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Swarthmore College    
College Bulletin - Course Catalog 
  Jan 19, 2018
College Bulletin - Course Catalog

ARTH 001P. First-Year Seminar: Objects of Empire: The Global Arts of the Early-Modern World

This class seeks to understand the so called "Age of Discovery" (15th- 17th century) through the lens of material culture, looking at the objects that motivated and facilitated European imperial expansion as well as those that negotiated the cross-cultural interactions produced by European exploration. We will examine this "stuff" for insights into the lives of the people who made, purchased, or collected it. Although grounded in the field of art history, this course capitalizes upon the recent "material turn" in the humanities and the proliferation of object-based inquiries to consider material culture from a variety of disciplinary perspectives (including art history, history, and anthropology). We will not only learn to think about the "objects of empire," but also to think with them, gaining a better understanding of important issues such the role of art in establishing colonial regimes, questions of hybridity and artistic influence, the origins of global exchange, and the politics early-modern collecting practices.
1 credit.
Eligible for LALS
Catalog chapter: Art  
Department website:

Check the Spring 2018 Schedule of Courses