Undergraduate Courses + Graduate Seminars


In this survey, limited primarily to western art produced between the sixteenth century in Italy and the twentieth century in the United States, we will collaboratively engage in a selective overview of art created in a range of media. The relation between art and politics will constitute our principal concern. Together we will ask how art has acted as an object of cultural capital investment, asserting the social power of the patron, who pays for it, or asserted the authority of the artist, who might offer critiques of society through their work. We’ll be especially interested when we find evidence of both.

Ultimately, careful looking and conscientious thinking represents the basis of beginning to think across art and politics. I intend this course to offer students the opportunity catalyze this work. 

Check out the syllabus: here

Rembrandt_Night Watch.jpg


In this seminar, we will endeavor to explore methods and critical theory associated with the relatively recent emergence of the interdisciplinary field of the Environmental Humanities. Our work will center on understanding what the Environmental Humanities offers, in general, for situating artistic production with the broader frame of the earth system. Importantly, we will also collaborate to understand what challenges and potential correctives the discipline of Art History might offer the Environmental Humanities. 


I will provide the texts in social theory and philosophy that will comprise the majority of our shared reading. However, students will curate the artworks that act as the primary basis of our discussions. The purpose is that we will together see how the relation of artistic production and ecological issues become inflected through our fields and interests.

Check out the syllabus: here.


Nineteenth-Century Art: Critical Global Histories

This course concerns the visual culture, art, architecture, and urbanism of the nineteenth century. Our emphasis will be on three cities: Paris, France; London, England; and Lagos, Nigeria. The central artistic practices studied in the course are those of Jacques-Louis David and Gustave Courbet in Paris; William Blake in London; and Olowe of Ise and William Cole in Lagos. Modes and tactics of aesthetic resistance to the reorganization of urban spaces along the axes of “Global North” cities of London and Paris will serve as a principle focus, as well as engagement with Lagos as a “Global South” capital in West Africa. Core themes include the emergence of public art, art of the state, radical artistic production, and new image technologies. The course will also examine possibilities of turning the artistic modes and languages of a colonizer as a mode of resistance in an Anglophone West African context. A unique feature of the course will be precisely its global focus, which will allow students to challenge Eurocentric constructions of modernism in both current coursework and future engagement.

Check out the syllabus: here.

Nkanga_The Limits of Mapping.jpg