History of Art and Architecture

Gretchen Bender Colloquium

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 - 12:00pm

“‘Intending toward one another’ -- Thoughts on the Necessity for and Method of Teaching World Art”

Gretchen Bender

With generous support from the Global Studies Center, Gretchen Bender developed an experimental course, "World Art: Contact and Conflict," that built upon the foundation of her having taught "Introduction to World Art" in the large lecture format for over a decade. The project was also inspired by the interest to think about how the department's constellation structure (which frames our research efforts and explains the networks that link our various curiosities) could inform and enrich the undergraduate curriculum.  The new course would be offered as a small seminar yet would still be open to all students and count toward  general education requirements ("Arts" and "International Culture Comparative.")  In the spring of 2016, 23 students enrolled in the class, only six of whom were art history majors.  In this presentation, Prof. Bender will reflect on the lessons learned from this experiment, focusing on why teaching World Art -- at both levels -- is so imperative, and how it could be done more effectively.  What practices were most effective?  How did teaching World Art as a seminar reveal possibilities for the renovation and revitalization of large-auditorium teaching? What lessons can be learned from the course about teaching art history broadly?