19 Syllabus Watsonville


 ART-H 19                                        Section 97800                                            Fall 2017                    

                                  COURSE SYLLABUS: ART OF THE AMERICAS    


Tuesday 7:00-10:05 PM   Watsonville 150  Dr. Brian Legakis.  Office VAPA 1006

Office Hours M-Th 8:30-9-30 AM   W 6:00-7:00 PM Wat

Cabrillo phone 479-6368            Home phone - 688-1325   

E-mail –  qtermile@me.com   first 

Course Website www.cabrilloarthistory.com



The course ART OF THE AMERICAS is offered to students who wish to explore ancient native cultures of Mesoamerica and the Andes before the period of European exploration and colonization.   The Olmec, Teotihuacan in the Valley of Mexico, Maya, Aztec, and Andes civilizations will be introduced in lectures illustrated with slides and literature, with assigned readings.



Michael Coe, Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs edition 7

Mary Ellen Miller, The Art of Mesoamerica: From Olmec to Aztec  5th Edition



Text readings - For class, exams, and assignments.  All class Lectures with students taking detailed notes.

Quizzes – two in class quizzes and an online quiz due every Monday night.

Examinations -Two examinations: one midterm exams and a final examination.

1 in class Quiz = 1/3 Midterm exam and ¼ the Final Exam.  Online Quizzes are not “homework” and are graded with numbers 2 – very good, 1 unsatisfactory, 0 – failed or did not turn in.

Attendance is graded.  Students who arrive late or leave early may be marked absent.


Student Learner Outcomes

1. Write an essay that synthesizes the vocabulary terms, concepts, techniques and materials, included in the study of the Arts of the Americas.

2. Decide the identity of known and unknown works of Arts of the Americas in terms of the historical periods, locations, and subject matter.



Attendance:  Students are expected to attend class on time and remain for the duration of a class period.

2 absences are reasonable for a semester course of 16 class periods. Over 2 absences may result in the lowering of a grade, or in dropping the student, not simply as punishment, but as a result of missed lecture material that will be used in quizzes and exams.

Any time that a student misses two consecutive class periods, without contacting me, may be dropped from the course.

Assignments: All written assignments are expected to be turned in on time in the first 5 min. of class.  If you have a problem, contact me. Late papers are accepted - with one half grade marked down per day late.

Quizzes and Examinations: It is especially important not to be absent for a quiz or an examination.  It is unlikely that a make up will be granted to a student.  The examinations are not to be missed.

Credit/No Credit - is by permission of the instructor and granted only during the first week of class.


House Rules

VAPA 1001 is a state-of-the-art Art History lecture hall, emphasizing superior acoustics and visual clarity. Anything that distracts from that experience hinders student learning.  Cell phone use of any kind, non -note-taking laptop use, talking in class and other disturbances are prohibited and will be enforced daily.


Students needing accommodations should contact the instructor ASAP.



                                                                                                Page 1  

Art H 19                                   CALENDAR                                              Fall 2017



Date                  Lecture Topic                Readings                                   Work Due

8/29                  Introduction +               Buy textbooks  

                        Settlement of Americas    Follow lectures with readings in text books

                                                            Michael Coe, Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs

                                                Mary Ellen Miller, The Art of Mesoamerica: From Olmec to Aztec


9/5        A1        Olmec                                                                           Assignment 1


9/12                  West Mexico Tombs                                                       Quiz Review


9/19      Q1        Teotihuacan                                                                  Quiz 1 in class


9/28                  Classic Veracruz & Monte Alban                                Quiz 1 Returned

                                                                                                                  Exam Review +                                                                                                                               


 10/3      E1        Examination 1Exam In Class –                                                              

                        No Lecture Afterward


10/10                Olmec – Maya –Film                                                     


10/17                Introduction to Maya                                                     Exams Returned


10/24                Maya Cities                                                                              


10/31                Maya Royalty                                                                 


11/7                  Maya Popal Vuh


11/14                Toltec + Neo Maya Art + Mixtec                                    Final Exam Review                                                       

11/21    A2        Aztec


11/28                Aztec + Andes


12/5      FE        Final Exam in Class


12-11-16            Final Exam Week – No Exam – No Class Meeting

Art H 19                                   Assignments and Examinations and Policy          Fall 2017


Examinations and Quizzes see calendar for dates – all are closed notes + no text

Quizzes - minimal review sheets. Online quizzes given out every Th or Fr due Mon

Examinations: detailed reviews for exams

Midterm Examination - slide and term identification covering readings and lectures Intro – Monte Alban lecture.

