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Fall 2015

ARTS 4391-01: Asian Art

Dr. Fischer, Assistant Professor of Art History

Department of Art, College of Fine Arts and Communication, Lamar University
Classroom: Dishman 101
Class Time: Tuesday/Thursday 9:35-10:55
Office: Dishman 202A
Office Hours: Tuesdays 11-1 and by appointment
Office Phone: 409-880-7784 (the best way to contact me is via email)
Course prerequisites for ARTS 4391 include ARTS 1303, ARTS 1304, and ARTS 2305, all three
with a letter grade of C or better. Art majors are required to follow the prescribed sequence of
courses. The letter grade C will be the minimum prerequisite grade for continuing studio
courses in sequence.
ARTS 4391 is an introductory survey to the art of Asia, focusing on three regional areas: 1)
South and Southeast Asia; 2) China; and 3) Japan. By examining characteristic works of art
from each tradition, we will not only discuss distinctive artistic styles, forms, and aesthetics of
each region but also the mutual influences that motivated the creation of these works.
As contextualization of visual culture is a primary methodological approach of this class, we will
discuss the works of art within their cultural contexts examining closely the political, social,
religious, and economic spheres that helped define the direction of the visual arts in Asia.
You will be expected to show an introductory understanding of the three regional units.
Specifically, you will be expected to:
Recognize and identify major monuments of the three artistic traditions discussed in
this class.
Recognize the basic characteristic forms, style, and iconography of the art from the
periods we cover.
Utilize works of art to better understand the social, cultural, and economic realities of
the historical eras.
Use critical thinking skills in order to interpret, analyze, and assess works of art based
upon formal concerns, iconography, and historical context.
Improve visual literacy and to employ art historical terms.
Be able to demonstrate the ways in which these monuments function within their
cultural, historical, religious, and economic contexts
Assess and evaluate the mutual influences between the visual art of Asia

Asian Art - Fall 2015

Dorinda Neave, Lara Blanchard, and Marika Sardar, Asian Art, 2015 (Pearson)
The reading assignments are listed in the Class Schedule. However, lectures always include
additional information that you will be expected to know on your exams. In other words, the
book is by no means a substitute for attending class.
This course has a Blackboard component which can be accessed through your https:// account. On Blackboard, there are links to required readings and essential
materials such as the syllabus, handouts, powerpoints, assignment dropbox, and
announcements. Any changes to the schedule will be announced in class and/or via email.
You are responsible for checking your Lamar email account AND Blackboard on a regular
Your grade will be based on FIVE weighted evaluations:
Exams (3): 45%
Attendance and Participation: 10%
First Draft of Research Paper: 10%
Final Draft of Research Paper: 15%
5.) !
Presentation: 20%
The grading scale I employ is a traditional 100% system: A = 90-100%, B = 80-89%, C =
70-79%, D = 60-69%, F = 59% and below. All of your grades will be posted on Blackboard.
Three exams will be given in this course (see Class Schedule for the dates). Study guides
will be posted on Blackboard about a week prior to the exam. The exams are not cumulative.
That is, each exam only covers the information from that part of the course. However, be aware
that in this field the student is building up a comprehensive set of ideas that must be brought to
bear on any given exam. Thus concepts and vocabulary will be in use and tested throughout
the semester. Exams will consist of some or all of the following: slide identification, slide
comparisons, long essays, terms, and unknowns.
There will be no make-up exams unless an extremely unusual circumstance prevents you from
taking the testand even then only if you have contacted me before the test and can provide
appropriate documentation. If you are granted and excused an absence for the exam (due to
serious illness, for example, or a car accident or death in the family), the make-up exam will be
a different format than the regular exams. It is your responsibility to request and make an
appointment for a make-up exam if you are granted an excused absence. Students who miss
an exam without being excused will receive a zero.
This course also requires you to write a short 5-6 page research paper on an Asian art object
or topic not covered extensively in class. A list of possible objects and topics will be posted on
Blackboard, though you can certainly choose from outside the list. More instructions on this
assignment will be given in class. 10% or your grade will be the First Draft of your Research
Paper. Your Final Draft of your research paper is worth 15%. Both the first and final the draft
and must be 5-6 pages of complete text with all sources cited according to the Chicago Manual

