Immersive Virtual Worlds

Spring 2020

ISS | VMS 270S

Augustus Wendell

W 10:05am-12:35pm | Perkins LINK 072 (Classroom 6)

Theory, practice, and creation of 3D virtual worlds. Hands-on design and development of online collaborative simulation environments. Introduction to graphics workflow for creating virtual world media assets. Critical exploration of state-of-the-art virtual world technologies; 3D graphics, chat, voice, video, and mixed reality systems. Topics include: history/culture of virtual worlds, identity and avatars; behavioral norms; self-organizing cultures; user-generated content, virtual world economies; architectural scalability.

Course Attributes:

(STS) Science, Technology, and Society

The Bauhaus

Spring 2020


Paul Jaskot

M 3:20-5:55pm | Smith Warehouse, Bay 10, A266

This seminar analyzes the history of the Bauhaus, from its roots in Weimar Germany to its impact on framing post World War II international Modernism. It covers major scholarship on Modernism, architecture, and design as well as central questions of twentieth-century art and politics. Grounded in the foundation and activity of the school in Germany after World War I, the seminar will also cover the spread of Bauhaus ideas, faculty, and students internationally including in Japan, Turkey, the United States, and on both sides of the Cold War.

Venice as Urban Spectacle

Fall 2019


Kristin L. Huffman

Th 11:45am-2:15 | Smith, Bay 11, A233

Venice was a city unlike any in the world. Floating in the middle of a lagoon, the built and natural environments interlaced, making a magical impression on the many tourists who arrived from all over the world. This was especially true for seventeenth and eighteenth-century visitors who would arrive for Carnival and other festivities as part of the Grand Tour. At such moments, all the city became a stage—the greatest drawing room in Europe. This course considers how the city’s self-fashioned image reinforced its status as a world apart. In particular, through spectacles and ritual public display, a myth of Venice was promoted that attracted a steady flow of visitors arriving to the city from the Early Modern period onward to the present day. How then do we separate the idea of Venice as an urban phenomenon with the notion of Venice as urban spectacle or more recently, Venice as a museum? In addition to providing a strong art historical foundation, this course will introduce digital tools that permit students to interrogate the historical context in new ways through narrative and/or 3D visualizations.

Codes: ALP, CZ, CCI

Art and the Holocaust

Fall 2019


Paul Jaskot

Th 10:05am-12:25pm | Smith, Bay 9, A290

This course will analyze the history of the genocide of the European Jews, and its connection to antisemitic art and cultural policy during the Nazi period. With a sound understanding of the development of oppressive policies against the Jews, and looking at a variety of media (painting, architecture, film, photography, design), the course will explore the complicated relationship between developing racist policies and the world war as they impacted and were in turn influenced by artists. Examines not only artists involved in the Nazi state, but also those who resisted in exile or were its victims.

Codes: ALP, CZ, EI, CCI

3D Modeling & Animation

Spring 2014


Raquel Salvatella de Prada

WF 10:05-11:20 am Smith Warehouse 228

This course introduces the basic concepts of 3D modeling and animation using 3D software Autodesk Maya. Preliminary sketches, concepts and designs precede every project. Polygon and Nurbs modeling, texture mapping, lighting, and rendering are covered as well as 3D printing and animation. Animations skills are strengthened by the study of motion and traditional animation techniques. A final project allows students to experiment and creatively combine the acquired skills.

3D Design & Programming in Art & Medicine

Spring 2014

VMS 590S/ECE 590

Mark Olson, Mariano Tepper

W 1:25 pm-3:55 pm Wired Lab, Smith Warehouse

This co-taught course (AAVHS and Electrical/Computer Engineering) will pair engineers and computer scientists with students from history, media studies and other humanities disciplines to create gesture-based interactive displays that will actively engage the public with art. The goal of the course is to design interactive digital displays for an exhibition of the medieval collection (Brummer Collection) of the Nasher Museum in 2015.

