Currently, I teach these courses in the Art Department, Swarthmore College:
ArtH 1: Critical Study in the Visual Arts
This introduction to the study of the visual arts will investigate formal analysis, iconoraphy, and methods of historical interpretation. The course will emphasize learning to see vividly and systematically and to write accurately about what is seen. Topics for discussion include technique and production, taste and connoisseurship, representation and abstraction, visual narrative and didacticism, style and taxonomy, patronage and biography, social pressure and economics, and approaches such as psychoanalysis, Marxism, feminism, and semiotics.
ArtH 2: Western Art
An historical introduction to the forms, meanings, functions, and contexts of Western art and architecture from ancient Mediterranean civililazations to the end of the 20th century. The course takes an overview with emphasis on selected monuments and ideas in each major period of developmental history.
ArtH29: Film: Form and Signification
Study of film as visual and iconic discourse as opposed to narrative text, dealing with the principles of framing, editing, and mise-en-scene understood as critical tools and as a historical evolution from the silent days to Godard and Bergman. Topics include: rise of photography; magic shows and the comic strip; silent comedy and the musical; cinema and painting, Renoir and Italian Neorealism, Dreyer's passion, and semiotics of cinema. Two lectures and a screening session.
No prerequisite. Sophomore and above.
ArtH 52: Florence: City and Art
Study of buildings, piazzas, and streets of Florence, section by section in the form of a guided tour, and the works of art contained therein, mostly of Florentine artists and largely from 1300-1570: Giotto, Brunelleschi, Masaccio, Ghiberti, Donatello, Alberti, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and the Mannerists, among others. The course organizes Italian Renaissance art more synchronically than diachronically, with emphasis on the specific spatial context of each work rather than on the stylistic evolution.
ArtH 53: Michelangelo and His Times
Study of Michelangelo's art -- sculpture, painting, architecture, and poetry, in relation to the art of his Quattrocento precessors and High Renaissance contemporaries, above all, Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael. Topics include classicism in art; art as problem-solving; canon and originality; papacy, patronage, and politics; the rise of the theory of art and art criticism, Mannerism and the Counter-Reformation.
Prerequisite ArtH1 or 2.
55. Rembrandt and His Times
Study of Rembrandt's art in the context of the 17th century Dutch painting, especially directed toward the understanding of the nature of picture-making. Works in painting, drawing, and etching are examined. Topics include Holland's mercantile and Protestant milieu, Rembrant's relationship to Italy, his Dutch contemporaries, the development of the genres, the print as a medium, optics and painting, old age and loose style, popular imagery, portraiture and self-portraiture, and theatricality, and, above all, general questions concerning realism, narrative art, and genre painting.
Prerequisite ArtH1 or 2
ArtH61: Everyday Things
Historical and cross-cultural study of artifacts in our everyday visual and physical environment, from paper clips and nails to furniture and appliances, as well as machines and apparel items -- how they are conceived, made, seen, used, and interpreted, examining topics of design theory and semiotics, including handicraft and manufacture: tools, technology, and standardization; marketing, packaging, and advertising, and social dynamics of historical change.
No Prerequisite. Sophomores and above.
ArtH62: Streets and Passages
Historical and crosscultural study of architectural and urban spaces, in the light of semiotics and design theory, including streets, alleys, and highways; halls, passages, and stairs; malls, gardens, and public places, markets and shop windows, railroads, automobiles, and other transports; bridges and tunnels; urban furnishing; facades, gates, entrances, and monuments; and construction in rows -- how these spaces are conceived, constructed, experienced, used, and interpreted.
ArtH64: Philadelphia and American Architecture
Study of American architecture, especially in Philadelphia, with European parallels: Palladianism, historic revivals and Victorian architecture; the Anglo-American house and the skyscraper; Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and the International Style; Frank Furness, Louis Kahn, and Robert Venturi; Postmodernism. Four guided walking tours of Philadelphia.
Prerequisite ArtH2, 61, or 62.
ArtH 75: Special Studies in the Cinema (taught occasionally)
ArtH 86: Architectural Theory (taught occasionally)
ArtH 88: Visual Semiotics (taught occasionally)
ArtH 153: Michelangelo and His Tikmes - Honors Seminar
ArtH 155: Rembrandt and His Times - Honors Seminar