Where Should Art History Go in the Future?

The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is discussed in Karl Whittington’s lecture on Islamic architecture. MORITZ WOLF/IMAGEBROKER/SHUTTERSTOCK
Curricular changes rarely make headlines even in the confines of a college town, but after Yale University’s art history department announced plans to revamp its introductory survey courses with global offerings less focused on Europe and the United States, the news prompted a national outcry. As reported by the Yale Daily News this past January in a story that spread far and wide, the long-standing course “Introduction to Art History: Renaissance to the Present” would be replaced by a selection of thematic classes: “Art and Politics,” “Global Craft,” “The Silk Road,” and “Sacred Places.” The “Introduction to Art History” would return in a revised form, the department said, and the “Renaissance to the Present” would still be covered—just not altogether in an exclusive introduction to the field. [More