Spring 2020 Course Descriptions

The GW Bulletin houses official program requirements for the university. You can use it to find out the courses you need to take to complete your degree. However, we want to help you navigate the course selection process, so we have provided more detailed descriptions of what each course entails that you can use as a resource while planning your course schedule. Please contact your program with any specific questions.

For a list of when these courses are being offered in the spring, please refer to our 2020 Course Offerings page. Please note that these are still subject to change and the final schedule of courses can be found through the Office of the Registrar.

Please note that some professors may put their own spin on a course, so the actual syllabus of a course may vary slightly from the below descriptions.

Courses are listed by their course code in alphabetical order under their focus subject area. Sometimes the code prefixes can be confusing - here are some clarifications:

ART HISTORY: Art History courses are listed under both AH and CAH.

DESIGN: The design program houses graphic design, digital media design, interaction design, and exhibition design. Exhibition design and interaction design have been given their own sections below. The rest of design can be found under the Graphic Design section, including the codes CGD and CDE.

STUDIO ARTS: The studio arts has the most degrees at the Corcoran, as well as the most code prefixes for courses. If you are looking for non-photography fine arts courses, look under the Fine Arts section, which includes the codes FA, CCR, CFA, CFN, and CPR. Those codes correspond as FA = fine arts, CCR = ceramics, CFA = corcoran fine arts, CFN = first year foundations, CPR = printmaking. If you are interested in art courses, look through the entire list, as not all ceramics classes are under CCR, etc.

If you are looking for photography-based courses, there is a seperate section entitled Photography & Photojournalism, which contains the course codes CPH and CPJ, as well as some FA.

AH 1032.10 – Survey of Western Art II

Professor Weber

This course will introduce you to the history of art, from 1400 to the present, through a selected group of paintings, sculptures, prints, and architecture produced in Europe, the United States, Asia, the Americas, and Africa. Each class will delve into a broad topic or theme and explore specific visual examples. From this course of study, you will gain an understanding of how the form and materials of art creates meaning. You will understand how an artist shapes his/her work and learn how specific historical circumstances and ideas based on religion, philosophy, and the individual and/or collective imagination, play a role in both the form and meaning of the work.

 

CAH 1091 – Art History II: Historical Perspectives

Professor Elliott

This course covers the history of art and architecture produced by cultures around the world from prehistory to the 19th c.  We will look at works of architecture, sculpture, and painting considering the process of their creation as well as placing their meaning in a cultural context.  Using case studies from different cultures and time periods, the course is subdivided to explore some of the general themes that often provide meaning to artistic expression including cosmology and ritual, the body and face, and the concept of identity.  By the end of the course you should have the skills necessary to analyze works of art and architecture based on an understanding of visual, iconographic and contextual analysis, comparative study, and the interpretation of art historical sources.  It will be mandatory that students in this course visit various art galleries and museums throughout the semester.  Most, if not all, of these visits will take place outside of regularly scheduled class periods.

 

AH 2001.80 – Art & Architecture of Egypt & Near Easy

Professor Friedland

This course, ideal for students interested in art history, archaeology, or classical and ancient near eastern studies, will explore the cultures and innovations of the "Cradle of Civilization" by surveying the major art historical and architectural monuments of ancient Egypt and the Near East (roughly modern Iran and Iraq), focusing on the social, political, and religious functions of art and architecture. Readings and class discussions will focus on religious architecture, royal architecture, three-dimensional sculpture, relief sculpture, painting, and decorative arts. Special attention will be paid to new methods in archaeology (like the role of information technology and "experimental archaeology") and to current issues of the protection of ancient artifacts and monuments, especially those in places in the throes of war (like Iraq).

 

AH 2071.80 – Intro to the Arts in America

Professor Markoski

This lecture course surveys American art from the colonial period through present day. Our primary focus will be on painting, but we will also touch upon sculpture, photography, architecture, and printmaking. As we move from the colonial and revolutionary eighteenth-century in the direction of our contemporary moment, we will explore the dynamic interplay between works of art and their specific historical, social, and political contexts as well as those objects’ situation within the broader material and visual culture of the United States. Special attention will be paid throughout to the relationship between art and issues of religion, nationalism, race, ethnicity, class, and gender.

 

AH 2113.10 – Islamic Art: 7th – 14th Centuries

Professor Natif

This course is an introductory survey of the visual arts and architecture in the Muslim lands from the rise of Islam in the 7th century to the Mongol period in the 14th century. Focusing mainly on the patronage of ruling elites, we analyze the arts within their historical, religious, and cultural context, ranging from Spain in the west to Central Asia, Iran and India in the east. By emphasizing the role of art in the formation and expression of cultural identity, we examine monuments, book art and painting, as well as portable objects including ceramics, metalwork, and textiles. Throughout the course we engage with topics including the uses of figural and non-figural imagery, calligraphy, geometry and ornament, religious and secular art, public and private domains, the art of the court, female patronage, as well as trans-cultural connections and the function and meaning of portable arts. By examining the sociological and historical contexts within which Islamic art and architecture developed, the course offers a basic understanding of its major themes and regional variations.

