Fall 2018 Course Schedule 
Spring 2019 Course Schedule
Fall 2019 Course Schedule
Spring 2020 Course Schedule

 

    Code
    Course
    Credits
    AH 101

    AH 101 Art History Survey I

    This art history course is a chronological overview of artworks from the prehistoric period up to the 15th century Renaissance period. This course introduces students to the major historical monuments of world art as well as a variety of art forms from different cultures and periods. The course explores how individual artworks express form, style, and cultural meaning, while also introducing students to art historical vocabulary and various methods of art historical research. The class meets twice a week and features a mix of lectures and student participation. The course integrates a visit to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Required: 3 credits/semester; 3 hours/week. No prerequisite.

    Prerequisites : No prerequisite

    Additional Notes : Required: 3 hours/ week.

    3 credits
    AH 101

    Art History Survey I

    This art history course is a chronological overview of artworks from the prehistoric period up to the 15th century Renaissance period. This course introduces students to the major historical monuments of world art as well as a variety of art forms from different cultures and periods. The course explores how individual artworks express form, style, and cultural meaning, while also introducing students to art historical vocabulary and various methods of art historical research. The class meets twice a week and features a mix of lectures and student participation. The course integrates a visit to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

    Prerequisites : No prerequisite

    3 credits
    AH 102

    Art History Survey II 

    The second semester of the art history survey course combines a chronological overview of art works from the seventeenth century through 1960 with a rigorous investigation of the contexts in which art has been made. The course covers major art historical developments in the western and non-western worlds with an evaluation of their form, content, style, cultural meaning, and historical import. The course also introduces students to art historical vocabulary and various methods of art historical research. Each section meets twice a week for lecture and student discussion.

    Prerequisites : None

    3 credits
    AH 222

    Sustainable Design

    This course is an overview of sustainable design in planning, art, architecture, and landscape architecture spanning 1850 to the present. Through readings, lectures, case studies, and site visits, students will become versed in the ecological, technological, and cultural imperatives shaping the often elusive goal of sustainability. The utopian nature of sustainability will be examined in light of the tragedy of the commons, leading to a nuanced understanding of both the applied and philosophical expressions in the search for environmental accountability. Prerequisite: AH 101-102 and AH 250 or equivalent. (This course can also be taken as a HU requirement. See prerequisites in the humanities section.)

    Prerequisites : AH 101-102 and AH250 or equivalent

    Additional Notes : Elective: 3 hours/week

    3 credits
    AH 222

    AH 222 Sustainable Design

    This course is an overview of sustainable design in planning, art, architecture, and landscape architecture spanning 1850 to the present. Through readings, lectures, case studies, and site visits, students will become versed in the ecological, technological, and cultural imperatives shaping the often elusive goal of sustainability. The utopian nature of sustainability will be examined in light of the tragedy of the commons, leading to a nuanced understanding of both the applied and philosophical expressions in the search for environmental accountability. Elective: 3 credits/semester; 3 hours/ week. Prerequisite: AH 101-102 and AH 250 or equivalent. (This course can also be taken as a HU requirement. See prerequisites in the humanities section.)

    Prerequisites : AH 101-102 and AH 250 or equivalent

    Additional Notes : Elective: 3 hours/week

    3 credits
    AH 250

    AH 250 Critical Approaches to Contemporary Art

    This class provides a foundation in critical theory and in critical thinking and writing skills. We will consider the relationship between the theory and practice of art. Each week we will look at a different critical issue related to making and interpreting art, covering- the sometimes overlapping- issues of form, process, representation, reproduction, originality, distribution, institutions, gender, identity, culture and politics. We will frame these issues in relationship to specific case studies drawn from a range of media, including examples from studio areas at MECA. Students will be encouraged to make links between critical issues covered in class and their own work, and to understand the ways that theory connects to artistic practice. Elective: 3 credits/semester; 3 hours/ week. (required for all students who entered MECA in 2006 and after) Prerequisite: AH 101-102 or equivalent.

    Prerequisites : AH 101-102 or equivalent.

    Additional Notes : Required: 3 hours/ week.

