Visual Arts DepartmentWestern Arts and Humanities

Graduate Courses

Graduate Courses for 2013-2014

9500A MA/MFA Seminar – Research Methods
Prof. Patrick Mahon
Wednesdays, 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm; Room 148

The Master’s seminar in research methods is the foundational course for the MFA in studio and the MA in art history. The course is an integrated context for reading, analysis of art works, and engagement with relevant practices by studio and art history students, in a shared context. It combines a theoretical component involving a survey of some key movements in contemporary critical theory with a methods component focusing respectively on the development of tools for art making, related writing, and the use of professional skills by artists; and on art historical research methods and the development of critical writing skills, and the use of professional tools by art historians.

A general aim of the course is to help all students develop proficiency in reading and understanding texts, and engage in in-depth analysis and articulation regarding artworks. Critical examinations of art and visual culture will expose students to a range of traditional and contemporary research methods and practices, and will lead to specific opportunities for individual examination and development of the student’s own research methods and/or creative practices. The student’s production, whether as studio artwork and writing, or as art historical writing, will contribute to a final individual dossier that will also include evidence of course work involving the development of relevant professional tools.

9540A/9543A Studio Seminar
Prof. Kim Moodie
Fridays 10:00 to 1:00 pm – Room VAC 247
The Studio seminar course is designed to provide an environment for MFA students to engage in constructively critical dialogues that aid the research and development of their studio practice. Students will be asked to participate by contributing to informal studio reviews that will be scheduled throughout the term. These group meetings may review work-in-progress; access ongoing technical concerns; assist with immediate needs of a projects concept and execution; develop an appropriate language for evaluation and critique; and involve discussion on related issues. Each student will be required to submit a detailed typed dossier that will provide information about studio visits with faculty as well as meetings with department visitors. Students will be required to present their work for critiques to their peers, faculty and external art professionals at various points throughout the year.


9541B/9544B Studio Seminar
Prof. Sky Glabush
Fridays 10:00 am to 1:00 pm – Room VAC 135

This course is designed to provide an opportunity for MFA students to participate in an exchange dedicated to the research and development of their studio practice. Students will be asked to participate by contributing to informal studio reviews that will be scheduled throughout the term. These group meetings may review work-in-progress; access ongoing technical concerns; assist with immediate needs of a projects concept and execution; develop an appropriate language for evaluation and critique; and involve discussion on related issues. Each student will be required to submit a detailed dossier that will provide information about studio visits with faculty as well as meetings with visiting speakers. Students will be required to present their work for critique to a committee at the end of the year.

9551A/9651A Graduate Seminar: The Monument in Early Modern and Modern Art
Prof. Cody Barteet
Tuesdays 2:30 to 5:30 pm – Room VAC 148

The course will explore the monument from antiquity to the present. We will examine historical objects, buildings, sculptures, squares, etc. and the agendas of the individual(s) and/or community, religious, institutional, and state groups that commissioned these objects. We will consider monuments from ancient and modern Rome, pre-contact and post-contact North America, Eastern Europe, and in post-colonial locations.

9551B/9651B Graduate Seminar: Medieval Art in North American Contexts: Collecting, Display, Representation, 1914-2014
Prof. Kathy Brush
Tuesdays 2:30 – 5:30 pm; Room VAC 247

This graduate seminar explores the collecting, display, and representation of medieval art in the United States and Canada in the past century. In 1914, less than a year after the Armory Show introduced North Americans to the art of the European avant-garde, Europe’s Middle Ages “arrived” in New York in a Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition that featured the collection of the banker-philanthropist J. Pierpont Morgan. In Manhattan that same year, too, the sculptor George Gray Barnard opened his “Cloisters,” an evocatively staged collection of medieval architectural and sculptural fragments which the artist believed would demonstrate “the power of the medieval chisel” to Americans. These early public displays of medieval objects were pivotal in promoting the appreciation, collecting, and study of medieval art and visual culture on this side of the Atlantic.


