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Fall 2016 Graduate Courses


(CAC, W, 1:10-4:10, Art Library Seminar Room, Woodhouse-Beyer, Index 08046)


This seminar addresses crucial issues of conservation and preservation within the rapidly changing world of the 21st century. It is interdisciplinary in focus. Interested students from other majors/fields/disciplines are welcome. Threats to works of art, monuments, and sites have increased exponentially in the last decades. War and ethnic conflict have led to wanton destruction of monuments as diverse as the Bamiyan Buddhas and the Mostar bridge, and to the destruction or dispersal of works of art from museums, monuments, and sites in Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond. The commoditization of art and the booming global art market have led to a global increase in theft and looting of monuments, sites, and religious and secular institutions. Museums, long believed to be sacrosanct, have come under scrutiny regarding policies of restitution regarding works of art confiscated in WW II, and for alleged participation in the illegal art market. This seminar examines these issues within the context of current preservation theory and practice.

Issues to be addressed include: Who Owns the Past?; UNESCO and World Heritage; Cultural Heritage as Commodity; The Legal and Illegal Market in Historic Material; the Ethics of Collecting (museums, collectors, dealers); The Destruction of Cultural Heritage during War or Ethnic Conflict; Looting and willful destruction of Historic Sites and Buildings; International and National approaches to Cultural Heritage Management


Course Goals:

• To define and identify current threats to the conservation of the monuments, sites, works of art and material culture that constitute our cultural heritage worldwide.

• To assess international and national initiatives being taken to protect cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible.

• To enable you to formulate, discuss, and defend your own values through critical analysis of the material covered and to become an effective advocate for the preservation of cultural heritage.

• To raise awareness of a flourishing field of Cultural Heritage Preservation and career opportunities within the field

• To encourage you to develop an international perspective that will enrich your future studies.


Course Requirements:

Attendance and Seminar Discussion (10%); Midterm Quiz (15%); 2 Student Report Presentations (30%); 1 Case Study Presentation (15%); Research Paper Presentation (15%); Research Paper (15%)

Attendance and Seminar Discussion/Presentations: Students are expected to attend all classes and to participate in class discussion. Throughout the semester, students will present (ungraded) brief reports on assigned readings and graded student report and case presentation topics to be researched on the Internet.



Readings are available on our SAKAI site. They are designed to introduce you to cultural heritage issues.

In addition to the assigned reading, additional material will serve as a valuable resource for research topics. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with this material as it relates to their projects. The Internet, current newspapers, and periodicals are valuable resources that should be consulted regularly for research and to keep up to date on cultural property issues in general. There is a list of valuable Internet sites posted with the syllabus.


Midterm Quiz:

A midterm quiz will cover material (readings, presentations) presented in the first half of our course.


Research Paper/Research Paper Presentation:

Students will research and write a research paper of approximately 12-15 pages. Students registered for 082:430 should consult with the instructor to design a topic related both cultural heritage and to their particular focus within the Program in Art History, other major/field, and/or CHAPS.



(By arrangement; Special permission required; Index 04640)




(CAC, W67, 4:30-7:30, VH 001, Woodhouse-Beyer, 14308)



In the past, and throughout the contemporary era, natural and cultural disasters of local, national, and international scale have challenged cultural heritage sites and communities around the world. This seminar course considers a variety of disaster events, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, climate change, warfare/terrorism, and pandemics, and their effects on historic properties, archaeological sites, cultural landscapes, museum collections, communities, and cultures. Our seminar work will take a cultural resource management and historic preservation approach to the discussion of global case studies; strategies and protocols for disaster preparedness and post-disaster response/survey/preservation; post-disaster site and district assessment, restoration, and protection approaches and tools; and critical review and assessment of national and international cultural heritage disaster management plans.



After taking this course, students enrolled in Cultural Heritage and Disasters: Preparedness, Response, and Resilience will be able to:

1. Understand the destructive effects of natural phenomena and cultural forces on cultural and historic properties, communities, and landscapes;

2. Evaluate the roles of local, state, national, and international agencies and organizations in disaster management planning, response, and mitigation;

3. Acquire a broad knowledge of the methods of damage assessment and disaster management mitigation principles concerning historic properties, archaeological sites, and communities affected by natural disasters;

4. Discuss and critique national and international approaches to disaster management and mitigation through the evaluation of case studies.

5. Consider the social, political, and economic implications of disasters, and disaster preparation and mitigation, on the preservation and restoration of the cultural heritage of local, national, and global communities.


Requirements: Attendance and Seminar Discussion (10%); 2 Case Presentations (30%); Midterm exam (20%); Research Paper (20%), Take home final exam (20%)



(CAC, W, 9:50-12:50, VH104, Hewitt, Index 08507)

This course, co-listed for graduate as well as undergraduate students, presents an alternative view of architectural conservation based upon the new schema of sustainability. Since buildings cannot be separated from their ecological and historical context, it makes sense to view their continued life as a part of the biosphere. Lectures will cover the history of architectural conservation during the first half of the course, and explore new concepts in preservation during the second half. Requirements include two exams and a research paper.



(CAC, M, 4:30-7:30, VH 001, Section: 01, Spratt, 08045)


This seminar examines the historical development of the museum as a cultural institution and its role in the construction of local and global conceptions of heritage. The course will pay particular attention to the ways in which the museum reflects a perspective of the world that is shaped by the valuation and systematization of our knowledge of it. We will explore the origins of the museum in relation to Renaissance art and nature collections and its epistemological foundations, in the culture of the Enlightenment, to its evolution as an arbiter of cultural patrimony in an increasingly globalized world. The role of museums in the identity politics of the modern nation-­‐state will be critically analyzed in the seminar through a series of case studies that will take us halfway around the globe. Through an investigation of museums from New York, Philadelphia, Salvador, Paris, Venice, Sofia, Corfu, Athens, to Moscow, the course will consider a broad range of themes including post-­‐colonialism, nationalism, heritage and identity formation, memory, nostalgia, authenticity, and the representation of alterity in the museum.



(By arrangement, Special permission required, Index 08896)




(By arrangement, Special permission required, Index 08766)

Directed research for advanced students working on the MA thesis.

Students will be supervised and evaluated by their advisor, who is chosen in conjunction with an area of specialization during the first year. Students will be graded on the quality of research and writing leading to the completed MA thesis.

Department of Art History
Voorhees Hall
71 Hamilton Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
  Phone 848.932.7041
Fax 732.932.1261