Code of Hammurabi
Oriental Institute Collection
Photo by RJ Molyneux-Davis, March 2009
In order to fully understand art, it must be approached through an understanding of the culture in which it has been produced. Students are exposed not just to art of the past, but all the forces, including religion, economics, philosophy and literature that has shaped it in our Humanities courses. Throughout the semester, they work in pairs or small groups exploring these various aspects, presenting their findings to the class, then preparing their own work of art that represents the time periods we have studied.
Humanities 121: Toilet paper mummies and togas in Brooklyn: As my students explore Early Civilizations from Prehistory to 1000 CE, their projects have ranged from Charmin wrapped Canopic Jars to Antigone in the Hood, as they investigate the visual arts, literature, music and philosophy of European and non-European Ancient Worlds.
Humanities 122: Cardboard Notre Dame with tissue paper rose windows to Italian History in Iambic Pentameter: As we journey from Medieval to Modern worlds, we journey through the ideas behind the visual arts, text, and tonality between 1000 to 1750 CE.
Humanities 123: Rapped in metal: as we beat out the rhythm of industry and science, we examine how the arts, culture and history are shaped from the 18th century through the present day.