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Survey of the Art and Architecture of the Western Medieval

World
AEAH 4804—Spring 2016
T-TH, 2:00-3:20
Art Building, Room 226

Dr. Mickey Abel


Office: Art Building, Room 213

Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 1:00-2:00


Email: Mickey.Abel@unt.edu

Course Description: A Survey of Medieval art and architecture.

Required Textbooks: (all books may be purchased used on-line or at the university bookstore)
Marilyn Stokstad, Medieval Art
William Diebold, Word and Image
Michael Camille, Gothic Art: Glorious Visions

Other reading materials will be placed on the BLACKBOARD Learn website assigned to this
class.

Course Content:
This survey course will cover the time period stretching between the 4th century and the end of
the 14th century. Known collectively as the Middle Ages, it is a period that has been art
historically sub-divided into a series of chronologically successive eras–Late Roman/Early
Christian, Carolingian, Ottonian, Romanesque, and Gothic-- each thought to be distinguished by
a set of identifiable characteristics. The sources and validity of these divisions will be critically
analyzed along with the cultural, religious, and political distinctions that span the entire time
frame and provide us with a second set of qualifiers –Christian, Byzantine, Islamic, Monastic,
Courtly, and Secular. The parallel and cross-referencing nature of these sometimes artificial and
shifting categorical divisions will be explored in order to fully comprehend the multi-
dimensional and multi-faceted quality of this time period as it has been defined as an art
historical era.

Course Objectives:
While the medieval world will provide the subject matter, the primary goal of this class will be to
foster an active critical approach to images and image making. Because our own modern world
is inundated with visual imagery--most of which is absorbed passively–this critical approach is
intended to expand the student’s repertoire of historical imagery while augmenting the
development of visual literacy. One avenue to this goal will be the focus on the identification of
the continuities left to us from the middle ages that inform our own cultural production. The
underlying and overarching problem structuring this type of inquiry, however, will be the
challenge to see, and thus understand, these medieval artifacts from within their own site- and
time-specific context. Treating them as cultural documents, we will go beyond a simple
chronological examination to develop a line of critical inquiry that will allow for the
investigation of both production questions–particularly those emanating from the confluence of
the interests of the artist, patron, and donor -- as well as reception issues, such as those
surrounding audience and the dissemination of an intended message or function.

Course Structure:
In order to facilitate these goals, the format of the class will be divided between introductory
lectures and class discussions based on assigned readings. In addition there will be an on-going
writing project designed to foster a critical understanding of the documentary value of historical
artifacts–particularly those deemed to represent the “canon” as it is presented in traditional
survey textbooks. This project is to be completed in three installments over the course of the
semester. As an incremental assignment, the secondary goal of this project is to promote the
student’s writing skills by focusing on the conveyance of a well-developed argument that has
been structured on the close analysis of both written and visual sources.

Student Evaluation:
Your grade is comprised of four components:
1. Exams–Three exams worth 15% each..............................................45%
2. Canon Project–Three installments worth 15% each…......................45%
3. “Extra”ordinary Participation:
Out of Class Activities
Attendance
Office visits
Daily Reviews
Class Discussion…......................................................10%
Student Assessment:
Exams will be primarily essay format with some image identification and short answer. Initially,
there will be three essays per exam. Students will be responsible for only those images found in
their textbooks although many more images for comparison will be presented in lecture. These
images will be available to the student on the BLACKBOARD LEARN site assigned to our
class. While this class does stress a strong visual component, the primary intent of the exams is
to allow the students to demonstrate their ability to think beyond their memorization skills. The
expectation is that the student will apply theoretical concepts and extrapolate from historical data
garnered from the textbooks, class lectures, and what has been discussed in class in regards to an
image from a particular time period or geographical area to another image/s from those same
parameters. Images will be identified for the student in this portion of the exam.

Quiz portions of the exam will cover the more factual/technical side of our study—such as image
identification, site locations, timelines, and vocabulary. Short homework assignments will be
assigned if the in-class discussion lags. So speak up and add your comments and questions to the
discussion!

