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CCOG for ART 204 Spring 2024

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Course Number:
ART 204
Course Title:
Global Art History: 65,000 BCE - 5th Century
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Explores art globally from about 65,000 BCE through the 5th century CE. Analyzes visual culture and the built environment to reveal social, religious, political, economic and technological changes in societies, recognizing the impact of art history on the world today. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Recognize and critique traditional approaches to art history, considering the way art history upholds racialized and gendered concepts of style, development, and civilization.
  • Explain how art is representative of the historical moment in which it was produced, acknowledging the interactions between social, religious, political, economic and technological factors.
  • Analyze the relationships between form, context, and meaning in visual communication utilizing a critical vocabulary.
  • Articulate the relationships between art made from 65,000 BCE through the 5th century, the history of visual culture, and world history to enhance civic and global engagement.
  • Apply insights gained from course content to visual culture encountered outside of the classroom.

Integrative Learning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to reflect on one’s work or competencies to make connections between course content and lived experience.

General education philosophy statement

Through the study of art history, students look closely at works of art and architecture, articulating the way elements of art are interrelated and considering how values and interpretations have changed over time. They critically analyze visual communication, work creatively with art historical data, use evidence to support arguments and assess the stakes of primary and secondary sources. They also analyze the relationships between art and its historical, cultural, social and political contexts. Art history enhances students’ engagement in contemporary global culture through a deeper understanding of history, which helps students recognize connections between the past and present and become more aware of their own vantage points.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment tools may include:

  • informal and formal responses to discussion questions

  • analysis and evaluation of reading assignments

  • visual and contextual analysis of art in writing assignments and exams

  • journals assessing learning in and out of the classroom

  • research projects resulting in papers or presentations

  • class field trips        

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  • Analyze and work creatively with art historical data, using it to better understand the history of art and visual culture.
  • Evaluate primary and secondary art historical sources, assessing their stakes and motives.
  • Assess the ways in which art is impacted by the viewer’s vantage point.
  • Articulate the relationship between art and its historical, social and political context.
  • Recognize and differentiate various styles of art and evaluate how values and interpretations change over time.
  • Recognize and identify parallels between the art historical past and the present.
  • Conduct a formal analysis of a work of art and articulate the way its elements are interrelated.
  • Research and write coherently about art history, using evidence to support arguments.
  • Use knowledge gained in the course to study fine art, art history, design, anthropology or history at a four-year institution.


  • Prehistoric art in the Paleolithic and Neolithic Periods
  • The art of trade and diplomacy in the Bronze Age
  • Art of Early Africa
  • Ancient Egyptian Art
  • Art of West Asian Empires
  • Early Art from South Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania
  • Art of Early East Asia
  • Cycladic, Minoan and Mycenaean art
  • Art of Early South America
  • Ancient Writing Systems 
  • Death and Dying
  • Early Cities and Empires
  • Art of Early Mesoamerica
  • Looting and Repatriation of Ancient Objects
  • Ancient Greek and Hellenistic Art
  • Early Global Networks: The Silk Road
  • Buddhist and Hindu Art in South Asia and Southeast Asia
  • Etruscan Art
  • Ancient Roman Art
  • Art of Rising Empires in Japan and China
  • The Cultural Power of Gold across the World
  • Jewish and Christian Art in Late Antiquity
  • Representations of the body across early cultures
  • Art and the reflection of belief systems
  • Survival
  • Visual Communication
  • Written Communication 
  • Regional Connections (Trade and Diplomacy)
  • Images of the Human Form
  • Images of the Landscape 
  • Constructions of Gender
  • Looting and Repatriation
  • The Sacred 
  • Power and Oppression 
  • Images of Work 
  • Public Images / Private Images
  • Technology and Art 
  • Archaeology and Art History
  • Art vs. Artifact