Christina M. Spiker

Christina M. Spiker

Art Historian | Professor | Digital Humanist

Course // Arts of Korea (St. Olaf College)

COURSE INFORMATION

Arts of Korea
ASIAN STUDIES 200 | St. Olaf College

DESCRIPTION

This course is an introduction to the history of art on the Korean peninsula. Beginning in the neolithic era, it offers a survey of significant artistic developments through the Three Kingdoms, Koryo, and Choson periods, in addition to works from the twentieth and twenty-first century. Students will explore a range of media, including ceramic vessels, sculptures, paintings, textiles, and works of architecture. Key artifacts and artistic traditions are discussed chronologically with their political, religious, and historical contexts. Within each period, foreign influences and indigenous Korean traditions are explored in order to gain a greater understanding of native characteristics and aesthetic concerns. Korea will be framed in context with its East Asian neighbors to showcase its crucial role in the transmission of art and aesthetics across space and time.

Image Credit: Unknown, Jar with Dragon and Clouds, 17th century. White porcelain with iron-brown underglaze. Minneapolis Institute of Art.

TAGS

Course // History of World Architecture (St. Olaf College)

COURSE INFORMATION

History of World Architecture
ART 161 | St. Olaf COllege

DESCRIPTION

This introductory course explores the history of architecture from an inclusive, cross-cultural perspective. Proceeding topically through diverse examples from across the globe, students will examine the various ways that individuals and groups responded to religious, political, social, and cultural needs through the creation of built environments. From practical solutions to monumental expressions of power, students will study the role of culture in undergirding regional construction, style, and form. This course examines both local approaches to architectural challenges and shared values that give rise to hybrid structures.

TAGS

Course // History of Photography (St. Olaf College)

COURSE INFORMATION

History of Photography
ART 256 | St. Olaf College

DESCRIPTION

Explore the history of photography as an artistic medium, a cultural expression, a technological marvel, and a social text. During our class we will travel around the globe, analyzing photographs from Europe and the United States, in addition to examples from China, India, Peru, Mexico, Germany, France, Great Britain, South Africa, and Japan. In addition to exploring photography as an artistic medium, we will look at the cultural discourse of photography, and engage in discussions on ethics, nationalism, gender, race, mass culture, and memory. Accordingly, the course includes readings from disciplines as diverse as art history, visual studies, visual anthropology, and sociology. Covering over a century of photographic practice, students will gain the ability to deeply understand and analyze the shifting medium of photography and its sociocultural contexts.

TAGS

Course // Arts of Japan (St. Olaf College)

COURSE INFORMATION

Arts of Japan
ART/ASIAN STUDIES 260 | St. Olaf College

DESCRIPTION

Survey the arts of the Japanese archipelago from the Neolithic period to the present day. This course investigates diverse works such as funerary remains, Shintō architecture, Buddhist sculpture, castle architecture, woodblock prints, hanging and hand scrolls, gardens, tea ceremony, oil and ink painting, performance, photography, and fashion design. We will use visual analysis to discuss themes such as patronage, religious expression, social organization, traditional technologies, indigenous and imported techniques, urban design, and the political functions of art. This course will emphasize various connections between Japan and other cultures through the 21st century that have helped shape Japan’s dynamic aesthetic traditions.

TAGS

Course // Asia in America (St. Olaf College)

COURSE INFORMATION

Asia in America
ASIAN STUDIES 123 | St. Olaf COllege

DESCRIPTION

This interdisciplinary course introduces the field of Asian American Studies. We will engage with multiple cultural and historical productions of Asia and America, with a specific focus on popular visual culture, art, literature, and film. Critical analysis of topics such as ethnic/cultural identities, citizenship(s), media/pop-cultures, body images, sexuality, and adoption will be explored through the practices of different Asian communities in the United States. Students can expect to encounter interactive in-class activities, films, presentations, and field trips. Also counts toward Chinese, Japanese, and Race and Ethnic Studies majors and the Race and Ethnic Studies and International Relations concentrations.

