Undergraduate Courses

The courses listed below are provided by Student Information Services (SIS). This listing provides a snapshot of immediately available courses within this department and may not be complete. Course registration information can be found at https://sis.jhu.edu/classes/.

Please consult the online course catalog for cross-listed courses and full course information.

Column one has the course number and section. Other columns show the course title, days offered, instructor's name, room number, if the course is cross-referenced with another program, and a option to view additional course information in a pop-up window.

Art of Mesoamerica
AS.010.205 (01)

This course provides a basis for the study of Mesoamerican visual cultures and urban settings. We will explore the artistic production of the Olmec, Maya, and Aztec as well as works created by the artists of Teotihuacan, Monte Albán, and West Mexico. With a focus on aesthetics and cultural function, case studies range from stone sculpture, painted ceramics, and screenfold codices, to architectural complexes from Mexico and Central America. Themes to be discussed include: representations of humans and deities, monumentality and rulership, mutilation and destruction of monuments, and ritual and political significance of materials.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 9:00AM - 10:15AM
  • Instructor: Popovici, Catherine H
  • Room: Gilman 177
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 1/19
  • PosTag(s): HART-ANC, ARCH-ARCH

Art and the Environment in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean
AS.010.240 (01)

What is the relationship between art and the environment? What are “geoaesthetics?” This course explores the interrelationships between ecosystem and creative responses and practices in the ancient Eastern Mediterranean. Specifically, the class will examine the intersections between artistic and architectural practices and the natural environment during the New Kingdom in ancient Egypt, the Neo-Assyrian period in ancient Mesopotamia, and the Minoan Bronze Age in the ancient Aegean.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 4:30PM - 5:45PM
  • Instructor: Taylor, Avary Rhys
  • Room: Gilman 177
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 7/25
  • PosTag(s): HART-ANC, ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR, ARCH-ARCH

Sex, Death, and Gender: The Body in Premodern Art, Medicine, and Culture, c. 1300-1600
AS.010.339 (01)

To what extent was the body and its depiction a site of contestation, identification, or desire in the Middle Ages and Renaissance? If the body in the West since the 1800s is seen to have been shaped by the rise of photography and film, the institutionalization of biomedicine, and the establishment of techniques of surveyance and mechanization, then how was the body represented, disciplined, and experienced in the preceding centuries? In an age of unprecedented encounter with non-European bodies, what did it mean to describe and categorize bodies by race, region, or religion? These are some of the major questions this class seeks to answer, which is fundamentally interdisciplinary as it draws upon insights and methods from anthropology and the history of medicine and history of science to investigate how the body has been represented and imagined in the visual arts. The bodies of the suffering Christ, the female mystic, the dissected cadaver, the punished criminal, and the non-European ‘Other’ will loom large as we work to problematize notions of a normative body, whether in the premodern world or in the contemporary one. While most readings and lectures will concern the body and its representation in the Christian West during the later Middle Ages and Renaissance, students are encouraged to work on a topic of their choosing from any geographical area 1000-1800 CE for their research papers.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 3:00PM - 4:15PM
  • Instructor: Allsopp, Ben William
  • Room: Gilman 119
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 6/18
  • PosTag(s): HART-RENBAR, MSCH-HUM

Body and Soul: Medicine in the Ancient Americas
AS.010.350 (01)

This course examines curative medicine in the Americas through its visual culture and oral histories. Philosophies about the body, health, and causes of illness are considered, as are representations of practitioners and their pharmacology. Case studies are drawn from cross the Americas (Aztec, Moche, Aymara, Paracas, American SW). Collections study in museums, Special Collections.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
  • Instructor: Deleonardis, Lisa
  • Room: Hodson 303
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 2/25
  • PosTag(s): HART-ANC, MSCH-HUM, ARCH-ARCH

Script, Character, Scribble: Writing and Pseudo-Writing in Modern and Contemporary Art
AS.010.451 (01)

