MEMS 411 - Special Topics
Section: 002 Researching Visual Culture
Term: FA 2007
Subject: Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS)
Department: LSA History
1 - 3
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This pro-seminar is designed for history of art majors intending to write senior theses and for advanced humanities students interested in conducting original research using visual images. Early sessions will focus on critical issues in the study of Late Medieval and Early Modern European visual culture (c.1300-1650) (my area of expertise). We will investigate strategies for utilizing works of art and material culture as primary sources in historical research, working with historical artifacts in local collections when possible. Archival and printed textual sources will also be examined, with instruction on how to access important resources through the internet. We will consider some of the different ways in which scholars contextualize works of art: artistic biography, patronage, representational objectives, artistic movements, the politics of display, reception, social history, religious ritual, gift-giving, the market, etc. Significant historiographic developments and approaches to visual analysis will be explored. Each student will be asked to define a research project that involves a small corpus of objects and primary textual sources from any historical period (some of which should be available for first-hand study in local museum and library collections), and a bibliography of the relevant secondary literature. Alternatively, students may chose a potential research or senior thesis topic and work with the related visual images and documentation. Students will present their preliminary investigations into the materiality, category/genre, and historical contexts of their visual and textual source materials; the historical and interpretive problems raised by these sources; and their own working hypotheses. There will be a final paper (10-15 pp) on the research project.

IV. 2, 3

MEMS 411 - Special Topics
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
W 1:00PM - 4:00PM
Note: Meets with History of Art 415.001
002 (REC)
Tu 10:00AM - 1:00PM
Note: Meets with HISTART 393.001
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