Current Graduate Courses

For dates regarding university closures or course drop deadlines, please have a look at the School of Graduate Studies Calendar, or contact the Graduate Office.

Special Studies Courses
Courses that are part of the Reading Course series (FAH 3000 number) require approval of both an instructor and the Director of Graduate Studies. Please submit an ADD form to the Graduate Assistant.

Program Changes
Any changes in course work for the year following the original enrolment must be within the add/drop deadlines as indicated in the School of Graduate Studies Calendar. If any changes are made after the drop date deadline the ADD/DROP form must be submitted to the department for signature and will then be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies for approval. Failure to make changes to your program within the allowed time limit may result in an “INC” (incomplete) on your transcript. If you have any questions regarding deadlines please do not hesitate to confirm these dates with the administrative staff.

Timetable 2019–20

Fall 2019 (September to December)

Fall 2019 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9:00 am   MACS1000Y      
10:00 am   MACS1000Y FAH1231H (Kavaler) FAH1486H (Syme) FAH1920H (Harney)
11:00 am   MACS1000Y FAH1231H (Kavaler) FAH1486H (Syme) FAH1920H (Harney)
12:00 pm     FAH1231H (Kavaler) FAH1486H (Syme) FAH1920H (Harney)
1:00 pm FAH1475H (Legge)        
2:00 pm FAH1475H (Legge) FAH1001H (Bear) FAH2028H (Kim) FAH1177H (Mostafa) FAH1221H (Sohm)
3:00 pm FAH1475H (Legge) FAH1001H (Bear) FAH2028H (Kim) FAH1177H (Mostafa) FAH1221H (Sohm)
4:00 pm   FAH1001H (Bear) FAH2028H (Kim) FAH1177H (Mostafa) FAH1221H (Sohm)


  • FAH1001H Methods – J. Bear – Tuesdays 2:00 pm–5:00 pm, SS 6032
  • FAH1177H Architecture of the Umayyads – H. Mostafa (Medieval) – Thursdays 2:00 pm–5:00 pm, SS 581 (Ground Floor of Sidney Smith Hall)
  • FAH1221H Inside the Painter's Studio – P. Sohm (Early Modern) – Fridays 2:00 pm–5:00 pm, UC 257
  • FAH1231H Northern European Sculpture 1400–1600 – E. Kavaler (Medieval/Early Modern) – Wednesdays 10:00 am–1:00 pm, SS 6032
  • FAH1475H Picasso in View of Nanette – E. Legge (Modern/Contemporary) – Mondays 1:00 pm–4:00 pm, SS 6032
  • FAH1486H Bloomsbury and Vorticism – A. Syme (Modern/Contemporary) – Thursdays 10:00 am–1:00 pm, SS 6032
  • FAH1920H Primitivism to Globalism: Theories of Otherness in Modern and Contemporary Arts – E. Harney (Modern/Contemporary) – Fridays 10:00 am–1:00 pm, SS 6032
  • FAH2028H Art and Philosophy of Time – S. Kim (Ancient) – Wednesdays 2:00 pm–5:00 pm, SS 6032
  • MACS1000Y Methods in Mediterranean Archeology – Tuesdays 9:00 am–12:00 pm, AP 140


Winter 2020 (January to April)

Winter 2020 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9:00 am   MACS1000Y / FAH1205H (Levy)      
10:00 am FAH1756H (Clarke) MACS1000Y / FAH1205H (Levy) FAH1127H (Cohen) FAH1500H (Kaplan)  
11:00 am FAH1756H (Clarke) MACS1000Y / FAH1205H (Levy) FAH1127H (Cohen) FAH1500H (Kaplan)  
12:00 pm FAH1756H (Clarke)   FAH1127H (Cohen) FAH1500H (Kaplan)  
1:00 pm FAH2038H (Ewald)        
2:00 pm FAH2038H (Ewald) FAH1951H (Gu) FAH1206H (Periti & Purtle) FAH1489H (Jain)  
3:00 pm FAH2038H (Ewald) FAH1951H (Gu) FAH1206H (Periti & Purtle) FAH1489H (Jain)  
4:00 pm   FAH1951H (Gu) FAH1206H (Periti & Purtle) FAH1489H (Jain)  


