Program Curriculum

Program Curriculum

The Certificate in Art History is intended for students in all disciplines who are interested in developing visual literacy, an indispensable skill that will allow them to recognize, interpret, and appreciate meaning in our image-saturated world.

Studying the material and visual world and its production will allow students to better appreciate the connection between the past and the contemporary present, while also cultivating social awareness in relation to the politics of representation and display. While gaining expertise in visual analysis, research, impacts of various historical contexts, and art historical methodologies, students will also gain invaluable skills highly valued by today’s employers. These include critical awareness, problem solving skills, attention to detail, effective communication (verbal and written), the ability to work independently under time constraints, and the skill to critically analyze and interpret information from a wide range of sources.

Total Credits: 30

Courses Credits
Six of
AHIS 1110 European Art in Context
6

Lecture Hours: 9.0 | Seminar: 0.0 | Lab: 0.0

An External Studies Program designed to allow students to study European painting, sculpture and architecture in context throughout various locations. Students will be encouraged to evaluate artworks where site or location of the piece becomes important to establish the historical impact on the creative process itself. Specific artists and styles of art will be examined on location in both private and public museums, galleries and cultural centres where significant impact on art in history has occurred. Students will be required to complete regular assignments and specified assessments in the field to successfully complete the course. This course requires at least eight weeks in the field and two to three weeks of on-campus instruction, lectures and orientation.

Prerequisite(s): Admission to the European External Studies Program and consent of the instructor.

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AHIS 1111 Worldviews: A Global Approach to Art
3

Lecture Hours: 3.0 | Seminar: 1.0 | Lab: 0.0

This course offers students a global perspective on the origin and purpose of art as a shared visual medium used to express ideas about our human experience and the world around us. With a focus on the arts of Asia and the Americas, issues essential to an understanding of global history such as power, influence and authority, race and gender identity, and colonial impact will be considered.

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AHIS 1112 Visual Culture I
3

Lecture Hours: 3.0 | Seminar: 1.0 | Lab: 0.0

Visual culture is examined from a global and thematic perspective in order for students to gain a better understanding of how art communicates ideas, values, and beliefs. Students will develop visual and conceptual skills essential for analyzing and critically interpreting a wide range of visual imagery.

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AHIS 1113 Nineteenth Century Art History
3

Lecture Hours: 3.0 | Seminar: 1.0 | Lab: 0.0

This course is a chronological survey of the visual art and architecture of Europe and North America in the nineteenth century. The course familiarizes students with academic, salon, and avant-garde art with an emphasis on the dominance of French art. Issues of gender, class and race are addressed in relation to the historical context and development of stylistic categories such as Neo-Classicism, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism and Art Nouveau.

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AHIS 1114 Western Art: Prehistory to the Renaissance
3

Lecture Hours: 3.0 | Seminar: 1.0 | Lab: 0.0

This course is a chronological survey of western painting, sculpture and architecture from Prehistory to the Renaissance. Art works will be studied in the context of the political, economic and social developments of each period.

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AHIS 1115 History of Asian Arts I
3

Lecture Hours: 3.0 | Seminar: 1.0 | Lab: 0.0

This course is an introductory, chronological survey of the ceramics, sculpture, architecture and painting of India, China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Central Asia, Tibet and Southeast Asia. The art will be studied in relation to the political, social and cultural contexts from prehistoric times to the origins and spread of Buddhist and Hindu art styles and secular imagery.

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AHIS 1118 Art of Renaissance Italy
3

Lecture Hours: 3.0 | Seminar: 1.0 | Lab: 0.0

This course is a study of the art and architecture of Renaissance Italy from the late thirteenth century through to the sixteenth century.

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AHIS 1119 Oh Canada!: Art, Identity and Cultural Politics
3

Lecture Hours: 4.0 | Seminar: 0.0 | Lab: 0.0

What is Canada and how is Canadian art defined? This and other debates will be examined in a chronological survey or Canadian art from the 18th century to the present. This course will engage students with Canadian art in relation to issues of nationalism, colonialism, race, gender, and cultural identity.

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AHIS 1195 Special Topics I
3

Lecture Hours: 3.0 | Seminar: 1.0 | Lab: 0.0

These numbers are reserved for Art History courses that may be offered from time to time by: a) Art History faculty who may wish to present a course in their speciality; or b) visiting Art History lecturers.

Announcements regarding AHIS 1195 offerings will be made in the Registration Guide and Course Schedule.

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AHIS 1210 Monumental Artworks in Context
3

Lecture Hours: 4.0 | Seminar: 0.0 | Lab: 0.0

This course examines various artworks and critically evaluates primary relationships to areas of concern such as location, artistic impact, stylization, mythology, historic ideology, and finally the importance of the artistic achievements themselves. Specific monuments will be established by the instructor based on the location of the External Studies Program. Students will be encouraged to look at specific artworks critically and evaluate the historical contributions made by each monument of work chosen. Artworks will be discussed as historically significant and therefore, each student will be asked to assess the importance of these works as they contribute to our understanding of art in history. Students will be required to complete regular assignments and specified assessments in the field to successfully complete the course. This course requires at least forty-eight hours of instruction, inclusive of on-campus lectures, orientation and field work.

This course may be run concurrently with AHIS 1110 (6 credits) or individually, as a special topics Art History External Studies course in a specified location.

Prerequisite(s): Admission to the European External Studies Program and consent of the instructor.

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AHIS 1212 Visual Culture II
3

Lecture Hours: 3.0 | Seminar: 1.0 | Lab: 0.0

This course examines themes encountered in visual culture with an emphasis on issues of power, politics, race, social class, and the body. The relationship between visual imagery and the social context in which it is created will be examined in order to foster critical interpretation.