Final Examination – Comprehensive Exam on Course – Slides and Terms


Essay Assignments

A1 Assignment 1.  Due online.  Go to the course Website, download the page, fill it out and email it to me.


A2- Due 11/21

Topic: Maya vs Teotihuacan Art – A Culture Apart.  Maya and Teotihuacan are both Mesoamerican but are very different in nearly all aspects of art and culture.  You are to compare these two cultures by making three pairs of comparisons.  3 Full pages of text is minimum.  Bibliography, illustrations etc are extra

I will evaluate your paper on the following requirements. You must have:

1. Title Page.  Name Class title of paper all in the small font of you paper.  No photo and no large font.

2. Introduction of Mesoamerican features.  Repeat no details from title page here.  No name or title in rest of paper.

Your introduction must explain all the main features of Mesoamerican art and culture in list form and which ones you will be comparing in your essay.  This list must be clear, detailed and long.  We have spent the entire semester collecting them in class and you should have one page in your notebook dedicated to this list.

3. Body of Paper Include and describe all 6 works of art (3 pairs).  This is 60-75% of grade – how detailed and clear your comparisons are. Compare the entire city of Teotihuacan with a Maya city of your choice.  Compare The Pyramid of the Sun with a Maya Pyramid of your choice. Compare a Teotihuacan Host Figure with a sculpture of Pacal of your choice.  Describe each work of art individually – material – style, function and purpose first then compare the two – how they share features or are very unlike one another. 

4. Conclusion – Summing up all differences between both cultures – factually from entire paper, explain how each culture – Teotihuacan as well as Maya - exhibits Mesoamerican Features in a different way.  You need to go back to your Introduction for the features you use. 

5. 3 pages – full pages.  Do not start half way down a page. One-inch margins all around. Sixe 12 font double-spaced.

6. Sources. Cite all sources with a Bibliography at the end. Note – No encyclopedias are used for this paper.  Wikipedia as a source will automatically give you an F on this paper. Illustrations of all selections at the end are helpful for the reader but not required. 

7. Plagiarism: Your paper will be written in your own words. Plagiarism even of three to four word phrases will result in a considerable grade deduction, and in clear cases will give a failing grade to the paper. No quotes unless they are by an historical person from the past                                                                                                            

Note Taking and Preparing for Art History Courses


How do you prepare for Art History courses?  Most of you are new to Art History courses.  Even those who have had Art History before or even my own courses might take a moment to read these tips. 


Art History may be studied in many different ways.  Naturally it is about art objects of great beauty and inspiration.   Some students feel that to be able to appreciate art it requires a natural talent.  Natural talent always helps.  Art Studio majors take Art History as part of their training for their major as artists, and their contributions in class are always helpful.  The study of Art History clearly encompasses the things working artists deal with daily – design and composition, line, shape, color, textured surfaces, and much more.  Art History also covers the subject matter and the stories around these subjects.  These discussions take us into the life and history of the period and the experiences of artists.   In talking about the artists we look into their favorite methods of creating, which brings us back to the art objects themselves.  As you can see, we often move back and forth between art and people and places.  There are things to observe, measure, and describe in great detail – just as in science, anthropology or history classes.  Art History is factual, and it is about much more than just dates and titles.


How do students learn the facts and methods of Art History?  Some are able to learn entirely on their own through their own research.  Many, however, find it overwhelming to get through the terms and names and subjects by themselves.  Taking this course assumes you would like to learn in a classroom atmosphere.  Each day you will see and learn about new art from exotic places.   My lectures are full of stories and experiences.  You may want to sit back and take it all in for the moment, but it is likely you will forget the details unless you take notes – really good notes.


You will need to take notes for quizzes and exams and for yourself.  I used to give out elaborate handouts only to find that students stopped taking notes.  Now my handouts are on the slide images, around them, above and below.  My stories need to be taken down as well because I weave all the information together into a whole.  Don’t make choices.  Everything is important and every slide you see could end up on an exam.  They will not all be used as there are too many, but you will not know which ones we will examine until you receive the exam review sheets.  I do not know myself until I actually make up the exams.


So, every day in class come prepared with your notebook and take everything down.  Date the top of each page and at some point put the subject or artist above each page so you can find it quickly at a later date for study or to clarify your answer in a quiz.    Ideally you would read these notes after each lecture but I know that is not always possible.  The lecture slides are labeled and available online.  Check the online support for this class often.  It will help you in many ways, but it cannot substitute for great notes.   With all that you have invested in your notebook, ID it clearly. 



    Fastest contact email is qtermile@me.com