Extra-ordinary Participation requirement (10% of the final grade) can be met in a variety of
ways:
Extra-ordinary Credit: An “A” in this class requires EXTRA-ordinary work. Those expecting
to receive an “A” will be expected, therefore, to perform more work than their peers. This work
will consist of reading and commenting on scholarly articles that pertain to the weekly lectures.
These articles have available on the BLACKBOARD LEARN site assigned to our class and are
listed on the weekly schedule of classes. This “extra” work may not be used to substitute for
regular assignments such as the Canon Project or an exam. It is called “extra-ordinary credit”
because it is meant to supplement and augment the student’s regular work in this class and in so
doing demonstrate his or her desire to go beyond what is required and to excel. While there are
articles suggested for each week of the semester, the review of only three articles is required for
an “A” in the class—preferably one per exam cycle. The deadline for turning in these
assignments is April 28th, 2016.

Other outside credit possibilities: A list of movies, lectures, exhibitions will be posted to the
website for credit. These are worth 1% a piece and can be used to meet the 10% Extra-ordinary
Participation requirement with a one page written review. The Deadline for these activities is
April 28th, 2016.
.
ATTENDANCE will be taken by way of a sign-in sheet. This is the student’s responsibility.
Bottom line--it is hard to participate if you are not in class and it is hard to justify the awarding
of the10% for participation if you are not in attendance.
In addition to generally contributing to the class discussion, each lecture will begin with a brief,
student-led REVIEW of the previous week’s lecture. This is meant to be ten minutes or less and
will be delivered by a student of my choice, so keep your class notes up to date. I suggest that
you compare notes before class with a classmate, particularly if you have missed a class. During
the review your classmates can contribute to the material presented and/or question an unclear
point. The purpose of this exercise is to keep us all on the same page.
Attendance Policy: Attendance will be taken on a regular basis. Attendance contributes to your
participation grade, which is 10% of your final grade. It is not only difficult to participate if you
are not in class, but difficult to make an “A” if your overall grade is lowered by 10%! Four (4)
classes missed will be considered worthy for deduction of 10% from the final grade.

Reading is an on-going assignment. Your readings are meant to prepare you for discussion,
therefore you should read the pages assigned before you come to class. Lectures are designed to
provide the foundation for these discussion sessions, but will be substantially different from the
material provided by your readings. It is therefore recommended that notes be taken on both
lecture and discussion material as you will be responsible for both on the exams.

Writing: The “Canon Project” is your writing assignment for the semester. It is broken into
three installments and is meant to be an on-going project that should not be left to the last
minute. These assignments will be discussed in detail in class with unique instructions for each
of the three installments of this semester long project. Due dates for the three installments are
listed on the semester calendar.
Cheating and Plagiarism Policy:
Cheating and Plagiarism are not tolerated by the University or by the professor and will result in
disciplinary action for academic misconduct. Any act of dishonesty is forbidden by the Code of
Student Conduct and will be punished with a course grade of “F,” plus a letter to the Dean of the
College of Visual Arts and Design and the Dean of Students, who will investigate the matter
further.

Student Fee:
There is a fee for all art history classes to cover the cost of the images. You have already paid
this fee.

Course Risk Factor:


According to University Policy, this course is classified as a Category One Course. Students in
this course will not be exposed to any significant hazards and are not likely to suffer any bodily
injury. Students will be informed of any potential health hazards or potential bodily injury
connected with the use of any materials and/or processes and will be instructed how to proceed
without danger to themselves or others.

American Disabilities Act: “The College of Visual Arts and Design is committed to full
academic access for all qualified students, including those with disabilities. In keeping with this
commitment and in order to facilitate equality of educational access, faculty members in the
College will make reasonable accommodations for qualified students with a disability, such as
appropriate adjustments to the classroom environment and the teaching, testing, or learning
methodologies when doing so does not fundamentally alter the course.
If you have a disability, it is your responsibility to obtain verifying information from the Office
of Disability Accommodation (ODA) and to inform me of your need for an accommodation.
Requests for accommodation must be given to me no later than the first week of classes for
students registered with the ODA as of the beginning of the current semester. If you register
with the ODA after the first week of classes, your accommodation requests will be considered
after this deadline. Grades assigned before an accommodation is provided will not be changed.
Information about how to obtain academic accommodations can be found in UNT Policy
18.1.14, at www.unt.edu/oda, and by visiting the ODA in Room 321 of the University Union.
You also may call the ODA at 940.565.4323.