Almost readable, but not quite: artists in the twentieth and twenty-first century played with script of all kinds, from ancient glyphs and Persian script to Roman typefaces and Korean Hangul. Artists also scribbled in ways that evoke writing without script or meaning. This course takes on the question of meaning-making in art through the form of script—flirting with that tantalizing feeling that we can almost read the work of art through the marks on its surface. We will engage with artists from around the world whose work grapples with knowledge, meaning, and script, and discuss the limits and possibilities of legibility, knowing, and language. In addition to painting and drawing, we will also discuss conceptual art, installation, video, architecture, tapestry, ceramics, graphic novel forms, book arts, and sculpture. We will have opportunities to situate these works within longer histories of script and pseudo-script and image-text relations. Our discussion-driven seminars will be guided by readings in art history and theory. The course carries no expectation that you are multi-lingual or have experience with multiple scripts. Central to our semester will be group trips to see art in person in DC and Baltimore. Assignments include an option for short, focused writing with feedback and opportunities to experiment with genre and to rewrite, or a longer seminar paper, chosen in consultation with the professor.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: Th 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Brown, Rebecca Mary
  • Room: Gilman 177
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 2/10
  • PosTag(s): HART-MODERN

A (Virtual) Visit to the Louvre Museum: Introduction to the Material Culture of Ancient Egypt
AS.130.153 (01)

This course will present the Egyptological collections of the musée du Louvre in Paris, room by room, as in a real visit. The experience will be enhanced by the study of objects that are not shown to the public but are kept in the reserves of the museum. From the 4th millennium BC to Roman time, the iconic “masterpieces” of this world-renowned art museum, as well as its little-known artifacts, will allow us to explore the history and material culture of ancient Egypt. We will also learn to observe, describe and analyze archaeological objects, in a global manner and without establishing a hierarchy between them, while questioning their place in the museum and its particular language. The objective will be to go beyond the objects themselves and answer, in fine, the following questions: What do these objects tell us about the men and women who produced them, exchanged them, used them, and lived among them in antiquity? What do they also reveal about those who discovered them in Egypt, several millennia later, about those who collected them and sometimes traded them, and what does this say about the relations between Egypt and the Western countries over time? The courses will be complemented by visits to the rich Egyptian collections in Baltimore.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 4:30PM - 5:45PM
  • Instructor: Arnette, Marie-Lys
  • Room: Gilman 130G
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 2/15
  • PosTag(s): NEAS-ARTARC, ARCH-ARCH

Museums and Identity
AS.211.329 (01)

The museum boom of the last half-century has centered largely around museums dedicated to the culture and history of identity groups, including national, ethnic, religious, and minority groups. In this course we will examine such museums and consider their long history through a comparison of the theory and practice of Jewish museums with other identity museums. We will study the various museological traditions that engage identity, including the collection of art and antiquities, ethnographic exhibitions, history museums, heritage museums, art museums, and other museums of culture. Some of the questions we will ask include: what are museums for and who are they for? how do museums shape identity? and how do the various types of museums relate to one another? Our primary work will be to examine a variety of contemporary examples around the world with visits to local museums including the Jewish Museum of Maryland, the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of the American Indian.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 3:00PM - 4:15PM
  • Instructor: Spinner, Samuel Jacob
  • Room: Hodson 305
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 3/15
  • PosTag(s): INST-GLOBAL, ARCH-RELATE

Introduction to the Museum: Past and Present
AS.389.201 (01)

This course surveys museums, from their origins to their most contemporary forms, in the context of broader historical, intellectual, and cultural trends including the social movements of the 20th century. Anthropology, art, history, and science museums are considered. Crosslisted with Archaeology, History, History of Art, International Studies and Medicine, Science & Humanities.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
  • Instructor: Kingsley, Jennifer P
  • Room: Maryland 114
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 6/19
  • PosTag(s): HIST-EUROPE, ARCH-ARCH, PMUS-INTRO, MSCH-HUM, INST-GLOBAL

Ancient Color: The Technologies and Meanings of Color in Antiquity
AS.389.315 (01)

What role did the colorful surfaces of sculptures, vessels and textiles play in the ancient world? We examine historical texts and recent scholarly and scientific publications on the technologies and meanings of color in antiquity, and use imaging and analytical techniques to study polychromed objects from the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: M 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Balachandran, Sanchita
  • Room: Gilman 150A
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 1/15
  • PosTag(s): MSCH-HUM, ARCH-ARCH

