Art History: Art of the Non-Western World

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ART 114

       Course Name: Art History: Art of the Non-Western World

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course is a comparative study of non-Western art as an expression of the human experience. Content includes art of China, Japan, India, Africa and native Americas from prehistoric to modern times. Focus is on the development of perceptive stylistic analysis and ability to understand a work of art in relation to its cultural context.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Student will identify and classify artworks from the non-Western world.
  2. Student will identify and attribute works of art of this area as to date/time line, region or country, artist (when known) and style.
  3. Student will distinguish between a culture’s symbols and the images, objects, sculptures, or structures they created.
  4. Student will analyze art work in relation to its religious, social and cultural meaning or significance.
  5. Through class discussion and participation student will discuss and integrate lecture and textbook content.
  6. Student will attach specific information to art work as to subject, function, medium, elements, organization, style, time-line, and artist.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. The Art of India
    1. Indus Valley Civilization
    2. Andhra Period
    3. Gandhara Style
    4. Gupta Period
    5. Medieval Period
    6. Moghal Dynasty
    7. Rajput Style
  2. The Art of China
    1. Shang Dynasty
    2. Zhou Dynasty
    3. Six Dynasties
    4. Tang Dynasty
    5. Song Dynasty
    6. Yuan Dynasty
    7. Ming Dynasty
  3. The Art of Japan
    1. Archaic Period
    2. Asuka Period
    3. Nara Period
    4. Heian Period
    5. Kamakura Period
    6. Muromachi Period
    7. Momoyama Period
    8. Tokugawa (Edo) Period--Ukiyo Print tradition
  4. The Art of the Americas (Mexico & South America)
    1. Olmec Civilization
    2. Mayan Civilization (Classical and Post Classical)
    3. Aztec Civilization
    4. Incan Civilization
    5. Mexico: Spanish Colonial Art
    6. 20th Century Mexican Art
  5. The Art of Africa
    1. Western Sudan
    2. Guinea Coast
    3. Equatorial Forest
    4. Southern Savannah

VII.  Methods of Instruction

  1. PowerPoint presentation with lectures stressing the iconological and formal importance of the work.
  2. Supplementary films/videos.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Course may be taught as a face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

  1. Attend all classes
  2. Do all homework assignments/readings/reports
  3. Participate in class discussions
  4. Successful completion of three exams
  5. Reading, Writing (3 pages minimum)

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

  1. Recommended Textbooks:
    Helen Gardner, Art Through the Ages, current edition
    Michael Kampen O’Riley, Art Beyond the West
  2. Selected handouts
  3. PowerPoint presentations

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

  1. Three exams based on readings, slide lectures and films, videos. The exams will be factual identification tests. Unknown works of art are to be identified by style characteristic of artist/culture/country/time frame. Short essays may be included requiring the student to compare and contrast different works of art from different cultures based on iconography and style. Exams graded individually and averaged together. Exams constitute approximately 75% of final grade.
  2. Independent study from the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Field Museum, or some other public viewing facility in which one of the cultural examples covered by the course will be examined in terms of the actual art and the student’s response relating it to the period, social and cultural aspects covered in the course. (Three 3-page-type written papers.) Counts approximately 15% of final grade.
  3. Remaining 10% of grade is based on attendance and classroom participation.

XI.   Other Course Information

Each instructor will determine attendance policy.

Please note:
Some of the activities, lectures and assignments in this class may include imagery that is controversial, uncomfortable, shocking, has nudity, and personally unpopular to one's beliefs. If a student objects to this practice, he/she is encouraged to discuss with the instructor early in the semester alternative ways of completing course requirements.

Make-up exams, incomplete grades, late assignments are at the discretion of the instructor.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.