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The following art history and humanities and sciences courses are required of all students registered in the Honors Program.

These courses must be taken in conjunction with departmental studio requirements.

The first year explores the rise of modernity, the period from the late eighteenth century to the present, while the second year spans antiquity and pre-modern thought through the late eighteenth century. The Honors Program concludes in the third year with continued focus on the studio major along with one required semester of HSD-3507, Visual Science Workshop and one semester of either AHD-3140, Memory and History in Film, or AHD-3145, Issues in Contemporary Art. The second semester of the third year includes a trip abroad during the spring break.

First-Year Requirements

The following art history and humanities and sciences courses are required of all students registered in the Honors Program.  These courses must be taken in conjunction with departmental studio requirements.

ART HISTORY
AHD-1040 History and Theory of Modern Art I
AHD-1045 History and Theory of Modern Art II

HUMANITIES AND SCIENCES
HHD-1040 Political History of the Modern World I
HHD-1045 Political History of the Modern World II
HPD-1050 Modern Philosophy I
HPD-1055 Modern Philosophy II
HLD-1827 Why Modernism? Part I
HLD-1828 Why Modernism? Part II


Second-Year Requirements

At the completion of the second-year Honors Program, students will receive three art history credits.  Successful completion of AHD-2010 will exempt students from AHD-1010 and AHD-1015, Survey of World Art I and II.

ART HISTORY
AHD-2010 Art of the Premodernist World

HUMANITIES AND SCIENCES
HHD-2050 History of the Premodern World
HPD-2060-HP From Ancient Myth to the Birth of Modern Science
HPD-2062-HP Scientific Subjectivity: Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology From 1800 to 1950
HLD-2125 Human and Divine 

Third-Year Requirements

Third year Honors students are required to take one of the following courses.

ART HISTORY
AHD-3140-HP Memory and History in Film
AHD-3145-HP Issues in Contemporary Art: Globalism-New Patterns of Practice, Shifting Grounds of Discourse

HUMANITIES AND SCIENCES
HSD-2773 Life in the Concrete Jungle: Urban History
HSD-3344-HP Environmental Economics
HSD-3507-A Visual Science Workshop 

General Course Listing

The following art history and humanities and sciences courses are required of all students registered in the Honors Program. These courses must be taken in conjunction with departmental studio requirements. 

First-Year requirements in Art history, Humanities and Sciences

Art history

At the completion of the first-year Honors Program, students will receive three art history credits. Note: For computer art, computer animation and visual effects majors, successful completion of AHD-1040 and AHD-1045 will exempt them from AHD-1210 and AHD-1215, Modern and Contemporary Art I and II. For fine arts majors, successful completion of AHD-1040 and AHD-1045 will exempt them from AHD-2020 and AHD-2025, Modern Art Through Pop I and II.

AHD-1040 / AHD-1045
History and Theory of Modern Art I and II
Two semesters: 1. art history credits per semester
Intended to link the visual with the theoretical and the historical, these courses will survey the relationship of art to its changing composition of ideas in a globalized context. Topics include: the contested concepts of the “modern,” modernism and primitivism; the emergence of abstraction; the invention of photography, collage and the found object. We will trace the development of modern art in the 19th and 20th centuries. As a model for analyzing contemporary practice, the conceptual structure of the avant-garde will be studied historically.


Humanities And Sciences
At the completion of the foundation-year Honors Program, students will receive nine humanities and sciences credits, including exemptions
rom HCD-1020 and HCD-1025, Writing and Literature I and II, and will have fulfilled the Humanities Distribution Requirement (HDR) in Literature.

 

HHD-1040 / HHD-1045
Political History of the Modern World I and II
Two semesters: 1.5 humanities and sciences credits per semester
These courses will examine three significant themes unique to the modern era: 1) the struggle for individual rights; 2) the expansion of capitalism; 3) the increasing prominence of government as an agent for social change. These themes will be traced from the founding of the United States and the dissolution of the European monarchies through the rise and fall of the nation state.

