Texas A&M University - Commerce

Through the careful study of artworks and art historical texts, students will be engaged in an extended, historically-based examination of a wide variety of regions throughout the world. They will gain a new perspective on the history of art, and on the role of gender in art history. By the end of the course, the student will have a broad knowledge of art historical development across the world.  

-    discuss and explain historically significant Non-Western artworks
-    become acquainted with the characteristic features of areas across the world 
-    learn to analyze the relationships among content, context, and style
-    analyze and discuss significant cultural texts
-    demonstrate knowledge of the interconnectedness of global dynamics (issues, trends, processes, and systems)
-    develop research skills
-    enhance visual literacy and critical thinking skills

Students’ ability to meet the course objectives and learning outcomes will be evaluated by written assignments, class participation, exams, and essay questions. 

Frank Willett, African Art (World of Art) – ISBN: 0500203644
J.C. Berlo and Ruth B. Phillips, Native North American Art (Oxford History of Art) – ISBN: 0192842183
Nicholas Thomas, Oceanic Art (World of Art) – ISBN: 0500202814
Robert E. Fisher, Buddhist Art and Architecture (World of Art) – ISBN: 0500202656
George Michell, Hindu Art and Architecture (World of Art) – ISBN: 0500203377

Lynn Mackenzie, Non-Western Art: A Brief Guide (2nd Edition) – ISBN: 0139000364
Willy Caruana, Aboriginal Art (3rd Ediition, World of Art) – ISBN: 9780500204160


-    internet access
-    access to eCollege, course documents (including pdfs of the slides shown in class) will be uploaded here

Our campus is optimized to work in a Microsoft Windows environment. This means our courses work best if you use a Windows operating system (XP or newer) and a recent version of Microsoft Internet Explorer (8.0). Your courses also work with Macintosh OS X along with a recent version of Safari 2.0 or better. Along with Internet Explorer and Safari, eCollege also supports the Firefox browser (3.0) on both Windows and Mac operating system.

This is a web enhanced course through eCollege, the Learning Management System used by Texas A & M University-Commerce. To use the eCollege features associated with this course go to: https://leo.tamuc.edu/login.aspx. You will need your CWID (Campus Wide I.D.) and password to log in to the course. If you do not know your CWID or have forgotten your password, contact technology services at 903-468- 6000 or helpdesk@tamuc.edu. 

Technical Support: Texas A & M University-Commerce provides students technical support in the use of eCollege. The student help desk may be reached by the following means 24 hours a day, seven days a week:
 Chat support: Click on ‘Live support’ on the tool bar with the course to chat with an eCollege representative.
 Phone: 1-866-656-5511 (Toll free) to speak with eCollege technical support representative.
 E-mail: helpdesk@tamuc.edu to initiate a support request with eCollege technical support representative.
 Help: Click on the ‘help’ button on the toolbar for information regarding working with eCollege.

Each assignment must be handed in on time at the beginning of class and will NOT be accepted via email.  For each class period late (and if not handed in at the start of class), the grade will be deducted one letter grade.  Assignments will NOT be accepted over ONE week late.  

Participation: Each person is expected to come to class prepared, which means having done the reading and/or worksheet and ready to engage in the class.  The class should not just be a lecture, rather, people are encouraged to speak up, contribute to the conversation and ask questions. At the beginning of class, students may be asked to write up responses to the readings, which will count towards the reading. A major part of the participation requirement is ATTENDANCE, which is mandatory.  

Attendance: Each student in this course is allowed no more than three unexcused absences. Each absence after three results in the lowering of the grade by 1/3 of a letter grade. When a student accrues more than eight unexcused absences the instructor has the right to drop the student from the course or to give a failing grade.

Unexcused absences require no explanation. For an absence to be considered excused, appropriate documentation must be presented. Excused absences are defined in The Student Guidebook and various university policies, but the policy employed in this class is confined to the following: (1) Participation in pre‐approved University activities such as athletic events, sponsored field trips, and travel for specific University‐related academic reasons; (2) Verifiable legal proceedings; (3) Documented cases of illness, injury, or emergencies. All such excuses must be shown to the instructor in original, written, documentary form within 7 days of the absence(s) together with a photocopy for the instructor’s records. (Please understand that this copy is a student’s only record of an absence.) In lieu of documentation, the absences become unexcused and are counted as such. 

Group Presentation Project:
Each student will present on Native American art, as part of a larger group.  This will involve working with other students, completing a group powerpoint, researching the topic beyond the textbook, and creating a handout for the class.  

Throughout the course, you will have a few written assignments.  The assignments must be handed in on time at the beginning of class and will NOT be accepted via email.  For each class period late (and if not handed in at the start of class), the grade will be deducted one letter grade.  Assignments will NOT be accepted over ONE week late.  

Quizzes and Exam:
There will be four quizzes, and one take-home essay exam.  The quizzes will NOT be cumulative. Each essay will be slightly different, based on the material covered. These will be discussed much closer to the date of the tests.  The final essay exam will require you to demonstrate the skills and terms that you have developed throughout the session through a longer take-home essay test. 

Grade Breakdown:
15% Group Presentation Project         60% Quizzes (15% each)
10% Final Essay Exam                          15% Assignments
10% Participation

Statement on Student Behavior:
    All students enrolled at the University shall follow the tenet of common decency and acceptable behavior conducive to a positive learning environment (See Student’s Guide Handbook, Policies and Procedures, Conduct). 
    All students must show respect toward the instructor and the instructor’s syllabus, presentations, assignments, and point of view.  Students should respect each others’ differences.  If the instructor determines that a student is not being respectful towards other students or the instructor, it is the instructor’s prerogative to ask the student to leave, to refer the student to the department head, and to consider referring the student to the Dean of Students who may consider requiring the student to drop the course.  Please refer to pages 42 – 46 of the Texas A&M University-commerce Student guidebook’s Codes of Conduct for details.

