Cultures of Jewelry

Parsons Paris: Parsons Paris

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
Cultures of Jewelry
Spring 2024
Taught By: Rebecca Cavanaugh
Section: PC1

CRN: 14140

Credits: 3

"Since ancient times, people have sought to adorn their bodies with beautiful objects. Unlike clothing, which fulfills the obvious function of protecting the body from the elements even as it enhances our appearance, the functional aspects of jewelry may seem less clear, and jewelry is therefore often seen as little more than a decorative accessory or a status symbol. This class challenges such superficial notions of jewelry. Indeed, its very nature, both in its small scale and in its relationship to the physical body, makes it a unique object type that finds enormous diversity of formal expression, materials, symbolic meaning, and even power despite the limitations that wearability seems to impose on its design. This thematic course will explore jewelry and bodily adornments from around the globe and across the ages, studying not only its formal, technical and material aspects, but also the role it has played – and continues to play – within cultural, social, religious and even political contexts. Our journey will cover topics from Maori talismans to the famed joailliers of the Place Vendôme, and from Ancient Egyptian treasures to avant garde contemporary pieces that question our assumptions about what jewelry is. Historical, theoretical and contextual readings will complement museum visits, lectures, discussions and creative research projects that aim to help students interpret this intimate object type. Open to: All Parsons UG student from SOPH level onwards; HDCS MA students by permission Pre-requisite(s): History of + Intro to class"

College: Parsons Paris (CP)

Department: Parsons Paris (PPAR)

Campus: Paris (PC)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 15

Add/Drop Deadline: February 4, 2024 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 18, 2024 (Thursday)

Seats Available: No

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 10:50am EDT 5/20/2024

Meeting Info:
Days: Thursday
Times: 3:25pm - 6:05pm
Building: Parsons Paris
Room: 501
Date Range: 1/25/2024 - 5/16/2024
Days: Saturday
Times: 3:25pm - 6:05pm
Building: Parsons Paris
Room: 501
Date Range: 3/30/2024 - 3/30/2024