BUILDING EMERGENCY PROCEDURES: In case of emergency (alarm will sound),


please follow the building evacuation plans posted on each floor of your building and proceed to
the nearest parking lot. In case of tornado (campus sirens will sound) or other weather related
threat, please go to the nearest hallway or room on your floor without exterior windows and
remain their until an all clear signal is sounded. Follow the instructions of your teachers and act
accordingly.

CENTER FOR STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITES: Each University of North


Texas student is entitled to certain rights associated with higher education institutions. See
www.unt.edu/csrr for further information.
The Professor retains the right to change this syllabus with or without notice.
Semester Schedule
Week 1, January 19th ………...............................Introduction to the class:
Visual Analysis
The Roman Legacy

Week 2, January 26th …………..…………………….Constantine’s World:


Christians and the Dead--The Basilica
Reading: Stokstad, 1-36.
Extra-ordinary Credit:
 Howard Cohen, Architecture and the After Life, “From Mausoleum to
Martyrium,” Yale University Press, 1991, pp. 101-122;
 John Onians, Bearers of Meaning, “Intro” pp. 3-6, 59-73.
 Jas Elsner, Imperial Rome and Christian Triumph, 1-26

Week 3, February 2nd .........................................The Central Plan Building


Reading: Stokstad, pp. 36-48
Extra-ordinary Credit:
 Robert Ousterhout, “The Temple, the Sepulcher, and the Martyrion of the
Savior,” Gesta XXIX/1 (1990): 44-53.
 Eugene Kleinbauer, “Antioch, Jerusalem, and Rome: The Patronage of Emperor
Constantius II and Architectural Invention,” Gesta XLV/2 (2006): 325-145.

****Week 4, February 9th………………….. ..........................The Medieval Book


****Special Guest: William Voelkle, The Morgan Library
Wednesday, February 10, 5 PM, Room 223
Attendance required!!

February 11th ………………………………………Byzantium


Reading: Stokstad, 49-77; 145-158.
Extra-ordinary Credit:
 Irina Andreescu-Threadgold and Warren Threadgold, “Procopius and the Imperial
Panels of S.Vitale,” The Art Bulletin LXXIX/4 (1997): 708-723;
 Ruth Leader, “The David Plates Revisited: Transforming the Secular in Early
Byzantium,” The Art Bulletin LXXXII/3 (2000): 407-427;
 Bissera Pentcheva, “The Performative Icon,” The Art Bulletin LXXXVIII/4
(2006): 631-655.

Week 5, February 16th …………………………..Early Medieval Migration


****Exam I, Thursday February 18th ****
Reading: Stokstad, 78-106.
Week 6, February 23rd ……..…………The Anglo Saxons and the Iberian Visigoths
**** Canon I, Due Tuesday, February 23rd ****
Reading: Diebold, 1-148
Extra-ordinary Credit:
 Jerrylynn Dodds, Architecture and Ideology in Early Medieval Spain, pp. 1-26.
 Janina Safran, “Identity and Differentiation in Ninth-Century al-Andalus,”

Week 7, March 1st ………........................... The Carolingians and the Ottonians


Monastic Order and the Holy Roman Empire
Reading: Stokstad, 107-131, 178-196;
Extra-ordinary Credit:
 John Moreland, “The Carolingian Empire: Rome Reborn?” 392-418.
 Thomas Dale, “Monster, Corporeal Deformities, and Phantasms in the Cloister of
St- Michel-de-Cuxa,” The Art Bulletin LXXXIII/3 (2001): 402-436
 Adam Cohen, “Bernward and Eve at Hildesheim,” Gesta LX/1 (2001): 19-38.
**** NO CLASS, Thursday March 3rd.
****Thursday, March 3rd, Special Guest Lecture: Nicola Coldstream
5 PM Art 223—ATTENDANCE REQUIRED****

