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Curatorial Studies Program

Art History Major

The art history major supports students in becoming visual thinkers and visual storytellers. It provides students with the technical aspects of making art through mixed media, digital technologies and installations as well as a working knowledge of historical and contemporary art practices.

AVC 141 Ways of Seeing I
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This course studies the art and architecture of the ancient world. It focuses on Egypt, the Near East, the Classical Greek and Roman world and Europe pre-2000 to 1400. It also examines African and Asian art traditions that emerged during that period.
AVC142 Ways of Seeing II
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This course explores the visual arts from the pre-fourteenth to the twenty-first century (the Medieval to the Modern period). It considers works of art in the social, political, religious, and philosophical and sometimes, the very personal contexts that gave these objects meaning for their original audiences.
AVC312 Africa, Antiquity & Contemporary Expressions
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This course surveys the traditional and the contemporary arts of sub-Saharan Africa. Taking the
extreme cultural diversity of the continent into consideration, the first section is primarily organized according to cultural areas through which we shall examine sculptures, paintings, pottery, textiles, architecture, and body adornment. The second section focuses on a host of internationally acclaimed contemporary artists, who have emerged from colonial and postcolonial African contexts since the 1950s.
AVC255 Writing in Art History
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The Department of Art & Visual Culture has instituted a sequence of three courses, beginning in the sophomore year, to prepare students for the rigors of study in the fields of Art History and Curatorial Studies. The first course, Writing in Art History, focuses on writing (formal and contextual analyses of artworks).
AVC 230 Global Foundations
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This course begins with the premise that the history of European and American modern art, which arose out of 17th-century Enlightenment ideals, is incomplete without an examination of the African, Oceanic, and other global influences that prompted the Impressionists to emulate Japanese woodblock prints and catalyzed Picasso and Braque’s exploration of Cubism in the early 20th century.
AVC260 Introduction to Pacific Art
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An exciting adventure into Pacific art and visual culture awaits you in this journey through “A Sea of Islands.” We explore the art of Polynesia to understand how identity is represented in art from pre-contact through globalization in Hawaii, Samoa, and New Zealand. We also survey continuing and contemporary art from Melanesia and Micronesia.
AVC265 Arts of the Black Atlantic World
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Black Atlantic was catalyzed by Western colonialism and the transatlantic slave trade as captured men, women, and children were transported from the African continent to the Caribbean and the Americas. This course examines art from West-Central Africa and other regions to determine how the social and philosophical forces of Africanisms shaped the aesthetics of African American art. 
AVC317 Black Arts Movement
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This course examines the art, music, literature and film of the Black Arts Movement (1965-1972), an explosive cultural flourishing that emerged in the United States in the wake of African liberation and decolonization movements in the 1950s and 1960s as well as the Civil Rights and Black Power movements of the same period.
AVC320 Framing Art Histories
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The Department of Art & Visual Culture has instituted a sequence of three courses to prepare students for the rigors of study in the fields of Art History and Curatorial Studies. The second course, Framing Art Histories, is a foundational theory and methods course that concentrates on the practices and methods of the discipline of art history. It investigates key questions and institutional structures that define the practice of art history.
AVC325 African American Cinema
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This seminar looks at the history of African American filmmaking from the perspective of directors, actors, studios and audiences. We will study the works of pioneering black filmmakers from Oscar Micheaux to Julie Dash. Other topics include Race Cinema, Blaxploitation films of the 1970s, the New Black Cinema, black women’s filmmaking and documentary. Readings in film studies and critical race theory direct our analyses of the films.
AVC355 Contemporary African Diaspora Art
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This seminar considers the work of artists who trace a visual genealogy of the African Diaspora through an active mnemonic aesthetics. It examines traditional art forms, including painting, sculpture and printmaking as well as the contemporary art practices of photography, installation, film, video and performance.
AVC365 Black Pacific Art
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Black Pacific connections in culture and literature can be found on both sides of the world’s largest ocean and scholars have traced these linkages between African American culture and Oceania as well as Asia Pacific. This seminar explores Black Pacific art and its relationship to Black Atlantic art while increasing critical reading, thinking, and writing skills.
AVC383 Slavery and Visual Culture
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This interdisciplinary undergraduate lecture examines the visual culture of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade from the 16th century to the present. Lectures present artifacts, prints, paintings, photographs, sculpture, film and installation art that images the history of slavery and its profound contemporary resonance. The course’s focus on the historical/contemporary interplay between the relationship of slavery and visuality is key for studying the roots and continued impact of structural racism. 
AVC 387 Art Market
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This course examines the history of the art market, from the 16th century to the present. We study the production, sale and exchange of works of art as well as the patrons, artists and collectors who participate in this economic, social and political form of taste-making and aesthetic valuation.
AVC480 Thesis
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The Art History Thesis is an advanced course that helps art historian students to integrate coursework and to enhance critical thinking and research skills as applicable to the discipline of art history.
*See the department for information on electives.

Through the ARCHE Program, the department also offers opportunities for study at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)Georgia State UniversityAgnes Scott CollegeEmory UniversityUniversity of Georgia, and several other visual arts programs throughout the state university system.