Modern and Contemporary Arts in Africa

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Term 1
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of History of Art and Archaeology & School of Arts

Module overview

This course adopts a thematic approach to the study of photography and the contemporary arts of Africa to explore the discourses that underpin their practice. A number of case studies will be considered starting with photography (categorised as still, moving and digital photography) as the first modernist art form in Africa. The course will consider the localised histories of production, distribution and consumption of photography and the contemporary arts and the key issues and approaches to understanding their developments.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  • At the end of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate
  • To develop an understanding of the methods, practice and key issues in art history and visual culture in relation to photography and contemporary arts.
  • To be able to assess critically the materials and themes explored in the course and evaluate different approaches by art historians and visual theorists.
  • To develop/consolidate a range of skills relevant to an understanding of photography and the contemporary arts of Africa; and to general research and study skills through participation in the course.
  • To have an appreciation of the variety of cultural values and explore their implications for equality issues such as class, "race", gender, sexual orientation, age and disability as they pertain to the course and the issues raised.


  • One hour Lecture, one hour Seminar

Method of assessment

  • One 750 words book review (worth 30%)
  • One  2 500 words essay (worth 70%)


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules