Objects in Context: A Survey of the Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture II


This two-semester, team-taught course introduces incoming students to major historical developments in the decorative and applied arts, design, and material culture from antiquity to the present. Monday lectures by BGC faculty and visiting specialists examine selected objects from civilizations across the globe as examples of significant forms, materials, technologies, styles, designers, makers, and patterns of use and consumption. Tuesday practicum sections develop techniques for effective graduate-level writing about objects in a range of forms and voices, and are paired with opportunities for small-group discussion of the objects, readings, and themes highlighted in each lecture. By the end of the year, students will have a working historical and visual vocabulary of significant objects and spaces, enhanced skills of written expression, and a better awareness of the areas and questions they might pursue at Bard Graduate Center and beyond. Required of all entering MA students, and PhD students who have not taken a course deemed comparable. 3 credits.