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Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA 90263-0002)
Kristen Chiem (Project Director: September 2014 to June 2019)
NEH Enduring Questions Course on the Significance of Art

The development and teaching of a new first-year seminar on the role of art in diverse cultures.

Dr. Chiem will create a new first-year seminar to explore a plurality of approaches to the question, "What is the Significance of Art to Humanity?" Guided by extensive primary source readings from the history of art, literature, philosophy of aesthetics, cultural production, social history, religion, and anthropology, this course will engage a comparative perspective that explores the role of art in diverse cultures throughout history. Seven questions will anchor the course and allow for open-ended investigation of artworks from a range of theoretical perspectives, world traditions, and time periods. Museum visits will stimulate reflections and provide opportunities for application of readings and discussions. By exploring the origins and afterlives of artistic production throughout world history, this course will mediate the divide between Western and non-Western traditions and so deepen our understanding of the significance of art to humanity.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Art History and Criticism; Cultural Anthropology; Western Civilization

Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants

Education Programs

$21,977 (approved)
$19,014 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2015 – 4/30/2018