 

HPD-1050 / HPD-1055
Modern Philosophy I and II
Two semesters: 1.5 humanities and sciences credits per semester
These courses will introduce some of the key Western philosophical ideas, from the period of the European Enlightenment to the dawn of the 21st century. Through readings by Hume, Kant, Rousseau, Marx and Nietzsche we will examine central terms within the variety of philosophical trends and disputes of each period, including empiricism, political philosophy and aesthetic theory. In the second semester readings will include: Freud, William James, Camus, Sartre, De Beauvoir, Weber, Fanon, Heidegger. The goal is the engagement with modern intellectual life.

HLD-1827 / HLD-1828
Why Modernism? Parts I and II
Two semesters: 1.5 humanities and sciences credits per semester
What happened in literature while the visual arts, music and dance made their fundamental break from traditional forms? These courses will examine the parallel problems of expression and composition that literature shared with the other arts.

 

Second-Year requirements in Art history, Humanities and Sciences

Art history

At the completion of the second-year Honors Program, students will receive three art history credits. Successful completion of AHD-2010 will exempt students from AHD-1010 and AHD-1015, Survey of World Art I and II.

AHD-2010
Art of the Premodernist World
One semester: 3 art history credits
The history of art serves as a visual record of the history of ideas. This course will trace the changing nature of representation in painting, sculpture and architecture from the Paleolithic to the early 19th century. Focus will be placed on the rise of civilizations in the Greco-Roman world as well as their roots in non-Western cultures such as those in Asia and Africa. Discussion, slide presentations and museum visits are a part of the course. Topics include art and ritual, idealism and beauty, iconoclasm and theories of God. Note: Open to visual and critical studies majors and honors program students only. Successful completion of AHD-2010 will exempt Honors Program students from AHD-1010 and AHD-1015, Survey of World Art I and II.
 

Humanities And Sciences
At the completion of the second-year Honors Program, students will receive nine humanities and sciences credits, and will have fulfilled the
Humanities Distribution Requirements (HDRs) in history and social science.
Note: Cartooning and illustration majors may elect to defer enrolling in one of the following humanities and sciences courses until their junior year of study.

HHD-2050
History of the Premodern World
One semester: 3 humanities and sciences credits
The course will examine how distinctive systems of belief provided emerging cultures with a framework for their social and political ideals and how these developed over time. We will see how geography influenced early Middle Eastern civilizations; how Confucius and the Tao directed China’s path; how Hinduism provided India with cultural coherence; how the ideals and legacies of Greece and Rome set the tone for late Western thought; and how religion shaped medieval and early modern Europe. Finally, we will discuss how, in the early modern period, these systems came into closer contact, thereby creating the European Renais­sance, and how these systems came into conflict and synthesis, ushering in the birth of globalization.

HPD-2060-HP
From Ancient Myth to the Birth of Modern Science
One semester: 3 humanities and sciences credits
In this course we will begin by discussing the earliest forms of human thinking—animism and magic—and see how from these seeds, the human mind has created polytheistic religions, philosophy and ideas of law. We will conclude the semester by examining how philosophical and religious thought, from Aristotle to Galileo, has led to the development of scientific theory. Note: Students may choose to take this course or register for HPD-2062, Scientific Subjectivity: Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology from 1800 to 1950.

HPD-2062
Scientific Subjectivity: Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology From 1800 to 1950
One semester: 3 humanities and sciences credits
The emergence of modern science in the 17th century constructed a new model for the working of the physical universe. This was a mathematical model derived from empirical investigation and conceptual abstraction. The psychology of the human being was no longer assumed to be knowable via theology. New ways of thinking about the nature of humanity began to emerge that were influenced by scientific rationality, but could not entirely utilize the experimental method of the physical sciences. In this course, we will address how the sciences of psychology, sociology and anthropology began to develop before and after the Enlightenment, and how the paradigm of the human sciences came to be questioned in the early 20th century as a consequence of the birth of new models and critiques of rationality and empiricism. Note: Students may choose to take this course or register for HPD-2060, From Ancient Myth to the Birth of Modern Science.

