Art History at Bowdoin offers courses that examine artworks in their historical, social, religious, and philosophical contexts. By learning what to ask of art, students build interpretations rooted in both specific histories of a particular time and place and within broader systems of cultural connection, conflict, migration, and resistance.
Art History also offers students a critical lens for interrogating the structures and assumptions that have determined “who is an artist” and “what counts as Art.” By challenging inherited categories and canons, Art History students at Bowdoin question the exclusionary frameworks that have privileged some while marginalizing others. Through our classes, students learn a rich array of approaches for understanding how images, objects, and their histories produce meanings that fundamentally shape how we engage with the world.
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