  • FAH1127H Early Medieval Art – A. Cohen (Medieval) – Wednesdays 10:00 am–1:00 pm, SS 6032
  • FAH1205H Early Modern Intermediality – E. Levy (Early Modern) – Tuesdays 9:00 am–12:00 pm, SS 6032
  • FAH1206H Artistic Localities in Italy & China – G. Periti & J. Purtle (Early Modern) – Wednesdays 2:00 pm–5:00 pm, SS 6032
  • FAH1489H Re: Vision (Comparative Histories of the Senses) – K. Jain (Modern/Contemporary) – Thursdays 2:00 pm–5:00 pm, SS 6032 *MOVED* (originally in SK 114)
  • FAH1500H Augmented Reality Art – L. Kaplan (Modern/Contemporary) – Thursdays 10:00 am–1:00 pm, SS 6032
  • FAH1756H Acoustic Space – J. Clarke (Modern/Contemporary) – Mondays 10:00 am–1:00 pm, SS 6032
  • FAH1951H Contemporary Chinese Art and its Discontents – Y. Gu (Modern/Contemporary) – Tuesdays 2:00 pm–5:00 pm, SS 6032
  • FAH2038H Greek & Roman Sculpture at the ROM – B. Ewald (Ancient) – Mondays 1:00 pm–4:00 pm, OI 2289 (O.I.S.E. Bldg. - 252 Bloor St.)
  • MACS1000Y Methods in Mediterranean Archeology – Tuesdays 9:00 am–12:00 pm, AP 140


(FAH1001H) Methods – J. Bear

A close reading of the major texts related to the theory and practice of art history and its related disciplines. Required for all incoming PhD students, unless students receive permission for previous course from the Director of Graduate Studies.

(FAH1127H) Early Medieveal Art – A. Cohen (Medieval)

Early medieval art has long been viewed in the shadow of Romanesque and Gothic art and architecture, although the seven hundred years between c. 400 and 1100 produced a wealth of material culture that provides critical insights for understanding the formation of Europe. The seminar will focus in a given semester on one of the following four subdivisions with this period: Merovingian and Migratory, Carolingian, Ottonian, or Insular and Anglo-Saxon. The art and architecture in all of these periods are understood in light of their relationship to the classical past, the development of political and ecclesiastical structures, the importance of the cult of saints, and the rise of monasticism. The focus in 2012 will be on monastic art and architecture.

(FAH1177H) Architecture of the Umayyads – H. Mostafa (Medieval)

The Umayyads present a unique opportunity for the study of Medieval Mediterranean architectural history. As religious and political leaders, Umayyad caliphs and their patronage manifest a rootedness in late antiquity that challenges notions of Islamic art as “other.” By considering key Umayyad monuments, cities and material culture we will problematize binaries of east vs. west, sacred vs. secular and center vs. periphery to reveal what makes the Umayyads empire builders of the first order. Contextualized through ceremonial, pilgrimage, trade, praxis and governance, the built environment operates as a vehicle to access deeper and more nuanced understandings of Islamic history.

(FAH1205H) Early Modern Intermediality – E. Levy (Early Modern)

With the material turn, art historians have been engaged in imaginative explorations of the uses and meanings of materials in early modern art and visual culture. This course focuses on crossings from one medium to another (intermediality or intermateriality) whether through conscious imitation (material mimesis) or translation. We will look at explicit statements of medium-specificity in treatises; the situating of drawing as the unifying art; border crossings in the well-known art theoretical debate of the 16th century, the paragone; anxiety about deception (terracotta that feigns stone, stucco that imitates gold). A principal preoccupation will be with the intermedial effects of the introduction of printed images. For while intermediality is as old as art itself, there is an intensification with the introduction of print, when all media became graphic, only to be remedialized again. The chronological span is 15th–18th centuries and the geographic reach is global, with a particular focus on Europe and Latin America (where print was translated into painting and architecture often and in unexpected ways). We will spend time on signal works of intermediality (Roger van der Weyden, Rubens, Gianlorenzo Bernini) as well as many anonymous works, especially in the Americas (16th–18th centuries). This course is historiographically-oriented, tracking the reception of these historical artefacts alongside the modern call for truth-to-materials and the post-war call for medium-specificity in abstract art. A goal of the course is to develop a lexicon of terms specific to intermediality (pictorialization, linearization, resurfacing, flattening, modelling, etc.).

