News


Be sure to visit the Material Culture Blog for more detailed news, activities, and announcements!

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June 6-10, 2012: Vernacular Architecture Forum Conference:
Madison, WI

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The Chipstone Foundation has partnered with ArtBabble to make their videos widely available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

program faculty
partnerships and collections
courses
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about us

 

The Material Culture Group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison examines forms, uses, and meanings of objects, images, and environments in everyday life. We want to take a fresh look at old categories of study in order to discover untold stories.


By breaking down the barriers between the traditional definitions of craft, design, folk, decorative, art and history we are able to see that these categories are all linked by expressions of creativity in everyday life. Our program's strength lies in our ability to approach this variety of media, as well as to examine it from the perspective of a wide range of time periods. We are dedicated to innovative, interdisciplinary research and teaching that engages the material world of diverse cultures and times.


We are also committed to taking full advantage of the resources provided by a major research institution. These include a unique community of scholars, a broad curriculum, richly diverse collections, and close ties to other local and regional institutions.

Spring 2015 Course Offerings:

Art History

 

302 – Greek Sculpture (Cahill)
Tu,Th, 9:30 – 10:45 AM.
Problems in style, techniques and reconstruction of glyptic sculpture, koroplastics and bronzes from the Late Bronze Age through fifth century B.C. 

 

304 – The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Rome (Aylward)
Tu, Th, 9:30 – 10:45 AM.  Cross-listed with Classics.
Explores the art and archaeology of ancient Italy, the Roman Republic, and the Roman Empire from the Iron Age to Late Antiquity. 

 

308 – Later Chinese Art: From the Tenth Century to the Present (Li)
Tu, Th, 9:30 – 10:45 AM.
Traces the evolution of art forms and concepts from mid-10th century onward, and examines their transformations in modern and contemporary China. Organized chronologically, the course presents developments in painting, calligraphy, woodblock printing, ceramics, architecture, and multimedia installations. 

 

411 – Topics in Asian Art (Li)
Tu, Th, 1:00 – 2:15 PM.
In-depth examination of special topics related to Asian art, including South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Central Asia.

 

413 – Art and Architecture in the Age of the Caliphs (Pruitt)
Tu,Th, 1:00 – 2:15 PM.
The tenth century CE marked a period of drastic change in the Islamic world, as the unified Islamic caliphate splintered into three rival dynasties: the Sunni Iraqi Abbasids, Spanish Umayyads, and the Shi'ite Fatimids in Egypt. In their quest to dominate the Islamic world and control the Mediterranean, each dynasty openly competed and responded to the others in architectural projects, ceremonial practices and courtly arts. At the same time, the monolithic model of courtly patronage of the arts was replaced gradually by one in which the urban classes increasingly shaped the art market, resulting in new visual forms. This course considers this turning point in the history of Islamic culture through the lens of art and architectural patronage. By exploring the architectural and urban projects of the three dynasties, we will examine competing visions of power, sources of legitimacy and the development of Cairo, Baghdad/Samarra and Cordoba as capital cities. We will also consider the role of portable arts, addressing the role of exchange and gift-giving in the Mediterranean context and the problems of attribution in this highly mobile environment. Course themes include the role of sectarian identity (Shi'ite vs Sunni); the incorporation of Christian and Jewish culture; the relation between the court and urban populations; and the meaning of ornament and style in Islamic art.

 

428 – Visual Cultures of South Asia (Chopra)
M, W, 2:30 – 3:45 PM.
Concentrates on image complexes (art, photography, and cinema) and visual environments (architecture, urban planning, and public rituals) of South Asia; examination of visual culture through thematic issues such as, sexuality, patronage, cultural encounter, transculturation, ways of viewing, modernism, and nationalism.

 

505 – Proseminar in Ancient Art (Cahill)
Tu, 4:00 – 6:00 PM.
Topic: Ancient Egypt and the Classical World

 

601 - Intro to Museum Studies I (Campbell)
W, 1:00 – 3:00 PM.
History of museums and collecting; introduction to connoisseurship; studies and practices in art museum activities; experience in exhibition planning, research, cataloging, and installation.

 

602 – Intro to Museum Studies II (Abduallah)
Th, 2:30 – 4:40 PM.  Continuation of 601

 

621 – Mapping, Making, and Representing Colonial Spaces (Chopra)
M, 4:15 – 6:15 PM.  Cross-listed with Landscapes and Cities of Asia. 

 

704 – Art and Archaeology of Ancient Rome (Aylward)
Tu, Th, 9:30 – 10:45 AM. Cross-listed with Classics.
Explores the art and archaeology of ancient Italy, the Roman Republic, and the Roman Empire from the Iron Age to Late Antiquity.

 

802 – Mapping, Making, and Representing Colonial Spaces (Chopra)
M, 4:15 – 6:15 PM.  Graduate seminar.

 

867 - Methods in Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures (Andrzejewski)
M, 6:30 – 8:30 PM. Graduate seminar.



Classics

 

304 – The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Rome (Aylward)
Tu, Th, 9:30 – 10:45 AM.  Cross-listed with Art History.
Explores the art and archaeology of ancient Italy, the Roman Republic, and the Roman Empire from the Iron Age to Late Antiquity. 

 

704 – Art and Archaeology of Ancient Rome (Aylward)
Tu, Th, 9:30 – 10:45 AM. Cross-listed with Art History.
Explores the art and archaeology of ancient Italy, the Roman Republic, and the Roman Empire from the Iron Age to Late Antiquity.

 

Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies

 

510 – Folklore Theory (Leary)
Th, 3:30 – 5:30 PM.
We will examine basic concepts (art, genre, structure, performance, style, context, representation, identity, memory, meaning, and function) bound up with concrete examples of the folk and vernacular practices  (including material culture) of individuals within cultural communities. The course will have a seminar format, emphasizing reading, discussion, and  in-class presentations. Each student will be expected to complete a research project drawing appropriately on course-related concepts, but open-ended in format and intended to further each student's research and professional interests.


 

Design Studies

 

501 – History of Design II (Penick)
M, W, 2:30 – 3:45 PM.

 

Geography

 

501 – Space and Place: A Geography of Experience (Woodward)
Tu, Th, 1:00 – 2:15 PM.
Explore the concepts of space and place from the perspective of learning and everyday experience. Examines how space and place emerge out of fundamental human needs, experiences, and ways of thinking.

 

537 – Culture and Environment (Turner)
Tu, Th, 4:00 – 5:45 PM.s
Geographic approaches to culture-nature relationships, including human perception of, use of, and adaptation to the physical environment, with emphasis on traditional subsistence systems; selected topics from contemporary and historical sources.

 

History

 

201 – The History of Wisconsin in 100 Objects (Hall)
W, 1:20 – 3:15 PM.

 

329 – History of American Capitalism (Dunlavy)
Tu, Th, 2:30 – 3:45 PM.
Lecture with discussion sections.

 

Landscape Architecture

 

677 - Cultural Resource Preservation & Landscape History (Gilmore)
M & W, 2:30-3:45 PM.
A survey of cultural resource preservation, landscape history and approaches to a more comprehensive framework for environmental management

 

Landscapes and Cities of Asia

 

428 – Visual Cultures of South Asia (Chopra)
Cross-listed with Art History. MW 2:30 – 3:45PM.

 

621 – Mapping, Making, and Representing Colonial Spaces (Chopra)
Cross-listed with Art History. M, 4:15 – 6:15 PM.


Material Culture Certificate Now Available!

See the Program page for a description and list of requirements. For more information, contact Mark Nelson in the Design Studies Department.