Skip to: Main Content Search Navigation Secondary Navigation

Graduate Courses



IART 5401 - World Aesthetic Ideas

The seminar explores the musical-aesthetic thought outside the Western world, from ancient sources to contemporary debates. The readings include mythological, religious, literary, and philosophical texts, both traditional and modern. The areas of musical creativity that will be discussed comprise classical traditions and popular genres, including the uses of music in mass entertainment, ideological propaganda, and devotional practices. Literary, visual, and video materials will help illustrate the attitudes towards music in these cultures.

In addition, the seminar will pursue a methodological theme of considerable urgency: Do the existing historical and contemporary approaches do justice to the uniqueness and complexity of music-philosophical theorizing in the cultures of, for example, India, China, or Bali? What kind of an approach would allow us to avoid the pitfalls of comparativism, Orientalism, and distorting biases in general? What kind of a philosophical perspective can assure at once a meaningful multilateral dialogue among world musical cultures, and their resistance to the leveling effects of globalization? A variety of texts, both by authors from a relevant cultural tradition and by Euro-American commentators, will serve as a platform for addressing these questions.


IART 5601 - Southeast Asian Puppet Theater

Focuses on Southeast Asian puppet theater, including Indonesian, Vietnamese, Burmese and Thai. Analyzes the literature, music, puppetry, performance conditions, and audience. Students examine the history of puppetry, the contexts of culture, politics, religion, gender, and post-colonial and contemporary manifestations. Throughout, students learn to manipulate the puppets and complete with a short performance.


IART 7001 - Research Skills

Focuses on the skills and techniques essential to scholarship.


IART 7002 - Pedagogy in the Arts

Focuses on pedagogy in the arts, specifically preparation for teaching courses in InterArts.


IART 7101 - Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Music

Cultural history of music to ca 1600.


IART 7102 - Studies in Baroque and Classical Music

Cultural history of music, 1600-1900.


IART 7103 - Studies in 19th- Century Music

Cultural history of music ca 1900 until the 20th - century.


IART 7104 - Studies in 20th- Century Music

Cultural history of music in the 20th- century and beyond.


IART 7201 - Special Topics in Classical Visual Culture

This seminar examines special topics in ancient Greco-Roman visual culture, with a focus on painting, sculpture, and architecture.


IART 7202 - Special Topics in Medieval Visual Culture

This seminar examines special topics in western medieval visual culture, with a focus on manuscript illumination, painting, sculpture, and architecture.”


IART 7203 - Special Topics in Early Modern Visual Culture

This seminar examines special topics in western Renaissance and Baroque visual culture, with a focus on painting, sculpture, and architecture.”


IART 7204 - Special Topics in Modernist-Contemporary Visual

This seminar examines special topics in Modernist and Contemporary visual culture, with a focus on painting, sculpture, architecture, and performance art


IART 7401 - History of Aesthetics

A study of concepts in art, beauty, creativity, aesthetic function, and experience.


IART 7402 - Modern Aesthetic Thought

Seminar content varies.


IART 7403 - Contemporary Aesthetics and Theory

Seminar content varies.


IART 7404 - Critical Theory and the Arts

Includes foundational texts that define and inform contemporary critical and theoretical discourse. Organized into three major threads that run through the 20th century: Marxism, psychoanalysis, and post structuralism. The aim is to provide analytical tools for analysis of primary themes of critical theory, including, but not limited to, the social, the subject, the object, and power. Students will become versant in contemporary discourse for the study of the art.


IART 7407 - Transnational and Global Theories

Familiarizes students with key contemporary theories concerning transnationalism and globalization. Topics are organized through an historical trajectory. No matter where ones focus of interdisciplinary arts is situated, the issues covered prepare the student to be conversant in more than one geographic area of the world. Stress will be on multidirectional flows and influences of ideas, spaces, art, traditions, memories, and economics that reflect realities in our globalized era.


IART 7501 - Performance Studies: Ethnographic Research Methods

An introduction to the basic components of ethnographic research methods, focusing on performance. Research methods of fieldwork, participant observation, interviewing and surveying analyzing data; and writing are covered. Performance is conceived of broadly, as both formal events and the performance of everyday life.


