About This Project


Where Does Art Come From? focuses on global arts and culture for the UTA core curriculum art history introductory course ART 1317 “Arts of Africa, Asia, Islam, Oceania, and the Indigenous Americas.” By offering this course resource at no cost, we reduce the required financial outlay of students and build new mechanism for course engagement, thereby enhancing the student experience. The text prioritizes relatability, cultural context, and inclusivity, following much needed decolonization practices in higher education.

Creation Process

The text was written from February-August 2021. The primary author drafted each chapter, including two chapters that were written collaboratively with two student contributors. After drafting, each chapter was immediately sent for review by an undergraduate-level student reviewer and a graduate-level student reviewer. Student reviewers offered feedback about clarity and relatability while the peer-reviewer offered feedback about content and context. Revisions were immediate, with a final review process in fall 2021 by UTA Art & Art History Department faculty and two anonymous peer-reviewers. All illustrations were developed by student graphic designers from June 2021 – July 2022.

About the Project Manager

Dr. Leah McCurdy (she/her) is an anthropological archaeologist and art historian focused on global visual traditions. Her scholarship focuses on ancient Maya architectural and construction histories while her expertise via graduate education and professional experience spans visual traditions across the ancient Americas, Africa, Islamic lands, South Asia, East Asia, Oceania, as well as Egypt and Western Asia. McCurdy has been teaching in higher education for 10 years, covering art history, anthropology, and archaeology. McCurdy develops courses with an applied focus, promoting awareness about cultural traditions, heritage, pluralism, and global citizenship. In all courses, she seeks to increase understanding about diverse art historical traditions while enhancing critical thinking and pluralistic perspectives on the world. McCurdy has been teaching ART 1317 and upper-level art history courses at UTA since 2017.


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Where Does Art Come From? Copyright © 2022 by Leah McCurdy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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