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

2017-2018 Academic Year

Fall 2017

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.

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

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

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

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

Spring 2018

EASN 205 Visual Culture E As. Buddhism
Cross-listed with ARTH 205-01. This course introduces students to the study of the history of the visual culture of Buddhism in East Asia, and to the study of pre-modern visual culture more generally. Each week will be devoted to the discussion of a particular keyword in Buddhist art, beginning with the basics such as "Buddha," and "Bodhisattva," toward more specialized topics, including "transformation tableau," and "pagoda." In conjunction with the investigation of keywords in Buddhist art, we will also address theories of iconography/iconology, space, spectatorship, etc. Class discussions will be supplemented by viewing sessions of Buddhist art in the Trout Gallery.

ARTH 205 Visual Culture E As. Buddhism
Cross-listed with EASN 205-01. This course introduces students to the study of the history of the visual culture of Buddhism in East Asia, and to the study of pre-modern visual culture more generally. Each week will be devoted to the discussion of a particular keyword in Buddhist art, beginning with the basics such as "Buddha," and "Bodhisattva," toward more specialized topics, including "transformation tableau," and "pagoda." In conjunction with the investigation of keywords in Buddhist art, we will also address theories of iconography/iconology, space, spectatorship, etc. Class discussions will be supplemented by viewing sessions of Buddhist art in the Trout Gallery.

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

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.