Cynthia Packert

Christian A. Johnson Professor of History of Art

 
 work802.443.5232
 Spring Term 2016- Tuesday 3:00-4:00 p.m., Wednesday 2:00-4:00 p.m., and by appointment
 Mahaney Center for the Arts 123

Cynthia Packert is the Christian A. Johnson Professor in the History of Art and Architecture.  She teaches courses on all aspects of Asian and Islamic art, with a particular focus on India. She received her PhD from Harvard University in 1988, and has been teaching at Middlebury College since 1989. She is the author of The Sculpture of Medieval Rajasthan (E.J. Brill, 1997) and several articles on Indian art and iconography. Her research focuses on the visual culture of Hinduism, and she has also published The Art of Loving Krishna: Ornamentation and Devotion (Indiana University Press, 2010).  Her current project is focused on new Hindu temples in India and the North American diaspora, with special attention on the BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu community. 

 

 

 
MiddTags:

Courses

Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

FYSE1399 - The Ramayana      

The Ramayana/: A Tale of Love, Valor, and Duty*
The Ramayana (‘Journey of Rama”) is an ancient, yet still powerfully relevant, Hindu epic that narrates the story of Prince Rama, a divinely human avatar (descent) of the cosmic deity Vishnu. Rama’s ultimate destiny is to triumph over evil, but his victory is fraught with moral dilemmas about fate, loyalty, duty, gender relationships, the definition of an ideal man and ideal woman, and the conflict between good and evil. Close readings, analysis, and discussions of the epic will be augmented with imagery drawn from different media, both historical and contemporary. Connections will be made to contemporary politics and social issues. 3 hrs. sem. AAL ART CW

Fall 2013, Spring 2014

More Information »

HARC0102 - Monuments and Ideas/Asian Art      

Monuments and Ideas in Asian Art*
This course is an introduction to the study of Asian art history through an investigation of selected art works, considered individually and in broader contexts. This course chronicles the evolution in painting, sculpture, and architecture, and other media of Asia. It is designed for those who wish to build a broad acquaintance with the major works and ideas of Asian art in their historical settings and to develop tools for understanding these works of art as aesthetic objects and bearers of meaning for the societies, group, or individuals that produced them. Registration priority given to first and second year students. 2 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.. AAL ART CMP HIS

Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015

More Information »

HARC0204 - Approaches to Islamic Art      

Approaches to Islamic Art
A survey of major expressions of Islamic art from the inception of Islam to the present, from all parts of the Islamic world. This is not a traditional survey; rather, it focuses on key monuments and important examples of portable and decorative arts: mosques, tombs, palaces, manuscript illumination, calligraphy, metalwork, textiles, ceramics, etc. We will consider their meanings and functions in their respective socio-historical contexts, and we will also analyze the impact of patronage and region. We will try to understand what general principles unify the richness and diversity of Islamic art: what is Islamic about Islamic art? Finally, we will address the issue of contemporary Islamic art. (No prerequisites). 3 hrs. lect. AAL ART

Spring 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2016

More Information »

HARC0227 - Indian Painting      

Poetry, Piety and Power: Indian Painting 1200-Present
This course considers the history, context, style, and significance of a broad spectrum of Indian painting traditions. We will look closely at Jaina and Hindu religious illustrations, the evocative courtly and religious imagery from the Rajput and other regional kingdoms, the extraordinarily refined and naturalistic Mughal imagery, the influence of colonialism, and the development of modern and contemporary works. 3 hrs. lect. AAL ART HIS

Spring 2015

More Information »

HARC0264 - Art Change Global Environment      

Art, Change, and the Global Environment
As threats to the global environment become ever more urgent, visual artists are increasingly addressing issues such as climate change, depleting resources, recycling, pollution, political tension, and social identity. In this course we will explore the rich and tenuous relationship among art, change, and the global environment by focusing on recent creative developments in Africa and India. We will work with a visiting exhibition, "Environment and Object: Recent African Art" at the Middlebury College Museum of Art, and will consider artistic developments in India aimed at rehabilitating the environment while affecting social change. AAL ART

Spring 2012

More Information »