 

AH 2155.80 – American Architecture II

Professor Jacks

This course examines the built environment in the United States from the Civil War and Reconstruction, through the Gilded Age and Victorian and Queen Anne periods, the Prairie School and California Modern, to the establishment of the International Style and the arrival of the European avant-garde – Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer and Eliel Saarinen – in architectural schools after World War II. Some lectures follow the development of a specific movement – such as the Chicago School, Stick Style, Art Deco or City Beautiful, while other lectures trace the impact of individual architects and their careers: Henry Hobson Richardson, Henry Hobson Richardson, Daniel Burnham, Frank Furness, John Wellborn Root, Frederick Law Olmsted, Louis Sullivan, Charles and Henry Greene, Irving Gill, Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue Richard Morris Hunt, Charles McKim, Richard Neutra, Rudolf Schindler, Gustav Stickley, Frank Lloyd Wright, McKim, Mead, White, William Lescaze, Buckminster Fuller, Eliel Saarinen. Through in-depth analysis of buildings, students come to understand how questions of technology, function and aesthetic are brought to bear in the design process. For example, skeletal steel technology paved the way for the tall office building in Chicago after the Great Fire, while in New York City the setback skyscraper evolved in response to zoning requirements. Buildings can be seen both as artifacts and as signifiers of larger social, cultural, and economic determinants. Apart from major landmarks, we also explore the architectural fabric in between – apartment houses, company towns, industrial warehouses and commercial infill. Finally, we consider how vernacular traditions informed the emergence of Academic Eclecticism, which varied from region to region – Spanish Colonial and Mission in the southwest, Renaissance Revival in the northeast.

 

AH 2161.10 – History of Decorative Arts

Professor Pierce

Through the lens of the decorative arts, both high-style and vernacular, students will examine material culture as a reflection of larger historical trends and cultural/socio-political developments. The course includes study of objects from a wide range of media, including furniture, metalwork, ceramics, textiles, and graphic arts. Stylistic developments are considered in their cultural frameworks, while at the same time objects are assessed from formal and aesthetic standpoints. Broad themes covered in the course include: cultural priorities and standards as expressed in objects and interiors; the role of technology in shaping the everyday; continuing forms, revivals, and patterns in design history; introduction to major design movements such as Classicism, Romanticism, Modernism, Exoticism, Naturalism, Craft, and Industrialization; pertinent vocabulary, key designers, patrons, and craftspeople.

 

AH 2192.10 – Art of Southeast Asia

Professor McKnight Sethi

This course considers visual and material culture of mainland and maritime Southeast Asia from early archaeological settlements to the contemporary period. Regions to be studied include present-day Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. We will examine the rich confluence of Indian, Chinese, and indigenous beliefs and artistic practices through close examination of architecture, painting, sculpture, textiles, and performative traditions. Students will acquire a working knowledge of the geographical, political, and social forces in the region, and explore the ways in which art and architecture operate in this diverse cultural terrain. Class time will include lectures, group discussions, and close study of objects in the Freer|Sackler Galleries of Art and the GW/The Textile Museum. No previous knowledge of Southeast Asian history or art history is required.

 

AH 3117.80 – The Inka & Their Ancestors

Professor Blomster

In 1532, Spanish conquistadores invaded the Inka Empire. The largest empire in the New World, Tawantinsuyu spanned over 4,000 km of western South America and incorporated 10 million people. Less than a year later, the ruler – known as the Inka – had been executed and the empire destroyed. Yet the remarkable achievement of the Inka spanned only 100 years; it was merely one pronounced peak in a long succession of Andean states and civilizations. This course will apply both anthropological and art historical perspectives to the rich cultural traditions of the Inka and their ancestors, focusing on the unique character of Central Andean civilizations and their contributions to the world. No prerequisites are required.

 

AH 3142.80 – European Art of the Late 19th Century

AH 3142W.80 – European Art of the Late 19th Century

Professor Robinson

This course considers the development of Realism, Impressionism and Post Impressionism in the context of the intellectual, political, economic and social climate of a Europe confronted with and responding to multifaceted revolutionary transformations. All three styles are examined in reference to France. Realism and its singular English and Russian interpretations are similarly addressed.

 

AH 3170.10 – Materials, Methods, and Techniques in Art History

Professor Reuther

Materials, Methods, and Techniques in Art History (AH3170) connects students of art history to works of art in an immediate and direct way by investigating them primarily as objects. Students research works of art in local museums and reconstruct them in the studio following traditional methods. In addition to hands-on reconstructions, students will be introduced to recent research trends in technical art history, becoming familiar with current practices in the conservation, restoration, imaging and chemical analysis of works of art.