(FAH1206) Artistic Localities in Italy & China – G. Periti & J. Purtle (Early Modern)

The “global” turn in the discipline of art history too often eliminates the locality – the specific and sometimes not well-known places where art is made – from its purview in favour of geographically-expansive narratives focused on circulation and reception of works made in localities. As a counterpoint to these narratives, this seminar explores ideas of artistic localities in Italy and China during the early modern period. Its principal focus is on questions of place and cultural geography, but it also necessarily examines the relationship of place to artistic exchange in networks of various sizes (those small walled cities, those of metropolitan centers, and those of “global” reach). To address methodological concerns, we will critically review existing literature on artistic geography, from period sources to contemporary works

(FAH1221H) Inside the Painter's Studio – P. Sohm (Early Modern)

Painters at work in Italy, France, and Germany, 1550–1700. The aim of this seminar is to understand studios as places for painting, teaching, selling, and modeling, and hence painters as craftsman, teacher and team boss, negotiator, and salesroom manager. Research topics include: the physical location and environment of painters’ studios; painting as a corporeal act; painting as a performance for studio visitors; self-representation of painters at work; bodily traces in paintings (fingerprints and finger painting); visual and literary evidence of production. An eclectic array of approaches and sources will be used: material culture, anthropology, scientific conservation, social and economic history, and literary analysis. Source material will include biographies, letters, diaries, account books, inventories, testaments, lawsuits, technical manuals, and (naturally) prints, drawings, and paintings. Reading knowledge of Italian, German, or French is required.

(FAH1231H) Northern European Sculpture 1400–1600 – E. Kavaler (Medieval/Early Modern)

This course examines varieties of sculpture in Northern Europe during the fifteenth and sixteenth century with particular emphasis on the Netherlands and Germany. The course questions the near-exclusive focus on painting as the quintessential artistic medium of Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Sculpture was an essential medium for the expression of power relations. Tombs of the high nobility framed and controlled the communal space of churches and chapels. Towering sacrament houses offered magnificent stages for the Eucharist—the material focus of the central drama of the church. Mantelpieces in town halls asserted the complex relationship between competing groups within the city. Carved altarpieces found visual formulas for metaphysical notions of sacred space and time. And smaller works like bronze statuettes became treasured objects in Renaissance collections.

Our meetings will address the problematic nature of sculpture as the subject of an alternate discourse in art history and will touch on its material presence as an agent in modulating and conveying various social concepts and power relationships. Sculpture was many things in the late medieval and early modern period—and not all of these centered on the portrayal of the human body. People we now recognize as sculptors belonged to different guilds, fashioning objects as different as monumental tombs of stone, capacious wooden choir stalls, and miniature boxwood prayer beads. The borderline between sculpture and architecture was a porous one. Equally problematic was the division between sculpture and painting; renowned painters designed sculpture and competed in the communication of sacred stories with carvers of narrative reliefs. The course will begin by examining the works of Tilman Riemenschneider and the great limewood sculptors of southern Germany. It will then turn to lesser known but influential sculptors in the Netherlands. Sessions will be devoted to the study of large sculptured altarpieces and small carved prayer-beads containing miraculous, microscopic religious scenes. Among the issues addressed will be varied notions of antiquity and their representation in the arts, the social, spatial, and liturgical functions of church furnishings, the plastic portrayal of the gendered human form and notions of embodiment, the materiality of Renaissance sculpture, and competing definitions of ornament. The course will include trips to the Royal Ontario Museum to see major works of sculpture in these collections.

(FAH1475H) Picasso in View of Nanette – E. Legge (Modern/Contemporary)

In the wake of Hannah Gadsby’s influential film Nanette (2018), and in the context of the Me Too movement, particular pressure is put on the ways that Picasso has been constructed, and the claims and counter-claims made for his work over the course of the 20th century into the present. These include the biographical Picasso, the formalist genius Picasso, the intellectual semiotician Picasso, the political Picasso, the colonialist Picasso, the “late” Picasso in view of postmodernism, and the misogynist Picasso. We will consider the principal critical and academic texts, as well as popularizing photographs and key films

(FAH1486H) Bloomsbury and Vorticism – A. Syme (Modern/Contemporary)

This course examines two early twentieth-century British modernist movements and their key artists and writers (including Vanessa Bell, Jacob Epstein, Roger Fry, Wyndham Lewis, Ezra Pound, and Virginia Woolf, among others). Topics include the groups’ complex politics, contributions to aesthetic theory, exploration of text/image relations, response to World War One, and sexual politics.

