Approaches to the Object

This course is required for entering students who have not taken a course deemed comparable. Drawing on the expertise of BGC faculty, it introduces incoming students with diverse academic backgrounds to the possibilities and potentials of object-based scholarship. Reflecting Bard Graduate Center’s multidisciplinary nature, it highlights analytic perspectives and techniques drawn in turn from history, art history, archaeology, anthropology, Africana studies, dress and fashion history, conservation science, and museology. The course also examines the intellectual scaffolding behind the terms and fields of “decorative arts,” “design history,” and “material culture.” By interrogating the ways in which thinkers identify, categorize, and interpret material items, the course encourages multiple approaches to thinking with objects, and equips students to make informed choices among available tools and methods. 3 credits