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AHIS 1214 Western Art: Renaissance to the Present
3

Lecture Hours: 3.0 | Seminar: 1.0 | Lab: 0.0

This course familiarizes students with the chronological approach to the history of art from the Renaissance through Baroque, Rococo and 19th century to the modern and postmodern periods. Art works will be examined in relation to relevant political, economic and social factors of each historical period.

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AHIS 1215 History of Asian Arts II
3

Lecture Hours: 3.0 | Seminar: 1.0 | Lab: 0.0

This course is a chronological survey of the ceramics, sculpture, architecture and painting of China, Korea and Japan. Art works will be studied within the historical context of each period and related political, social and cultural factors will be considered. Both secular and Buddhist art will be examined in relation to influences, theory and appropriate issues as relevant.

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AHIS 1216 Women, Art and Society
3

Lecture Hours: 3.0 | Seminar: 0.0 | Lab: 0.0

This course will explore feminist issues in western art from both historical and thematic perspectives. Critical consideration will be given to the representation of women in art, women's absence from art history, issues of gender identity, social class, race, and the changing role of women in contemporary art.

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AHIS 1217 From Plop Art to Graffiti: Issues in Public Art
3

Lecture Hours: 3.0 | Seminar: 0.0 | Lab: 0.0

This course will explore the history and complex issues surrounding one of the most controversial forms of art in our culture - art in public places. Beginning with an overview of the historical significance of public art, we will focus primarily on the diversity of movements as they emerge within the context of dramatic social change in the 20th century up to the present. Tradition, corporate agendas and politics clash with the avant-garde, vandalism and activism on the streets of our cities. Public art acts as a barometer of and catalyst to shifts in society. We will examine art in the urban landscape that is at the centre of many debates, including the ownership and function of public space, censorship, homelessness, environmental crisis, and public health and safety.

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AHIS 1218 Intoxicating Encounters: Images of Global Exchange, 1492-1900
3

Lecture Hours: 3.0 | Seminar: 0.0 | Lab: 0.0

The final years of the 15th century heralded a new imagining of the world. Direct contact between Europe, Asia and the Americas ushered in a period of commercial, cultural, and technological exchange. But its result was far greater than the mere exchange of commodities and currencies. The encounters between Asia, America and Europe signaled not only the beginnings of a global market but also a global consciousness that transformed the everyday experiences of millions of people. This course will focus on images that represent the conflict and convergence of cultures in the fervor for scientific and geographical knowledge that coexisted with the expansion of eastern and western empires from 1492 into the early 19th century.

While the course will generally follow a historic chronology, the material content will be thematic including such topics as the impact of intoxicants and stimulants such as opium, tobacco, tea, coffee and cacao on local economies and foreign sociability; the devastation of populations in Europe and the Americas as a result of the transfer of disease; European bourgeois clothing and its tie to the fur trade in Canada; origin myths; and maps as evidence of claim to contested territories, to name but a few.

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AHIS 1219 Through the Lens: A Critical History of Photography
3

Lecture Hours: 3.0 | Seminar: 0.0 | Lab: 0.0

Students will examine the history of photography from its beginnings in the nineteenth century to the present day. Students will explore through lecture and lab the aesthetic and technological developments of the medium from such early processes as the daguerreotype to contemporary digital approaches. Students will become familiar with historic and contemporary movements as well as analyzing critical issues around the development of the medium. Issues to examine will include the role of photography in the development of mass culture, the relationship of the medium to other art forms, the role of gender, race and class in photography as well as debates around censorship, pornography, copyrights and art vs. craft. Students registered in this course may also be interested in registering in PHOT 1150: History of Photography Lab.

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AHIS 1295 Special Topics II
3

Lecture Hours: 3.0 | Seminar: 1.0 | Lab: 0.0

These numbers are reserved for Art History courses that may be offered from time to time by: a) Art History faculty who may wish to present a course in their speciality; or b) visiting Art History lecturers.

Announcements regarding AHIS 1295 offerings will be made in the Registration Guide and Course Schedule.

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AHIS 1301 Modern Art I
3

Lecture Hours: 4.0 | Seminar: 0.0 | Lab: 0.0

This course is a chronological survey of modern art and modernism and its development in the first half of the twentieth century. The major art movements, artworks and theories will be considered within their historical context.

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AHIS 1302 Modern Art II
3

Lecture Hours: 4.0 | Seminar: 0.0 | Lab: 0.0

This course is a chronological survey of modernism in its later stages and international contemporary art to the present. The important issues, theories, and variety of forms visual art has taken in recent decades will be considered.

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FINA 2150 Introduction to Aesthetics and Cultural Theory
3

Lecture Hours: 3.0 | Seminar: 1.0 | Lab: 0.0

Beginning with the ancient Greeks and moving through cultural history to the 20th century, this course explores a range of issues touching on questions about the nature of art. It examines the efforts of philosophers and theorists to define and understand the functioning of art in particular historical and social contexts.

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FINA 2250 Contemporary Cultural Theory and the Arts
3

Lecture Hours: 3.0 | Seminar: 1.0 | Lab: 0.0

This course explores the various perspectives of critical and cultural theory that have developed over the past fifty years, particularly in terms of their effects on, and influences from, visual arts and other media.

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Four of
university-transferable electives (minimum 12 credits).
 

Program Notes:

1. Art history credit must include AT LEAST one of the following pairs: AHIS 1112 and AHIS 1212; OR AHIS 1114 and AHIS 1214; OR AHIS 1301 and AHIS 1302

2.  A link to course attribute information can be found in the course description.

3.  Students wanting to pursue further study in art history should check with the institution to which they want to transfer to determine the course requirements of that institution.