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ART H 309 B: Topics in Art History

Meeting Time: 
MWF 8:30am - 9:50am
ART 229
Kolya Rice
Kolya Rice

Syllabus Description:

AH 309B: 20th Century American Art and Criticism

AH 309B 20th C American Art and Criticism Spring 2024.docx

Life Magazine article on Jackson Pollock (1949)

Instructor: Kolya Rice

Office hours: Fridays 11:30-12:30 and by appointment

302 Art, krice@uw.edu


This course is designed to introduce participants to key movements, themes and strategies utilized by artists practicing in the United States from around 1900 to 1990. Unlike traditional surveys, the course will focus on how these artistic practices have been framed by influential art writing, both professional art criticism as well as the artists' own writings. Although the course offers an overview of the period covered, unlike traditional survey classes, at points this class will be more narrowly focused through topical investigations of specific artists or themes. While image-based lectures anchor the course, discussion is integral to the success of the course.


There is no text for this course. All readings will be available as PDF files linked in the weekly modules on Canvas.

Course Requirements:

  1. Active participation in all meetings. Please note, active participation assumes that you thoroughly read and think about course materials in advance of class meetings, that you meaningfully contribute to discussions, and that you complete any informal exercises assigned.
  2. Midterm Exam (take home)
  3. 2 Art Review Essays
  4. Final Exam (take home)

Note: make-up exams will not be given without legitimate documentation of severe illness, family emergencies, etc. Extensions for written work will be granted only under similar conditions. Late papers will not be accepted. All course requirements must be completed for credit to be awarded.


Midterm Exam (25%)

Final Exam (25%)

2 Art Review Essays (25%)

Participation (25%)

UW Grading Scale.docx

Key dates to remember:

4/24                 Midterm Exam prompt opens on Canvas

4/26                 Review #1 due on Canvas

4/29                 Midterm Exam due on Canvas

5/24                 Final Exam prompt opens on Canvas

5/31                 Review #2 due on Canvas

6/4                   Final Exam due on Canvas                   

School of Art Policies

Religious Accommodations Policy

Academic Misconduct:

I assume that you will follow the UW policies concerning Academic Misconduct. Note that the UW regards acts of academic dishonesty, including such activities as plagiarism, cheating, and unauthorized collaboration as acts of academic misconduct. To be clear, unauthorized collaboration, including the use of Chegg, Course Hero and any AI-based tools such as ChatGPT is strictly prohibited in this course.

As to plagiarism, your posts/submissions must present your own ideas in your own words. If you copy someone’s exact words, you must put them in quotation marks. If you summarize, paraphrase, or quote someone else’s ideas, facts, or words, you must cite your sources. Failure to follow these policies will result in a report of academic misconduct, which may become a part of your permanent academic record.

As we begin the quarter, I as your instructor/professor want to inform you about how to voice concerns that may come up while you’re enrolled in this course. If your concern is something you feel you can discuss with me, I’m open to hearing about it. If it’s not something you feel you can discuss with me, or if we have a conversation about it that doesn’t successfully address your concern, there are other people available to help you resolve it. The nature of your concern can inform whom you should speak with about it: for example, I as your instructor am your first resource for discussing whether your DRS accommodations are being met, while students who are experiencing harassment from a faculty member, staff member, or student could reach out to SafeCampus immediately. The School of Art + Art History + Design Advising team is a fantastic resource for directing you where to go, and you can find a detailed explanation of the various pathways available to you on the School’s Voicing a Concern document. The link is available HERE, or in the School’s website under the tab labelled “The School.”

Projected Course Outline and Reading Assignments can be found in the Syllabus: 

AH 309B 20th C American Art and Criticism Spring 2024.docx

Catalog Description: 
Topics vary.
GE Requirements: 
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Last updated: 
February 13, 2024 - 4:54am