A Cultural Analysis of Ghettos


Paul Jaskot

TU 6:15-8:45PM | Smith, Bay 9, A290

This seminar explores the cultural and spatial history of the Ghetto. From its origins in Venice through the spread of ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe to the segregation of African-American populations in Chicago, specific spaces have been designated as ghettos. This designation has had an impact on the social understanding of architectural form, but it has also generated many cultural responses in material culture, art, photography, film, and other media. The course will explore the cultural understanding of the ghetto with a specific emphasis on the Jewish ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe but with a comparative look at Venice and Chicago. Interested students may also contribute a digital project as part of their final paper contribution to this course.

The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Athens

ARTHIST 208 | CLST 248

Sheila Dillon

Nikos Gkiokas

MW 11:45am - 1:00pm | Smith Warehouse, Bay 11, Rm A233, Wired! Lab

Athens was one of the great cities of antiquity.  As the place in which democracy, philosophy, and the theater were born, it is foundational for understanding much of the development of the western world. With its unusually rich surviving material and literary record, it forms an ideal setting in which to explore relationships of ancient to modern, landscape to built-scape, material to literary record amongst others.  This course, team-taught by professors at both Duke University and The American College of Greece-Deree, will use the Classical through Roman visible physical remains of Athens as a focus to explore the changing face of the city through in-class and cross-continent reading and debate, digital creation and on-site exploration.  Teamwork between students in Greece and the US will be a major component of the course. Students will learn to manage and present information with Omeka and Neatline.

NB: The course includes a mandatory, full-funded trip to Athens during Spring Break. The enrollment cap is therefore set to 10. Preference will be given to sophomores and juniors, and to those students interested in learning digital visualization tools.

Students on site, spring break 2017:









Art & Archaeology of Ancient Athens

Spring 2020 | Spring 2014

ARTHIST 208 | CLST 248-01


Timothy Shea

TTh 8:30-9:45am | Smith Warehouse, Bay 9, A290

Monuments, archaeology, art, and topography of ancient Athens from the Archaic to the Roman period. Examination of the physical remains of the city and countryside to trace the development of one of the most important city-states in the Greek world and to understand its impact on western civilization. Case study in understanding the role of archaeology in reconstructing the life and culture of the Athenians.

Instructor Consent Required

Class Attributes:

(CCI) Cross Cultural Inquiry
Cross-listed in another department
(ALP) Arts, Literature & Performance
(CZ) Civilizations

View a previous student project from this course: Commercial Architecture in the Athenian Agora and Port Cities.


The Art & Archeaology of Ancient Athens

Art in Renaissance Italy

Spring 2021 | Spring 2016

ARTHIST 255-01 | MEDREN 225-01 | ITALIAN 386-01

Kristin Huffman

M 1:45-4:15PM Online

This course focuses on the art and culture of Renaissance Italy, beginning in the early 15th century with the groundbreaking sculpture of Ghiberti and Donatello and concluding at the end of the 16th century with the monumental projects of urban renewal in Rome. The class considers a range of artists, some well known such as Michelangelo and Titian, others less studied but who also made significant contributions to the period. An understanding of emerging Renaissance artistic ideals and a modern attitude to art is central to the subject; additionally, this class seeks to develop an awareness of the many ways in which Renaissance spectators experienced art and architecture. By opening up the Renaissance to varied perceptions and interpretative frameworks, this class moves beyond common generalizations of Renaissance individualism or Renaissance rebirth. To do this, a range of topics and issues will be explored that include important, yet at times overlooked themes in a survey course: public versus private display, “high and low” art (painting, sculpture, architecture vs. textiles, glass, ceramics, furniture), visual imagery used both to promote and subvert politically driven propaganda, foreign communities and foreign artists, women as both patrons and practitioners, centers and peripheries (cosmopolitan versus “provincial” art).

Course Attributes:

(CCI) Cross Cultural Inquiry
Cross-listed in another department
(ALP) Arts, Literature & Performance
(CZ) Civilizations