Photo: Noguchi Museum. They explain, “Sculptor Isamu Noguchi tried many times to build a playground in New York City, but one never came to fruition. One of his ideas, called Contoured Playground, is shown here as a plaster model.”

TAGS

Course // Arts of China (St. Olaf College)

COURSE INFORMATION

Arts of China
ART/ASIAN STUDIES 259 | St. Olaf College

DESCRIPTION

This course is intended as an introduction to the history of Chinese art, offering a survey of major artistic developments from neolithic times to the present. Among the topics considered: ritual bronzes, funerary remains of the Qin and Han, Buddhist sculpture, and the evolution of landscape painting. Important issues discussed include production and patronage, function, and borrowing and influence in the evolution of artistic works across time and space. Also counts toward Asian studies and Chinese majors and Asian studies concentration.

TAGS

Course // All Art is Propaganda: Visual and Scientific Perspectives on Persuasion (St. Catherine University)

COURSE INFORMATION

All Art is Propaganda: Visual and Scientific Perspectives on Persuasion
HONORS 4990 | St. Catherine University
Co-taught with Gabrielle Filip-Crawford

DESCRIPTION

Building on an edited volume of George Orwell’s writing titled “all art is propaganda,” this course will explore the art and psychology of advertising, propaganda, and other persuasive visual media. Combining methods of scientific and visual analysis, students will investigate how both historical and contemporary images are constructed and consumed. In learning to apply psychological theories of influence, students should expect to engage with diverse media including contemporary art, political advertisement, public service announcements, military propaganda, cartoons, caricature, product advertising, and branding. Upon completion, students will have the tools to be critical consumers of art and visual culture.

Image Credit: (top) Cliff Chiang, Untitled (He Can’t Do it Alone), 2010. Originally made for Star Wars Galaxy Series 5, a series of Legends trading cards by Topps.

Image Credit: (bottom) Aleksandr Rodchenko, “Books,” 1924. Poster.

TAGS

Course // The Reflective Woman (St. Catherine University)

COURSE INFORMATION

The Reflective Woman: Scholars, Artists, Thinkers, Writers
CORE 1000W | St. Catherine University
Co-taught with Cecilia Konchar Farr, Hella Cohen, and Monica Rudquist

DESCRIPTION

The Reflective Woman (TRW), the first course in the Catherine Core Curriculum, provides a common touchstone experience for all entering students at St. Kate’s. Our main objective will be to examine together what it means to be a “reflective woman”—to know yourself, to integrate the knowledge you have, to seek new truths, to encounter art and perceive beauty, to live in communities, and to quest after a good life.

Image Credit: Patricia Olson, Details of selected paintings from The Catherine Portrait, 2008-2011. Oil on canvas.

TAGS

Course // Buddhist Art & Architecture (St. Catherine University)

COURSE INFORMATION

Buddhist Art & Architecture
ARTH 2994 | St. Catherine University

DESCRIPTION

This course explores Buddhist art and architecture of South, Southeast, and East Asia. Proceeding both regionally and thematically, we will examine how art and iconography responds to innovations in Buddhism, and how Buddhism itself changes to accommodate local tastes and stylistic preferences. This course will examine a variety of media such as temples, site-specific sculpture, zen ink painting, Chinese and Japanese gardens, and even contemporary comics. Aside from cultivating a general knowledge base of these features, this class should further a general appreciation for regional specificity in art and the major continuities and discontinuities in the Buddhist artistic canon as it moves through Asia. Class will consist of lecture, discussion, and kinetic/creative activities that are intended to further student understanding in a tangible way, such as practicing Japanese tea ceremony and creating a Tibetan sand mandala.