 

AH 3181.10 – Garden & Landscape History

Professor Kumar-Dumas

This history of the cultural landscape aims to broaden the usual course of study and include a global perspective. We will look at typical and characteristic gardens and landscapes made in different regions and time periods to consider social, political, economic, and environmental influences on their construction. We will use visual and written sources, as well as artworks and literature, to understand the artistic and intellectual cultures that have produced designed landscapes through the centuries. The focus will not only include the effects of humans on landscapes but also the effects landscapes make upon human behavior. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to see gardens and landscapes not only as objects or works of art but also as containers of social life. As places, human experiences within any particular landscape will affect its meanings regardless of original design intentions. By the end of the course, students should have developed a critical vocabulary to describe and interpret cultural landscapes encountered in our world.

 

AH 3182W.10 – Indian Painting

Professor McKnight Sethi

This course introduces students to major developments in South Asian painting from the 5th century CE to the present. Topics include early Buddhist cave paintings, Jain and Buddhist palm leaf manuscripts, miniature paintings made in Muslim and Hindu royal courts, folk and popular painting, Company School paintings produced for European patrons, and more recent painting from artists living in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and the South Asian diaspora. Throughout the course students will be asked to look closely at a range of visual objects, to think critically about the history and historiography of painting in South Asia, and to formulate compelling written arguments about these objects and histories. As part of our exploration of Indian painting we will visit the Freer|Sackler Galleries of Art and a local private collection to examine several examples of South Asian painting in person. As a Writing-in-the-Discipline (WID) course, students will spend time honing their abilities to write about visual objects in compelling ways.

 

AH 4129.10 – Italian Mannerism: Michaelangelo's Influence and the Beginnings of Modern Art

Professor Joost-Gaugier

Mannerism was a wide artistic current that, born and developed in Italy with the irresistible influence of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and especially Michelangelo, eventually affected all of Europe.  This seminar will study the beginnings of this movement -- how the Renaissance ended through an extraordinary group of artists who experimented with unexpected colors and dissonant combinations of forms, and whose radical new ideas challenged the values of naturalism, resulting in brilliant new artistic inventions that led to modern ideas in painting, sculpture, and architecture.  Artists to be studied will include Michelangelo, Fra Bartolommeo, Andrea del Sarto, Pontormo, Rosso, Beccafumi, Bronzino, Correggio, Parmigianino, Vasari, Titian, Tintoretto, and end with El Greco.  Many of these artists are represented by masterpieces in the National Gallery where several galleries are dedicated to their inventions.

 

AH 4129.80 – Italian Renaissance Villas

Professor Jacks

Seminar open to advanced undergraduates and graduates. Course begins with villas in Roman antiquity (Pliny the Younger), then its architectural typology in the early Renaissance in Tuscany and the Veneto. Popes and cardinals took their inspiration for pleasure gardens in Rome and the Roman campagna from ancient ruins (Villa Hadriana at Tivoli), while Palladio's villas in the Veneto gave sacred form to the traditional agricultural farm. Last, we follow the contributions of Italians to the development of the French Renaissance chȃteaux (Chambord, Blois, Fontainebleau). Research topics include painted decoration, sculpture gardens, architectural design and landscape planning. Texts:  James Ackerman, The Villa: Form and Ideology of Country Houses (Princeton, 1990). David Coffin, The Villa in the Life of Renaissance Rome (Princeton, 1979) chapters. Claudia Lazzaro, The Italian Renaissance Garden (Yale, 1990) chapters

 

AH 4149.10 – Modern Art & Politics

Professor Matheny

This course will look at the intersection of art and politics from the early twentieth century to the present. At its heart the class will consider whether all art is political, if art can effect political change, and whether art has a moral obligation to do so. What strategies have artists used to incite change? Is there a line between art and activism? Between art and propaganda? Between art and reportage? Among the lenses through which we will study this subject are portraiture, photography, photomontage, language and conceptual art, performance, public art, monuments, abstraction, and government sponsorship. Using these organizing categories, we will explore how artists have responded to a range of issues, including war, immigration, identity politics, climate change, feminism, racism, the AIDS epidemic, and economic justice. We will also consider the various designations of political art, such as activist art, protest art, agitprop, and socially engaged practice. A special effort will be made to incorporate discussions of art seen in Washington museums and throughout the city.