The seminar marks the centennial of these groundbreaking exhibitions, and engages with their legacy. Our investigation focuses on the many tensions that have animated the display and representation of displaced objects from medieval Europe in North American contexts. How, for example, has the public (visual) consumption of medieval art been valued and positioned in relation to objects and ideas from other historical eras and geographies, including those of non-Western cultures and the modern age? How and why have collections of medieval art been employed in the past and present to articulate distinctly American and/or Canadian concerns and identities, whether public, private, individual, or collective? Strategies of arrangement and display, both historical and contemporary, at selected institutions will be given critical consideration. In 2014 the Middle Ages continue to figure prominently in the North American imagination in the form of video games, Disney World, and Hollywood; in what ways might exhibitions of “authentic” medieval objects build on and complicate such “popular culture” projections? Is the academic study of medieval visual culture still relevant in North America in the twenty-first century? Collections of medieval art located within reach of London will be drawn into our debate, and a field trip will be organized.

9578A/9678A Graduate Seminar: Writing Without Words: The Critical and Curatorial Challenges of Arte Povera and Its Allies
Prof. John Hatch
Mondays, 8:30 am - 11:30 am; Room VAC 249

With a focus on the Italian art group, Arte Povera, this course looks at the inherent difficulties in teaching and writing about movements or groups whose purpose is partially one of undermining critical discussion and analysis of their works. This will be examined within the broader context of the 1960s where a number of artists were seeking ways of eluding critics, most notably the generation around Clement Greenberg, by short circuiting their ability to talk about the art. This was a significant part of the objectives of movements such minimalism, conceptualism, performance art, earthworks, and groups like Gutai, Nouveau Realistes, Fluxus, etc. The last question this course will look at is how successful this has been in light of the reactionary backlash of the 1970s and the current structure of the art market.

9582B/9682B Graduate Seminar- That Thinking Feeling: Engaging the Affective Capacities of Art
Prof. Joy James
Thursdays 11:30 am – 2:30 pm; Room 247

The course is framed by what theorists have recently referred to as the “affective turn” in the sciences, arts, and humanities. This conceptual shift is significant for contemporary art practice in that a focus on affect privileges an embodied participatory beholder for art’s objects, and in so doing, reconfigures subject/object relations and the ways in which they have been traditionally understood to function.
In the context of a series of cross-disciplinary readings that have proved crucial to emerging theories of affect, students will investigate the aesthetics of engagement implied by an insistence on the eventfulness of the art object.

9586B/9686B Graduate Seminar: Writing for the Art World
Prof. Sarah Bassnett
Wednesdays 8:30 am – 11:30 am; Room VAC 247
Writing for the Art World is a practical course that focuses on forms of writing common in the art world. Using current exhibitions and art world events as case studies, we work with written materials such as press releases, interpretive panels, catalogue essays, and exhibition reviews. We also consider how different art publications and various forms of writing address their audiences and how Internet-based art organizations such as Akimbo and e-flux have changed the way art fairs, contemporary art exhibitions, and other events are promoted. The seminar format allows for group activities and discussion, as well as peer review of writing. Learning outcomes include: communicating ideas in writing at a professional level in a variety of forms; demonstrating an awareness of the way different forms of writing address their audiences; and conducting research on current issues in the field.


2013-2014

9500B/9600B MA/PhD Seminar – Theory and Methods
Instructor: Marielle Aylen
Tuesdays 2:30-5:30 pm – Room VAC 148

9521B Studio Elective – Research Methods
Prof. Kelly Jazvac
Thursdays 2:30 to 5:30 pm – Room VAC 148

9540A/9543A Studio Seminar
Prof. David Merritt
Fridays 10:00 to 1:00 pm – Room VAC 148

9541B/9544B Studio Seminar
Prof. Kelly Wood
Fridays 10:00 am to 1:00 pm – Room VAC 135

9551B/9651B Women in Renaissance and Baroque Art
Prof. Cody Barteet
Mondays 2:30 to 5:30 pm – Room VAC 247

9554A/9654A Graduate Seminar: The Work of Photography
Prof. Sarah Bassnett
Tuesdays 11:30 am to 2:30 pm – Room VAC 247

VISARTS 9555B Seminar in 20th Century Art
Prof. Bridget Elliott
Wednesdays 11:30 – 2:30 pm – Room VAC 249