Prohibited during class:
-    Cell Phones/Blackberries/MP3 Players:  Please keep these devices off while class is in session. It is disrespectful to your classmates.  No cell phones are allowed during exam sessions. If you need to check the time, consult the clock in the classroom.  Repeated use of these devices will result in being asked to leave.
-    Computers and tablets
-    Headphones of any kind
-    Sleeping
-    Sunglasses
-    Smoking of any kind, including e-cigarettes
-    Disruptive or distracting behavior: Texting, conversing with other students during class, loud eating, etc. 
-    Repeated entering/exiting the classroom: Please be on time to class.  Not only is disruptive to the class environment, but you could miss important class announcements. This is a short class, so there should be no need to come in and out throughout the class period. Additionally, repeated tardiness will count with your absences, and could result in a lower grade.

Academic Dishonesty: There is no tolerance for any kind of academic dishonesty in this course. This includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism, cheating on exams, theft of instructional material or exams, representing the work of someone else as one’s own, and misrepresenting absences. Academic dishonesty is a severe transgression in college and may result in referral to the Dean of Students, expulsion from class and/or the University, and a failing grade.

Discussion: In this class, we will look at a wide array of artwork, some of which might include nudity, intense language, violence, etc. Each person will bring their own experiences to the art, and should feel comfortable expressing their opinions and vulnerabilities. The classroom is a safe environment, and each student should behave with integrity and treat their peers with respect. 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact:

Office of Student Disability Resources and Services, Texas A&M University-Commerce, Gee Library, Room 132
Phone (903) 886-5150 or (903) 886-5835, Fax (903) 468-8148

After contacting the Office of Student Disability Resources and Services, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the instructor of what accommodations are needed IN ADVANCE of when they are needed (for example, if testing accommodations are necessary, please inform the instructor with appropriate documentation at LEAST one week before the test date).

For all emails sent, please include full name, student ID, and the class that you are attending.  Do not send emails to myself and other professors at once, as each professor has different issues to address.  You are allotted three absences for this course; plan accordingly and there is no need to contact me about unexcused absences that are incorporated into this allowance.  For excused absences, you need to bring in a hard copy of appropriate documentation of your absence.

Make‐up exams will be administered only in instances of excused absences (and acceptable documentation) and may not be designed in the same format as the regularly‐scheduled exam. When an excused absence causes a student to miss an exam, it is the student’s responsibility to inform‐‐or to have someone else notify‐‐the instructor within 4 days of the exam. If permitted, these exams must be made up within two weeks of the scheduled date, at a time and place determined by the professor.

Assignments are due at the start of the class on the assigned date. Late work will only be accepted for one week after the due date, and the grade will be penalized. Concerning grade decisions, I will not discuss specific grades on ANY assignment or test the day it is returned.  If you have concerns regarding a grade, email me within one week of receiving the assignment back clearly explaining why you think the assignment was addressed incorrectly.   After the email is received, we will then set up an appointment to discuss the concern.  


Topics in Non-Western Art Schedule*
Jan 21 – Intro to Nonwestern Art

Jan 26 – Introducing African Art (AA 8-41)
Jan 28 – Early African Art (AA 42-109)
Feb 2 – African Architecture (AA 110-129)
Feb 4 – African Sculpture I (AA 130-149)
Feb 9 – African Sculpture II (AA 150-219)
Feb 11 – QUIZ #1

Feb 16 – Mesoamerica (Mackenzie, Non-Western Art, 168-190)
Feb 18 – Intro to Native American Art / The North (NNAA 1-36, 139-152)
Feb 23 – The Southwest (NNAA 37-70)
Feb 25 – The East / Mississippian (NNAA 71-106)
Mar 2 – The West / Plains (NNAA 107-138)
Mar 4 – The Northwest (NNAA 208)
Mar 9 – TBA
Mar 11 – QUIZ #2


Mar 23 – Introduction and New Guinea (OA 9-58)
Mar 25 – Maori Art and the Body (OA 59-78, 99-114)    
Mar 30 – War, Symbolism, Power (OA 79-98, 115-130, 151-164)    
Apr 1 – Aboriginal Art (Caruna, AbA, 7-20, 101-161)
Apr 6 – QUIZ #3

Apr 8 – Intro to China (Mackenzie, Non-Western Art, 168-190)
Apr 13 – Intro to Japan (Mackenzie, Non-Western Art, 168-190)
Apr 15 – Buddhist Art (India, BA 11-85)
Apr 20 - Buddhist Art (China, BA 86-124)
Apr 22 - Buddhist Art (Korea and Japan/SE Asia, BA 125-203)
Apr 27 – Hindu Art (Introduction / Beginnings, HA 11-89)
Apr 29 - Hindu Art (Culmination, HA 44-132)
May 4 - Hindu Art (Revival, HA 89-195)
May 6 – QUIZ #4



AA - Frank Willett, African Art                                                NNAA - Janet C. Berlo and Ruth B. Phillips, Native North American Art 
OA - Nicholas Thomas, Oceanic Art                                       BA - Robert E. Fisher, Buddhist Art and Architecture 
HA - George Michell, Hindu Art and Architecture             AbA - Willy Caruana, Aboriginal Art 
NWA - Lynn Mackenzie, Non-Western Art: A Brief Guide