(FAH1489H) Re: Vision (Comparative Histories of the Senses) – K. Jain (Modern/Contemporary)

Even as “visual culture” was emerging as a field of study, in the late 1980s and early 1990s art history was reckoning with critiques of “ocularcentrism” or the primacy of vision. While much of that rethinking was channelled into an “affective turn,” this seminar foregrounds postcolonial approaches in asking what a focus on comparative sensoria might add to discussions about the politics of the sensible, and the status of vision in relation to the other senses. After revisiting earlier debates on ocularcentrism, the seminar seeks to “provincialize” histories of the senses centred on Euroamerican modernity by seeking out work on heterogeneous sensory regimes from a range of periods, locations, and/or cultural formations – Western and non-Western, pre-modern and modern/contemporary – that challenge not only the dominance of vision and its separation from the other senses, but also, perhaps, the celebration of these challenges as politically subversive (a case in point here is the privileging of touch in South Asian practices of caste.) The aim here is twofold: to rigorously interrogate our methodological presuppositions about the visual in approaching images and artworks, and, working with a nonlinear notion of layered temporal circuits, to further illuminate the work of the senses in our increasingly complex global present. This broad conceptual and methodological orientation means that the seminar is intended to speak to students across geographical and temporal specializations; participants are encouraged to collectively shape the reading list by contributing their interests to a proposed list of topics and readings. The latter will include work from art history, history, anthropology, philosophy, music, film studies and literary theory (among others), covering topics such as the acousmatic, the corpothetic, synesthesia, kinesthetics, olfaction, Indigenous life-worlds, varying forms of religiosity, and untouchability.

(FAH1500H) Augmented Reality Art – L. Kaplan (Modern/Contemporary)

This course investigates augmented reality (AR) as an emerging new media art practice. Whether using head-attached, spatial displays, or hand-held devices as their mode of interface, AR art projects and maps virtual space onto real space setting up interactive environments and embodied spaces that rely on locative media. The course will provide us an opportunity to read leading theorists and art historians who are thinking about the meaning and significance of AR art and its larger implications for the study of digital culture including Christine Ross, Lev Manovich, and Greg Ulmer. Topics will include the relation of AR art to site-specific installation; media activism and the virtual public sphere; the use of AR in the construction of counterfactual history; its relation to geo-spatial studies and critical cartography; and museum manifestations using augmented reality. The course will review a number of key contemporary case studies by AR artists.

(FAH1756H) Acoustic Space – J. Clarke (Modern/Contemporary)

This course examines how sound has been creatively manipulated to articulate spatial relationships in modern architecture, sound art, soundscape compositions, and film soundtracks. The term “acoustic space” was popularized by Marshall McLuhan in the 1950s and 60s, but had earlier roots in psychology, architectural acoustics, and media theory. Under the conceptual framework of acoustic space, theorists and artists across various cultural fields have posed questions such as: How do individuals locate themselves in the world through listening? How can the physical environment be transformed through creative acoustic interventions? How might new and potentially far-flung communities be convened through sound? With the theme of acoustic space as a starting point, the course surveys a range of historical methods associated with the emerging discipline of sound studies and the diversity of ways in which the spatial behaviour of sound has been subject to artistic representation and transformation.

(FAH1951H) Contemporary Chinese Art and its Discontents – Y. Gu (Modern/Contemporary)

This seminar offers a survey of contemporary Chinese art with an emphasis on the contested conditions of art production, display, and interpretation. Organized as a series of case studies, this seminar will encourage students to situate contemporary Chinese art within the critical debates on glocalisation, neoliberal world order, and postsocialist condition. Special attention will be given to the positions and interventions of writers from the disciplines of philosophy, anthropology, and sociology together with the leading authors of contemporary Chinese art such as Wu Hung, Ackbar Abbas, Karen Smith, Minglu Gao, and Hanru Hou.

(FAH1920H) Primitivism to Globalism: Theories of Otherness in Modern and Contemporary Arts – E. Harney (Modern/Contemporary)

In this seminar we will examine the potency of ideas of “Otherness” in the development of modern and contemporary arts in the last century and the thorny process of interpreting works of art by contemporary non-Western artists in relation to this larger history. Beginning with an analysis of the political and philosophical genealogy of “primitivism” with all of its attendant notions of exoticism, eroticism, and primordialism, the course will then trace the shifting critical theories employed by art historians, critics, visual anthropologists, feminists, and cultural studies scholars alike to frame the politics of representation that underlie our understanding of the contemporary productions of transnational artists.