 

AH 4159.80 – Portraiture & Cultural Capital

Professor Bjelajac

This junior-senior seminar explores the revolutionary-era portraits of John Singleton Copley (1738-1815), Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827) and Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828) through the Gilded Age portraits painted by Thomas Eakins (1844-1916), John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) and James Abbott McNeil Whistler (1834-1913).  “Portraiture & Cultural Capital” also will explore portraiture’s ubiquitous, monumental prominence within Washington, D.C.’s growth as the nation’s capital. Through class discussion of required common readings and supplementary lectures, the seminar examines the origins and development of North American portraiture within a transatlantic context comprising Africa as well as Europe and the British Isles. Cultural capital or the cultivated possession of aesthetic taste ideologically supported contested political claims for making reputedly objective, critical judgments.  Anthony Ashley Cooper, the Third Earl of Shaftesbury (1671-1713), a pioneer in the budding philosophy of aesthetics, influetially argued from a British aristocratic perspective, that the pleasures of politeness and sympathy manifested in the arts drew private men of rank and learning into a public state of social harmony and civic virtue.  Inspired by an ethos of masonic fraternalism, the Boston-born painter John Singleton Copley imagined portrait clients in biblical, stonemasonry terms as “living stones” for cementing together harmonic societies—utopian, merit-based models for empire-building. During the course of the semester, we will be making field trips to the National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Natonal Portrait Gallery, among other possible venues.  Grades will be based upon a short paper and longer research paper as well as oral presentations and active class participation.              

 

AH 4165.80 – Women in Islamic Art

Professor Natif

As artists, patrons, collectors, and subject-matter, women played import and diverse roles in Islamic art. As elite women, they commissioned monuments and gardens, patronized artists and calligraphers, and had their own libraries. Oftentimes, they were involved in all stages of the artistic production, and like their male counterparts, had access to the myriad of resources in the royal workshops. Women in pre-modern Islamic courts used power and financial means to cultivate art and took active part in political and cultural life.

This seminar will focus on women as the subjects and the creators of art, as well as the patrons of architecture and artifacts. Classes will be organized chronologically and thematically, starting with a historical survey of the status of women in the pre- modern Muslim sphere, of female artists and their artistic contributions, as well as an examination of art history’s exclusions, female portraiture, the female heroine, the nude, and sexuality in illustrations and album paintings. All reading materials, including original sources, will be in English. No previous knowledge of Islamic art, history or religion is required.

 

AH 4189.80 – Seminar in Photography

Professor Lipinski

In this course we will examine how the human body has been represented by photography throughout the history of the medium. We will investigate how photographic representations of the body construct and reflect issues of personal identity, sexuality, gender, and sexual orientation, as well as power, ideology, and politics. Thinking about photography through the critical theories of photography, feminism, post-structuralism, and performance, we will examine a range of thematic topics related to the body: portraiture, fashion, advertising, labor, sexuality, politics, war, migration, and domesticity. Requirements include a research paper and short writings on photographs and theories. There will be field trips to photography exhibitions and collections in Washington, D.C.

 

AH 6211.10 – Byzantine Mosaics

Professor Arensberg

From the fourth to the fourteenth century, the art of mosaic flourished in Italy and the Byzantine empire.  Artists sheathed church interiors with spectacular decorative programs made with tiny cubes (tesserae) of marble, limestone, and gold, silver, and colored glass.  This seminar will explore mosaics from the Early Christian period, when the capital of the Roman empire moved to Constantinople (now Istanbul) on the site of ancient Byzantium, to the late Byzantine period, which ended with the Turkish conquest of the city in 1453.  The course will cover mosaic programs in Italy (Rome, Ravenna, Sicily, Venice), Greece, and Constantinople, focusing on the aesthetic, religious, historical, and political factors that inspired them.

 

AH 6225.10 – Pieter Brueghel & 16th Century Northern Europe

Professor von Barghahn

The Adagia (Venice: 1508) by the Dutch humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam contains several thousand Sententiae – proverbs, adages, maxims, aphorisms -- which were taken from popular and ancient Roman literature (Terence, Cicero, Pliny the Elder, Lucretius, Juvenal, Horace, Ovid).  Another sixteenth-century scholar Juan de Mal Lara compiled a collection of a thousand refrains of witty phrases-- the Philosophia vulgar (Seville: 1568). He asserted pithy sayings and prevalent “truths” were remnants of divine wisdom imparted to Adam and Eve in Eden. My lectures will focus upon the art of Pieter Brueghel the Elder (Breda 1525-1569), a highly intellectual Northern Renaissance artist who worked in Antwerp during the tumultuous Reformation age of change, political-religious conflict and uncertainty. While “Peasant Brueghel” has achieved celebrity for his genre pictures, often characterized by picturesque landscape components, his spritely depictions of village life are windows unto the social concerns of the populace. Several of Brueghel’s pictorial documents concern proverbs and moral lessons; others define the changing parameters of spiritual beliefs upheld in the sixteenth century. The art of Brueghel not only will be explored stylistically, but also interpreted allegorically as a mirror of transformations in Flemish society. His paintings of peasants, towns, landscapes, death, heaven and hell, as well as his prints of the vices and virtues, resonate with ideas that will be pertinent to the subjects selected for research papers and presentations. Brueghel’s most arresting compositions reveal the undeniable influence of the earlier Dutch master Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516). Besides Bosch, Albrecht Dürer, Lucas Cranach and Albrecht Altdorfer, research projects additionally will address: the role of “proverbs” in genre painting of Baroque Holland; the impact of classical “adages” during the Enlightenment (Los Proverbios of Francisco de Goya); and the vestiges of popular aphorisms in later works of art that thematically center upon concepts of morality and ethics.

