Faculty Profile

Wei Ren

Assistant Professor of Art and Art History; The Tamar and Emil '53 Weiss Chair in Asian Art (2015)

Contact Information

renw@dickinson.edu

Weiss Center for the Arts Room 227

Bio

Professor Ren is a specialist in East Asian art. In addition to survey courses on East Asian art, she also teaches courses on the Japanese woodblock print, ink painting, modern Chinese art, and Chinese funerary art. Her research interests focus primarily on 19th-20th century Chinese art, with a special emphasis on how the concept of design emerged and developed in Japan and China in relation to both fine arts and industry in a broad cross-cultural nexus. She is currently working on her book manuscript entitled "Converging in Design: Modern Art and Books in China."

Education

  • B.A., Williams College, 2007
  • Ph.D., Harvard University, 2015

2018-2019 Academic Year

Fall 2018

EASN 108 Arts of East Asia
Cross-listed with ARTH 108-01.

ARTH 108 Arts of East Asia
Cross-listed with EASN 108-01.

EASN 209 The Japanese Woodblock Print
Cross-listed with ARTH 209-01.

ARTH 209 The Japanese Woodblock Print
Cross-listed with EASN 209-01.

ARTH 407 Art History Senior Seminar
An intensive seminar wherein students conduct original research on selected works of art as part of curating a formal, public exhibition in The Trout Gallery. Research is directed towards interpretive essays that go through multiple writing revisions, resulting in a publishedexhibition catalogue edited by the seminar faculty member and Trout Gallery Staff, and designed by Dickinson College Design Services Staff. Students work collaboratively as curators and contributors to the catalogue, and undertake a professional-level experience, most often reserved for graduate study or museum professionals. All of the senior majors' art historical knowledge and critical skills will be put to use in the Senior Seminar with the goal of further refining their ability to conduct advanced research and formal, polished writing.Prerequisite: Senior Art History majors only.

Spring 2019

EASN 205 Japanese Architecture
Cross-listed with ARTH 205-02. This course is intended to introduce students to the scholarly study of Japanese architecture and urbanism, covering both the premodern and modern eras. Each session will be devoted to the examination of one significant Japanese architectural site, coupled with an important concept or methodological concern in the study of the Japanese built environment. The sites and issues chosen for study are intended to provide students with a broad knowledge base with which to pursue further studies in architectural history, design history, environmental history, and East Asian history. Participants will be introduced to each of the major typologies of Japanese architecture: shrines, temples, imperial villas, castles, tea houses, merchant houses (machiya), and farm houses (minka), as well as the two of the most historically significant city forms in the archipelago, the imperial grid city and the castle town. In addition, the nature and culture of advanced timber-frame architecture will be studied from the vantage point of design, engineering, source materials and process, as well as the sustainability issues inherent to the materials. More general themes that inform the course throughout include the relationship of architecture to the natural landscape, historical and contemporary issues of sustainability, the concept and design of the city, and the significance of the body.

ARTH 205 Japanese Architecture
Cross-listed with EASN 205-01. This course is intended to introduce students to the scholarly study of Japanese architecture and urbanism, covering both the premodern and modern eras. Each session will be devoted to the examination of one significant Japanese architectural site, coupled with an important concept or methodological concern in the study of the Japanese built environment. The sites and issues chosen for study are intended to provide students with a broad knowledge base with which to pursue further studies in architectural history, design history, environmental history, and East Asian history. Participants will be introduced to each of the major typologies of Japanese architecture: shrines, temples, imperial villas, castles, tea houses, merchant houses (machiya), and farm houses (minka), as well as the two of the most historically significant city forms in the archipelago, the imperial grid city and the castle town. In addition, the nature and culture of advanced timber-frame architecture will be studied from the vantage point of design, engineering, source materials and process, as well as the sustainability issues inherent to the materials. More general themes that inform the course throughout include the relationship of architecture to the natural landscape, historical and contemporary issues of sustainability, the concept and design of the city, and the significance of the body.

EASN 305 Modern Design in East Asia
Cross-listed with ARTH 305-01. Traditional Chinese and Japanese art and design served as an important source of inspiration for European modernism. But what happened to art and design within China and Japan during the modern period? Despite China’s traditional stronghold in modular design and Japan’s current prestige in design culture, the two countries faced incredible challenges during the late 19th and early 20th century as they struggled with their own cultures’ pasts and the modern concept of art and design. This class offers a multidisciplinary approach to the study of modern East Asian art and examines how the concept of design emerged and developed in Japan and China in relation to both fine arts and industry in a broad cross-cultural nexus. While design connected modern China and Japan in ways unprecedented, the two cultures also adopted different design strategies defined by their respective cultural and historical conditions. The class is discussion based and is supplemented by a fieldtrip to Washington D.C. Prerequisite: ARTH 108 or ARTH 209 or two art history or two non-language EASN courses.

ARTH 305 Topics on Mod Design in E Asia
Cross-listed with EASN 305-01.