(FAH2028H) Art and Philosophy of Time – S. Kim (Ancient)

A truly interdisciplinary course by design, on the relationship between Time and Art. Using Concepts of Time as a disciplinary bridge between Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Art History, the course will examine some of the major philosophical thoughts on Time throughout history and explore different ways in which Time and temporality enter into art historical or philosophical discussions on works of art. We will approach each subtopic of Time and its relationship to Art, from both philosophical and art historical perspectives, offering productive avenues for interdisciplinary investigations. Some of these topics include: Time in Ancient Philosophy and Art, Visual Narrative and the Philosophy of Narrative, Renaissance Anachronism, Phenomenology of Time and Art, Time and Modernity, Retrieval and Restoration of the Past, and On Writing History. Close readings of philosophical texts will include excerpts from Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Freud, Heidegger, Bergson, Merleau-Ponty, and Benjamin; we will also be analyzing works of art and their relationship to Time from major periods of Art History, with a focus on Ancient Greece, and touching upon Renaissance, Modern and Contemporary. Students will be encouraged to work on artworks from local museums, notably the ROM.

(FAH2038H) Greek & Roman Sculpture at the ROM – B. Ewald (Ancient)

This is a course on Greek and Roman sculpture in the Royal Ontario Museums (‘ROM’) collection of ancient art. The course is related to the wider project of a catalogue raisonnée of the ROM’s sculpture collection; it will give students the opportunity to participate in the preliminary research for the catalogue, and to write entries on individual pieces. The course will combine weekly visits to the ROM’s collections and archives with in-class meetings and presentations. Students will select an artefact or group of artefacts on which they will conduct their research, and will prepare a final essay. The seminar is structured around the material in the Toronto collection and offers a closer and more immediate engagement with ancient art and artefacts than most graduate courses in the department. It will, however, equally address the broader issues of cultural and art historical analysis and contextualization. It will further cover the themes of provenance and collecting, as well as the ‘biography’ of individual artefacts. If student’s texts or research will be used in the envisaged catalogue (to be edited by the curator, Paul Denis, as well as myself), their work will of course be fully credited.

(MACS1000Y) Methods in Mediterranean Archeology

A year-long core course with the aim of providing students with a critical understanding of what constitutes method within the different domains of Classical archaeology, ancient history, and prehistory, and the challenges and opportunities in working across these methods to produce new frameworks for researching the ancient Mediterranean. Students will examine ways in which historical and archaeological methods might be applied comparatively or diachronically across traditional chronological or geographical boundaries. Readings will be drawn from several core ‘classic' texts on the ancient Mediterranean and specific case studies.

Only one full-course equivalent with these prefixes are permitted in any one degree program. To enrol in a reading course, please contact the Graduate Assistant for details.

(FAH3011H) Readings in Ancient Art

(FAH3012H) Readings in Medieval Art

(FAH3013H) Readings in Early Modern Art

(FAH3014H) Readings in Modern/Contemporary Art

Only one full-course equivalent of courses outside the department are permitted in any one degree program. To enrol in courses outside the department, please obtain approval from the course instructor and forward the email with the approval and the SGS Add/Drop Course(s) form to the Graduate Assistant.

Centre for Comparative Literature

Centre for Medieval Studies

Department of Anthropology

Department of Classics

Department of History

Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations

Department of Philosophy

Master of Visual Studies Program

Please note that these courses do not count towards the seminar work required for the doctorate.

(FSL6000H) Reading French Course for Graduate Students

Open to Masters and PhD graduate students who need to fulfill their graduate language requirement. On a case by case basis, students with prior language qualifications can access the exam-only option (still with course registration) after prior screening by the home department in support of the exam-only option. A grade of Credit/NonCredit (70% is the minimum grade for CR) will be entered on their transcripts. Students are not permitted to audit this course. This course is designed to develop students' reading skills particularly as they pertain to research interests. Some remedial grammar, but the primary emphasis is on comprehension of a wide variety of texts in French. Please visit the Department of French for more information.

(GER6000H) Reading German for Graduate Students

In this course German reading knowledge is taught following the grammar-translation method designed for graduate students from the Humanities. It is an intensive course that covers German grammar with focus on acquiring essential structures of the German language to develop translation skills. The course is conducted in English, and consequently participants do not learn how to speak or write in German, but rather the course focuses exclusively on reading and translating German. Prior knowledge of German not mandatory. By the end of the course, students should be able to handle a broad variety of texts in single modern Standard German. Please visit the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures for more information.

Undergraduate Language Courses

Graduate students may enrol in any undergraduate language course at no additional cost. A grade of Credit/NonCredit (70% is the minimum grade for CR) will be entered on their transcripts. Please consult the undergraduate timetable for course listing and description.