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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

2022-2023 Academic Year

Fall 2022

FYSM 100 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will: - Critically analyze information and ideas - Examine issues from multiple perspectives - Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason - Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and - Create clear academic writing The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.

ARTH 108 Arts of East Asia
Cross-listed with EASN 108-01. This course introduces students to a selection of objects and sites that elicit new modes of cultural perception and insight into the artistic cultures of China, Korea, and Japan. Loosely arranged in a chronological order, each week is devoted to in-depth examination of a different type of object, medium, and format. The diverse mediums (sculpture, ceramics, metalwork, lacquer, prints, painting, calligraphy, photography, performance, and architecture) and the long historical span covered in class will chart how culture traveled within East Asia, and later, globally, as well as each culture’s distinctive methods of adaptation over time. Major themes include the relationship between artistic production and sociopolitical and socioeconomic development, cultural exchange, aesthetics, impact of religion, power and authority, gender, and issues of modernity. Lectures are supplemented by viewing sessions in the Trout Gallery.This course is cross-listed as EASN 108.

EASN 108 Arts of East Asia
Cross-listed with ARTH 108-01. This course introduces students to a selection of objects and sites that elicit new modes of cultural perception and insight into the artistic cultures of China, Korea, and Japan. Loosely arranged in a chronological order, each week is devoted to in-depth examination of a different type of object, medium, and format. The diverse mediums (sculpture, ceramics, metalwork, lacquer, prints, painting, calligraphy, photography, performance, and architecture) and the long historical span covered in class will chart how culture traveled within East Asia, and later, globally, as well as each culture’s distinctive methods of adaptation over time. Major themes include the relationship between artistic production and sociopolitical and socioeconomic development, cultural exchange, aesthetics, impact of religion, power and authority, gender, and issues of modernity. Lectures are supplemented by viewing sessions in the Trout Gallery.This course is cross-listed as ARTH 108.

ARTH 209 The Japanese Woodblock Print
Cross-listed with EASN 209-01. This course provides a thorough introduction to the woodblock print –Japan’s most celebrated artistic medium—from its emergence in the mid-17th century to the modern era. Technical developments, major genres, and master designers are explored within the context of the print’s relationship to the urban culture of early modern and modern Japan. Topics including censorship, theatricality, the representation of war, nationalism, and Japonisme. Special emphasis is placed on an examination of habits of pictorial representation and protocols of viewing unique to the Japanese print medium. Lectures are supplemented by viewing sessions in the Trout Gallery.This course is cross-listed as EASN 209.

EASN 209 The Japanese Woodblock Print
Cross-listed with ARTH 209-01. This course provides a thorough introduction to the woodblock print –Japan’s most celebrated artistic medium—from its emergence in the mid-17th century to the modern era. Technical developments, major genres, and master designers are explored within the context of the print’s relationship to the urban culture of early modern and modern Japan. Topics including censorship, theatricality, the representation of war, nationalism, and Japonisme. Special emphasis is placed on an examination of habits of pictorial representation and protocols of viewing unique to the Japanese print medium. Lectures are supplemented by viewing sessions in the Trout Gallery.This course is cross-listed as ARTH 209.

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.