9569 McIntosh Curatorial Internship

9578A/9678A Paracinema
Prof. Christine Sprengler
Wednesdays 8:30 to 11:30 am – Room VAC 247

9580 / 9680 McIntosh Artist in the Community

2012-2013

9500A Art Theory and Criticism
Prof. Joy James

9600A PhD Seminar: Theory and Methods
Prof. Sarah Bassnett

VAS 9521B/9621B – Recycler: Revision and Re-use in the Visual Arts
Prof. Kelly Wood

9540A/9543A – Graduate Studio Seminar
Prof. Patrick Mahon

9541B/9544B – Graduate Studio Seminar
Prof. Kelly Jazvac

9551A/9651A – Medieval/Modern: The Middle ages in Early Twentieth-Century Visual Culture
Prof. Kathryn Brush

 9554B/9654B – Documentary, Mockumentary, Forgery and Hoax
Prof. Bridget Elliott

 9555A/9655A – Echoes of the Baroque in the Last Century
Prof. John Hatch

9566B/9666B – The Archive in Contemporary Culture
Prof. Anthony Purdy

2011-2012

9500: Art Theory and Criticism in Western Culture
Prof. Patrick Mahon

9600: PhD Seminar: Art Theory and Criticism
Prof. Sarah Bassnett

9540A/9543A - Graduate Studio Seminar
Prof. Kim Moodie

9541B/9544B Graduate Studio Seminar
Prof. David Merritt

9551/9651 Visualizing Race and Class in the New World
Prof. Cody Barteet

9554/9654 Museums, Marginality and the Mainstream
Prof. Kirsty Robertson

9555/9655 That Thinking Feeling: Engaging the Affective Capacities of Art
Prof. Joy James

9581/9681 The Turn to the Object
Prof. Anthony Purdy

2010-2011

VAH/S 9500B: Art Theory and Criticism in Western Culture
Prof. Kirsty Robertson

9600B: PhD Seminar: Art Theory and Criticism
Prof. Bridget Elliott

9540A/9543A - Graduate Studio Seminar
Prof. David Merritt

9541B/9544B/9641B - Graduate Studio Seminar
Prof. Kelly Wood

9521A/9621A - Studio Elective - Work Ethic: Looking Like You’re Not Trying and Looking Like You Mean It
Prof. Kelly Jazvac

9551G/9651G - Graduate Seminar - Monuments
Prof. Cody Barteet

9555G/9655G - Art in Time and Space as Seen through a Telescope: Artistic Journeys through Modern Science
Prof. John Hatch

VAH 9578F/9678F - Modern - The Animal in Modernism
Prof. Marielle Aylen

9579F/9679F - Phenomenology and Art
Prof. Helen Fielding

9554F/9654F Seminar - Paper Politics: Printed Matter, Political Engagement and Avant-garde Practices
Prof. Patrick Mahon

9566G/9666G - Cultures of Memory
Prof. Anthony Purdy

2009-2010

VAH/S 9500A/9600A: Art Theory and Criticism in Western Culture
Prof. Christine Sprengler

VAS 9521B/9621B Studio Elective Course: Why make pictures?
Prof. Sky Glabush

VAS 9540A/9543A/96640A Graduate Studio Seminar
Prof. Patrick Mahon

VAS 9541B/9544B Graduate Studio Seminar
Prof. David Merritt

VAH 9551G/9651G Medieval Art- Mapping Medievalism at the Canadian Frontier
Prof. Kathy Brush

VAH 9554/9654F Modern Art – A Stitch in Time Saves . . . Textiles, Technology and Contemporary Art
Prof. Kirsty Robertson

VAH 9555G/9655G Modern Art – Photography’s Discursive Spaces
Prof. Sarah Bassnett

VAH 9566F/9666F The Archive in Contemporary Culture
Prof. Anthony Purdy

VAH 9578F/9678F Modern – The maison d’artiste, 1880-2009
Prof. Bridget Elliott

VAH 9579G//9679G The Forensic Imagination: Evidence, Testimony, and the Material Witness
Prof. Susan Schuppli

