Inheritance by Katherine Groesbeck

You are here

ART H 400 A: Art History And Criticism

We look forward to safely returning to in-person instruction and activities this autumn quarter. Current and prospective students please visit our COVID-19 Updates pages.

New Renaissances: Transformations of the Renaissance in Modern Thought

Meeting Time: 
MW 1:30pm - 2:50pm
ART 317
Joint Sections: 
ART H 523 A
Stuart Lingo
Stuart Lingo

Syllabus Description:

New Renaissances: Transformations of the Renaissance in Modern Thought

ISLAMIC_DB_10310753907.jpg Libyan_Sibyl.jpg

Professor Stuart Lingo

Office: Room 361, School of Art

Office Hours: Mondays 3-5 and by appointment

e-mail (preferred contact):


Course Description

The last two decades have witnessed remarkable developments in the study of art c. 1400-c.1600, the period we term the Renaissance. Both the study of art in Italy and in Northern Europe have been transformed by these innovations in scholarship. The same decades have seen a significant expansion of studies of the Portuguese and Spanish Empires and their cultural interactions with the cultures of Africa and the Americas. This work has facilitated the emergence of an idea of the “Global Renaissance,” and ever more sophisticated work has begun to probe the interplay of cultures and arts across the Mediterranean Basin and between Europe and the Far East. 

The new global scope of Renaissance art history is paralleled by a new array of theoretical and thematic considerations and tools. This course will offer you a preliminary map of these fascinating developments that are transforming our understanding of a period still understood as an originator of “modern” consciousness.  We will focus on a cluster of new fields and approaches that have presented themselves with particular force. These include issues of temporality, particularly the manner in which past and present (and future) can intersect in images; the developing study of European encounters with non-European peoples and cultures; varied cultural understandings of what constitutes an image (or an idol); the relative weight of reason versus “magic” and the irrational in the period; analyses of emerging concepts of the individual self and of “self-fashioning;” and finally, even challenging questions concerning how new developments in neuroscience might enter into discourse with cultural and art history.


Course Assignments

The course is conceived to engage students on a journey of intellectual discovery at a high level while remaining accessible even to students with little background in the study of Renaissance art. Class meetings will focus on discussion of shared readings, while course assignments focus on two in-class essay exams and a short research paper.

Catalog Description: 
Courses on special topics, frequently by visiting faculty, which cannot be offered on a continuing basis. Consult art history office for subjects offered.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
January 10, 2018 - 9:21pm