Course Details

HIST 332: Image Makers and Breakers in the Premodern World

What roles do images play in premodern societies? What are these images thought to be and to do? Why, at particular moments, have certain groups attempted to do away with images either completely or in specific settings? How do images create and threaten communities and how is the management of the visual integrated with and shaped by other values, structures, and objectives? This course will examine these and related questions by looking in depth at image-making and veneration and their opponents in a range of case studies (from the medieval west, Byzantium, Muslim lands, and Protestant Europe) and by examining theoretical discussions of images, vision, and cognition from the fourth through sixteenth centuries. This course is discussion intensive and each student will develop a research project on a topic of their own design. Prerequisite: Previous history course or instructor consent
6 credits; HI, WR2, IS; Offered Fall 2021; W. North