****Friday, March 4th, AVISTA Medieval Graduate Student Symposium


9 AM until 4 PM, ATTENDANCE REQUIRED****

Week 8, March 8th …………………………………..………Islam and Spain


Religious Diversity and Crusading
Reading: Stokstad, 159-177;
Oleg Grabar, Formation of Islamic Art, pp. 1-18.
Extra-ordinary Credit:
 Nasser Rabbat, “The Meaning of the Umayyad Dome of the Rock,” Maqaruas 6
(1989): 12-21.
 Jerrylynn Dodds, Architecture and Ideology in Early Medieval Spain, pp. 94-109.

Week 9, Spring Break—No Classes

Week 10, March 22nd......................................................... The Romanesque:


Pilgrimage, the Cult of Saints and the Monastery
****Canon II due Thursday, March 22nd****
Reading: Stokstad, 197-264
Extra-ordinary Credit:
 Barbara Abou-El-Haj, “The Audiences for the Medieval Cult of Saints, Gesta
XXX/1 (1991): 3-15.
 Edson Armi, “The Context of Cluny III Sculpture,” Gesta XXVII/1-2 (1988): 39-
50.
 Cynthia Hahn, “The Voices of Saints: Speaking Reliquaries,” Gesta XXXVI/1
(1997): 20-31.
 Linda Seidel, “Installation as Inspiration: The Passion Cycle from La Daurade,”
Gesta 83-92

Week 11, March 29th ………............................................ Romanesque France


Millennialism and the Tympanum
Reading: Meyer Schapiro, Romanesque Art, “On the Aesthetic Attitude in Romanesque
Art, New York, 1947, pp. 1-27.
Extra-ordinary Credit:
 Conrad Rudolph, “Bernard of Clairvaux’s Apologia as a Description of Cluny and
the Controversy over Monastic Art,” Gesta XXVII/1 -2 (1988): 125-148.
 Dorothy Glass, “Romanesque Sculpture in Campania and Sicily: A Problem of
Method,” The Art Bulletin, pp. 315-323.

Week 12, March 29th ………………..…………………….Visual Literacy:


Wall Painting, Glass, Ivory, and Tapestries
**** EXAM II, Thursday, March 31st ****
Extra-ordinary Credit:
 Katherine Tachau, “God’s Compass and Vana Curiositas: Scientific Study in the
Old French Bible Moralisee,” The Art Bulletin LXXX/1 (1998): 7-33
 Wayne Dynes, “Art, Language, and Romanesque,” Gesta XXVIII/1 (1989): 3-10
 Christopher Norton, “Bernard, Suger, and Henry I’s Crown Jewels,” Gesta
XLV/1 (2006): 1-14.

Week 13, April 13th ……….………………….…… Gothic Architecture


Reading: Stokstad, pp. 265-277; 292-312..
Extra-ordinary Credit:
 Bonde, Boyden, and Maines, “Centrality and Community: Liturgy and Gothic
Chapter Room Design at the Augustinian Abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes,
Soissons,” Gesta XXIX/2 (1990): 189-213
 Robert Bork, “Into Thin Air: France, Germany, and the Invention of the
Openwork Spire,” The Art Bulletin LXXXV/1 (2003): 25-53
 Michael Davis, “Splendor and Peril: The Cathedral of Paris, 1290-1350,” The Art
Bulletin LXXX/1 (1998): 34-66.
 Martin Trachtenberg, “Gothic/Italian “Gothic”: Toward a Redefinition, JSAH L
(1991): 22-37.

Week 14, April 12th ………................................................... Gothic Sculpture


****Canon III due Thursday April 18th****
****ALL Extra-Ordinary Credit due April 18th****
Reading: Stokstad, pp. 277-291.
Extra-ordinary Credit:
 Jacqueline Jung, “Beyond the Barrier: The Unifying Role of the Choir Screen in
Gothic Churches,” The Art Bulletin LXXXII/4 (2000): 622-657.
 Nina Rowe, “Synagoga Tumbles, a Rider Triumphs: Clerical Viewers and the
Furstenportal of Bamberg Cathedral,” Gesta XLV/1 (2006): 15-42.