HLD-2123
Human and Divine
One semester: 3 humanities and sciences credits
What is the relationship between sacred text and cultural practice? This course will examine themes and symbols that recur in pivotal philosophic and devotional texts in order to determine what might be considered essentially human and/or essentially divine. Beginning with ancient Babylonian, Judeo-Christian, Buddhist and Hindu texts and stretching into the modern, the class will study works from diverse origins, both spiritual and secular, to explore how language operates as a medium between physical and metaphysical worlds.

Third-Year requirements in Art history, Humanities and Sciences

Art history

Third-year Honors Program students are required to take one of the following courses.

AHD-3140
Memory and History in Film
One semester: 3 art history credits
A range of issues will be addressed in this course, all intended to explore the relationship between history and memory in the films of Alain Resnais, Chris Marker, Andrei Tarkovsky and Alexander Kluge. How do the modernist and postmodernist discourses of memory and history take shape in these filmmakers’ works? Questions crucial to the understanding of how cinema (re)works the ideas of history and memory through representation will be raised. What is the nature of this relationship? How do individual and social memories intersect? We will attempt to answer these and other questions as we trace the trajectories of two forces—memory and history—always at odds with each other in the films of these directors.

 

AHD-3145
Issues in Contemporary Art
Globalism—New Patterns of Practice, Shifting Grounds of Discourse
One semester: 3 art history credits
We will focus our attention this semester on the impact/influence of globalism on visual culture and contemporary art. On one hand, we will frame the idea of “globalism” by rifling through the bones of history, including post-World War II distribution networks and post-Colonial legacies that begin to manifest in art in the 1960s and ‘70s. On the other hand, we will investigate various exhibition formats, artists, audiences, narratives, circumstances and more (emphasis on the 1980s to the present), all of which contributed to the thrilling complexity of “worldwide visual culture” and the “global communication continuum.” As Guy Davenport stated, “Art is the attention we pay to the wholeness of the world.” This idea will be our starting point.

 

Humanities And Sciences

At the completion of the third-year Honors Program, students will have fulfilled the Humanities Distribution Requirement (HDRs) in science and math. Third-year Honors students are required to take one of the following courses.

HSD-2773
Life in the Concrete Jungle: Urban Ecology
One semester: 3 humanities and sciences credits
New York is one of the largest cities in the world, with numerous ecosystem habitats and thousands of species in its backyard. In this field and laboratory course, students will be introduced to the conceptual framework of ecology, major environmental and local ecological issues, strategies and skills needed for scientific study, and trans-disciplinary art and ecological practices. Urban ecology is broadly defined as the study of relationships between living organisms and their biotic and abiotic (non-living) environment within cities. Field trips will explore local aquatic and terrestrial habitats as well as urban tolerant and migratory floral/faunal species. Discussions will address the importance of ecology in improving environmental quality and for conserving biodiversity. Laboratory exercises will explore population impact, environmental stressors, ecological footprint, urban biodiversity, and others. Students will complete written responses to varied environmental science subjects, pursue field studies and conceptualize their ideas for making New York City more sustainable. This course will increase each student’s understanding of ecosystems and fundamental ideas of environmental science.

HSD-3344
Environmental Economics
One semester: 3 humanities and sciences credits
Beginning with an examination of economic ideas, from the physiocrats and Adam Smith to the present, this course will focus on issues of environmental economics. Readings include Heilbroner’s The Worldly Philosophers as well as selections from Herman Daly and other contemporary writers.

HSD-3507
Visual Science Workshop
One semester: 3 humanities and sciences credits
This course will explore the science of the tools that visual artists use. While bringing to light the methods scientists employ to see their theories come to life, we will study such topics as the photoelectric effect, microscopy, chemistry of color, biology of vision and the growing dependence of visual techniques on computer science. Activities will include performing experiments in class and with the staff at the American Museum of Natural History.

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