ART 470, section 001/HIST 400, section 002

Art and Ideology in the Ancient World

Fall 2001

Instructor: Dr. Allison Thomason

Office: 1214 Peck Hall

Phone: 650-3685 (my office); 650-2414 (dept. office)

Email: althoma@siue.edu

Office Hours: MWF 10:00-11:00 am, W 12:00-1:00 pm, or by appointment

Course Description:

This upper-level seminar will examine the intersection between art and ideology in the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. This course is interdisciplinary by nature, utilizing methods and theories from history, archaeology, anthropology, gender studies, and art history. The primary documents, or sources through which we will reconstruct this intersection are visual in nature, including objects, painting, sculpture, architecture and urban plans. The purpose of the course is to assess current thinking in the study of the ancient world and to understand the theoretical assumptions, objectives and methods of contemporary historians and art historians.

The course is designed in two parts. In the first part of the course, intensive lectures will acquaint students with the basic history and characteristics of the art of the ancient civilizations that we will discuss. The second part of the course will be dominated by informed discussion of the readings. In this part, we will begin to focus more specifically on how art both reflects and constructs intentional messages about these ancient civilizations. We will deal with theory and we will define what is meant by ideology and discuss strategies used to communicate ideologies. Then we will focus on two types of ideologies, those which construct political messages and those which construct messages about sexuality and gender. This focus on politics and gender are two new currents that dominate new research in ancient studies, therefore this course addresses the "hottest" or most recent fields of study for the ancient world.

Expectations of Students:

Students are first and foremost expected to attend class and to do all the required readings and assignments. In addition, students are expected to contribute to the discussions and ask questions in class. Lectures and readings may not cover the same material in the same manner, but you are responsible for the information contained in BOTH for your exams. Therefore, the way to succeed in this class is to attend class, pay attention, and contribute to the class discussions. Of course, plagiarism in written assignments and cheating on quizzes or exams are strictly forbidden and can result in failure of the class and/or dismissal from the university.

Attendance and Participation Assessment:

Since this is a major component of your grade, your constant attendance and engaged participation in the discussions of the readings is vital. You are expected to attend all class sessions and complete all requirements on time. In order to insure that you are completing and understanding the readings, on each Wednesday starting with Wednesday, Oct. 8, I will collect from you 1-2 sentence thesis statements that summarize each of the required articles. These weekly assignments will be used in the assessment of your attendance and participation grade.

Course Requirements for Undergraduates: (Requirements are the same for both Art 470 and History 400)

Possible Points:

Attendance and Participation 250

Quiz 50

Ancient History Exam 200

Written Assignment #1, 2, 3 100 x 3=300

Written Assignment #4 200

TOTAL 1000

Reading Assignments:

  1. The following item is required and must be purchased at the University Bookstore in Morris University Center:
  2. Zanker, Paul. The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus. University of Michigan, 1990.

  3. Most other readings will be handed out in class. You should read them by the day under which they are listed in the schedule. The readings are strictly required and your understanding of them is necessary to pass the class. It is your responsibility to get the readings if you missed class and be ready to discuss them.

This is an intensive reading course designed to develop your skills of critical analysis. Readings for this course are all MANDATORY unless otherwise noted and should be completed prior to the day under which they are listed. The main readings in the course are secondary in nature and deal with practice, or the application of theories about ideology to specific monuments that carry messages about politics and gender in the ancient world. At each meeting, students will be expected to analyze, summarize and compare arguments presented in the readings and discuss the approaches, methodologies and conclusions of the authors.

The following questions should be considered in preparation for discussion of the readings:

  1. What is the authorís purpose? How does the purpose affect the subject chosen and the way that the material is presented?
  2. What assumptions or theories does the author cite as driving his or her interpretation of the material and how well does he or she integrate these theories into the article?
  3. What is the intended audience?
  4. What is the authorís main thesis, and how does the author develop it?
  5. What methodology does the author employ?
  6. What sources of data does the author use?
  7. How does the author differ or compare to other authors you have been reading?

Understanding and critical appraisal of the readings is essential to receiving a good grade in this course. Your participation grade is directly affected by how critically you have thought about the reading. The rest of the grades, primarily written assignments based on the readings, are indirectly affected by your close reading and analysis.