    3 credits
    AH 250

    Critical Approaches to Contemporary Art

    This class provides a foundation in critical theory and in critical thinking and writing skills. We will consider the relationship between the theory and practice of art. Each week we will look at a different critical issue related to making and interpreting art, covering- the sometimes overlapping- issues of form, process, representation, reproduction, originality, distribution, institutions, gender, identity, culture and politics. We will frame these issues in relation to specific case studies drawn from a range of media, including examples from studio areas at MECA. Students will be encouraged to make links between critical issues covered in class and their own work, and to understand the ways that theory connects to artistic practice (required for all students who entered MECA in 2006 and after.)

    Prerequisites : AH 101-102 or equivalent.

    Additional Notes : Elective: 3 hours/week

    3 credits
    AH 317 (W)

    Women and Art

    This course will investigate women as makers of art, as subjects of art, and as critics, theorists, and historians of art. Rather than attempting a comprehensive chronological survey, the course will focus on a series of topics or themes exploring art production in Western Europe and America from the late eighteenth century to the present day. Among the topics to be considered are: the impact of feminism and feminist art theory on the rewriting of art history; the nude; orientalism and women as other; female subjects as the object of the gaze; feminist art of the 1970s and essentialism; psychoanalytic theory; woman and craft and art history's privileging of painting and sculpture; women and Impressionism; Victorian women artists; 19th-century American women sculptors; the careers of specific women artists, i.e., Cassatt, O'Keefe, Kahlo, Krasner, and the concept of "greatness"; race and women of color as makers/subjects; body, performance, conceptual art; the status and concerns of contemporary women artists. Elective: 3 credits/semester.

    Prerequisites : AH 101-102 and AH 250 or equivalent.

    3 credits
    AH 343 (PE)

    Theories of Social Practice

    Artists are making informed critiques of traditional institutions as well as fostering new dialogues through the field of social practice. By decentering traditional studio practices, issues regarding medium, materiality, agency, audience, participant, collaboration, and the market are gaining fresh relevancy and new currency. Social practice is providing leverage for artists to create and engage in new, unexpected, and meaningful ways. Students in this course will learn about the history as well as chart the future of social practice through readings, writing assignments, and strategic post-studio partnerships.

    Prerequisites : AH 101-102 and AH 250 or equivalent. 

    3 credits
    AH 349

    AH 349 (W) This is a Portrait if I say so: Understanding Portraiture as a Medium

    This course reconsiders conventional notions of portraiture. It positions portraits, and their study in the history of art, as visual and material objects that form a medium (and not a genre) by which multiple social and subjective identities are formed. In considering portraiture as a ground upon which ideas, values, beliefs, and materials can be added, subtracted, exposed, and/or manipulated, we are able to think more broadly about how portraiture operates in different social and cultural contexts. Portraiture, in both visual and verbal representations, offers an opportunity to study how facial likeness both reflects and constructs conceptions of identity particularly with photographic, scientific, and non-representational imagery. In addition, this course will address historical precedents such as those in the Renaissance, the response in successive centuries as well as themes around biography, autobiography, and the sustained interrelationship between the theories of the self and of self-representation. Elective: 3 credits/semester; 3 hours/ week. Prerequisite: AH 101-102 and AH 250 or equivalent.

    Prerequisites : AH 101-102 and AH 250 or equivalent.

    Additional Notes : Elective: 3 hours/week

    3 credits
    AH 349

    This is a Portrait if I Say So: Understanding Portraiture as a Medium

    This course reconsiders conventional notions of portraiture. It positions portraits, and their study in the history of art, as visual and material objects that form a medium (and not a genre) by which multiple social and subjective identities are formed. In considering portraiture as a ground upon which ideas, values, beliefs, and materials can be added, subtracted, exposed, and/or manipulated, we are able to think more broadly about how portraiture operates in different social and cultural contexts. Portraiture, in both visual and verbal representations, offers an opportunity to study how facial likeness both reflects and constructs conceptions of identity particularly with photographic, scientific, and non-representational imagery. In addition, this course will address historical precedents such as those in the Renaissance, the response in successive centuries as well as themes around biography, autobiography, and the sustained interrelationship between the theories of the self and of self-representation.

