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ART H 509 A: Seminar in Special Topics in Art History

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Seminar in Contemporary Art History

Meeting Time: 
F 9:00am - 11:50am
ART 312
Adair Rounthwaite
Adair Rounthwaite

Syllabus Description:

Art History 509 A: Seminar in Contemporary Art

Professor Adair Rounthwaite,

Office hours Mondays 10am-12pm or by appointment, Art Building 367

Fridays 9am-11:50pm

Glenn Ligon's artwork Double America 2, 2014

Glenn Ligon, Double America 2, 2014


This seminar will provide students with an introduction to themes and scholarly concerns in postmodern and contemporary art practice since the 1960s. It is designed with special attention to the needs of students pursuing the MFA in Art but is open to graduate students in any related field in the arts, humanities, or social sciences. The course will help students gain familiarity with major practitioners who have moved contemporary art practice forward through a variety of tactics and media. We will also carefully study three books in recent art historical scholarship and will consider the differences and parallels between the research that gives rise to scholarship and the research that many contemporary artists employ in their practices. Connecting threads in our discussions will be questions about the blurring and encounter between disciplines or media in contemporary art practice, as well as what constitutes the “social” or “political” with which contemporary art might aim to engage.


Evaluations will consist in oral participation, group presentations on assigned readings and artists, and written analyses of scholarly literature. Students can expect between 60 and 100 pages of reading per week.

Full syllabus:

509 spring 2019 updated.docx

School of Art + Art History + Design policies for spring 2019:

Policies 2019.docx

Catalog Description: 
Specific focus changes from quarter to quarter.
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 9:01pm