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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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