John Cabot University: the Academic Experience

Graduate Course Descriptions


AH 600 Practicum in Art-Historical Research and Problem Solving (Course Type: Methods)

Required of all MA students, this course provides a full immersion in research from the primary record: paintings, buildings, maps, prints, documents, ground plans, photographs, historical guide books, archaeological excavations, and more. The course also offers instruction and practice in archive and library navigation, documentation and record-keeping, object handling, and bibliographic, digital, and technical resources for the professional art historian. The Fall 2017 Practicum will focus on reconstructing the material and human history of John Cabot University’s Guarini Campus and its immediate environs through time, culminating in an exhibition of the findings.

AH 601 Case Studies in Art-Historical Practice (Course Type: Methods)

AH 611 Ancient Roman and Mediterranean Painting (Course Type: Topics-Ancient)

AH 631 Illuminated Manuscripts: Codicology for Art Historians (Course Type: Topics-Late Antique/Medieval)

Books written and decorated by hand are, one could credibly argue, the densest self-contained repositories of cultural information of any objects created by humans during the pre- and early modern eras. As subjects of art-historical study, however, illustrated and decorated manuscripts conceal an untold peril for the image-loving researcher: the danger of treating painted elements in isolation from the immensely rich stories embedded in any manuscript’s non-pictorial elements—materials, physical construction, scripts, scribal hands, textual contents, and even DNA (literally!). This course introduces graduate students to the study of manuscripts as whole objects, with first-hand analysis of medieval and early Renaissance books in historic Roman libraries.

AH 651 Erotic Art in the Renaissance (Course Type: Topics-Early Modern)

AH 671 Visual Culture: Concept to Valorization (Course Type: Topics-Modern/Contemporary)

This course studies valorization in and through visual culture. The example of Rome is the fulcrum for discussions of the larger evolving visual culture field. The structuring of visual dimensions will be analyzed according to historical, philosophical, economic, and communication principles, concluding with critical reception. The course is tailored to each student’s individual professional interests. All fields are welcome. Case studies will be drawn from museum, publishing/editorial, advertising, urban requalification, artisanal/maker culture, art market, gallery, the auction house, as well as interaction with living visual artists. We will establish partnership with other universities, both in Italy and beyond. Rome will be used as a case study and model for global practices. In the final four weeks, each student will prepare a presentation of his/her unique practicum or research project.

AH 710a Research Seminar in Ancient Art: The Syntax of Public and Private Space in Ancient Rome (Inge Lyse Hansen) (Course Type: Research Seminar-Ancient)

The course draws on two aspects with a keen impact on the current debate in Ancient Art/Classical Archaeology: space and viewing. That is, the configuration and engagement with the diverse types of space that constituted the ancient world, as well as the role of the viewers that formed the audience and users of these spaces. The focus on public and private will provide a prism through which to examine urban and domestic topographies, as well as the associated activities, patronage, and adornments, which may have shaped the experience of these spaces.

AH 730a Research Seminar in Late Antique/Medieval Art: Constructing Identities: Christian Funerary Art in Late-Antique Rome (Sharon Salvadori) (Course Type: Research Seminar-Early Modern)

AH 750a Research Seminar in Early Modern Art: Vice and Virtue in Post-Tridentine Rome (Laura Foster) (Course Type: Research Seminar-Early Modern)

Recent studies have connected artistic practice in Baroque Rome to issues of decorum, social deviance and even criminality (in the works of Caravaggio, Artemisia Gentileschi, and Guido Reni, for example). There has also been increasing scholarly attention to the influential architecture of the city’s social institutions, such as hospitals, hospices and prisons, as well as the charitable organizations that oversaw them. When these avenues of research are united, an alternative image of Rome emerges, one that challenges prevailing ideas of the Baroque city and the function of its spectacular illusionism. This seminar explores the relationship between social control and Rome’s visual and spatial environment in the post-Tridentine era, particularly the ways in which the papacy, secular governing bodies and religious organizations sought to impose discipline and order. The objects of study will include canonical works, such as paintings by the best-known practitioners of the time, as well as prints, ephemeral liturgical instruments and displays, and often neglected buildings in the city.

AH 770a Research Seminar in Modern/Contemporary Art: Modernity and Loss: Nineteenth Century Art and Rome (Karen Georgi) (Course Type: Research Seminar-Modern/Contemporary)