience with curatorial tasks. You will come away from the course with the ability to think critically about exhibition policy and practice, and with a working knowledge of the ways various institutions shape art collection and drive artistic practices in the Canadian context.

PREREQUISITE: Level 4 and registration in an ARTH Major or Medial Plan and a GPA of 1.9 and 24.0 units in ARTH.

Instructor: J. Bevilacqua (Winter 2022)

Download the ARTH 460 Course Description (KB)


Studies in Word and Image 

​ARTH 490/3.0

The study of how words and images interact in visual and material culture. Topics may vary to address a selected theme, historical period, artist, movement, or art form, such as: illustrated books or manuscripts; art as inspiration for literary works or vice versa; scientific and technical illustration; words as images; film and digital media. 

PREREQUISITE:  Level 4 and registration in an ARTH Major or Medial Plan and a GPA of 1.9 and 24.0 units in ARTH. 

Instructor: J. Schwartz (Winter 2022)


Topics in Baroque Art

ARTH 494/3.0

A study of selected topics in the art of the 17th century.

PREREQUISITE: Level 4 and registration in an ARTH Major or Medial Plan and a GPA of 1.9 and 24.0 units in ARTH. 

Instructor: G. Bailey