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ART H 309 B: Topics In Art History

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Meeting Time: 
MWF 10:00am - 11:20am
ART 003
Meredith Clausen
Meredith Clausen

Syllabus Description:


Spring 2016, MWF 10 -11:20, rm 003, Art Building

Prof Meredith L. Clausen, Architectural History (
Laure Heland, Affiliate, Associate Professor, Sustainable Ecological Design (heland@uw.ed)

Clausen office hrs: Weds, 2-5pm, or by appt.
Art Building, rm 222
Office tel: 616-6751
home page:


Course Description:

An introduction to the history of American architecture and urbanism seen from an ecological perspective, from the time of indigenous inhabitants to the present. No slide identifications; emphasis is on developing analytical skills and critical thinking, not memorization.


SoA+AH+D Policies

Lecture Images



Course Objectives:

To provide an understanding of differing building traditions and their impact on the natural environment (land, natural resources, air, water) throughout the United States as they have developed over the course of time. Students will learn some of the basic principles of structure, an understanding of what is involved in the design of buildings, the purpose of architecture, its meaning and expressive power, and in this context most especially what effect – temporary and enduring – on the ecology of the country.


Course Requirements:

MWF meetings with discussion participation in which is expected. Three exams, each comprising 1/3 of final grade. Students are required to take exams as scheduled; exceptions are granted only in cases of documented emergencies and must be approved by the instructor. And, yes, the exams are cumulative, with each exam emphasizing new material but drawing on knowledge, skills, and understanding acquired throughout the quarter.


Disability Services Office: If you would like to request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact the Disability Services Office, email:, 206-543-6450 (voice) / 206-543-6452 (TTY). Please provide the instructor a copy of your letter from Disability Services indicating you have a disability that requires assistance. Disability Resources for Students, UW Seattle Campus


Common Classroom Rules of Thumb: Please, no talking in class and turn all cell phones off, as they are disruptive to other students. Come on time and don’t leave early; if for whatever reason you have to leave, sit in the back near the exit, so you don’t interrupt the class. No late papers will be accepted without signed medical excuse.


Images:  Slides used in lecture will be in PowerPoint format; after each class, Powerpoints (Lecture Images link above) will be posted online via Canvas for review as PDFs. Many (though not all) of the slides used in class are accessible on the Web, in the Cities and Buildings Database, an online digital image database created at the University of Washington in 1996 and added to continuously since then. There are also, of course, other image-based websites that one can use as a source of images.


Texts: (available at the University Book Store and in the architecture library, Gould Hall)

  • Leland Roth, American Architecture: A History, Westview Press, 2016, $85.00 (e-copies, $54.99)

  • Eggener, Keith. American Architectural History: A Contemporary Reader, 2004

  • Venturi, Complexity and Contradictions in Architecture, orig published 1966, but any edition will do


Students are expected to do the required reading before the class meets and to be prepared to discuss it in class. Class sessions will start with questions based on the reading, to which you may be called upon to respond. Best come prepared so you don't flub up. Recommended readings are for those seeking a broader discussion or deeper probing of the subject.

Copies of required books are available in the Arch Library, Gould Hall; required articles/chapters will be posted on Canvas.


Link to Full Syllabus for Schedule and Weekly Topics

Catalog Description: 
Topics vary.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
October 5, 2016 - 9:01pm