TAGS

Course // Art History: Ancient through Medieval (St. Catherine University)

COURSE INFORMATION

Art History: Ancient through Medieval
ARTH 1100 | St. Catherine University

DESCRIPTION

This course introduces the history of art from the prehistory through the Middle Ages. Beginning with the cave paintings of prehistoric France and Spain, this course surveys the visual arts and architecture of ancient Egypt and the ancient Near East, the Classical Greek and Roman worlds, and finally medieval Europe. This course also provides comparative global examples to understand Western movements in context. We will consider a variety of media (sculpture, pottery, wall painting, mosaics, and manuscripts as well as architecture) as meaningful expressions of their historical contexts.

TAGS

Course // Art History: Renaissance through Modern (St. Catherine University)

COURSE INFORMATION

Art History: Renaissance through Modern
ARTH 1110 | St. Catherine University

DESCRIPTION

This course introduces the history of art from the early Renaissance in Europe to the present in Europe and the U.S. It surveys the artists, architects, and art movements that constitute the canon of Western art since the Renaissance with an eye to examining how society influences artistic production. The role of patronage, individual artistic personalities, religion, war and peace, and attitudes about gender are explored throughout and compared across geographic boundaries. This course provides comparative global examples to understand Western movements in context. The basic principles of visual analysis are taught and utilized; students are also introduced to fundamental methods of art history such as iconography, formalism, and social art history.

TAGS

Course // Ways of Seeing (St. Catherine University)

COURSE INFORMATION

Ways of Seeing
ARTH 1150 | St. Catherine University

DESCRIPTION

“The way we see things is affected by what we know or what we believe.” John Berger made this claim in 1972, when he published a thin, but hugely influential book called Ways of Seeing. This course intends to bring Berger’s statement – and the insights of his book – to bear on our own experiences of art, history, and visual culture in the early 21st century. An introduction to the history of art and visual culture, this course considers local and global case studies that implicate images, image makers, and viewers. These are explored according to themes that cut across historical and geographical boundaries, themes that include, but are not limited to visual culture and ideology, beauty and art, the female body and the male gaze, iconoclasm, piety and religious spaces, museums, popular and consumer culture, and social change.

TAGS

Course // Global Japan: Art, Anime, & Visual Culture (St. Catherine University)

COURSE INFORMATION

Global Japan: Art, Anime, & Visual Culture
ARTH 2994 | St. Catherine University

DESCRIPTION

This course considers the global trajectory of Japanese art and visual culture from 1945 to 2016. From sushi to karaoke to martial arts, Japanese goods have permeated US markets. This class seeks to understand this phenomenon in the realm of art and visual culture through the analysis of diverse material including advertising, animation, comics, film, graphic design, installation, mascot culture, painting, photography, popular music, and street fashion. Grounded in art historical and visual studies methods, with supplementary readings from anthropology and media studies, this class will investigate issues such as the overlap between comics and contemporary art; Japanese and American approaches to animation; and the influence of Japanese graphic design on product packaging. The course will proceed thematically to address issues of nationalism, race, gender, domesticity, consumer culture, subculture, environment, minority representation, and the post-human through lecture and discussion, individual and group work, and film and video screenings. Our goal will be to critically interpret the role of Japanese art and visual culture in an increasingly interconnected world.

TAGS

Course // Visual Culture in Modern Japan (St. Olaf College)

COURSE INFORMATION

Visual Culture in Modern Japan
ART 276 | St. Olaf College

DESCRIPTION

Explore Japan through the mass production, distribution, and consumption of Japanese visual and popular culture. Students will learn how to analyze a diverse array of visual material—architecture, advertising, animation (anime), art, comics (manga), digital idols, film, graphic design, mascot culture, music, and video games. In discovering the popular construction of “Japaneseness,” the course will proceed thematically to address issues of nationalism, race, gender, domesticity, consumer culture, subculture, environment, and Japan’s relationship with its minorities from 1950 to 2015. Using methodologies from visual studies, media studies, art history, film studies, and anthropology, the goal of this course will be to rethink Japan as a site of local and global pop culture flows.

