Art History and Film Studies Courses

Fall 2016

ARH 170 Survey of Art in the Western World I
Instructor: Elizabeth Strum

Tuesday and Thursday 10:15-11:35;
Tuesday and Thursday 2:45-4:05 PM; Monday
Wednesday 4:15-5:35 PM (3 sections)
Survey of art from prehistoric times through the fourteenth century focusing on architecture, sculpture and painting of the ancient Near East, Egypt, and Europe.

ARH 208 Greek Archaeology
Instructor: Michael Werner

Monday and Wednesday 4:15-5:35 PM
Survey of the prehistoric and historical cultures of ancient Greece, as revealed by archaeology, from the Neolithic to the Hellenistic era, with emphasis on the evolution of pottery style, painting, sculpture and architecture.

ARH 240 Images and Issues of Diversity
Instructor: Anne M. Woulfe

Tuesday/Thursday 11:45-1:05 and 1:15-2:35 PM (2 sections)
This course will examine the visual and performing arts produced in selected subcultures and will consider the ways in such social identities as race/ethnic identity, socio-economic class, gender and age are represented. The course focuses on the relationship of artists and their work to cultural and critical history, the impact and relevance for modern society, and social conditions under which these artists create, and the effect of these conditions on the themes, content, forms and shape of the reality in their art.

ARH 252 Art of the Enlightenment in France and England
Instructor: Sarah Cohen

Monday and Wednesday 2:45-4:05 PM
This course examines art produced during the eighteenth century, a period of rich cultural and intellectual exchange known as the “Enlightenment.” We explore the original context, use and significance of the art, as well as the association between artmaking and other forms of cultural inquiry and expression during this era of profound societal change. The art that we examine includes painting, sculpture, graphics and decorative arts, and we address a number of key trends that developed in France and England through a process of influence, exchange and rivalry between these two European powers. These trends include the playful, sensual style known as the Rococo; complex treatments of gender; the fascination with nature and science; and encounters both economic and cultural with people of other parts of the world, notably China, Japan, and Africa. Through the lens of eighteenth-century art students also acquire the fundamental skills of art history research and writing. (Honors College Only)

ARH 260 Introduction to Film Studies
Instructor: Shira Segal

Wednesday 5:45-8:35 PM
This course offers an introduction to the analysis of cinema as an art form. Students will learn the basic language of film analysis in order to critically understand and interpret the movies as technological, cultural, and artistic products. From mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, and film sound to narrative structure, alternatives to mainstream narrative fiction film, and contextual analysis, this introductory course provides the foundation for advanced film studies courses and fulfills General Education requirements. The aim of this class is to increase students’ visual literacy skills and the ability to recognize film language at work in the creation of meaning on screen. 

ARH 263 American Film Genres
Instructor: Rob Edelman

Tuesday 2:45-5:35 PM
This course will explore traditional American film genres, centering on the manner in which they were developed, and their evolution across the decades. Such elements as script structure, camera placement and movement, acting and directing styles, and color and widescreen processes will be examined. Genres to be explored include musicals, comedies, horror, science fiction, westerns, and melodrama. Subgenres such as the adult western, the screwball comedy, and the social comment film also will be analyzed.

ARH 264 New American Cinema
Instructor: Rob Edelman

Tuesday 5:45-8:35 PM
Wednesday 5:45-8:35 PM (2 sections)
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, great social changes were occurring the United States. These changes were sparked by the emerging youth culture, the progression of the Civil Rights Movement, opposition to the war in Vietnam, and the advent of the modern-era feminist movement. This course will explore the manner in which these changes impacted on the American cinema. Editing styles, camera placement, and camera movement veered from traditional film language; film content reflected youth alienation, the drug culture, and alternative lifestyles and politics.

ARH 265 History of Photography
Instructor: William Jaeger

Tuesday 4:15-7:05 PM
A survey of photography from its invention in 1839 to recent trends. Emphasizes why it was developed, the major nineteenth-century documentary and artistic uses, and the extraordinary range of twentieth-century explorations. The course employs an integrated approach tied to parallel social and artistic events.

ARH 270 Introduction to Ancient Art: Greek and Roman Mural Painting and Floor Mosaic
Instructor: Michael Werner

Monday and Wednesday 5:45-7:05 PM
A study of the primary visual forms, wall paintings and mosaic pavements, which survive from the ancient world, will serve to introduce students to the art of the classical civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome. The course consists of a historical survey of the wall and floor decorations produced in the Greek and Roman worlds from the palace civilizations of the Aegean Bronze Age through Classical and Hellenistic Greece to the Roman Empire and Early Christianity. Parallel developments in Etruscan art are also included. Style, content and technique in both wall paintings and floor mosaics will be studied in the ancient social and cultural contexts in which the art was created. Both pebble and tessellated mosaic pavements and fresco paintings are examined, as well as ancient literary texts which reveal ancient opinion on the visual arts.

