Christina M. Spiker

Christina M. Spiker

Art Historian | Professor | Digital Humanist

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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