Knowledge, Holiness, and Pleasure: The Illustrated Book in the Medieval World
AS.010.322 (01)

The book was the primary source for the collection of knowledge in the Middle Ages. It was also the medium for the preservation and proliferation of the texts that underlay the three monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam). Finally, the book served as a source for elite entertainment, perhaps most importantly in Late Antiquity and the later Middle Ages. This course investigates the role of the illustrated book within the political, religious, and artistic developments that took place after the rise of Christianity from the end of the Roman Empire until the early modern period in the medieval West and in Byzantium, permeating Jewish and Islamic traditions. We will examine how the different types of books, such as horizontal and vertical scrolls, large and miniature size codices influenced the placement, conception, and style of the illustrations. The course also addresses processes of manufacture, issues of materiality (i.e. precious multi-media book covers, papyrus, parchment, paper), and the relationship between text and image. A major aspect of the seminar focuses on the performative aspect of the book in its wide range of functions: secular and liturgical, public and private. Students will be able to work first hand with manuscripts and facsimiles from the rare book collection of Eisenhower Library and the Walters Art Museum.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: M 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Zchomelidse, Nino
  • Room: BLC 2043
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 9/15
  • PosTag(s): HART-MED

Introduction to Art History I
AS.010.101 (01)

This introductory course explores and compares major developments in world art and architecture from the dawn of history, through several ancient and medieval civilizations, down to the era of the Black Death in Europe (mid-14th century). We will focus primarily on Egypt and the ancient Levant, the Mediterranean world of Greece and Rome, medieval Europe, the Islamic Middle East and Spain, and selected aspects of the arts of India, China, and Japan.

  • Credits: 4.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 12:00PM - 1:15PM, F 10:00AM - 10:50AM
  • Instructor: Merback, Mitchell
  • Room: Gilman 132
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 9/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

FYS: Leonardo da Vinci - Art, Science, and Medicine
AS.001.157 (01)

How does a notary’s son trained as a painter gain expertise in the construction of machines and acquire knowledge of the principles of optics, human anatomy, the flight of birds, the dynamics of air and water? How did an artist/engineer who brought few projects to completion come to have such a huge impact on later generations? This First-Year Seminar will focus critically on the myth of Leonardo’s singularity while showing his achievements to be characteristic of the artisanal culture of his time.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
  • Instructor: Campbell, Stephen
  • Room: Gilman 177
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/12
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Research Lab: The Dutch Americas
AS.010.400 (01)

The Dutch East India Company, or VOC, is historically and art historically well documented and firmly understood. But the Dutch also had significant holdings to the west via the Dutch West India Company, or WIC. They operated and held outposts in the present-day United States (New York/New Amsterdam), Caribbean (Surinam, Curaçao, Bonaire), Latin America (Brazil), and West Africa. Despite the abundance of materials associated with the WIC from this wide geography, these have been scarcely assessed by art historians, and a defined and comprehensive corpus has never been assembled. This class will act as a research lab in which to do so. In research teams, students will map artworks and objects created from that broad, transnational cultural ambit—categories that might include maps, landscape paintings, still life paintings featuring American flora and fauna, botanical illustrations, plantation architecture, luxury objects made from precious raw materials gathered in the Americas, the urban environment of slavery—and develop individual research questions around them. The class will run with a partner lab in the form of a course led by Professor Stephanie Porras at Tulane University. The course will feature speakers; and there is potential for funded travel to conduct research. We will start at the ground level; no previous knowledge about the field is required. Students from all disciplines are welcome.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: M 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Hyman, Aaron M.
  • Room: Gilman 177
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 1/10
  • PosTag(s): HART-RENBAR, INST-GLOBAL

Art of the Cold War Era
AS.010.346 (01)

