Global Renaissance

This course seeks to reframe the Renaissance in a global context by analyzing the migration of visual culture via conditions of reception and cross-cultural contact. In doing so, it revisits the euro-centric humanist model of the Renaissance and seeks instead to offer a new paradigm based on an analysis of global exchange. Themes covered include art, empire and propaganda, colonial identities, hybridity, rituals of devotion and the translation of sacred space. In addition to an understanding of post-colonial theory, and the cultural mediation of images, the course considers hybrid objects in the words of Homi Bhabha as not having a single fixed meaning, but as incorporating “slippages,” that are part of the conditions of colonialism. It also offers up a critique of any analysis based on a simplistic framework of cultural parallelism, and seeks to present hybrids as having multiple and at times contradictory meanings evolving from cross-cultural exchange. In addition to lectures and readings, students will participate in one museum field trip.  Attendance on this field trip is mandatory. Although the format of this class is a lecture, student participation in weekly discussions is encouraged and expected

Credits: 2.00

Course Code: HTA 303

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.