Art in Renaissance Italy

Spring 2016

ARTHIST 255-01 | MEDREN 225-01 | ITALIAN 386-01

Kristin Huffman Lanzoni

Iara Dundas, TA

MW 1:25-2:40pm | Smith Warehouse, Bay 9 2nd Floor, Rm A290

This course focuses on the art and culture of Renaissance Italy, beginning in the early 15th century with the groundbreaking sculpture of Ghiberti and Donatello and concluding at the end of the 16th century with the monumental projects of urban renewal in Rome. The class considers a range of artists, some well known such as Michelangelo and Titian, others less studied but who also made significant contributions to the period. An understanding of emerging Renaissance artistic ideals and a modern attitude to art is central to the subject; additionally, this class seeks to develop an awareness of the many ways in which Renaissance spectators experienced art and architecture. By opening up the Renaissance to varied perceptions and interpretative frameworks, this class moves beyond common generalizations of Renaissance individualism or Renaissance rebirth. To do this, a range of topics and issues will be explored that include important, yet at times overlooked themes in a survey course: public versus private display, “high and low” art (painting, sculpture, architecture vs. textiles, glass, ceramics, furniture), visual imagery used both to promote and subvert politically driven propaganda, foreign communities and foreign artists, women as both patrons and practitioners, centers and peripheries (cosmopolitan versus “provincial” art).

Gothic Cathedrals

Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015, Fall 2014, Fall 2012

ARTHIST 225-01 & 225-01L | MEDREN 215-01

Current Instructor: Edward Triplett

Past Instructor: Caroline Bruzelius

Fall 2017: TTh 11:45am-1:00pm | Perkins LINK 072 (Classroom 6)

In this course, students work in teams of 3 to create a fictional cathedral. They write a narrative and propose a program for the decoration (stained glass and portals) and architecture (ground plan, elevation, section and façade) of a cathedral situated in a specific place and time. The historical narrative begins with the Christianization of the site, and must consider access to supplies of wood and stone (students study geological maps). The fictional cathedral also needs to be located near roads, ports, or rivers in order to provide the economic basis for the project. All proposals include fictional budgets (income and expenditures) as well as an outline for the organization of the labor force.

The “master builders” in this class learn a computer-design program (AutoCad) to produce their cathedral plans and drawings appropriate in style and structure to the date and place chosen by the group. Projects are presented to a jury at the end of the semester and prizes are awarded for teamwork, project quality, and originality.

Historical & Cultural Visualization Proseminar 1

Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015, Fall 2014

ARTHIST 580S-01 | HCVIS 580S-01 | ISS 580S-01 | VMS 580S-01

Victoria Szabo

Th 8:45-11:15am | Wired! Lab (Smith, Bay 11, A233)

Interactivity and online content management through databases, collaborative blogs, and other systems. Data visualization based on textual, image, and quantitative sources. Basic techniques for virtual reality, simulations, augmented reality, and game-based historical and cultural visualization project development. Mini-projects based on existing and new research data from the Wired! Lab and elsewhere. Best practices for digital research project planning and collaboration.Theoretical topics include: critical digital heritage, virtuality and culture, information aesthetics, hypermedia information design. Instructor consent required.

This course is a core part of the MA in Digital Art History/Computational Media.

Topics in Digital History & Humanities: NC Jukebox

Fall 2015

ISI 317S | HIST 317S | MUS 317S

Victoria Szabo and Trudi Abel

TH 10:05am-12:35pm | Rubenstein Library

Digital History and Digital Humanities in theory and practice. Students plan, research and develop new technology projects which present archival material and historical interpretations to scholars and the general public through research papers, websites, and museum exhibits. The course meets weekly to discuss readings in American history, southern history, and digital history/humanities. Students explore archival material in the Rubinstein Library, learn how to use digital tools for humanities projects, develop principles of effective digital project management, create cross-disciplinary collaborations and learn about the ethics for creating research projects in the humanities.

This project is focused on transforming an inaccessible audio archive of historic North Carolina folk music into a vital, publicly accessible digital archive and museum exhibition. Nearly 97 years ago and into the 1930s, Frank C. Brown, a Duke scholar, began recording North Carolina folk music and archiving it for posterity. Most of those recordings are still housed on glass disks in Rubenstein Library, but we already have about 400 songs for which we have digitized audio and handwritten metadata with which we can work on the initial version of what we are calling the proof-of-concept NC Jukebox project.

For our project we envision converting this music to playable audio forms and making it accessible to the public in a variety of value-added, contextualizing digital and installation media exhibitions. We also want to prototype a database system to begin organizing and sharing the larger set of materials when they have been digitized later.

This course is part of the Bass Connections pathway Information, Society & Culture.

Virtual Museums: Theories and Methods of 21st Century Museums

Fall 2015

ARTHIST 305L

Maurizio Forte


The future of museum is on the immateriality, affordances, interactions, processes, artificial organisms, cyber-spaces. After an era of museography, of inorganic taxonomic museums, the short life of virtual museums, the future will be on cyber-museums: borderless, distributed, embodied and able to reproduce new knowledge in different forms, layout and rhizomes. The Internet of Things, augmented reality technologies, new data analyses of artifacts, virtual reality systems, body sensors and simulations associated to new forms of engagement are going to transform missions, roles, goals and communication of museums and collections. The transformation of museums in more dynamic, flexible and open institutions is a challenge of this century and, more importantly, this trend generates new job positions and different professional profiles at the level of cultural resource management, museum communication and technological research. The core of the course will be in digital lab sessions which will be focused on the virtual reconstruction on lost heritage and, more specifically, on museums and sites destroyed and damaged by ISIS and other conflicts in Iraq and in the Middle East such as Hatra, Nineveh, Nimrud, Baghdad.