The Cold War years bore witness to some of the most radical developments in modern art. An abiding question for artists, writers, and political figures too during this period was what role—if any—could art perform in social and political life, and in the struggle between capitalism and communism in particular. This course examines the political viability of art as this concern was taken up by groups and individuals throughout the world in response to rapidly shifting geopolitical circumstances. Beginning with the visual cultures of the United States and Soviet Union, the course will also examine artistic responses to the conditions of Cold War existence in and beyond countries of NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Proceeding roughly chronologically, the course is divided into twelve units following the art of the US, USSR, Western and Eastern Europe, China, and Japan, among others. It treats a wide variety of media as painting and sculpture, canonically privileged in the history of Western art, ceded ground to new forms of practice such as performance, film, and a deep, critical engagement with mass culture. In so doing, this course provides at once a global history of modern art and visual culture and a critical interrogation of their relationships to social change and political life during the 20th century and beyond.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 9:00AM - 10:15AM
  • Instructor: Mientkiewicz, Jason E
  • Room: Hodson 305
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 12/18
  • PosTag(s): n/a

The illuminated charter: visual splendor, performance, and authenticity of medieval legal documents
AS.010.459 (01)

This course investigates the complexities of medieval legal documents, their specific visuality and materiality, as well as practices of copying and forgery. We will address the aesthetics of legal documents, their graphic signs, seals, and paleography and the authenticating strategies used to corroborate their legitimacy. Another emphasis is set on the performative aspects of the medieval charters in court and church rituals. Comparison with contemporary illuminated sacred books will reveal the tight connections of monastic scriptoria and royal/imperial chanceries. The geographic focus is set wide, ranging from medieval Spain, to Carolingian and Ottonian chanceries in France and Germany, to the papal court in Rome and the imperial and monastic scriptoria in Byzantium.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: W 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Zchomelidse, Nino
  • Room: Gilman 177
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 4/6
  • PosTag(s): HART-MED

Introduction to Art History I
AS.010.101 (02)

This introductory course explores and compares major developments in world art and architecture from the dawn of history, through several ancient and medieval civilizations, down to the era of the Black Death in Europe (mid-14th century). We will focus primarily on Egypt and the ancient Levant, the Mediterranean world of Greece and Rome, medieval Europe, the Islamic Middle East and Spain, and selected aspects of the arts of India, China, and Japan.

  • Credits: 4.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 12:00PM - 1:15PM, F 11:00AM - 11:50AM
  • Instructor: Merback, Mitchell
  • Room: Gilman 132
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 6/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Contemporary Performance Art
AS.010.255 (01)

Performance art is provocative and often controversial because it troubles, without dissolving, the distinction between art and life. Not just a matter of activating bodies, engaging viewers, or spurring participation, performance art asks what it means to perform, and what kinds of actions count, in contemporary culture. As such, performance art allows us to rethink established art historical concerns with form, perspective, and materiality, while offering critical insight into everyday life. We will explore how performance art addresses ingrained assumptions about action and passivity, success and failure, embodiment and mediation, “good” and “bad” feelings, emancipation and dependency. The study of performance art invites transdisciplinary approaches. Students from across the university are welcome. Our attention to a diverse array of artists and practices will be supplemented by readings in art history and criticism, as well as in feminist and queer theory, critical race theory, and political thought.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 4:30PM - 5:45PM
  • Instructor: Schopp, Caroline Lillian
  • Room: Gilman 35
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 4/10
  • PosTag(s): HART-MODERN

Introduction to Art History I
AS.010.101 (04)

This introductory course explores and compares major developments in world art and architecture from the dawn of history, through several ancient and medieval civilizations, down to the era of the Black Death in Europe (mid-14th century). We will focus primarily on Egypt and the ancient Levant, the Mediterranean world of Greece and Rome, medieval Europe, the Islamic Middle East and Spain, and selected aspects of the arts of India, China, and Japan.

  • Credits: 4.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 12:00PM - 1:15PM, F 12:00PM - 12:50PM
  • Instructor: Merback, Mitchell
  • Room: Gilman 132
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 6/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Introduction to Art History I
AS.010.101 (03)

This introductory course explores and compares major developments in world art and architecture from the dawn of history, through several ancient and medieval civilizations, down to the era of the Black Death in Europe (mid-14th century). We will focus primarily on Egypt and the ancient Levant, the Mediterranean world of Greece and Rome, medieval Europe, the Islamic Middle East and Spain, and selected aspects of the arts of India, China, and Japan.