Week 15, April 19th ………..…………………………….Medieval Women


Reading: Stokstad, pp. 292-303; 312-330; 331-353.

Week 16, April 26th………......................... ……………….New Ways of Seeing


Reading: Camille, Gothic Visions
*****Exam III, Presented April 30th—Due May 2nd
The Canon Project
A “canon” is defined as a basic principle or standard criterion; it is authoritative and orthodox.

Art historical survey texts, such as Marilyn Stockstad’s Art History generally present a cross-
section of the standard artifacts for each of the chronologic periods covered. These objects,
images, or buildings comprise the art historical “canon” in that through them foundational
criteria for the study of a particular period is established. Texts such as those assigned in this
class--Michael Camille’s Glorious Visions or William Diebold’s Word and Image-- on the other
hand, are organized around analytical questions. Rather than providing a set of canonical images
the artifacts presented in these texts illustrate particular issues or problems relevant to either the
contemporary producing agents or the viewing audience. In this way, these artifacts are treated
as documents. They record cultural specificities that in some cases are not otherwise available to
the modern historian. In other cases they confirm and support ideas derived from other sources
such as literary texts or archeological data. And although these artifacts may well be
aesthetically pleasing and beautiful, their historical value lies in the information they provide in
terms of the culture that produced them. It is sometimes through these visual documents that we
find our clearest vision of the past.

The objective for each of the three installments of this project is analyze the standard survey
text—Stockstad--and propose the addition of one New object that you feel would enhance the
presentation of a designated section of the book. The added image should address what you feel
is a clear omission. It should either contribute to the argument presented by the author or present
a different, yet relevant question or counter-point. To facilitate this search, I have put a selection
of catalogue-type texts on reserve from which you can select your artifact. Your research should
be confined to these texts.

Each of the three installments of this project should include three elements—not necessarily in
this order.
1. A formal analysis (detailed visual description) of the artifact. We will discuss this
exercise in class.
2. An analysis of the issues or questions illustrated by your chosen artifact.
3. An explanation of why your artifact should be included in the textbook. How does it
contribute to our knowledge of the period. What questions does it address? How
does it fit into the overall organization of the book. How would you argue to have
it included?

In order to be successful in this last segment you will have to be familiar with both the issues
already presented in your textbook and the way artifacts have been treated in the catalogue texts
on reserve. An expedient approach to this assignment, therefore, would be to begin by thinking
critically about what you feel is missing from your text. Rather than choosing an image or object
and trying to make it fit the parameters of the textbook, I would encourage you to ask yourselves
if there are any questions or issues that you feel should be explored, but have been omitted or
overlooked in your textbook. Attempt to find an artifact from the catalogue texts that will
facilitate this line of questioning.
The underlying objective for this project is through a critical comparison of the two types of text
books and the employment of the artifacts illustrated within them to bring the student to an
understanding of the ways in which an artifact can be employed as a visual document. In this
respect the project is not meant to be a traditional research paper. It is not necessary–nor will
credit be given–for the use of sources outside of those texts I have put on reserve. This is
especially true of internet sources. In order to comprehend the dimensions and parameters of the
“canon” you must be aware of both its depth and its breadth. A virtual source will not allow you
this type of access.

Each installment should not exceed three (3) typed, double-spaced pages. A photocopy of your
artifact should be attached, as well as a reference to the catalogue text from which it was
found.

Each installment of your project should be secured within a folder that will accommodate all
three installments. At each due date I would expect to see the all previous installments. This is
meant to be an on-going project where improvements are made in both argumentation and
writing based on the comments I have made on the previous paper. This will necessitate your
reading my comments and my having access to them to evaluate your progress. Points will be
deducted for failure to turn in the complete folder. No late projects will be accepted!

Due dates for the Three Installments of the Canon Project are listed in the Class Schedule
I (print) acknowledge that I have read the course
syllabus. I understand the course structure, grading and attendance policies as well as the risk factor rating. I
hereby agree to the syllabus and its provisions.

Course number and section Risk Rating

Student phone #, e-mail address (print) Signature Date

Faculty Name Signature Date