Spring 2020

MA Seminar Current Discourses in Global Art History: The World on Display – Ethnographic Museums and Debating Relationships (1860-2020)

Bodenstein FS2020
Ethnographic collections in the Iziko South African Museum, Photo Felicity Bodenstein, 2017.

Lecturer: Dr. Felicity Bodenstein

Teaching assistant: Ronja Oki B.A.

Block seminar: April 3rd-4th; May 8th-9th, May 15th-16th and 18th 

This course will trace an arc from the creation and development of collections in colonial contexts to the critique and reform of these institutions as part of different post-colonial and/or decolonial movements. In doing so it will highlight the important role that museums in the former settler colonies, Canada, North America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand have played in developing and implementing new approaches to the display of ethnographic collections in particular since the 1970s, reversing the directionality of the European museum model as an institutional export. The visual study of display will lead us to the history of some important problems that museums face today and the terms and concepts that are used to describe these challenges, i.e. “the Other”, “the relational museum”, “restitution”, “source communities” etc.

MA Seminar Transcultural Methods and Postcolonial Theories

Lecturer: Laura Valterio M. A.

Teaching assistant: Sarah Rageth B.A. 

Friday, 14:00-15:45

The seminar reconsiders the historical development of transcultural and postcolonial approaches in the history of art by testing the epistemological potential of some of their central concepts and methodologies. Its aim is to provide a theoretical framework to understand visual phenomena that require exploration within a transregional perspective, according to social and geo-dynamics (center-periphery, hegemony-marginality), the mobility of people and objects (artists’ travels, objects biographies, migration, tourism), forms of identity-construction (otherness, alterity, exoticism) and processes of cultural transfer (hybridity, mestizaje, mimicry). 

Some of the lectures will take place in open form. Experts about different topics and geographic contexts will discuss their research material as well as key concepts of postcolonial and transcultural thinking with the participants. All students of the Institute of Art History are warmly invited to join the lectures.

Due to the protective measures actually in force at the University of Zurich the open lectures will now take place online. Please join the group through this link: Transcultural Methods and Postcolonial Theories


Transculturation, Appropriation, Mestizaje. The Case of Latin America

Lecture with Dr. Matthijs Jonker (KNIR)

Friday, April 3rd 2020, 2:00 PM


The Experience of Dislocation: Migration, Diaspora, Exile

Lecture with Virginia Marano (University of Zurich)

Friday, April 24th 2020, 2:00 PM


Postocolonial National Identity. "Algeria Unveiled"

Lecture with Dr. Dominique Laleg (Istituto Svizzero di Roma)

Friday, May 22th 2020, 2:00 PM


Behind the Scenes of Global Enviromentalism

Visit to George Steinmann's Atelier in bern

Friday, May 29th 2020 postpone to a new date

To participate please contact laura.valterio@uzh.ch


Reading List and Oral Exam: Elements of Art History in a Global Context

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Tristan Weddigen

Elements of Art History in a Global Context is a mandatory self-study module that builds the methodological basis for the Art in a Global Context teaching program. Students have access to a corpus of digitized texts online. These cover a relevant choice of approaches, terms and questions concerning a wide chronological and geographical range of artistic phenomena that students will encounter in their studies. The knowledge acquired is examined at the end of the semester in an oral exam carried out by Prof. Weddigen.

Research Colloquium

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Tristan Weddigen

The research colloquium is the forum for presenting and discussing the current research undertaken by master's students, doctoral candidates and postdocs at the Chair for the History of Early Modern Art and by master's students of the Art in a Global Context program.

Elective Module: Lecture: Zeitgenössische Kunst aus Afrika seit 1950

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Bärbel Küster

Tuesday, 16:15-18:00

Elective Module: Lecture: Rezeptionen von Holzschnittdrucken: Hiroshige und Hokusai

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Hans Bjarne Thomsen

Friday, 12:15-13:45

Elective Module: Lecture: Performing Human Rights: Art Practices in Contemporary Latin America

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Liliana Gómez

Wednesday, 12:15-13:45