2013 Fall Courses

Art and Architecture of Early Christian and Medieval North Africa. N. Dennis (History of Art). Undergraduate course. Survey of Early Christian and medieval art and architecture in North Africa, with an emphasis on indigenous developments and cultural exchange in the Mediterranean world, 4th to 13th century. Dean’s Teaching Fellowship course.

Art of the Ancient Americas.  L. Deleonardis (History of Art).  Undergraduate course. Surveys the art of Olmec, West Mexico, Teotihuacan, Maya, and Aztec.

Attic Hero Cults.  A. Shapiro (Classics).  Graduate seminar. This seminar will combine the evidence of literary and epigraphical sources with archaeological material (votive reliefs, vase iconography) to explore the central role of hero cult in the religious life of ancient Athens. Cross-listed with History of Art.

Big: Monumental Buildings and Sculpture in Antiquity and today: J. Osborne (Near Eastern Studies).  Freshman seminar. The building of sculpted monuments and monumental architecture seems to be a universal human trait in all parts of the world, from the pyramids of ancient Egypt to the inuksuit cairns of the Inuit. What explains our urge to create monumental things? Why are monuments built, and how do we experience them? This course explores various answers to these questions through the disciplines that most frequently address monuments: archaeology, architecture, and art history. We will examine the archaeological record through a series of famous case studies from around the world to investigate the social significance of monuments in their original ancient contexts. We will also determine whether lessons learned from the past can be applied to the study of monuments today, and whether studying modern monuments–including those from our immediate surroundings in Baltimore–can help us understand those of the past. As a writing intensive seminar, students will also be taught techniques in academic essay writing, culminating in a final paper analyzing the social significance of a monument from the past or present.

Digging up the Gods: The Archaeology of Roman Sanctuaries: G. Gessert (Classics).  Undergraduate course.
This course will explore the major sites of Ancient Italy, such as Rome, Ostia, and Pompeii, from temples to dedications, and their role in religion and society. Cross-listed with History of Art.

Elementary Latin: J. Lamont (Classics).  Undergraduate course.This course provides a comprehensive, intensive introduction to the study of Latin for new students, as well as a systematic review for those students with a background in Latin. Emphasis during the first semester will be on morphology and vocabulary. Credit is given only upon completion of a year’s work. Course may not be taken Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.

Examining Archaeological Objects: S. Balachandran (Near Eastern Studies).  Undergraduate seminar. This course considers the role of materials in the production, study and interpretation of objects by examining artifacts from the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum. Students will consider materials such as ceramics, stone, metal, glass, wood and textiles, and visit artists’ studios to gain an understanding of historical manufacturing processes. M&S practicum course. Cross-listed with Archaeology, Near Eastern Studies, Classics, and History of Art. Class meets in the Archaeological Museum (Gilman 150).

From Feast to Famine in the Ancient World: A. Maskevich (Near Eastern Studies).  Undergraduate course. Biological life, on its most basic level, is the quest for sustenance. However, in human societies, food transcends mere sustenance to become a major actor in each society’s structure and beliefs. This dual nature of food as basic necessity and cultural touchstone makes its study of great importance to our understanding of civilization, both past and present. This class will explore the role food has played in Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Mesoamerican, and Andean cultures as evidenced in the archaeological record. Dean’s Teaching Prize Fellowship Course.

History of Africa to 1880:  P. Larson (History).  Undergraduate course. An introduction to the African past. First term: to 1880. Second term: to since 1880.

Introduction to Archaeology:  G. Schwartz (Near Eastern Studies). Undergraduate course. An introduction to archaeology and to archaeological method and theory, exploring how archaeologists excavate, analyze, and interpret ancient remains in order to reconstruct how ancient societies functioned. Specific examples from a variety of archaeological projects in different parts of the world will be used to illustrate techniques and principles discussed. Cross-listed with Anthropology.

Introduction to Middle Egyptian.  K. Davis (Near Eastern Studies). Graduate course. Taught with 130.400 Introduction to the grammar and writing system of the classical language of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom (ca. 2055-1650 B.C.). In the second semester, literary texts and royal inscriptions will be read.

Introduction to the History of European Art. F. Pereda (History of Art). Undergraduate course. A survey of painting, sculpture, and architecture from Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and medieval culture.