 

AH 6225.80 – Italian Renaissance Villas

Professor Jacks

Seminar open to advanced undergraduates and graduates. Course begins with villas in Roman antiquity (Pliny the Younger), then its architectural typology in the early Renaissance in Tuscany and the Veneto. Popes and cardinals took their inspiration for pleasure gardens in Rome and the Roman campagna from ancient ruins (Villa Hadriana at Tivoli), while Palladio's villas in the Veneto gave sacred form to the traditional agricultural farm. Last, we follow the contributions of Italians to the development of the French Renaissance chȃteaux (Chambord, Blois, Fontainebleau). Research topics include painted decoration, sculpture gardens, architectural design and landscape planning. Texts:  James Ackerman, The Villa: Form and Ideology of Country Houses (Princeton, 1990). David Coffin, The Villa in the Life of Renaissance Rome (Princeton, 1979) chapters. Claudia Lazzaro, The Italian Renaissance Garden (Yale, 1990) chapters

 

AH 6245.10 – Courbet & Manet: New Visions

Professor Robinson

This course considers the role, contributions and significance of Gustave Courbet and Ėdouard Manet to the emergence of modernism in the nineteenth century. Through readings, lectures and class discourse these artists and their works are examined in the context of tradition and innovation during a period of profound artistic, intellectual, cultural and social transformation.

 

AH 6270.10 – Duchamp & His Legacy

Professor Lipinski

Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) is considered to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century, leaving his mark on contemporary art and the institution of art itself. He wanted “to put art back in the service of the mind.” In this course we will explore the art, writings, the readymade, installations, and the conceptual gestures of Marcel Duchamp from his earliest paintings to his exhibition designs and art installations. His critical approach to art influenced a younger generation of artists such as Pop (Andy Warhol), Minimalism (Robert Morris), and Conceptual art (Sol Lewitt). There will be field trips to the Hirshhorn Museum to view the upcoming exhibition Marcel Duchamp: The Barbara and Aaron Levine Collection, and to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see important works by Duchamp including the Large Glass and Etant donnés.

 

AH 6270.11 – The Art Museum: History, Theory, Practice

Professor Wallach

The history of the art museum is inseparable from an engagement with present‑day museological concerns. Consequently, I plan to approach the history of art museums with an eye to the way museums operate today.  We will be interested in every important aspect of museum history: the function of the art museum as a modernizing institution; the roles elites have played in the formation and operation of museums; the semiotics of museum architecture and display; how museums represent the history of art; the viewpoints they inscribe in their exhibitions; their impact on (as well as the ways they construct) their publics; the role of various publics as well as particular constituencies in forming museum policy; blockbusters and corporatization; museum ethics; museum controversies (e.g., over a member of The Whitney Museum board).  We will also be concerned with the hold of the past on the present: how past practices and beliefs have shaped today’s art museums. Finally, we will want to ask what museums have done and can do to accommodate and perhaps even promote change.  Are art museums inherently conservative institutions?  Or are they capable of transcending, or at least modifying, the impact of their own histories?

CDAD 6572 Survey of Decorative Arts and Design II: 1800-present

D. Pierce

This course examines the decorative arts of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries in Western Europe and the United States. Sessions on the nineteenth century consider a range of styles, including Neoclassicism, the many revival styles, the Aesthetic movement, the Arts and Crafts movement, and the Art Nouveau.  Individual craftsmen, firms, important style-makers, and commentators on the decorative arts will be discussed, and students will consider the effect of industrialization on design and objects.  Moving into the twentieth century, the course explores the various theories of modernism and the development of industrial design. Twentieth-century topics include De Stijl, the Bauhaus, Art Deco, the Wiener Werkstätte, Scandinavian design, mid-century modernism, and postmodernism.

*Required for DADH students. Open to graduare students only.

 

CDAD 6573 Historic American Interiors

E. Kuykendall

The history of domestic interiors and furnishings in the United States relies heavily on the adaptation of European and Asian tastes, as transposed, modified or rejected by Europeans, Africans and native cultures. This multidisciplinary seminar engages the work of material culture scholars, museum curators and art historians, as well as historical archaeologists, architectural historians, folklorists, geographers and landscape architects. In doing so, the course traces the development of American homes, from seventeenth-century Dutch and English settlements to the lavish late nineteenth-century estates of industrialists in the Gilded Age. Major course themes consider the social, economic and technological changes that propelled design choices made by consumers, producers and retailers. Students will interpret the material evidence of domesticity, as revealed through both elegant and everyday furnishings used within or around the American home, from kitchens and bedchambers to parlors and conservatories. These changes spurred the development of new furnishing forms, ornament, room use and spatial organization.  As a result of this class, students significantly expand their knowledge of American interiors and the decorative arts; hone their professional presentation skills; conduct primary research; and strengthen their writing abilities. In addition to illustrated lectures and critical discussion, this course includes study tours to period rooms preserved by major museums and historic house museums.

