This course will examine some of the most important writings about art. It will explore texts from many periods and from a great variety of authors. The course will engage with and critique these famous art history essays and seek to understand what has made them 'classic' texts.
Week 1: Guidance
Week 2: Immanuel Kant, The Critique of Judgement
Week 3: Ernst Gombrich, Style
Week 4: Alois Riegl, Leading Characteristics of the Late Roman ‘Kunstwollen’
Week 5: E.Panofsky, ‘Et in Arcadia Ego’: Poussin and the Elegiac Tradition
Week 6: Martin Heidegger, The Origin of the Work of Art
Week 7: Timothy Mitchell, Orientalism and the Exhibitionary Order
Week 8: Sigmund Freud, Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of His Childhood
Week 9: George Bataille, The Lugubrious Game
Week 10: Walter Benjamin, A Small History of Photography
Week 11: Jacques Lacan, The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function if the I
Week 12: Michel Foucault, Las Meninas
Week 13: Presentations
All the reading texts are collected in a single reader. We will discuss the readings in groups each week. The class reader is about 100 pages and costs ¥1000.
Group discussions will be an integral part of the course. In groups of a few people each week we will discuss the readings and the lectures.
There will be a final term paper and companion short presentation at the end of the semester.
50% Term paper (2000 words)
30% Presentations (5 minutes)
20% Group discussions
A term paper of around 2000 words (although the word limit is loose) will be due in the last week of class.
The topic will be to choose one famous piece of writing about art and critically analyze it.
There will be a short presentation on the same topic as your essay in the last week.