Graduate Seminars

Fall 2014

AHIS 500
Methods and theory of art history (12055D)
Suzanne Hudson
M 9:00 am—11:50 am
VKC   379

This course introduces students to the methodologies, theories, and critical traditions that have shaped the discipline.


AHIS 503
Categories and Collections (12058D)
Sonya Lee
M 2:00 pm—4:50 pm
VKC  379

Since its inception in eighteenth-century Europe, the museum has provided modern nation-states with a powerful tool to display and define their own cultures and those from around the world. This seminar will take the museum as the critical lens through which to examine the collecting and display of Asian art in relation to conceptualizations of Asia that gained currency in the cultural and geopolitical milieu of modernity. The dual focus allows for in-depth inquiries into interregional and intraregional connections that manifested in the workings of the art market, museological practices, and art-historical discourses across Europe, the Americas, and Asia from the nineteenth century to the present day. Through a series of case studies, we will consider some of the fundamental questions in the history of collecting and display: How did an assemblage of objects represent a culture? Why was it necessary to frame the representation of a country in relation to that of a region? Why were certain countries regarded as better partners in articulating a shared identity of Asian nations than others? In what ways did object types affect the decision to include and/or exclude particular cultures in an assemblage? Who were involved in determining the cultural meanings of these objects, and who were the audiences?

This seminar offers a semester-long preview of an international symposium that the instructor is co-organizing with colleagues at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, to be held at USC and LACMA in January 2015. Some of the speakers from this event will meet with the class to discuss their paper topics and related readings either on campus or at the museum.


*The classes and times listed are subject to change.