JS505 : Modern Japanese Art History

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Course title: 
Modern Japanese Art History
Course Description: 
This course examines the history of and the theoretical foundations for the praxes of art history that seek to identify a framework to study visual creativity, expressions and forms beyond specific cultural contexts and national traditions. Such transcultural interest has always been at the core of the discipline of art history. While art history has primarily been practiced as a history of a specific "national" tradition, the very concept of "art" in fact depends on its alleged universality. The discipline cannot claim theoretical coherence or academic relevance if art turned out to be a mere "local" product applicable only to showcase the excellence and dominance of particular peoples and times (i.e. post-Renaissance Western Europe and culminating in the 20th-century avant-garde). As a matter of fact, some scholars have declared the crisis even the end of art history, in part for this reason of anachronism. We will look at the origin of art history (and its transcultural narratives) in the texts by philosophers such as Hegel, examine the critical moments of convergence between universalism and modernism in figures such as Roger Fry and Andre Malraux, and study the more contemporary responses of art historians to the postmodern(ist) and postcolonial reformulations of cultural connected-ness in the work of David Summers, Hans Belting, James Elkins, and others. The course will be of interest to those students interested in the historiography of and theoretical debates within art history. A detailed syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class. If you need further information about the course before the first day of class, please contact the professor .
Name of Instructor: 
Degree Programs: 
M.A. in Japanese Studies
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