The foot of Michelangelo's David

…and to the second semester of World History of Art.




Hello everyone, welcome to ART F262X, History of World Art II.  My name is Allison Zhang and I will be your instructor this semester.  This course will introduce you to the styles, major figures, and masterpieces of art from the Renaissance to the art of the 20th century.  


Before we get into the details of this course I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself.  I’m a studio artist, instructor, and graduate student, currently enrolled in the Master’s program at the UAF Art Department.  Nature and landscapes are my favorite subjects.  Later in this semester I will have an art show in the UAF University Gallery, so hopefully I’ll get a chance to share some of my work with you this year.  I’m passionate about studio art, and I’m passionate about art history, so I am really looking forward to working with all of you this semester.


So, a little about this class… 


History of World Art II is an asynchronous course, which means you are able to complete the coursework for each week on your own schedule.  In an effort to make things a little more interesting, I have not filmed long lectures, nor will I ask you to virtually meet with me at a specific time.  Instead, the class is structured so that it echoes a virtual art museum and I have cast myself in the role of a museum curator. When you look at the course website, you will see the content is organized into museum wings. You can explore the wings to watch the introductory videos, and then go to a specific work of art to see annotated images and detailed information. Please note that this course was created by art historian Dr. Zoe Jones, so the introductory videos feature Dr. Jones and not me.  At the bottom of each page you will find videos, museum websites, blogs, magazine articles and other types of material. These links will serve as your textbook. As you are moving through the class I also encourage you to explore on your own – and if you find a great resource please either post it in the discussion forum in Slack, or email it to me so that I can add it to the course website.


Let’s go over some basics. 


The primary website for this class is this WordPress site. I will use Blackboard for announcements and grades but that is about it. The discussion forums will be hosted by Slack. If you haven’t used Slack before it is a collaboration tool that is easy to use for desktop or mobile, and makes discussion pretty seamless. You can either log in to Slack online or download the app to your phone or computer.  If you would like to use a pseudonym or nickname in the Slack discussions that is just fine – just be sure to let me know what that is so that I know who I am grading.  I will email everyone a list of instructions for using Slack at the beginning of this course.  Hopefully you will have already received an invitation to our Slack workspace by the time you watch this video.


The first assignment in this class requires you to create an introductory video. There are a number of tools that you can use to do this which are listed on the instruction page found under Course Documents. Because this is a class focused on visual material I would like you to use visuals to introduce yourself to me and the rest of the class. This does not mean that you need to include your face in your introduction – although you certainly can. For this assignment I want you to tell us a little bit about who you are (what you study, where you are from, and so on) Then I’d like you to talk about your experience and knowledge of art. Remember that this is an introductory class and prior knowledge is not at all a requirement. But if you have a favorite work of art or style then please share that. 


So let’s turn to the structure of the class.  Every week, starting on Monday, we will have a different subject to explore on the course website.  By the end of each week, two discussion questions will be due on Sunday evening. 


Throughout the semester you will each write me three grant proposals.  There are full instructions on these proposals on our website under course documents, and I will describe the assignment in more detail in a few weeks.  These proposals will take the place of more traditional exams.  Essentially you will discover a work of art that isn’t already on display in our virtual museum, and write a short paper explaining the importance of the work and why it deserves to be included. 


Near the end of the semester, you will also complete a final project requiring that you recreate a historical work of art with your own personal flair.  And don’t worry, skill is not a factor in this assignment, I just find that physically engaging with a particular work of art can help us to better understand it.  I prefer the final for an introductory course like this to be fun and engaging.


So to briefly recap, you will be graded on four things throughout this class: the introductory video, weekly discussion forum posts, grant proposals, and the final project.  Take a moment to look at the grading information on our syllabus to see the percentage breakdown for each assignment.  I know you will have questions about these assignments but please read through the instructions for each on the course website and let me know if you have additional questions after that.  My contact info is also listed on the syllabus if there’s anything else I can help you with.


That’s about it for the introduction; I am really excited about this semester and getting to know all of you. I’m always looking for ways to make this course more successful and effective, so if you have any suggestions or comments for me, you’re always welcome to reach out.  Thanks everyone, see you on the discussion boards!