HARC0318 - Mughal Art      

Imperial Splendor: the Art and Architecture of India's Mughal Empire
The Mughal empire, founded by a new dynasty of Muslim rulers, claimed control over much of north India in the 16th century. Under their dominance, new forms of art and architecture flourished. In this seminar we will critically explore such topics as: the style and symbolism of Mughal art and architecture; the influence of Persian and Indian Rajput visual forms; the biographies and ambitions of the Mughal rulers; the role of women in the Mughal court; and the interactions between Muslim and Hindu visual cultures, as well as the important contributions made by European art. We will pay special attention to how art and architecture played a central role in imperial self-definition and the construction of a specialized Mughal history, placing those works in their political, social, and cultural contexts. 3 hrs. lect. AAL ART HIS

Spring 2015

More Information »

HARC0321 / RELI0321 - Tibetan Buddhist Art      

The Art of Tibetan Buddhism
In this course we will explore the fascinating imagery of Tibetan Buddhist art, with special attention paid to the rich visual language of tangkas—devotional paintings on cloth of Buddhas, Buddhist deities, spiritual teachers (lamas), and cosmic diagrams (mandalas)— which were used as aids for visualization and meditation. Topics will include the history of Tibet, the growth of Tibetan Buddhist sects, and the development of distinctive stylistic and iconographic characteristics as seen in tangkas, religious sculpture, ritual implements, and monastic architecture. This course will be offered in conjunction with a visiting exhibition of Tibetan tangkas at the Middlebury College Art Museum. 3 hrs. sem./3 hrs. screening. AAL ART HIS

Fall 2014

More Information »

HARC0347 - Aesthetics of Asian Art      

The Aesthetics of Asian Art: Is Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder?
In this course we will consider select Asian (Indian, Chinese, Japanese) and Islamic artworks in the Middlebury College Museum of Art’s permanent collection to explore the fundamental question: “Is beauty in the eye of the beholder?” Are standards in beauty universal, or are they always relative? We will ask how the act of beholding is entwined with cultural assumptions and conditioning and will address those assumptions through an intensive combination of close looking, critical analysis, and comparative consideration of a diverse range of artworks and aesthetic traditions. Comparisons will be made with select works of Western art in the museum. 3 hrs. lect./disc. AAL ART CMP

Spring 2016

More Information »

HARC0510 - Advanced Studies      

Advanced Studies
Supervised independent work in art history, museum studies, or architectural studies. (Approval Required)

Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017

More Information »

HARC0540 - Independent Museum Studies      

Supervised Independent Work in Museum Studies
This practicum builds upon the Museum Assistants Program (MAP), the hands-on museum education program at the Middlebury College Museum of Art. In MAP, the Curator of Education trains students to conduct tours of the Museum’s permanent collection and of special exhibitions for audiences of peers, school groups, and the general public. Combining service learning with the opportunity to both support and learn more about the arts, students gain expertise in public speaking, art history, and public programming. HARC 0540 should be taken concurrently with the second semester of MAP. The class will culminate with a public presentation on a museum-related topic evaluated by a faculty member of the Department of History of Art & Architecture. (Approval required)

Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016

More Information »

HARC0710 - Senior Thesis Research Seminar      

Senior Thesis Research Seminar
In this course students will conceive, undertake research, and plan the organization of their senior thesis in art history or senior museum studies projects. Seminar discussions and workshops will focus on research strategies, conventions in art historical writing, project design, and public presentation skills. (HARC 0301; Approval Required) 3 hr. sem.

Fall 2015

More Information »

HARC0711 - SNR Thesis: Research/Writing      

Senior Thesis: Research and Writing
This course is a continuation of HARC 0710 which consists of ongoing, supervised independent research, plus organizing, writing and presenting a senior thesis. (HARC 0301 and HARC 0710).

Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Winter 2015, Winter 2016

More Information »

HARC1009 - Bollywood and Beyond      

Bollywood and Beyond: Topics and Themes in Indian Cinema
Bollywood, the term given to the Indian film industry juggernaut in Bombay, India, has gained an avid following of millions of viewers world-wide. In this course we will provide a critical consideration of the history and development of the popular Indian film industry. We will focus on such topics as the ideas and ideals of Indian art and visuality, notions of gender, idealized beauty, caste, class, religion, social norms, globalism, modernity, nationalism, and fundamentalism. Films are subtitled and no knowledge of another language is expected. Lectures, discussion, and readings will accompany screenings. AAL ART WTR

Winter 2015

More Information »

Program in International and Global Studies

Robert A. Jones '59 House
148 Hillcrest Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753