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Art History: Non-Western Topics

ARTS 1530 - 3 credits

a group of three African womenThe people of Cambodia suffered a devastating genocide in the 1970s. Hundreds of years before, the art of classical Cambodia, seen in breathtaking Hindu and Buddhist temples, are now the pride of Cambodia’s great history--both of which most of Americans know little or nothing about. Why is this so? How can one come to understand our world view by understanding world art?

Common topics include:

  • Dogon architecture and dance in Mali, Africa
  • Clay soldiers of Qin Dynasty, China,
  • Inca masonry technique at Macchu Picchu
  • Japanese gardens and woodblock prints
  • Weaponry and body ornamentation in Oceanic, islander art

In this class, non-western art (outside of Europe and America) is analyzed, choosing singular studies from a culture in order to gain a depth of understanding about each. This course is not a comprehensive survey of world art. Many topics are new each semester, depending upon recent publications and area exhibitions.

a detail from a frieze at the Banteay Srei Temple at Angkor, Cambodia

Students visit local museum collections for group study, including the Roger Williams Park Museum, the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology and RISD Museum. This course is designed as a seminar-style with weekly readings, discussions and short papers. Students are allowed to take this in conjunction with or apart from other art history studies. This course is new and often transfers to four year colleges as an art elective or as diversity credits.

Lecture: 3 hours

Catalog Course Description» - PDF file* - for online versions, see Available Courses

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Last Updated: 12/17/15