Worlding Art History through Syllabi Workshop

This workshop took up the notion of ‘worlding’ to explore how art history is taught in different places and institutions around the world.


Date: 11 October 2022

Time: 10am - 2pm

Venue: ICI Berlin Instiute for Cultural Inquiry & online

The recent  ‘global turn’ in art history and curatorial practice has prompted the question of how to reflect this through pedagogy. The workshop Worlding Art History through Syllabi takes up the notion of ‘worlding’ to explore how art history is taught in different places and institutions around the world. What would a ‘worlded’ syllabus look like, and how can we collaboratively ‘world’ global art history?

A ‘worlded’ art history rejects the idea of a single global world framed, ordered and represented according to Eurocentric premises or as universally constituted by global capitalism. Instead, it conceives of the global as constituted from multiple and entangled geo-cultural perspectives. It is not centered on assumed commonalities of ‘global’ art. Rather, it seeks to shed light on differences and relations. What are histories, epistemologies and ontologies that constitute ‘global’ art? What are infrastructural or institutional incommensurabilities which define the many intersecting art histories of the present?

This workshop is organised as part of the international research project and network Worlding Public Cultures: the Arts and Social Innovation (WPC) in cooperation with the ICI Berlin. It invites scholars from the fields of art history, cultural studies, cultural anthropology, media studies, museum studies and other related disciplines to participate in a peer-to-peer exchange of experiences and practices. It focuses on how scholars may, or already have, designed teaching syllabi to complicate dominant frameworks of ‘global’ art history. It is particularly interested in how syllabi have the capacity to restructure pedagogical approaches to teaching topics such as global capitalism in the art world, the so-called Global North-South division, transnational and transcultural entanglements, and differences between teaching regional art histories.

This workshop builds upon recent discussions around pedagogies at the Worlding Public Cultures Academy, Lessons Learned? Transcultural Perspectives in Curating and Pedagogies (14-16 July 2022), hosted by the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. It takes the form of an interactive gathering. Participants are invited to share examples of their own syllabi, as well as speak on the challenges faced in designing syllabi to reflect multiple geo-cultural perspectives, decolonial and ‘global’ art histories. Among the questions which this workshop seeks to address are:

  • How is the situatedness of art history taught across regional, national and local contexts?
  • What methodological approaches are discussed?
  • Which discursive, spatial and temporal frameworks are syllabi structured around?
  • What role does close-looking of artworks play in courses? How to connect theoretical readings and visual materials?
  • How can art historical methods be reconceptualized through comparative approaches?
  • How are the notions of the ‘global’, ‘transnational’ and ‘transcultural’ defined for students?
  • What are different approaches to structuring syllabi for undergraduate and postgraduate students? What information do ‘foundational courses’ provide?
  • What challenges are faced? What do students and lecturers appreciate the most?
  • How have institutional and departmental interests shaped the scope of teaching  ‘global’ art history?
  • How can museums or other art institutions be integrated into teaching?




Welcome and opening remarks by Franziska Koch and Eva Bentcheva


Session 1: What is a Syllabus?

Presentation by Presentation by Eva Ehninger (Humboldt University Berlin)


Session 2: Rethinking Syllabi in/from Asia

Presentation by Xiaoxia Song (Central Academy of Fine Arts Beijing)

Presentation by Priya Maholay-Jaradi (National University of Singapore)

and Roger Nelson (Nanyang Technological University)


Session 3: Re/laying the Groundwork

Presentation by Claire Farago (University of Colorado, Boulder)

Presentation by Ming Tiampo (Carleton University)


Workshop participants:

Oliver Aas

Antonia Behan

Eva Bentcheva

Laurens Dhaenens

Pauline Doutreluingne

Eva Ehninger

Philipp Ekardt

Claire Farago

Wesley Hogan

Birgit Hopfener

Sol Izquierdo de la Viña

Monica Juneja

Franziska Kaun

Seunghee Kim

Franziska Koch

Anton Lee

Mark Louie Lugue

Priya Maholay-Jaradi

Roger Nelson

Varda Nisar

Miriam Oesterreich

Luísa Santos

Vera Simone-Schulz

Jakob Schillinger

Moritz Schwörer

Xiaoxia Song

Hanna Steinert

Tanya Talwar

Ming Tiampo

Esra Yildiz

Carine Zaayman

Ayelet Zohar


This workshop is conceived by the Heidelberg University team of Worlding Public Cultures in collaboration with Ming Tiampo (WPC / Carleton University) and Birgit Hopfener (WPC / Carleton University), and is generously hosted by ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry Berlin. For more information, please see:  

Cover image credit: Migrations, Pansee Atta, 2014, Mixed Media on panel, 8"x10" 

Image credit (below images): Claudia Peppel / ICI Berlin

syllabi workshop
syllabi workshop
syllabi workshop


syllabi workshop
syllabi workshop
syllabi workshop