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Research
Syllabus


Students dig deep into gardening theory with Christopher Thacker's History of Gardens (California, 1979). Thacker traces the origins of gardening back to the natural paradises of Greek myth and surveys the shifting trends of garden design through the ages: the Renaissance in Italy, France, and England; the reign of Louis XIV, who set the standard for the formal French garden at Versailles; 18th-century England, when the landed gentry took up gardening.

Halfway through the quarter, students consider Baroque gardens as a form of theater-with art-history professor Kimerly Rorschach's caveat that this line of thought is still "speculative." One of the readings comes from The Theatrical Baroque, a catalog for a 2001 Smart Museum exhibition written by Larry Norman, assistant professor in Romance languages & literatures.

Norman's isn't the only Chicago name on the syllabus. Landscape has been a theme for several faculty who also crop up on the reading list. A selection on the Italian Renaissance garden comes from Landscape and Power (Chicago, 1994), edited by W. J. T. Mitchell, the Gaylord Donnelley distinguished service professor. For the French formal gardens at Vaux-le-Vicomte and Versailles in week four, there's a selection from Consumption and the World of Goods (Routledge, 1993), edited by John Brewer, the John & Marion Sullivan University professor. When students turn their attention to English landscape gardens in weeks seven and eight, they read "Land and National Representation in Britain" by Elizabeth Helsinger, the John Matthews Manly distinguished service professor, in Prospects for the Nation: Recent Essays in British Landscape, 1750-1880 (Yale, 1997). There's also Rorschach's own The Early Georgian Landscape Garden (Yale Center for British Art, 1983).

And what's a course nowadays without a Web site? Rorschach's site sends students across the Pond on virtual garden tours.
- S.A.S.



  APRIL 2002

  > > Volume 94, Number 4


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Auteur! Auteur!
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A Run for Our Money
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My Life as a Mind
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Thinking Inside the Box
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Home, home in the Reg

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