Make-Up Policy:

Make-up quizzes and exams will only be given in cases of unforeseen medical or family emergencies. You will need to contact me prior to the exam time if you need to be excused from the exam or quiz due such an emergency, and I will decide whether to grant you a make-up at my discretion. Make-up exams must be taken within one week of the original exam date and the exam time will be scheduled at my discretion (in consultation with you). If you do not show up for a quiz or an exam and I did not excuse you ahead of time, you will receive a zero (0) on the exam unless proof is shown of a legitimate emergency.

Late Assignments:

Late papers will be marked down Ĺ (one-half) of a letter grade for each weekday that they are late, without exceptions. Papers more than 1 week late will not be accepted.

Plagiarism and Use of Internet:

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's writing without giving credit to that individual. Plagiarism can take several forms. It can consist of paraphrase or word-by-word transcription; the uncited source can be a published work, from a website or discussion group on the internet, or the unpublished work of another student or acquaintance. It is every student's responsibility to know what plagiarism is and to avoid committing it. If you are in doubt, it is better to document a source than not to. The penalty for this offense, which is quite serious, is outlined in the Student Conduct Code (http://www.siue.edu/POLICIES/3c2.html).

Tentative Class Schedule and Required Reading Assignments:

Class topics are subject to change, exam and quiz dates and assignment due dates are fixed and will not change. Readings are all REQUIRED unless otherwise noted. All readings should be completed by the day under which they are placed in the syllabus.

Monday, August 20: Orientation

Wednesday, August 22: How do we look at art?

Mon., August 27: Lecture: Overview of Ancient History, Mesopotamia

Reading:

Handout: Charpin, "The History of Mesopotamia: An Overview"

Wed., August 29: Lecture: Overview of Ancient History, Mesopotamia

Reading: Continue to read Charpin

Assignment #1 DUE

Monday, Sept. 3 NO CLASS, Labor Day

Wednesday, Sept. 5: Lecture: Overview of Ancient History, Mesopotamia

Reading:

Handout: Liverani, "The Deeds of Mesopotamian Kings"

 

Monday, Sept. 10: Lecture: Overview of Ancient History, Egypt

Reading:

Handout: Murnane, "The History of Ancient Egypt: an Overview"

Wed., Sept. 12: Lecture: Overview of Ancient History, Egypt continued

Reading:

Handout: Lesko, "Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt"

Mon., Sept. 17: QUIZ in class: History of Mesopotamia and Egypt

Lecture: Overview of Ancient History, Greece

Reading:

On Reserve: De Blois and van der Spek, 71-103

Wed., Sept. 19: Lecture: Overview of Ancient History, Greece

Reading:

On Reserve: de Blois and van der Spek, 103-128

Mon., Sept. 24: Lecture; Overview of Ancient History, Greece and Rome

Reading:

On Reserve: de Blois and van der Spek, 129-144, 152-176

Wed., Sept. 26: Lecture: Overview of Ancient History, Rome

Reading:

On Reserve: de Blois and van der Spek, 207-240

Mon., Oct. 1: Lecture, Overview of Ancient History, Rome

Reading:

On Reserve: de Blois and van der Spek, 257-270, 274-283

Wed., Oct. 3: EXAM: Ancient History basics

Mon., Oct. 8: Discussion: What is Ideology?

Reading:

Handout: Eagleton, "What is ideology?" and "Ideological Strategies" in Ideology, an Introduction, London, 1991.

Wed., Oct. 10: Discussion: Art and Political ideology, Western Asia

Reading:

Handout: Marcus, "Art and Ideology in Ancient Western Asia" Handout: Winter, "The Body of the Able Ruler: Toward an Understanding of the Statues of Gudea" in Studies in Honor of Ake Sjoberg, Philadelphia, 1989.

Mon., Oct. 15: Discussion: Art and Political ideology, Western Asia and Egypt

Reading:

Handout: Cifarelli, "Gesture and Alterity in the Art of Ashurnasirpal II of Assyria" in Art Bulletin 80/2, 1998

Handout: Marcus, "Geography as Visual Ideology: Landscape, Knowledge and Power in Neo-Assyrian Art" in Neo-Assyrian Geography, Rome, 1995.

Wed. Oct. 17 Discussion: Art and political ideology, Greece

Reading:

Handout: from Pollit, Art and Experience in Classical Greece

Mon., Oct. 22 Discussion: Art and Political Ideology, Rome

Reading:

Handout: Nodelman, "How to Read a Roman Portrait" in Roman Art in Context, 1993

Handout: Hannestad, "Rome, Ideology and Art"

Wed., Oct. 24: ASSIGNMENT #2 DUE in class

Discussion: What is Gender and Gender Ideology?