*Fulfills DADH Medium-Specific requirement

 

CDAD 6574 Survey of Western Textiles

C. Gunzburger

This foundational survey considers the development of European and European-American textiles from antiquity to today, with emphasis on the seventeenth- to twentieth-century dress, furnishing, and art textiles most commonly encountered in museum collections. Students will evaluate and examine woven silks, printed cottons, tapestry, lace, needlework, and carpets, as well as imported textiles that exerted great influence on European textile design and technology. Textiles produced in commercial, domestic, and court contexts will be examined in terms of their materials, techniques, design, and social functions. The course provides students a thorough context in the visual and material history and current scholarship on European textiles through slide lectures, critical reading of texts, and museum collection visits to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art Museum and National Museum of African American History and Culture.

*Fulfills DADH Medium-Specific requirement

 

CDAD 6575 Culture of the African Diaspora

A. Schreiber

This course will broadly consider the material culture of the African diaspora in North America, from the origins of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade to the 21st century. For centuries, Africans have influenced and participated in the design, making, consuming, and protecting of material culture and fine art. This new, wide-ranging course will investigate objects that range in materials, scale, use, region of origin and date of creation, from musical instruments and textiles to paintings and pottery, and ask how these varied works reveal the presence and significance of the African diaspora. In addition to illustrates lectures and critical discussion, this course will introduce students to the collections of the Smithsonian’s African Art Museum and the African American Museum of History and Culture. 

*Fulfills DADH Non-Western Influences requirement

 

CDAD 6600 World's Fair & the Futures

H. Bechtel

World’s Fairs have long showcased the ambitious cultural, scientific and technological accomplishments of nations and empires. In this spirit, this new seminar provokes students to explore the shared histories of American World’s Fairs and the establishment of the Smithsonian in anticipation of the institution’s 175th anniversary. Students will work closely with Smithsonian staff in a case study of curatorial research and exhibition design for the historic re-opening of the Arts & Industries Building (AIB) in a show tentatively titled “Smithsonian Pavilion 2021: The Futures.” In addition to including significant future-oriented and dynamic content, SP21 will interpret an array of historic objects drawn from the across Smithsonian’s diverse collections.

Grounded in a survey of World’s Fairs, beginning with the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition in 1876 and the history of the Smithsonian, students will first analyze the shared histories of these two cultural bodies, and then evaluate ways to interpret that history within the historical and architectural context of the AIB. Course themes including national identity, ethnicity, social class, race, imperialism, gender studies, are considered.

 

*The following courses require special permission from the department. Please complete a Registration Transaction Form (RTF) to complete registration.

 

Independent Study
CDAD 6900.10

Students who wish to pursue a specific interest may choose to work independently under the supervision of a faculty member or museum curator.  These topics must be separate from coursework and the final project must be a research paper or a professional presentation with audience. To register for an independent study, the Contract for Independent Study must be completed, which requires a description of the project and the signatures of the supervisor and a member of the department staff.

It is the student’s responsibility to define and outline a course of study and a final project, and to obtain the approval of the supervisor first and then the department director before proceeding.  With the supervisor, the student must establish work load and determine how progress is measured.  The student and supervisor must also agree on a final project. Students may not use the independent study to prepare material for a thesis proposal; it should be a separate research project. The supervisor is responsible for overseeing and evaluating the student’s course of research: approving the proposed outline, offering guidance as it pertains to bibliography and methodology, and for grading any preliminary work and the final project. Students may enroll in a maximum of 6 credits of independent study toward their degree.

 

Internship
CDAD 6902.10

Internship requirement

Students who wish to acquire additional professional and practical experience in the field may choose to intern at a pre-determined institution.  Arrangements for and approval of any internship must come through the department director.  To register for an internship, the Contract for Internship must be completed, which requires a general description of the work the student is doing and the signatures of the internship supervisor and the department.

 

As an intern, the student is required to work a minimum of eight hours per week or 120 hours total over the course of the semester.  In addition, the student must keep a journal reporting their activities to be handed in at the end of the semester to the department director who, in consultation with the internship supervisor, awards a grade on the basis of performance and written work. Students must also complete a Critical Analysis Paper, which contributes to their grade. The internship supervisor should assign projects that give students training and hands-on experience in the area of the supervisor’s expertise such as curating, exhibit design, publications, or museum education.  Opportunities for interaction in a collegial and professional environment are as important as the development of specific skills.  Students may enroll in a maximum of 6 credits of internship toward their degree.

