ARTH 009 302
Program and Power in Ancient Art

Instructor: Sarah Scott
TR 12-1:30

Course Description

Expression of power has long been the focus of propaganda for rulers. Such expression is commonly manifest in visually stimulating architectural programs sponsored by such rulers. Cultures of ancient Mesopotamia, Minoan Crete, Mesoamerica, Greece, and Rome, were all fueled by rulers' drive to impress and hold power over the population through visual persuasion. This visual manifestation plays an important role today, but is used in conjunction with textual traditions. Visual persuasion and expression of power was used for the same means in ancient cultures, but the messages had to be conveyed with less reliance on text; the architecture, imagery, and spatial arrangements were mediums through which a ruler's power was expressed. This course will examine the use and incorporation of visual propagandistic expression in the ancient cultures and empires of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Crete, Mesoamerica, Greece, and Rome. Students will be encouraged to describe, discuss, and elaborate upon modes of expression through various written and oral projects. Reading material will include a wide variety of subject matter and writing styles, to serve as a platform from which the students learn to become their own writing critics. Beginning with a basic introduction to Art Historical writing conventions students will learn to look upon and write about one distinct work of art. From this elemental project, students will develop a research project, every step of which will be modeled through class discussion, peer and instructor reviews, and class presentations. Whether the student is experienced in writing or not, every individual will come away from this seminar an improved writer, better capable to tackle upper level class writing assignments in any discipline. Students will also come away from this seminar a more active member of the visual world that surrounds them; the use of written expression is vital in consideration of our world today.


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Last update: November 1, 2002

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