Comn Art 371 : World Art
an On-line Course


Instructor: Prof. Curt Heuer
  This is an on-line course
Office Phone: I do not have an office on campus this semester, so I have no campus phone either
Office Hours: There are no set office hours for on-line courses.  Contact me by e-mail and I will usually get back to you within 12 hours or less (depending on the time of day you try to contact me)
Course Start Date: Monday, January 25, 2010 is the official start date, but the course will be available starting Monday, January 18
Course End Date:

Completion date: The last day of class is Friday, May 7, 2010.  The Final for this course will be available between Tuesday, May 11 and Thursday May 13.

Class Times: Internet Course; this course is active and available to students on a 24-hour basis.
e-mail: (please use World Art in the subject line to help me sort out your message from the many others I receive every day).

Text: Art Beyond the West (ABtW hereafter), 2nd edition, Michael Kampen O'Riley
Prentice Hall/Abrams, 2006

Course Description:

This course is a survey of selected historical Asian, North American, African and Middle-Eastern art and architecture. The goal is to provide you with a framework for looking at, understanding and hopefully appreciating the art and architecture of other cultures. To accomplish this we'll look at the art of these cultures in a context of religious, social, economic, and/or political forces.

Course Objectives:

Understanding art gives us an understanding of how the people who made that art view the world and in turn, gives us an opportunity to better understand how we, ourselves, view the world. The objectives of this course are for you to gain an understanding of the role art plays in the cultures of selected non-western cultures and, as a result, for you to be a more culturally engaged citizen of the world. You should leave this course with the ability to generally identify and discuss the significance of a given artwork from a particular culture. Additionally, you should be able to discuss the similarities and differences of art from different cultures.

A brief note about what you will not have to do in this course. Art history can be daunting what with all the names, dates, styles, places, etc. You will not be expected to identify a specific piece of art by title, artist or date made. If you do end up knowing that information, your experience will be richer but if you don't, your grade won't be poorer. You will however, need to be able to generally place a specific piece into the proper culture, general time period and stylistic group and be able to explain its function and significance.

This course meets both the Fine Arts and the World Culture requirements for General Education.  The goal for a Fine Arts course is to foster “An understanding of one or more of the fine arts including an understanding of the nature and functions of art and ways of evaluating art.”  The goal for a World Culture course is to foster "An understanding of contemporary global issues and problems through the study of beliefs, values and ways of life in a country other than the United States."

Attendance Policy:

It is your responsibility to log on to the course web site as needed in order access course materials, contribute to discussion and take the quizzes and exams. As the instructor, I will monitor course activity on a daily basis (Monday through Friday, and sometimes on weekends) to answer questions, contribute to the discussion or to address problems that may arise as you move through the course - most of this will be done in the Discussions area.

By policy, the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin have set a minimum student "effort" at 48 hours per credit.  For a 3 credit course, then, you are expected to put in a minimum of 144 hours of "effort".  Effort means time spent reading the text, attending lectures, studying for exams or preparing papers.  In this class the time spent will include reading the text, reading the on-line "lectures", studying for and taking quizzes and midterms and contributing to class discussions.  144 hours works out to a little over 10 hours per week (remember, that's a minimum).  My experience is that students who set aside time on a regular basis to "go to class" do better in the course.  Putting off the readings or on-line lectures until just before a quiz or exam will inevitably leave you with too little time to do well.

Course Outline:

The course includes readings from your text and a series of web lectures. We will not follow the text's chapter order. You will read all of some chapters, portions of others and we will skip some chapters altogether. In other words, the text is not the course.  The web lectures will supplement some text material and go well beyond others. We'll devote 2 or 3 weeks for each module (unit). There will be quizzes for each module, a midterm and a final exam. There is a discussion section for each module .

Right now only the Introduction section of the course is available for access. New sections will be opened for access several days before the current module is scheduled to end (see outline below). When a module "ends" it won't disappear, but in order for you to keep up with the class, you should finish each module in the time span allotted so you can move on to the next in a timely way. I'll keep you posted when new course sections open up.