 

Thesis
CDAD 6998 Thesis I & CDAD 6999 Thesis II

Students who wish to pursue a specific interest may choose to work independently under the supervision of a faculty member or museum curator.  These topics must be separate from coursework and the final project must be a research paper or a professional presentation with audience. To register for an independent study, the Contract for Independent Study must be completed, which requires a description of the project and the signatures of the supervisor and a member of the department staff.

It is the student’s responsibility to define and outline a course of study and a final project, and to obtain the approval of the supervisor first and then the department director before proceeding.  With the supervisor, the student must establish work load and determine how progress is measured.  The student and supervisor must also agree on a final project. Students may not use the independent study to prepare material for a thesis proposal; it should be a separate research project. The supervisor is responsible for overseeing and evaluating the student’s course of research: approving the proposed outline, offering guidance as it pertains to bibliography and methodology, and for grading any preliminary work and the final project. Students may enroll in a maximum of 6 credits of independent study toward their degree.

 

CDAD 6902 Internship

Students who wish to acquire additional professional and practical experience in the field may choose to intern at a predetermined institution.  Arrangements for and approval of any internship must come through the department director.  To register for an internship, the Contract for Internship must be completed, which requires a general description of the work the student is doing and the signatures of the internship supervisor and the department.

As an intern, the student is required to work a minimum of eight hours per week or 120 hours total over the course of the semester.  In addition, the student must keep a journal reporting their activities to be handed in at the end of the semester to the department director who, in consultation with the internship supervisor, awards a grade on the basis of performance and written work. Students must also complete a Critical Analysis Paper, which contributes to their grade. The internship supervisor should assign projects that give students training and hands-on experience in the area of the supervisor’s expertise such as curating, exhibit design, publications, or museum education.  Opportunities for interaction in a collegial and professional environment are as important as the development of specific skills.  Students may enroll in a maximum of 6 credits of internship toward their degree.

 

CDAD 6998 / CDAD 6999 Thesis I / Thesis II

The master’s thesis requires research and writing on an approved topic under the direction of a faculty supervisor. Students must have had their thesis approved by the department prior to must registering for thesis. Students enroll in a minimum of 3 credits and maximum of 6 credits of MA Thesis that apply toward their degree; once they have taken two semesters of thesis, they must enroll in a one (1) credit thesis course until the completion of the thesis. Students must be enrolled in thesis during the semester they intend to graduate.

See the Registrar’s Schedule of Classes for all Exhibition Design listings.

See the Registrar’s Schedule of Classes for all Graphic Design listings.

CIXD 6080 Engagement Lab

Each semester, the core of the IxD MA program takes place in the Engagement Lab. Over four semesters, students have opportunities to take their design skills into the world to practice design with a focus on social, environmental, and community impact. Project teams collaborate with a community organization or local partner to identify and respond to local challenges that might be addressed through interaction design processes and skills. Students and faculty work to gain a systemic understanding of those challenges and investigate the histories that have led to the current moment. The teams then engage community members as partners in the process of designing tools and systems that can address those challenges. Students will focus on prototyping responses while evaluating from an at-scale perspective (keeping in mind goals and metrics identified in conversation with the community partners).

 

See the Registrar’s Schedule of Classes for all Interaction Design listings.

See the Registrar’s Schedule of Classes for all Interior Architecture listings.

See the Registrar’s Schedule of Classes for all Music listings.

 

CMST 6206.10 Digitization & Digital Asset Management

Susan Anderson

This course is designed for museum professionals who expect to manage digital assets, projects, or programs involving digitization and access. It examines current methods in the creation and dissemination of digital surrogates, associated metadata, and digital descriptive records of museum collections. By exploring the workflows and guidelines necessary to implement a successful digitization project, this course examines the aspects of maintaining and managing digital assets. Aspects of technical creation and guidelines will be addressed; digital asset management, metadata creation and use, as well as long-term preservation and access of those assets will be discussed.

 

CMST 6204.80 Preventive Conservation Techniques

Mary Coughlin

Builds upon topics introduced in the Preventive Conservation Concepts course with emphasis placed on practical exercises and ethical issues. Students will learn how to evaluate and monitor collections, how to prepare a grant for collections care, and how to develop and implement policies and procedures to facilitate collections care. CMST 6203(or its cross-listed equivalent in Fine Arts/Anthropology) is required for this class.

 

CMST 6106.10 Museums Marketing

Max van Balgooy

The course will cover the development of a marketing plan including situational analysis and market research; segmentation and targeting; positioning and intent; identification of business, marketing and social objectives; strategies and key performance metrics. Course participants will research and develop a museum marketing plan, gaining a deeper understanding of the research and planning that goes into a museum marketing campaign. The course will also examine issues related to the role of marketing within a museum and how marketing efforts can be effective without being at odds with the mission of a museum. The overall goal of the course will be to provide participants with an understanding of available marketing tools and a disciplined approach to assessing what tools/techniques are needed and appropriate for an individual museum to optimize its awareness and audience building efforts.