ARH 303 Artistic Encounters in the Early Medieval World
Instructor: Rachel Dressler

Tuesday and Thursday 10:15-11:05
This course examines the art and architecture serving Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities in Europe and the Middle East from the second through the tenth century of the Common Era. Particular attention will be paid to those objects and monuments which articulate the common values and areas of tension among the adherents of all three religions. Prerequisite(s): ARH 170 or permission of instructor

ARH 368 Documentary Cinema: History, Theory, Criticism This course provides a historical and theoretical introduction to documentary film history and criticism, from early cinema to contemporary documentary filmmaking practices. Students will examine the aesthetics and ethics of representation with a keen attention to issues of visibility, consent, and the power dynamics of authorship, identity politics, and access to the modes of representation. Canonical moments of documentary film history will be explored alongside lesser known examples of documentary works in order to address complex issues of subjectivity, objectivity, and truth as implicated or compromised by the film camera, filmmaker, and film audiences. Prerequisite AARH 260 Introduction to Cinema

ARH 383 History and Practice of Video Art I
Instructor: Jason Martin

Monday and Wednesday 9:00-12:00 AM
In this course students will be seeing and making video art. Postproduction techniques in Apple Final Cut Pro and a variety of audio software are covered. Regular screenings and discussions are held to understand the lineage of the media and to provide feedback on each other’s work. Class time is spent working on assignments, screenings, lectures and discussion. A significant amount of out of class time will be needed to complete projects. Prerequisite(s): ART 244, 250 or ARH 171 or permission of instructor.

ARH 467 Art Criticism of the Post-Modern Period
Instructor: William Jaeger

Thursday 4:15-7:05 PM
Investigation of practice and theory of contemporary art criticism. Readings will concentrate on critics and writers from the 1970s to the present. In writing about works of art, students will practice basic critical skills of description, formal analysis, interpretation, and articulation of personal responses. Prerequisite(s): ARH 171; junior or senior standing; permission of instructor.

ARH 468/568 Art Since 1945
Instructor: Rakhee Balaram

Tuesday and Thursday 11:45-1:05
Survey and critical analysis of art from circa 1945 to the present. The course will cover directions in late Modernism and Post-modernism, including Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Feminist Art, Graffiti Art and Political Art. Prerequisite(s): ARH 171 or permission of instructor. Prerequisite for 500 level: graduate student status.

ARH 498/598 Cinematic Space: Art, Architecture, and Landscape in Film Studies
Instructor: Shira Segal

Tuesday 2:45-5:35 PM
This advanced film seminar on landscape in cinema examines the role of setting, set design, art, architecture, and the environment in the creation of cinematic space on screen for both characters and viewers. This course examines a wide range of films that feature landscape as a protagonist and undeniable presence within the world of the film, and approaches cinema as a mode of visual storytelling. As an art form, cinema relies on and refers to other art forms such as photography, sculpture, architecture, and dance, and this course incorporates a study of each in order to better understand cinematic space and how film operates to create mood and meaning. Students will apply this approach to their own experiences of mediation and the nature of representation in our lives and in the arts. Prerequisite(s) for 400 levels: A ARH 260, junior or senior standing, 2 upper division film studies courses. Prerequisite(s) for 500 level: graduate student status in any department.

ARH 475/575 Women in Art from Renaissance to Impressionism
Instructor: Sarah Cohen

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:30-12:25
Examines representations of women in European and North American art from the Renaissance through Impressionism. Special attention is given to works made by women, and to the problem of how women artists negotiated their position as both subjects and objects of artistic depiction. While women artists faced challenges to their authority on every level—material, theoretical, and ideological—the course explores the inventive ways they reconfigured, or even challenged, traditional expectations. Prerequisite(s): ARH 171 and junior or senior class standing, or permission of instructor. Prerequisite for 500 level: graduate student status.

ARH 490 Internship in Art History
Instructor: Rachel Dressler

Supervised placement in an institution devoted to the collection, exhibition and/or conservation of works of art, such as the Albany Institute of History and Art or the State Conservation Laboratory. Provides practical experience in working with original works of art and includes research and writing projects. Art History majors may use 3 credits toward course requirements above the 300 level. Internships are open only to qualified juniors or seniors who have an overall grade point average of 2.50 or higher. Prerequisite(s) ARH 170 and 171. S/U graded

ARH 600 Seminar in Contemporary Art
Instructor: Rakhee Balaram

Wednesday 2:00-5:00 PM
Focus on art since 1970. Includes readings and discussions on selected artists and current issues. Slide presentations on topics related to their studio work or area of research by students. Prerequisite: Enrollment in MFA program, or graduate standing and permission of instructor.