Reading:

Handout: Scott, "Gender: A Useful Category of Analysis" in

American Historical Review 91/5, 1986

Handout: Kampen, "Gender Theory in Roman Art" in I, Claudia: Women in Ancient Rome, New Haven 1996

Mon., Oct. 29: Discussion: Art and Gender Ideology, Western Asia

Reading:

Handout: Winter, "Sex, Rhetoric, and the Public Monument, the Alluring Body of Naram-Sin of Agade" in Sexuality in Ancient Art, New York, 1996

Wed., Oct. 31: Discussion: Art and Gender Ideology, Egypt

Reading:

Handout: Robins, "Some images of Women in New Kingdom Art

and Literature" in Womenís Earliest Records from Ancient Egypt and Western Asia, 1989.

Mon., Nov. 5: Discussion: Art and Gender ideology, Greece

Reading:

Handout: Cohen, "Divesting the Female Breast" in Naked Truths: Women, Sexuality and Gender in Classical Art and Archaeology, London, 1997

Wed., Nov. 7: Discussion: Art and Gender ideology, Rome

Reading:

Handout: Kampen, "Between Public and Private: Women as

Historical Subjects in Roman Art" in Womenís History and Ancient History, Chapel Hill, 1991

Handout: Wallace-Hadrill, "Engendering the Roman House" in I,

Claudia: Women in Ancient Rome, New Haven, 1996

Mon., Nov. 12 The Age of Augustus and Imperial Rome, lecture

Wed. Nov. 14 ASSIGNMENT #3 DUE in class

Discussion: Zanker, chaps. 1-3

Mon., Nov. 19 No Class, Thanksgiving Break

Wed., Nov. 21 No Class, Thanksgiving Break

Mon. Nov. 26 Discussion, Zanker, Chap. 4-6

Wed. Nov. 28 Discussion, Zanker, chap. 7-conclusion

Mon. Dec. 3 Video: Rome

Wed., Dec. 5 Video: Augustus

ASSIGNMENT #4 DUE in class

Mon., Dec. 10, FINAL EXAM

12:00-1:40 pm

WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS:

All written assignments should be in your own words with short citations of texts as appropriate (Authorís Name, Date: page #). Your papers should not have long quotations of the articles. All assignments should be typed, no more than double-spaced, and with 1-inch margins on all sides.

ASSIGNMENT #1 (3 pages): ANALYSIS OF A WORK OF ART

  1. Select any one artwork on campus. Sketch the object and give its location on campus. You will not be graded on your sketch, but you must try to represent adequately the piece and the details that you discuss in your paper.
  2. Describe the artwork in your own words. Pay attention to the material, technique, subject, composition, function, proportions, size, use of space and style of the artwork. Then in the next paragraphs of the body of your paper, interpret the significance of the style and subject of the artwork, again in your own words. You should address the following questions: How does the material of the artwork enhance the subject? What is the context of the piece and how does that affect its interpretation? What do you think is its political and functional purpose? Or you might consider other issues. Finally, in the concluding paragraphs of the paper, explain why you chose the work and include your own sensory and intellectual reaction to the work.

ASSIGNMENT #2 (3-5 pages): RESPONSE TO ARTICLES ON ART AND POLITICAL IDEOLOGY

Compare and contrast the articles weíve read on art and political ideology. You should compare not only the conclusions reached by the authors and the information learned about the ancient civilizations, but also the assumptions and methodologies of the authors. You should address the following: How did the expression of political ideology differ in the art of Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome? What different political messages were communicated and how was this communication effected? What are the different methodologies and assumptions used by the authors to develop their theses? Use questions listed above in syllabus to guide and inform your response.

ASSIGNMENT #3 (3-5 pages): RESPONSE TO ARTICLES ON ART AND GENDER IDEOLOGY

Compare and contrast the articles weíve read on art and gender ideology. You should compare not only the conclusions reached by the authors and the information learned about the ancient civilizations, but also the assumptions and methodologies of the authors. You should address the following: How did the expression of gender ideology differ in the art of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome? What different messages about gender were communicated and how was this communication effected? What are the different methodologies and assumptions used by the authors to develop their theses? Use questions listed above in syllabus to guide and inform your response.

ASSIGNMENT #4 (6-8 pages): RESPONSE TO ZANKERíS BOOK

Summary and directed analysis of Zanker. Guidelines and Questions to be handed out later.