2008-2009

VAH/S 9500A / 9600A Art Theory and Criticism in Western Culture
Prof. Christine Sprengler

VAS 9521B / 9621B Studio Elective Course: Extemporal
Professor David Merritt

VAS 9540A / 9543A / 96640A Graduate Studio Seminar
Professor Susan Schuppli

VAS 9541B / 9544B Graduate Studio Seminar
Professor Patrick Mahon

VAH 9551G / 9651G Medieval Art and Its Modern Interpreters
Professor Kathryn Brush

VAH 9554 / 9654G Modern Art – Economizing Culture: Globalization, Art and the Creative Industries
Professor Kirsty Robertson

VAH 9556G / 9656G The Palace in Latin America
Prof. Cody Barteet

VAH 9578F / 9678F: Modern Art - Rediscovering Nature andthe Body in a Post Industrial World: The Adventures of Arte Povera
Prof. John Hatch

VAH 9579F / 9679F
Modern Art - Photography and Social Crisis 
Professor Sarah Bassnett

VAH 9551F / VAH 9651F Transformations: the impact of the Women’s Movement on art and art history
Professor Madeline Lennon

VAH 9594F / 9694F Survey of Chinese Visual Art
Professor James Flath

2007-2008

VAH/S 500A/600A Art Theory and Criticism in Western Culture
Prof. Bridget Elliott

VAS 521A/621A Sonic Fictions
Prof. Susan Schuppli

526B/626B Studio Special Topic: Adaptation Nation: Modernism, Canadian Design and the Artist Multiple
Prof. P. Mahon

540A/543A/640A Graduate Studio Seminar
Prof. Sky Glabush

541B/544B/641B Graduate Studio Seminar
Prof. Kelly Wood

VAH 561F/661F Baroque Constructions: representation in the 17th century
Prof. Madeline Lennon

567B/667B Special Projects in Studio
Course title: “Advanced Seminar In Painting and Drawing”
Prof. Sky Glabush

VAH 584B/684B - After Images: Photography and Literature
Prof: Janelle Blankenship

VAH587A/687A Collecting Cultures
Prof. Tony Purdy

VAH 594B/694B Special Topic: Embodied Information: Researching the Sensuous and the Immaterial
Prof. Joy Parr

2006-2007

VAH/S 500A Art Theory and Criticism in Western Culture
Professor John Hatch

VAS 521B Studio Elective – Cultivators of Culture
Professor Colette Urban

VAS 540a/543a Graduate Studio Seminar
Professor David Merritt

VAS 541b/544b Graduate Studio Seminar
Professor Kelly Wood

VAH 551G - Seminar in Medieval Art
Topic: Medieval Art in North American Contexts
Professor Kathryn Brush

VAH 566B – Nineteenth Century Art History Seminar
Professor Lorenzo Buj

VAH 577G – Modern – Icon/Fetish
Professor Kajri Jain

VAH 578F - Modern - Paracinema
Professor Christine Sprengler

2005-2006

VAH/S 500A Art Theory and Criticism in Western Culture
Professor Sarah Bassnett

521B New Studio Elective - Vampire Picnic: A Reference Manual
Professor Kelly Wood

VAS 540a/543a Graduate Studio Seminar
Professor Patrick Mahon

VAS 541b/544b Graduate Studio Seminar
Professor Colette Urban

VAH 551G/ VAH 451G (Seminar in Medieval Art)
Topic: Patronage, Audience, and Engagement in Medieval Art
Professor Kathryn Brush

VAH 554b Modern - Ars Memoria
Professor Lorenzo Buj

VAH561F Baroque Art: Baroque Constructions
Professor Madeline Lennon

VAH 587G La Maison d'Artiste
Professor Bridget Elliott

2004-2005

500a Art Theory and Criticism in Western Culture
Professor John G. Hatch

526b Graduate Special Topics Course: Creative Critters Commune
Professor Colette Urban

540a/543a MFA Graduate Studio Seminar 2004
Professor Ben Reeves

541b/544b Graduate Studio Seminar
Professor Daniela Sneppova

551G Reading Medieval Art
Professor Kathryn Brush

577F A is for Art, H is for Heterotopia
Professor Bridget J. Elliott