Asian Art - Fall 2015

of Style. Images, footnotes, and bibliography are required and do not count toward the pages of
On November 3, each student will present a short lecture on a work of Korean art from Chapter
11 of the textbook. This presentation, along with the materials submitted to the professor, are
worth 20% of your grade. These materials include presentation notes, outline and bibliography,
and PowerPoint of the presentation. More instructions will be posted on Blackboard.
LATE WORK POLICY: Students are expected to submit all work at the specified times. For
every day that the First Draft or Final Draft is late, 15% of the assignment grade will be
subtracted. For example, a paper that would have received a 100 would receive a 85, and so
Finally, Attendance and Participation are worth 10% of your overall final grade. Throughout
the semester, you are expected to participate in class discussions. Attendance is crucial to your
success in the course. The following Department of Art policies apply to missed classes. Three
unexcused absences will automatically result in a lowered letter grade. After that, the course
letter grade will be lowered half a letter grade for each additional absence. Please be advised of
the following Department of Art policies apply to missed classes: three absences will
automatically result in a lowered letter grade. After that, the course letter grade will be
lowered half a letter grade for each additional absence. Students will be marked present if
present at time of attendance taking, marked tardy if attending the class late but within the first
half of the class, and absent if arrival is after class midpoint or student is not present. Two
tardies are the equivalent of an absence.
A student absent on the day of scheduled
presentation/exam or other in-class work, or who fails to present on the day of scheduled
presentation/exam or other in-class work while in attendance without prior instructor approval for
rescheduling his/her presentation/exam or other in-class work WILL NOT be granted the
privilege of rescheduling.
Be aware that sleeping in class will translate to a day of absence. Please take note that
talking, note-passing, texting and checking your phone, using your laptop for anything except
taking notes, will all negatively affect your participation grade. If the instructor catches a student
using the internet during class, that will equal a day of absence. Class time is not time to
check facebook, email, and do work for other classes! Also, you must first get permission
from the instructor to use your laptop during class.
IMPORTANT DATES: Mark these in your planner immediately!
Exam 1: 9/29
Exam 2: 10/29
Exam 3: 12/8
First Draft of Research Paper: 11/5
Final Draft of Research Paper: 12/1
Presentations: 11/3
Last day to drop or withdraw from the course WITHOUT academic penalty: 9/28
Last day to drop or withdraw from the course WITH academic penalty: 11/9


Asian Art - Fall 2015

You are expected to arrive on time and not disturb those around you with private chatter, doing
work for other classes, answering cell phone calls, texting, or playing games. No eating or
drinking in the classrooms. All cell phones must be turned completely off when you enter the
classroom. Students who participate in disruptive and inappropriate behaviors will be asked to
leave the class. If you intend to take notes on your laptop, please respect the decorum of the
classroom by not working on other assignments or playing games, updating your facebook
status, etc. This is disrespectful not only to the professor but especially to those around you
who are engaged in the class. Falling asleep, surfing the internet, disrupting class, and
disrespectful behavior towards the class or the instructor will negatively affect your final grade.

All students are expected to familiarize themselves with all university policies pertaining to
academic performance and conduct. As stated in the Lamar Student Handbook, all students
should maintain complete honesty and integrity in their academic experiences. In this course,
disciplinary action will be brought against any student found guilty of academic dishonesty
including, but not limited to, cheating on an examination or other academic work to be
submitted, plagiarism, collusion, and the abuse of resource materials. Cheating, plagiarism,
collusion, and the abuse of resource materials are defined on page 82 of the Student
Handbook. In addition, by University policy, a student cannot avoid any penalty for cheating set
forth by the instructor in a course syllabus by dropping the course. Procedures for disciplinary
action due to academic dishonesty shall be the same as in other violations of the Student Code
of Conduct (see Student Handbook) except that all academic dishonesty cases shall first be
considered and reviewed by the faculty member. The process of appeal is located in the
Student Handbook available online.
The course instructor will complete a thorough and impartial investigation of any instance of
academic dishonesty. A student found guilty of academic dishonesty will be notified in writing by
the instructor of the violation, the penalty, and the students right to appeal the determination of
dishonesty and/or the sanction imposed. Penalties for academic dishonesty in this course will
result in either a lowered letter grade or failure of the course as determined by the instructor.
Any occurrences of cheating and/or plagiarism will be prosecuted to the fullest extent
Disability Resource Center (DRC)
Lamar University is committed to providing equitable access to learning opportunities for all
students. The Disability Resource Center (DRC) is located in the Communications building room
105. Office staff collaborate with students who have disabilities to provide and/or arrange
reasonable accommodations. If you have, or think you may have, a disability (e.g., mental
health, attentional, learning, chronic health, sensory, or physical), please contact the DRC at
409-880-8347 or to arrange a confidential appointment with the Director of the
DRC to explore possible options regarding equitable access and reasonable accommodations.
If you are registered with DRC and have a current letter requesting reasonable
accommodations, we encourage you to contact your instructor early in the semester to review
how the accommodations will be applied in the course.
Many types of emergencies can occur on campus; instructions for severe weather or violence/
active shooter, fire, or chemical release can be found at:
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Following are procedures for the first two:

Follow the directions of the instructor or emergency personnel.

