The “RASC/a Double” graduate seminar brings together faculty and graduate students from Southern Methodist University’s Department of Art History and beyond in an interdisciplinary, team-taught class exploring in innovative ways issues raised by the curricular initiative, Rhetorics of Art, Space, and Culture. RASC/a challenges us to consider how visual images, material objects, and the spaces around them can be studied from new perspectives within and beyond categories often first defined by geography and chronology. In Spring 2016, Lisa Pon and Bea Balanta will lead the class, “Print, Identity, and the Im/material Image,” with three external scholars–Prof. Michael Gaudio of University of Minnesota, Dr. Graham Larkin of Hybrid Publishing Group (HPG), and Prof. Shilyh Warren of University of Dallas, Texas–each mentoring a subgroup of students. This inaugural RASC/a Double seminar considers early modern and modern print technologies in relationship to personal and communal identities, mobilized mass images, and communications and surveillance. Using transhistorical and interdisciplinary approaches, this course has as its main objective an understanding of some past, present, and emerging communications technologies (including but not limited to print, photographic, and digital platforms) and the publics they can reach, form, and inform.

The seminar’s main digital humanities project will be a digital catalogue entry for the very handsome impression of Marcantonio Raimondi’s St. Cecilia in the collection of Mark Weil, which will be exhibited at the St. Louis Art Museum in winter 2017 in a major exhibition of the Weil Collection. Each student is preparing a catalogue entry of an Old Master print for SLAM’s exhibition catalogue to be published in print; the class will also work on this digital entry with links to the related Raphael painting in Bologna and other impressions of the engraving, as well as providing other related textual and visual information. Working with a subgroup of three students, Graham Larkin will also be working on projects to showcase the presentation of an album in digital form: as pilot projects we will be using a 1961 scrapbook put together by Nancy Hamon, donor of SMU’s Hamon Arts Library, and the nineteenth-century Stewart album of prints, photographs, drawings, and letters recently acquired by the Meadows Museum. The ultimate goal would be to put together a suitable digital publication framework for objects such as the recently discovered Spencer Album of Marcantonio Raimondi prints. Such a platform could preserve the structure and presentation that an album provides while allowing the searchability and hyperlinking that digital publication—done well—could provide.

APS supported Dr. Larkin’s visit to SMU to set the groundwork for the seminar’s digital humanities projects.