TAGS

Course // Japanese Civilization (St. Olaf College)

COURSE INFORMATION

Japanese Civilization
HISTORY 252 | St. Olaf COllege

DESCRIPTION

This course is an introduction to Japanese civilization from its beginnings in the Jōmon period through WWII. We take a multidisciplinary approach grounded in history to examine the development of Japanese culture and literature, in addition to religion, art, and popular culture; political institutions such as the monarchy, the shogunate, and the samurai class; and social and economic change. In addition to examining the lifestyles of the elite, this course also puts emphasis on the lives of ordinary people and minorities in Japan. Many of the assigned readings are literary works in translation, and we will evaluate them as both aesthetic works and as works of historical value. We will also examine Japan’s relationship with the outside world as a way to reflect on Japan’s values, institutions, invented traditions, and historical heritage. This course carries general education credit in MCG and major credit in History and Asian Studies. It also counts toward the Japan Studies concentration.

TAGS

Course // Godzilla to Hello Kitty: Japanese Popular Culture (UC Irvine)

COURSE INFORMATION

Buddhist Art & Architecture
FILM & MEDIA STUDIES 160 / ART HISTORY 150 | University of California, Irvine

DESCRIPTION

Explore Japan through the mass production, distribution, and consumption of Japanese popular culture. Students will learn how to analyze a diverse array of visual material-architecture, advertising, animation (anime), art, comics (manga), digital idols, film, graphic design, mascot culture, music, and video games. In discovering the popular construction of “Japaneseness,” the course will proceed thematically to address issues of nationalism, race, gender, domesticity, consumer culture, subculture, and Japan’s relationship with its minorities from 1950 to 2012. Using methodologies from media studies, film studies, art history, and anthropology, the goal will be to rethink Japan as a site of local and global pop culture flows from Godzilla to Hello Kitty.

TAGS

Course // Buddhist Art & Architecture (UC Irvine)

COURSE INFORMATION

Buddhist Art & Architecture
ART HISTORY 150 / RELIGIOUS STUDIES 120 | University of California, Irvine

DESCRIPTION

This upper division elective class is designed to explore the art and architecture of South, Southeast, and East Asia. We will examine how art and iconography responded to innovations in Buddhism, and how Buddhism itself has changed to accommodate local taste and stylistic preference. Proceeding both regionally and thematically, we will visit iconographic features, figures, and architectural motifs in order to understand regional and cultural translation. Aside from cultivating a general knowledge base of these features, this class should further a general appreciation for regional specificity in art and major continuities and discontinuities in the Buddhist canon as it moves through Asia. Class will be compromised of lecture, discussion, informal group readings of primary texts, and kinetic/creative activities like ink painting.

TAGS

Teaching Assistant // Art History, Film & Media Studies, Asian American Studies (UC Irvine)

COURSE INFORMATION

Teaching Assistant
ART HISTORY / FILM & MEDIA STUDIES / ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES | University of California, Irvine

DESCRIPTION

Lower Division Courses
Asian American Stories (Prof. Jim Lee), Asian American Studies, Fall 2014
Japanese Art (Prof.Bert Winther-Tamaki), Art History, Spring 2013, Spring 2011, Spring 2010
Chinese Art (Prof. Roberta Wue), Art History, Fall 2012, Winter 2012, Winter 2009
Chinese Painting & Ceramics (Prof. Juliann Wolfgram), Art History, Winter 2010
Sacred Arts of Asia (Prof. Juliann Wolfgram), Art History, Fall 2010
Arts of South Asia (Prof. Alka Patel), Art History, Fall 2009

Upper Division Courses
Asian American Documentary Practice
(Prof. Julie Cho), Film Studies/Asian American Studies, Winter 2013
European Art, 1907-1940 (Prof. Nicole Woods), Art History, Spring 2012
Classical Myth in Art (Prof. Shanna Kennedy-Quigley), Art History, Spring 2012
Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt (Prof. Shanna Kennedy-Quigley), Art History, Fall 2011

TAGS

css.php