Art and Art History 398. Experimental Courses
In this class, students question what constitutes knowledge and in fact study knowledges, as a plural concept. Revolving around themes rather than chronologies, this course examines how new technologies, scientific discoveries, and events shaped the production and the construction of knowledge(s). The visualization of such knowledge(s) stemmed from the humanistic and scientific discourses that shaped them: a Galilean telescope, for instance, changed not only the ways in which artists and scientists represented the surface of the moon, but inflamed theological discussions on the purity of the lunar surface and its association with the Virgin Mary. From the popularization of the printing press, to the dissection of bodies, and to alchemical practice, this course investigates moments when new narratives were created because radical encounters confronted and confounded assumed knowledge.
Middle Eastern Cinemas
This seminar examines narrative and documentary feature films by the most prolific and groundbreaking filmmakers of the Middle East from the past seventy years. Giving particular attention to the work of women filmmakers, our objective will be to understand how film has been used to craft cinematic representations of everyday life in Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Palestine/Israel, Syria and Lebanon. In this course we will consider how narrative, cinematography, and sound come together in a range of approaches to critique, contradict, and comment on historical events and political realities. An exploration of themes of humor, romantic love, family history, and political violence will be weaved throughout the course.