    Prerequisites : AH 101-102 or equivalent and AH 250

    Additional Notes : Elective: 3 hours/ week

    3 credits
    AH 355

    Performative Representations of Intimacy

    For many theorists, the digital era ushered in a second "industrial revolution" and like the first it dramatically transformed human relationships. This course explores some of these transformations by taking up the theme intimacy and its relationship with different forms of representation, including television, social media, film and photography. We begin with Jürgen Habermas’s notion of the public sphere and the shifting terrains of the public versus private arena that have defined history. Along side of Habermas we will explore Michel Foucault work around surveillance and apparatuses of power. Drawing insight from these and other theorists we will explore how Reality TV and participatory culture in general constructs our intimate expressions or what Giorgio Agamben has called a "shared sensation of being".

    Prerequisites : AH 101-102 and AH 250 or equivalent. 

    3 credits
    AH 356 (W)

    Global Contemporary Photography

    This course explores developments in visual cultural and photographic technology in contemporary culture across the World and surveys photography's role in shaping world histories, cultures, and identities. It will introduce students to the work of pioneering photographers from the Americas, Europe, Africa, East Asia, and the Middle East in the late-20th and early 21st century. With the advent of the internet, globalization has changed the history of photographic exchange. It is through thematic lectures and discussions that this course will examine and assess the impact of globalization on photographic practices. Major topics include the worldwide production and dissemination of photographic images; the local and global character of specific genres, such as portraiture and photojournalism; the photographic representation of human movement and migration; and (post)colonial photographies. This course will begin with a historical survey and a review of important movements, historical events and significant theoretical issues that relate to what is now called the "global art world." Over the semester students will learn to think critically about the relationship between history and cultural representations, particularly through the international circulation of photographic images. This way of thinking will reorient their compass toward different and vibrant centers of artistic production that are too often kept at the margins of the art historical discourse. This course places a strong emphasis on art-historical writing and research practices. Three major writing projects incorporate original artworks at the Portland Museum of Art and Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

    Prerequisites : AH101-102 and AH 250 or equivalent.

    3 credits
    AH 357

    Visions of Dissent: Moving Images & Resistance

    Film and video have the potential to become tools for effecting social change. This course explores the material and the social conditions of filmmaking, and the relationships between aesthetics, resistance, and representation. In-class screenings and discussions will focus on international film and video works that present a wide range of approaches to the subject, including experimental, documentary, détournement, auto-ethnographic, and verité.

    Prerequisites : AH 101-102 and AH 250 or equivalent. 

    3 credits
    AH 358

    AH 358 (W) On the Wall: Museum History & Theory

    This course introduces students to the history of museum culture, practice and theory. Through text and image (as well as experiential learning), it explores a range of issues such as ethics, provenance, audience, and architecture. Using Maine’s excellent examples, students study present realities and future possibilities of local institutions. Issues and debates confronting museums today will be considered in the light of historical development and changing communities. Through both physical and virtual exhibition display, we can explore questions that continue to circulate around the museum as a collecting institution: who chooses what we see and what we do not see? What happens when artwork enters the museum? Are all museums (and museum goers) created equal? Does artwork perform differently on the wall than in the vault? What are the social implications of art exhibitions? Over the course of the semester, we will investigate and strive to answer these questions in our study of museums and modern museum culture. Elective: 3 credits/semester; 3 hours/ week. Prerequisite: AH 101-102 and AH 250 or equivalent.

    Prerequisites : AH 101-102 and AH 250 or equivalent.

    Additional Notes : Elective: 3 hours/ week.

    3 credits
    AH 358

    On the Wall: Museum History & Theory

    This course introduces students to the history of museum culture, practice and theory. Through text and image (as well as experiential learning), it explores a range of issues such as ethics, provenance, audience, and architecture. Using Maine’s excellent examples, students study present realities and future possibilities of local institutions. Issues and debates confronting museums today will be considered in the light of historical development and changing communities. Through both physical and virtual exhibition display, we can explore questions that continue to circulate around the museum as a collecting institution: who chooses what we see and what we do not see? What happens when artwork enters the museum? Are all museums (and museum goers) created equal? Does artwork perform differently on the wall than in the vault? What are the social implications of art exhibitions? Over the course of the semester, we will investigate and strive to answer these questions in our study of museums and modern museum culture.

    Prerequisites : AH 101-102 and AH 250 or equivalent

    Additional Notes : Elective: 3 hours/ week.

