This course examines the rich heritage of African arts and architecture as they shape and have been shaped by the histories and cultural values (social, political, religious, philosophical, and aesthetic) of African peoples, both past and present, on the continent where humanity — and art — began. Topics include: artists and creative process; an historical overview of five major traditions (26,000 BCE to 1900 CE); textiles, decorative, and body arts; architecture; and contemporary expressions. Museum visits, artists’ demonstrations, and films supplement the course. Requirements: 1 short paper (analysis of an African art object); mid-term exam; 2 Africa-related event reviews; and final exam. All readings online. Extra-credit arts-related projects encouraged – African arts festival concludes semester.
Art History/Afro-American Studies 241: Introduction to African Art & Architecture
L140 Conrad A. Elvehjem Building
About the Instructor
Evjue-Bascom Professor Henry John Drewal has taught African and African Diaspora arts at UW-Madison since 1991. A Distinguished Teaching Award recipient, Professor Drewal apprenticed himself to a Yoruba sculptor and Moroccan blacksmiths, experiences that transformed his life and brought him to the field of African arts.