Seek shelter in an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor, putting as many walls

possible between you and the outside.

If you are in a multi-story building, and you cannot get to the lowest floor, pick a
hallway in

the center of the building.

Stay in the center of the room, away from exterior walls, windows, and doors.
CALL - 8-3-1-1 from a campus phone (880-8311 from a cell phone).
AVOID - if possible, self-evacuate to a safe area outside of the building. Follow the
directions of police officers.
DENY - Barricade the door with desks, chairs, bookcases, or any other items. Move to
a place inside the room where you are not visible. Turn off the lights and remain quiet.
Remain in side there until told by police it is safe.
DEFEND - Use chairs, desks, cell phones, or whatever is immediately available to
distract and/or defend yourself and others from attack.
In the event of campus closure and evacuation due to a hurricane or other disaster, this course
will continue in an online format until campus reopens. After four days of closure (for evacuation
and relocation), please login to the courses page on Blackboard for class instructions. Lamar
will communicate through Blackboard, your official Lamar email address, and the university
webpage ( These efforts will allow you to complete the course and semester
on time.
IMPORTANT: An impending graduation date or scholarship which requires the maintenance of
a particular GPA, or the GPA requirement for admission to an academic program of study will
not earn you a passing grade in this course. While it does seem to be the trend nowadays,
there will be no negotiation of changing a final grade you will meet with no success. I
do not give grades your grade will be evaluated solely on the scores you earn on your
exams and assignments. While I am happy to meet with you to help you find ways to improve
your scores, do not wait until the end of term to contact me as this will almost certainly be
too late. If you believe I have made a mistake in my calculations, please contact me, and I will
be happy to review your grade.
This syllabus is an agreement between the professor and student to respectively provide and
complete a worthy learning experience. By remaining a registered student in this course, the
student has identified their understanding of the obligations set forth in this syllabus for
satisfactory completion of the course.

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Lecture Topic/
Assignments Due

Required Readings


Introduction to the Course

The Beginning of Indian Art: 2500-185 BCE

Neave Introduction, pp. xiixxiii

Neave Chapter 1, pp. 3-8


Buddhist Art Part I

Neave Chapter 1, pp. 9-21


Buddhist Art Part II

Neave Chapter 1, pp. 9-21


Hindu Art and Architecture Part I

Neave Chapter 2, pp.



Hindu Art and Architecture Part II

Neave Chapter 2, pp.



Mughal Painting

Naeve Chapter 3, pp.



Mughal Architecture

Naeve Chapter 3, pp.



British and Modern India

Neave Chapter 4, pp.



The Art of Southeast Asia

Neave Chapter 5, pp.



Catch-Up/Screening: History Channel

Documentary, The Taj Mahal




China and the Art of the Tomb

Neave Chapter 6, pp.



Buddhist Art and Architecture in China

Naeve Chapter 7 (sections

covering Buddhist art)


Art in the Court Part I

Naeve Chapter 7 (sections

covering painting)


Art in the Court Part II

Naeve Chapter 8, pp.


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Lecture Topic/
Assignments Due

Required Readings


The Ming and Qing Dynasties

Neave Chapter 9, pp.



A Century in Crisis: 20th Century Chinese Art

Neave Chapter 10, pp.











Naeve Chapter 11, pp.



The Birth of Japan: The Jmon and Yayoi

Periods and the Kofun Era

Neave Chapter 12, pp.



DUE BY 11:59PM

Japanese Buddhist Art and Architecture Part


Neave Chapter 12, pp.



Japanese Buddhist Art and Architecture Part

II (The Nara and Heian periods)

Neave Chapter 13, pp.



Feudal Japan: Kamakura, Muromachi, and

Momoyama Periods

Neave Chapter 14, pp.



Peace and Stability in Later Feudal Times:

The Tokugawa or Edo Period

Neave Chapter 15,



Screening: Every Picture Tells a Story:

Hokusais Great Wave off Kanagawa




Modern Japanese Art and the Meiji State:

Nihonga vs. Yga painting

Neave Chapter 215, pp.



DUE BY 11:59PM

EXAM 3: 9-10:30 in our classroom

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