Fall 2017

Below please find a list of upcoming material culture related courses within the University.


ARTH 635-010: Material and Visual Culture of Slavery on Wednesdays 9:05AM-12:05PM
Dr. Jennifer Van Horn

Join us as we investigate enslaved men and women’s material and visual worlds. From slave dwellings, to clothing and personal accessories, to hair styles and songs, we will consider how people enslaved in the Caribbean and North America produced and consumed artifacts and how they were represented by others. The course will use collections at Winterthur and other regional institutions for close study. Help to re-evaluate artifacts through the lens of slavery. Contribute to a public-facing interpretation focused on enslavement. Evaluate the promises and the challenges of interpreting slavery through discussion, hands-on sessions, field trips, and guest lectures from museum professionals.


ARTH209/010/080 (honors): Early Medieval Art 300-1000
Dr. Lawrence Nees

MSST 467/667 & BAMS 467/667: Curating Hidden Collections & the Black Archive on Wednesdays, 5-8PM
Dr. Julie McGee

Research and digital curation of a recently rediscovered collection of photographs from the Baltimore region. Includes study of early African American portrait photography and an introduction to archival and theoretical challenges in making this collection and others like it available to the public.

Students curious about one of the primary collections we will be working with can link to Morris Library ArtStor portal and select UD Museums: “The Baltimore Collection”
http://library.artstor.org/library/#3|collections|36618||UD20Museums3A2022The20Baltimore20Collection22|||


EAMC 606: Cities on a Hill: Material Culture in America’s Communal Utopias, Mondays at Winterthur 9AM-12PM
Dr. Thomas Guiler

Explore the rich and colorful material culture of communal utopias in American history. This course will examine how visionary Americans formed unique intentional communities that established new conceptions of religious orthodoxy, sexual norms, economics, craftsmanship. sustainable living, social structures, and cultural standards. Students will study these groups through historical scholarship, close examination of museum collections and objects, interactions with current and former community members, and field trips to historical and contemporary intentional communities.


ARTH417-010/ARTH617-010: Invention in Age Vermeer
Dr. Perry Chapman

An examination of artistic rivalry as spur to innovation and invention in Dutch scenes of daily life. Seminar coincides with major exhibition of high-life genre paintings by Vermeer and his contemporaries.


HIST 223010: Nature and History
Dr. Cindy Ott

In this course, we will evaluate and discuss the ways that people have represented, cataloged, and displayed the natural world dating back to cabinets of curiosity in the Renaissance and up to present day wildlife TV programs. We will analyze how people the world over have thought about, organized, and exhibited plants and animals (including human beings) in venues, such as botanical dictionaries, gardens, zoos, museum dioramas, scientific illustrations, maps, TV and film, and nature parks.  As students will learn, the ways that people have represented nature has as much to do with society and culture, as it does about any objective truths about the natural world.


UAPP 431/631: Documentation of Historic Structures on Fridays 9-12PM
Taught By Cate Morrissey, Assistant Director of CHAD

This is a field-based course,and students will learn the basic skills and fieldwork methods used in recording and interpreting historic buildings through measured drawings.  Fieldwork sessions will focus on techniques for measuring floor plans, elevations, framing sections, and site plans; transferring those measurements to a legible scaled, annotated drawing, and then to a formal drawing in AutoCAD; and creating a photographic record of a historic resource.  Students will learn how to look at a building, identify evidence for dating its periods of construction, record the physical details of plan and construction techniques, and interpret the data to understand the evolution of the building. So this would be a good choice for students with an interest in architecture. Both undergrads and grad students are welcome.


MSST 413/610: Exhibitions
Dr. Cindy Ott

Exhibitions in national art galleries, local house museums, city zoos, and tribal museums are primary places people learn about history, nature, and cultures the world over, even in this digital age.  In this course, students will learn about the history and practice of exhibitions, with a focus on the design and organization of an original exhibition at a local institution.  Along with learning about the process of developing an exhibition plan and script, selecting and displaying images and objects, writing text labels, and mounting a show, we will also discuss the politics of museum exhibitions, including the power of exhibitions to shape national culture, ethnic and racial identity, community, and relationships with the natural world.