The basic outline of the course is below.  Material for the next unit will be will be available from the start of the quiz period of the previous unit.

Week 1 (January 25 - 31) : Introduction
    ABtW: Ch 1; Introduction and Ch 3; India (up to pg. 87 Islamic India)  
    Sample Quiz (January 29 - 31)

Weeks 2 & 3 (February 1 - 14) : India
    ABtW: Ch 3 up to pg. 87, Islamic India
    Quiz #1 (February 12 - 14)

Weeks 4 & 5 (February 15 - 28) : China
    ABtW: Ch 4; China
    Quiz #2 (February 26 - 28)

Weeks 6,7 & part of8 (March 1 - 23) : Japan
    ABtW: Ch 5; Japan

SPRINGBREAK March 13 - 21 

    Quiz #3 (March 23 - 25)

Midterm exam (March 26 - 28)

Weeks 9 & 10 (March 29 - April 11) : Americas
    ABtW: Ch 8: The Americas
    Quiz #4 (April 9 - 11)

Weeks 11 & 12 (April 12 - 25) : Africa
    ABtW: Ch 7; Africa
    Quiz #5 (April 23 - 25)

Weeks 13 & 14 (April 26 - May7) : Islam
    ABtW: Ch 2; Western & Central Asia and Ch 3; Islamic India (ppg. 87-93)
    Quiz #6 (May 7 - 9)

Final exam (May 11 - 13)


Your course grade will be based on a "weighted" grading system.

Quizzes (6)


Midterm and Final exams 20% each

Quizzes will are intended to give you an opportunity to see if you really know the material and key concepts of each module. The quizzes will be timed but they are open book, open notes. After you have taken a quiz, go over the results and note the questions you answered incorrectly. Go back over your notes or the text and find out where you went wrong. After reviewing the problem areas, you can take the quiz a second time. Taking it a second time is not required, however. If you do take the quiz a second time, your grade for that quiz will be the average of the two grades for that quiz. Quizzes (first and second attempts) must be taken during the dates allotted for that module.

You should note that quizzes are available over a 3 day period spread over a three-day period typically from 12:01 am (midnight) Friday through 11:59 pm (midnight) Sunday).  Feed back from past students indicates that this schedule allows the most flexibility and avoids most of the conflicts with work, family responsibilities and other courses.  NOTE that Quiz #3, Japan is an exception to that pattern.  Quizzes take no more than 45 minutes (many students finish them in 15 or 20 minutes) and are open book and open notes.

The midterm and final exams will be comprehensive.  In general, the questions will not be something you can just look up in the text. They will of two types; one type will ask you to draw parallels between two of more cultures to demonstrate that you understand the underlying significance of the art of those cultures; a second type will assess your knowledge of the cultural (social, economic, political, religious, etc) significance of a group of pieces from a single culture.

There will be one or more discussion questions for each of the modules. They're primarily for you to discuss issues/questions you have about the course. I will post some discussion questions but I'm expecting that you, the class, will post many more. Your participation in the discussion sections is not graded.  Asking a good question is better than answering a simple question. Contributing to the discussion in a meaningful way by adding new insights, making meaningful connections or asking a follow up question that propels the discussion forward is better than short posts like, "I agree with Charlotte's comments". Getting off the topic won't gain any credit. I'll be monitoring the discussion page and I will be contributing too. Mostly I'll try to keep you all on track and help propel the discussion forward.

If the Discussions aren't graded, why bother?  Two reasons. 

First, Participation in the discussions will allow you to try out your understanding of the ideas presented in the course content and to ask questions to help clarify material that you're fuzzy on.  The most important outcomes of that sort of participation is that you get some practice in forming ideas and that you start to build connections between the different cultural groups we'll study (that will be a part of what your evaluated on in the midterm and final).

Second, at the end of the semester I need to turn in a grade for each of you.  When students are on the cusp between to grade ranges I will use your participation in the discussions to help decide which direction your grade will fall.