Critics and scholars have identified the global turn as the most significant intellectual development in art history over the past decade. This turn has entailed the study of nonwestern and postcolonial cultures in addition to Euro-American canons and centers that have been the focus of the discipline. It has generated new methods and approaches to analyze previously overlooked forms of connection and exchange. However, these narratives are often routed through and across nation-states and focus on conventional geographic areas (Asia, for example); anthropocentric frameworks; and modernist notions of space, time, and matter.
In this course, we will probe the genealogies, claims, and stakes of world art studies and global art history. We will examine new art historical paradigms that build on and depart from these models, specifically the oceanic, geological, and digital. We will consider how these paradigms relate to the scholarship of figures such as Alois Riegl, Aby Warburg, E.H. Gombrich, George Kubler, Michael Baxandall, and Richard Wollheim.
This course is organized in conjunction with the Katz Distinguished Lecture of Whitney M. Davis (University of California, Berkeley). Students should attend the Feb. 19 lecture and a related colloquium with Davis that week.