History 603: Historiography of Technology
Dr. Arwen Mohun

ENGL 205: British Writers 1 (600-1700
Dr. Julian Yates

This course has been re-imagined as a course in how the object world and materials of writing (rag paper, parchment, ink, print, etc.) shaped literary production. We spend a good deal of time with rare books in special collections and just finished a unit on invisible or “sympathetic” inks and their use by the Jesuit underground, and as metaphorical conceits in amatory verse—here’s some lemon writing from the class. Happy to have all comers in a class which tries to think about medieval and early modern “writing” in the broadest sense possible.


ARTH303: Art and Religion in the Iberian World on Thursdays 9:30AM-12:30PM
Dr. Mónica Domínguez Torres

This course focuses on religious monuments and artifacts created in the Iberian world c. 1492-1800, paying particular attention to the confluence of European, Islamic, African and Native American traditions in Spain, Portugal, and the Americas.


WOMS 324-010: “Oscar Wilde, Women, and Sexualities”
Dr. Margaret Stetz, Mae and Robert Carter Professor of Women’s Studies and Professor of Humanities

This is a course in the history of sexualities, as seen through a study of the life and work of Oscar Wilde (1854-1900). We will consider what he meant to his contemporaries in the late-19th century, as well as how his political legacy has been interpreted and shaped through a variety of media since his death, paying special attention to his importance not only to LGBTQ movements, but to women’s rights movements. Texts will be drawn from Wilde’s plays and fiction, along with later adaptations of these works and representations of Wilde as a figure, such as Ken Russell’s film Salome’s Last Dance and Louis Edwards’s 2003 novel about Wilde’s African American valet. Course requirements include daily in-class writing, several short essays, and a final take-home essay.

(Print culture, publishing history, and relevant holdings in UD Library’s Special Collections–especially the Oscar Wilde materials in the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection–will receive attention in this course.)


ANTH103: Introduction to Prehistoric Archaeology
Dr. Jay Custer

The main focus of this course is the critical review of the methods used to infer past human behavior from the static material culture items that comprise the archaeological record of human societies that did not leave any written record of their cultures.


ENGL365: Studies in Literary Genres, Types, & Movements: “Digital Archive Production”
Dr. Jesse Erickson

The words and images you create become digital history that others can examine.  Your opinions might one day be the influence for a song, or a novel, or a film.  Future scholars might study you as context for the social, political, and economic times you’ve had a part in shaping.  In this course, we will collaborate on a web site to digitally archive the messages of people from the late 19th and early 20th century who created their versions of what we would consider tweets or Instagram posts.  We call their messages, ephemera: “items of collectible memorabilia, typically written or printed ones, that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity.” The ephemera we explore is from a special collection of postcards from the era of American minstrelsy.  Meaningful preservation of this work involves critical study and discussion of themes including popular culture, stereotypes, graphic design and digital humanities.


ARTH435: Fool the Eye: Fakes in America
Dr. Wendy Bellion
Wednesdays 9-12

This undergraduate seminar will explore the art and science of deception in American culture, 18th century to the present. Topics include trompe l’oeil, counterfeiting, faux, imitation, originality, authenticity, the art trade; discerning fakes using connoisseurship and conservation. Field trips to Winterthur’s Treasures on Trial exhibition.


ART204: Media/Design/Culture
Dr. Jon Cox

Current and historical media processes and their impact on art, design and culture. Image making and manipulation, video, audio, interactivity, and connectivity. Viewing fine art and design projects, the historical aspects of design and digital media, basic media theory, and universal principles of software and digital media. Projects include writing, creating visual media, and making presentations. Unfamiliar media experienced firsthand through exhibitions, screenings, lectures, online exploration and consumer media devices.


EAMC 601: Introduction to Decorative Arts in America
(Meets Summer July 26 – Aug 23)
Dr. Thomas A. Guiler

Development of decorative arts, painting and architecture in America. Principles of connoisseurship and studies of American and imported objects of art. Collections of the Winterthur Museum.
Mondays – Fridays, between 9-5, exact hours TBD | Meets at Winterthur Museum  | Requires permission from instructor.


EAMC 602: Material Life in America
Dr. Catharine Dann Roeber

American domestic environments and decorative arts within social and economic contexts of 17th and 18th centuries. Critically assesses how objects contribute to the study of everyday life in colonial America.
Wednesdays 9 to noon  | Meets at Winterthur Museum  |  Requires permission from instructor.