HISTART 194 - First Year Seminar
Section: 001 American Moderns
Term: FA 2009
Subject: History of Art (HISTART)
Department: LSA History of Art
Requirements & Distribution:
Theme, FYSem
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Enrollment restricted to first-year students, including those with sophomore standing.
Other Course Info:
May not be used to meet the prerequisite requirement for the History of Art concentration.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

At the dawn of the twentieth century, everything seemed new in the United States. Soon American artists, writers, political radicals, composers, dancers, and others began to explore new languages for coming to terms with modern times. Our seminar will explore some of the artistic and cultural experimentation of the first decades of the twentieth century and some of the questions the American Moderns grappled with in this period:

  • should art deal with the facts of modern life or the realm of the spirit?
  • Should it democratize its audience or challenge the few adventurous souls who were willing to take risks?
  • Should it be national or universal?
  • Does progress come through evolution or revolution?
  • How would the "New Woman" and the "New Negro" reshape modern life in America?
  • Would technology liberate or exploit?

Through readings and discussion of literature and cultural debate of the period as well as critical historical studies of the period's art and music we will seek to understand the world of the American moderns. Student research projects and presentations will involve hands-on work with original sources including objects at the University of Michigan Museum of Art as well as film.

Students will be asked to purchase several books in addition to using online readings.

The class includes a field trip on one long weekend in October to New York City to view an exhibition of Georgia O'Keeffe's abstractions plus other Modern sites. The field trip will require a co-pay of $150; limited financial assistance may be available on a case-by-case basis.

D. 4

HISTART 194 - First Year Seminar
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
W 1:00PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

One or two more books to be assigned, but most of the class reading will be in the form of an electronic coursepack. Please be aware that the class will require a field trip to New York City, to take place on a Friday and Saturday in October, with a $150 copay .
ISBN: 0192842390
Twentieth-century American art, Author: Erika Doss., Publisher: Oxford University Press 1. publ. 2002
Other Textbook Editions OK.
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for HISTART 194 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
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