IART 7502 - Performance Studies: The Body

The body is a central concern of performance studies. As a foundation for discussions of the body in performance studies and related disciplines, the focus is on seminal theories of the body, including but not limited to, those of Butler, Foucault, Haraway, Mauss, and Merleau-Ponly.


IART 7503 - Performance Studies

Topics in Performance Studies explores various subjects that are central to an analysis of performance. Seminar topics include Space and Time; Cities; Publics; and Citizenship. Classes incorporate theoretical texts and performance material.


IART 7703 - Nineteenth Century Drama and Theater

This seminar focuses on theater and drama of the 19th- century.


IART 7704 - Twentieth Century Theater and Drama

This seminar focuses on theater and drama of the 20th- century.


IART 8901 - Seminar in Interdisciplinary Arts

This team-taught seminar focuses on a selected interdisciplinary topic in the arts.


Art History 5320

West African Art. African visual arts are studied through thematic, cultural, and critical frames with a focus on West Africa. Trans-Saharan connections with North Africa, trans-Atlantic links to the African diaspora, and contemporary arts are included. The arts are explored through a variety of contexts, including aesthetics, culture, society, politics, performance, religion, and gender. African arts are multidisciplinary and we therefore study a variety of arts including oral history, poetry, popular music, and film. Students write a research paper during the second half of the semester.


Art History 5330

Central African Art. The course considers traditional and contemporary arts of Central Africa through thematic, historical, political, and cultural frames. The arts are explored through a variety of indigenous contexts, including aesthetics, culture, society, politics, performance, religion, gender, and film. Because much of the Central African art we study is based on museum holdings in the United States that were collected during the colonial era, issues of colonialism must also be considered. A research paper is written during the second half of the semester.


Film 5701

Film Blackness. This graduate course is devoted to the interdisciplinary study of the idea of black film. While most studies of black film focus on how this body of work corroborates the social category of race, this class will address how the idea of black film is more precisely how film enacts the idea of race or race as discourse. Black film is art, not social reflection. By locating the idea of black film within the larger conceptual frame of black visual and expressive culture in the terms of ‘film blackness,’ students will study films that demonstrate the critical and creative negotiation between American cinema and the constitutive and cultural fiction of race.


Film 5320 - Film History II

History of international cinema from 1940 to the present. Weekly screenings.


Film 5330 - Film History III

Advanced studies in film history and film historiography. Weekly screenings.


Film 5730

Film Adaptations. This class focuses on many of the major theories and strategies of film adaptation. Rather than measuring these films in terms of their successful fidelity to the source work, the emphasis of the course will address a variety of films that represent a number of distinct ways that film distinguishes itself from the other arts. Moreover, this class will examine the critical dialogism between film and literature as instantiating poignant questions of, among other things, film narrative, genre, historiography, desire, race as discourse, gendered subjectivity, and intertextuality. Through an interdisciplinary-minded frame of film studies, the course serves as an opportunity to focus on the aesthetic, cultural, and political properties that inform the art of film adaptation.


Film 5690

Black Visual Culture. What distinguishes the ‘black’ of black visual culture from ‘black’ as a social category or existential qualifier of a lifeworld? What is the aesthetic and cultural value of ‘black’? This course will provoke critical conversations surrounding these significant questions. We will examine the shifting hermeneutics of ‘black’ through the visual rhetoric of blackness in the American arts from the 1960s to our contemporary moment. The class pursues an interdisciplinary consideration of blackness and the history and art of black cultural production with attention to framing art as an enactment of black visual and expressive culture. Moreover, we will focus on the aesthetic, political, historiographic, and cultural instantiations of the idea of race as discourse in American visual culture. The narrative of the class is structured around various epistemological themes and tendencies that inform black visuality in the arts (e.g. film, television, literature, music, new media, photography, installation art). These topics will include The Black Atlantic, the Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights America, cultural nationalism and the Black Aesthetic, black feminist/womanist art, whiteness, black queer discourse, hip hop modernism, the racial grotesque, Afrofuturism, visual historiography, racial performativity, and Obama.