  • Credits: 4.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 12:00PM - 1:15PM, F 12:00PM - 12:50PM
  • Instructor: Merback, Mitchell
  • Room: Gilman 132
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 2/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Course # (Section) Title Day/Times Instructor Room PosTag(s) Info
AS.010.205 (01)Art of MesoamericaTTh 9:00AM - 10:15AMPopovici, Catherine HGilman 177HART-ANC, ARCH-ARCH
AS.010.240 (01)Art and the Environment in the Ancient Eastern MediterraneanMW 4:30PM - 5:45PMTaylor, Avary RhysGilman 177HART-ANC, ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR, ARCH-ARCH
AS.010.339 (01)Sex, Death, and Gender: The Body in Premodern Art, Medicine, and Culture, c. 1300-1600TTh 3:00PM - 4:15PMAllsopp, Ben WilliamGilman 119HART-RENBAR, MSCH-HUM
AS.010.350 (01)Body and Soul: Medicine in the Ancient AmericasTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMDeleonardis, LisaHodson 303HART-ANC, MSCH-HUM, ARCH-ARCH
AS.010.451 (01)Script, Character, Scribble: Writing and Pseudo-Writing in Modern and Contemporary ArtTh 1:30PM - 4:00PMBrown, Rebecca MaryGilman 177HART-MODERN
AS.130.153 (01)A (Virtual) Visit to the Louvre Museum: Introduction to the Material Culture of Ancient EgyptMW 4:30PM - 5:45PMArnette, Marie-LysGilman 130GNEAS-ARTARC, ARCH-ARCH
AS.211.329 (01)Museums and IdentityMW 3:00PM - 4:15PMSpinner, Samuel JacobHodson 305INST-GLOBAL, ARCH-RELATE
AS.389.201 (01)Introduction to the Museum: Past and PresentTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMKingsley, Jennifer PMaryland 114HIST-EUROPE, ARCH-ARCH, PMUS-INTRO, MSCH-HUM, INST-GLOBAL
AS.389.315 (01)Ancient Color: The Technologies and Meanings of Color in AntiquityM 1:30PM - 4:00PMBalachandran, SanchitaGilman 150AMSCH-HUM, ARCH-ARCH
AS.010.322 (01)Knowledge, Holiness, and Pleasure: The Illustrated Book in the Medieval WorldM 1:30PM - 4:00PMZchomelidse, NinoBLC 2043HART-MED
AS.010.101 (01)Introduction to Art History IMW 12:00PM - 1:15PM, F 10:00AM - 10:50AMMerback, MitchellGilman 132
AS.001.157 (01)FYS: Leonardo da Vinci - Art, Science, and MedicineTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMCampbell, StephenGilman 177
AS.010.400 (01)Research Lab: The Dutch AmericasM 1:30PM - 4:00PMHyman, Aaron M.Gilman 177HART-RENBAR, INST-GLOBAL
AS.010.346 (01)Art of the Cold War EraTTh 9:00AM - 10:15AMMientkiewicz, Jason EHodson 305
AS.010.459 (01)The illuminated charter: visual splendor, performance, and authenticity of medieval legal documentsW 1:30PM - 4:00PMZchomelidse, NinoGilman 177HART-MED
AS.010.101 (02)Introduction to Art History IMW 12:00PM - 1:15PM, F 11:00AM - 11:50AMMerback, MitchellGilman 132
AS.010.255 (01)Contemporary Performance ArtTTh 4:30PM - 5:45PMSchopp, Caroline LillianGilman 35HART-MODERN
AS.010.101 (04)Introduction to Art History IMW 12:00PM - 1:15PM, F 12:00PM - 12:50PMMerback, MitchellGilman 132
AS.010.101 (03)Introduction to Art History IMW 12:00PM - 1:15PM, F 12:00PM - 12:50PMMerback, MitchellGilman 132