Academic Courses

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This course develops students' understanding of diversity and will build that understanding through the production of creative work relating to media art that is focused on gender and sexuality. Looking at the different ways that people express their gender and sexuality using media - including but not limited to: video and film, digital media, images, analog media, etc. - this course surveys the diverse ways that people express their sexuality and gender through creative expressions that are also connected to social change, resistance, and difference. Surveying a wide range of queer and feminist media, the course asks students to examine the relationship between gender, sexuality and colonialism, race and racialization, ethnicity, globalization, religion, and nationalism through the formats of creative expression. The course draws heavily on building creative assignments on topics relating to gender and sexuality, including self-reflexive projects that ask students to think about their own relationship to these categories through creative mediums.  Class assignments are designed to connect analytic tools from readings and class analysis of media objects to the creative process of making media art works.  Students will also create art works in the class, such as making their own animated GIF, a performance video, and a final media project, all paired with reflexive writing assignments.
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This course will introduce students to American painting, sculpture, and architecture, with an emphasis on painting, from the colonial period to the post-World War II era.  Students will also learn the vocabulary of visual analysis and become familiar with the scope of art historical methodology.  Students should leave the class with a broad understanding of the contexts in which American artists worked, a fund of information about artists and monuments of art in the American heritage, skills in visual analysis, and the capability to focus several types of critical questions.
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Empires dominate and control resources over broad geographical areas, establishing systems (administrative, religious, and intellectual) to perpetuate and justify that control.  The course will survey the archaeological remains of the principal empires of the ancient Near East and Mediterranean, emphasizing both the modes of control and the themes or messages used to justify it.
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This course examines artistic developments in modern Latin America in relation to broader political forces. Latin America offers rich opportunities to study cases of artists and architects who worked in the service of governmental regimes during the twentieth century, such as Diego Rivera in Mexico and Oscar Niemeyer in Brazil. At the same time, we will consider historical moments in which artists employed their artworks to challenge or subvert political repression, as occurred in Ecuador in the 1930s and in Chile during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Beyond politics, this course focuses on the tensions indigenous vs. cosmopolitan, urban vs. rural, rich vs. poor, and the international dialogues that have informed the production and reception of art and architecture in Latin America from the age of independence to the present day.
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This course is an introduction to the social, political, and artistic issues surrounding the creation and interpretation of public monuments and public art.  We will focus on our local urban environment, particularly the rich collection of works in and around Oakland, but we will also put these local works in larger national and global contexts.  The course emphasizes hands-on learning, through multiple site visits, encounters with the works of art in their real urban contexts, and individual and group exercises building on these encounters.
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This course introduces the visual arts of Japan, prehistory to the 19th century, focusing on selected works of painting, sculpture, architecture, and gardens under the broader themes of patronage, Buddhist worship and practice, and function.
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The famous Chinese landscape painter named Kuo Hsi of the Song Dynasty (960-1126) asked, "Why the virtuous man takes delight in landscapes?"  He reasoned that contemplation of a painting of landscape could refresh the mind and heart in as compelling a fashion as wandering among the mountains themselves.  The Chinese landscape painter who in his pictures satisfies this longing depicts not merely the outward and visible forms of nature, but the inner life and harmony that pervade them.  This course attempts to discover the sources of the symbolic language.
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Examines the nature of modern archaeological research. Lectures look at how archaeologists work in the field, their analytic techniques, and some of the principal methodological and theoretical problems facing the field.  Specific examples are used to illustrate these topics. Combined Section:
ARC 0150
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The course will introduce students to the theory, methodology, and practice of Public History.  Public History is the employment of professional historical methods by public and private agencies to engage communities in shaping the presentation of the past into usable histories.  Through the course, students will be able to analyze how Public historians and the Public collaborate to explain individual and collective human behavior through a variety of methods, mediums, and contexts.  Moreover, students will learn how Public Historians and the Public create and express historical meaning for their local, state, national, and global communities. Combined Section:
HIST 0760
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In this course we will study the histories of Islamic architecture by examining the architecture that was produced from the seventh through the twenty-first centuries in many parts of the world, including the Middle East, North Africa, Spain, India, Central Asia, and North America. While there is an understandable emphasis on the early history of Islamic architecture, we will also explore modern and contemporary Islamic architecture. Focal points of study will include the development of the mosque, the spread and transformation of Islamic architecture, cultural interaction with the 'west', and the impact of colonialism, nationalism, and the contemporary condition. Combined Section: 
ARC 0114
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This course will treat the development of architecture in Europe from about ad 300 to 1500.  It will focus primarily upon the building designed to serve Christian culture, especially churches.  Lectures will include the social and political background as well as the liturgical, archaeological and aesthetic aspects of the great monuments. Combined Section:
ARC 0153
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The development of architecture in Europe and America from around 1800 to the present, involving a number of revolutionary changes; the appearance of many new building types, the availability of new materials produced by industry, the transformation of structural design by technology, and the emergence of strikingly new ideas about how a building should be conceived. Combined Section:
ARC 0116
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This introductory course is intended to provide a thorough familiarity with the history of photography from its development in the 19th century to the present day, and to link that history to major trends in the history of modern art, such as realism, impressionism, cubism, surrealism, abstract art, etc.
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The course studies the physical environment of Pittsburgh; the topography, early settlement, the expansion of its industrial center, the post-war renewal, and the current shift from production to a service-based economy.  A parallel study in the architectural history of Pittsburgh focuses on images of individual buildings from fort Pitt to the new skyscrapers.  Student papers will integrate an analysis of a Pittsburgh building with an analysis of the neighborhood around it. Combined Section:
ARC 0181
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