    3 credits
    AH 366

    AH 366 Super(vision): Art and Surveillance

    This course examines systems of power that operate through close observation, and offers an introduction to various understandings of surveillance through the lens of visual art. Offering a wide spectrum of artistic approaches – from the voyeuristic investigations of Sophie Calle toTrevor Paglen’ meticulous photographs of secret sites – this course will focus on how artists use surveillance strategies to critically transform them, while calling attention to the ethics and legalities of observing and the vulnerability of being observed. We will analyze the frequently used metaphors of Orwell’s Big Brother and Bentham’s Panopticon in order to confront and question the consequences of everyday surveillance practices. Elective: 3 credits/semester; 3 hours/ week. Prerequisite: AH 101-102 and AH 250 or equivalent.

    Prerequisites : AH 101-102 and AH 250 or equivalent.

    Additional Notes : Elective: 3 hours/week

    3 credits
    AH 366

    Super(vision): Art and Surveillance

    This course examines systems of power that operate through close observation, and offers an introduction to various understandings of surveillance through the lens of visual art. Offering a wide spectrum of artistic approaches – from the voyeuristic investigations of Sophie Calle toTrevor Paglen’ meticulous photographs of secret sites – this course will focus on how artists use surveillance strategies to critically transform them, while calling attention to the ethics and legalities of observing and the vulnerability of being observed. We will analyze the frequently used metaphors of Orwell’s Big Brother and Bentham’s Panopticon in order to confront and question the consequences of everyday surveillance practices.

    Prerequisites : AH 101-102 and AH 250 or equivalent.

    Additional Notes : Elective: 3 hours/ week.

    3 credits
    AH 394

    AH 394 Art in the Anthropocene

    The “Anthropocene” is a term proposed by scientists to mark the era of human impact on earth’s ecosystems and geology. While the term is still under discussion, melting ice caps, sea level rise, ocean acidification, extinction events and growing desertification demonstrate that it has never been clearer that we must effectively address human effects on our global climate. This course navigates the ways in which contemporary artists -- grounding themselves in historical conversations regarding landscape, Land Art, Feminism and other activist models – seek to confront the age of the “Anthropocene” and urgently address climate change through radical action, scientific collaboration, and inspired invention. The course will be divided into distinct materialist sections - dirt, water, air, energy, extinction, waste, storage – and will draw on contemporary writing by scientists, anthropologists, and philosophers in addition to artists and art historians. Discussions and slide lectures will be supplemented by visiting artist talks and conversations with local scientists. Elective: 3 credits/semester; 3 hours/ week. Prerequisite: AH 101-102 and AH 250 or equivalent.

    Prerequisites : AH 101-102 and AH 250 or equivalent.

    Additional Notes : Elective: 3 hours/ week.

    3 credits
    AH 394

    Art in the Anthropocene

    The “Anthropocene” is a term proposed by scientists to mark the era of human impact on earth’s ecosystems and geology. While the term is still under discussion, melting ice caps, sea level rise, ocean acidification, extinction events and growing desertification demonstrate that it has never been clearer that we must effectively address human effects on our global climate. This course navigates the ways in which contemporary artists -- grounding themselves in historical conversations regarding landscape, Land Art, Feminism and other activist models – seek to confront the age of the “Anthropocene” and urgently address climate change through radical action, scientific collaboration, and inspired invention. The course will be divided into distinct materialist sections - dirt, water, air, energy, extinction, waste, storage – and will draw on contemporary writing by scientists, anthropologists, and philosophers in addition to artists and art historians. Discussions and slide lectures will be supplemented by visiting artist talks and conversations with local scientists.

    Prerequisites : AH 101-102 and AH 250 or equivalent.

    Additional Notes : Elective: 3 hours/ week.

    3 credits
    AH 440

    AH 440 Art History Minor Thesis

    Students pursuing the minor may enroll in this course either semester. Students work with a thesis advisor. Independent Study: 3 credits/semester; 3 hours/week. Prerequisites: AH 101-102 and permission of Minor Program Coordinator.

    Prerequisites : AH 101-102 and permission of Minor Program Coordinator.

    Additional Notes : Independent Study. 3 hours/week.

    3 credits
    AH 440

    Art History Minor Thesis

    Students pursuing the minor may enroll in this course either semester. Students work with a thesis advisor.

    Prerequisites : AH 101-102 and permission of Minor Program Coordinator.

    Additional Notes : Independent Study. 3 hours/week.

    3 credits