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 AH 318 Topics in Art History


The topic of this course is the art of art history, i.e. the history of art history as an academic discipline. The history of art has been written and rewritten since classical times. Since the foundation of the modern discipline of art history in Germany in the late eighteenth century, debates about art and its histories have intensified. Art historians, historians, philosophers, psychologists, and anthropologists among others have changed our notion of what art history has been, is, and might be.

This course introduces students to art history’s history through critical reading of the field’s most innovative and influential texts over the past two centuries. The course will focus on key figures and key texts that have shaped the discipline. Readings will include texts by writers as diverse as Aby Warburg, Ernst Gombrich, Erwin Panofsky, Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida. Topics that will be discussed include: art as history, art history and aesthetics, meaning and interpretation, authorship and identity, and art history in the globalized world.


Dr. Hans Bloemsma


Art History


One of the following courses is required in order to take this course:

  • A&H 215 17th-Century Dutch Painting
  • A&H 216 Italian Renaissance Art
  • A&H 115 Introduction to Art History (with permission from the instructor)

Note: for some students it will not be possible to take the 200-level Art History course before proceeding to the 300-level. In such cases, students may request permission from the instructor to take the 300-level course first. The 200-level course will then be taken at a later stage to complete the track.