Location Photography: H. Ehrenfeld (Art).  Undergraduate course. Working in the studio and in various locations, students will learn the fundamentals of lighting interiors and strategies for working in almost any environment. Field trips will include the National Aquarium, Evergreen Museum & Library, a Howard County horse farm, a Tiffany-designed church and a Hampden photo studio. Students will also concentrate on the fine art of printing in our new digital lab. They will develop a final portfolio of 10 photographs which express a personal vision about a location of their choice. A basic knowledge of digital photography is helpful, but not required.

Materials Characterization: P. McGuiggan (Materials Science and Engineering).  Undergraduate course. This course will describe a variety of techniques used to characterize the structure and composition of engineering materials, including metals, ceramics, polymers, composites and semiconductors. The emphasis will be on microstructural characterization techniques, including optical and electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and acoustic microscopy. Surface analytical techniques, including Auger electron spectroscopy, secondary ion mass spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy. Real-world examples of materials characterization will be presented throughout the course, including characterization of thin films, surfaces, interfaces, and single crystals.

Palaces, Temples and Tombs in Mesopotamia.  M. Feldman (History of Art/Near Eastern Studies).  Undergraduate course. Mesopotamia, the “land between the rivers,” is considered the cradle of civilization. Its earliest urban centers appeared by 3500 BCE in the region of modern-day Iraq, Iran, and Syria. Along with urbanism came the emergence of temples and palaces as large-scale elite institutions (replete with written records). Their arts manifest some of the earliest complex representations. This course explores the art and architecture within the social, political and cultural context of ancient Sumer, Babylonia and Assyria. It provides an integrated picture of the arts of Mesopotamia from 3500 to 330 BCE with an emphasis on the development of visual narrative and the use of art in the expression of authority and legitimacy.

Power and Politics in Near Eastern Art.  M. Feldman (History of Art/Near Eastern Studies).  Undergraduate course. Assyria, centered in northern Iraq, created one of the world’s first great empires that dominated the ancient Near Eastern world from around 900 to 612 BCE. In concert with imperial expansion came an explosion of artistic production ranging from palace wall reliefs to small-scale luxury objects. This seminar examines the close relationship between the arts and politics in the Assyrian empire. Some themes that will be explored are: historical narrative, text and image, portable luxury arts and gender, politics and religion. The course will engage in close visual analysis of the ancient materials and readings of critical scholarship.

Proseminar in Classical Philology:  D. Yatromanolakis. (Classics). Graduate course. An overview of research areas in Classics, with a focus on such disciplines as epigraphy, papyrology, palaeography, as well as various forms of critical theory.

Ritual and Magic in Ancient Egypt: M. Fraser (Near Eastern Studies). Undergraduate course. This course will serve to introduce students to the study of religion, ritual, and magic through the lens of a specific culture: ancient Egypt. Throughout the course students will be introduced to ancient Egyptian culture and will interact with Egyptian texts and artifacts, including those found in the collections of The Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum, in order to illustrate key concepts. Dean’s Teaching Fellowship course.


Rome as Told by its Narrators: A Journey through History, Literature, Arts and Film.  T. Katinis (Department of German and Romance Languages).  Undergraduate course.  This course offers an intellectual and aesthetic experience of Rome through time. We will delve into its complex history as well as its tormented and vivacious present. Dean’s Teaching Fellowship.

The Active Body: On display and in performance: R. Brown (History of Art).  Graduate course. An examination of two recent developments in art history and museum studies: the recognition of the object as active and agentic and a growing critical engagement with the body of the artist and performance art. The seminar will unsettle these two themes with the history of living humans on display, from nineteenth-century exhibitions to present-day craftspeople, thinking through bodies, objects, and performance through disciplinary engagements from anthropology, political theory, art history, and museum studies. Open to motivated undergraduates.

The Archaeology of Death, Burial and The Human Skeleton. C. Brinker (Near Eastern Studies). Undergraduate course. This course will introduce students to the archaeological investigation of past human populations through their mortuary and physical human remains. To this end, major theories and methodologies will be introduced, along with pertinent case studies for discussion. Dean’s Teaching Prize Fellowship Course.

The Stone and the Thread.  De Leonardis (History of Art). Undergraduate course. This course examines the built environment of the Inka and considers architecture in its social, historical, and cultural contexts. Shared forms and ideas implicit in the fiber arts offer comparative points for analysis and discussion.