ART OF THE WESTERN WORLD
ARTH 115: Art of the Western World. Department of Art + Art History, Albion College.
This course was designed to introduce first-year undergraduate students to the art of the Western world. Each class framed the arts within historical, religious, political, economic and social events and taught students basic tools of art historical analysis and criticism.
In addition to creating and implementing the course syllabus (below), I provided class lectures, facilitated group discussions and in-class activities, and developed and graded all essays and exams. I also provided one-on-one support to students as needed.
ARTH 115: Art of the Western World
Instructor: Dr. Meghan Gilbride
Office Hours: By appointment
This course meets Tuesday and Thursday from 2:15 pm to 4:05 pm. This course satisfies the global category requirement.
Placing works of art within the relevant social, political, and philosophical contexts, this course presents a chronological survey of Western art from prehistoric times to the contemporary moment. Each class will focus on specific art objects from a range of styles and media that exemplify each period we discuss. Through a combination of lectures, group discussions, presentations, and written assignments, we will develop a basic art historical vocabulary and practice detailed visual readings that take into account each artwork’s context of origin as well as the impact they continue to have on the ideals of Western art. Together we will ask why these objects were made, what their social significance was at they time they were produced, and how they continue to resonate in our lives.
Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to
• Identify a group of significant works from the prehistoric period to the contemporary moment
• Recognize how an art object’s significance is shaped by its relevant historical and cultural contexts
• Distinguish between a broad range of art movements and styles
• Independently conduct formal and historical analyses using the appropriate vocabulary
• Understand the constructed nature of history and aesthetics within art history
• Think critically about the art and media you encounter in your daily life and consider today’s visual culture from the perspective of history
Marilyn Stokstad and Michael W. Cothren. Art: A Brief History. Sixth edition. London: Pearson, 2015. (Identified in the syllabus as “SC”).
Each of the following is expected for all students in this class: attendance, participation, on-time completion of reading and writing assignments, and the completion of all quizzes and examinations. If you do not complete all required exams and the final paper you will receive a 0 for this course.
Attendance is mandatory. Two or more unexcused absences will result in your final grade lowered by 3 points on a 100-point scale (100 to 97 to 94 to 91 to 89 etc.).
The Albion College statement on attendance:
Regular attendance in all classes is expected. Every absence from class is inevitably a loss—usually one that can never be made up. A student has the responsibility to inform her or his faculty member, whenever possible in advance, of an absence due to serious or prolonged illness, and verification of absences due to emergency reasons, may be obtained from the Office of Residential Life.
Excused absences include illness, emergencies, and College-sanctioned events (i.e. College-sponsored athletics, field trips, conference attendance, etc. Such absences must be accompanied by notification from the appropriate faculty member or other College official). Punctuality is also expected. At the beginning of each class, you will be asked to sign an attendance sheet. Being late risks being counted absent.
The use of electronic devices of any sort, including laptops, is not permitted in the classroom, unless special arrangements have been made with me. Students who violate this policy or otherwise disrupt the class will be counted absent.
Class participation includes completing the assigned readings by their due dates, contributing to group discussions and activities, and welcoming other points of view. Throughout the course, you will also be participating in two group presentations. More details to follow.
Writing assignments (10%)
You will be asked to complete a small writing assignment each week. Some may be submitted via the course’s Moodle page while others might be conducted and handed in during class. Assignment topics will vary, and I will provide you with the relevant details each week.
Short pop quizzes may occur at any time. These may cover images, maps, or vocabulary from that week’s assigned readings.
Final Paper (30%)
A final paper will be due on Friday, April 20th. Topics will be assigned later in the term.