 

CMST 6302.10 Museum Exhibition Design

Ashley Hornish & Barbara Brennan

Participants will focus on translating museum exhibition concepts into specific plans, models, and specification documents in this introductory class. Different computer design and graphic programs are introduced.

*Taught at the Smithsonian Institution

 

CMST 6107.10 Museum Ethics and Values

Susan Anderson

As institutions concerned with knowledge and culture, museums have significant power to shape society. Such power brings significant and enduring ethical challenges across all parts of the museum, including governance and funding, questions around collecting and preservation of objects, education and serving the public, exhibiting culture and much more. Core to this class will be broad and deep discussions about the practical, political and institutional paradoxes that museums face in trying to work in the service of the public. This course will involve broad reading about the museum field today, and constructive discourse about the ethical concerns of museums, including formal standards of ethics, but also exploring the paradoxes, dichotomies, confusions, debates, and disagreements within the field at large. Students are encouraged to search for and synthesize their own links between theory and practice to better understand the nuanced contexts in which museum work occurs, and consider their own position within such contexts.

 

CMST 6104.10 Managing People/ Managing Projects

Max van Balgooy

Dealing with people is an area consistently mentioned as a major challenge for museum managers. Students study organizational behavior theory, the methods of building a motivated and skilled staff, and focus on the team process. Project management systems are taught including developing scope, schedule and budget, team dynamics, resource leveling, and working within a matrix environment. The role of the project manager is emphasized along with tools for managing change and negotiating conflict. Case studies are presented by practitioners working in museums today.

 

CMST 6404.10 Museums and Social Media

Hillary Morgan-Watt

The introduction of Web2.0 or the ‘social web’ in the mid-2000s led to an influx of new participants in the consumption and creation of digital information. Typified by platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and blogs, the social web focused on user participation as critical in the creation of value. By lowering the technical barriers to entry, the social web made it easier for people outside formal institutions such as the press to create and publish their own work, changing the ways that people communicate and interact with one another, and with organizations and institutions. Museums continue to experiment with how best to engage in this environment to serve their missions and their audiences. In this course, students will utilize multiple online platforms to discern the affordances and complexities of social media for museums. Together, we will consider strategies, tactics, and benchmarks for measuring social media, as well as risk, privacy and publicness, and online identities (professional, personal, and institutional). Students should be prepared to be active participants in an online, multi-platform peer discourse throughout the semester.

 

CMST 6202.10 Collections Management II

Lisa Palmer & Deborah Hull-Walski

This class focuses on the implementation of collections policies and procedures: establishing and managing collections, management procedures and systems, documentation of collections, records preservation, collections access and storage, handling, packing and shipping, and inventory control. This is the second-semester, applied class for 6201. CMST 6201 Introduction to Collections Management is required for this class.

*Taught at the Smithsonian Institution

 

CMST 6601.10 Special Topics:  Exhibiting History

Laura Schiavo

This class is only available to student enrolled in the following classes in fall 2019:· HIST 3304: George Washington and His World (Fall 2018); Professor Denver Brunsman· JSTD 6211.80, HIST 6001.80 Displaying Jewish Culture:  Landmark Exhibitions on Judaism and the Jewish Experience; Professor Jenna Weissman JoselitIn Exhibiting History we will work with the material culture research undertaken in the fall history classes to develop an exhibition. The nature of that exhibition will be dependent on the nature of the research accomplished in the fall, and be reliant on student ideas and the development of a creative approach to history exhibitions, all concepts that we will work on over the course of the spring.  The result will be an exhibition in the Flagg Building in April 2020.

 

CMST 6102.10 Museum Financial Management

Kathy Southern

Overall financial management of the museum including financial planning and analysis, internal controls, accounting, budgeting and financial reporting, presentation and leadership. Theory applied to practical situations.

 

CMST 6703.10 Museum & Community Engagement

Max van Balgooy

This is a practicum class that allows a Museum Studies Professor to work with a small group of students and a community partner on a museum-related project.

 

CMST 6304.10 Museum Exhibition Development

Kym Rice

Class emphasizes exhibition content and includes sessions on evaluation, team work, audience engagement, learning styles, budgeting, exhibition layering, language and best practices. Students follow an idea from conceptualization through organization to scripting---with extensive peer review. Class includes guest speakers.

 

CMST 6501.10 & CMST 6501.11 Museum Internship

Laura Schiavo

Supervised practical training in Washington area museums (or elsewhere). Internships are supervised by one or more members of the sponsoring museum staff and focus on a variety of areas including museum management, conservation, collections management, exhibition design and development. Prior approval required.

 

CMST 6502.10 & CMST 6502.10 Directed Research

Laura Schiavo

Individual research on special topics in the museum field working with a CMST professor or outside museum experts. Topics must be approved in advance by CMST.

See the Registrar’s Schedule of Classes for all Photography & Photojournalism listings.

See the Registrar’s Schedule of Classes for all Theatre and Dance offerings.