Objects of Art History

Key information

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

Module overview

This module introduces the scope, aims and methods of art history as a discipline from its Eurocentric origins through to contemporary approaches to art and its histories in a global era.

In conjunction with Theories of Art, this module establishes the methodological and theoretical foundations for further art historical study. In Objects of Art History, approaches to objects and their histories will be explored with a focus on key concepts, such as art, artefact, style, form and media, artists and makers.

Objectives and learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to

  • Discuss different approaches of art historians to the study of Asian and African objects and their makers.
  • Analyse a range of different materials, media, artistic techniques and technologies of production.
  • Demonstrate skills in visual and literary analysis. 


  • Lectures: 1 hour per week
  • Seminars: 1 hour per week

Method of assessment

  • 500-word literature review (worth 30% of marks)
  • 1,500-word essay (worth 70%)

Suggested reading

  • Dana Arnold, Art History: A Very Short Introduction, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020).
  • Eric Fernie, Art History and Its Methods: A Critical Anthology (London: Phaidon, 1995).
  • Catherine King, Views of Difference: Different Views of Art (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1999).
  • Grant Pooke and Diana Newall, Art History: The Basics, 2nd ed. (New York ; London: Routledge, 2021).
  • Paul Wood, Leon Wainwright, and Charles Harrison, eds., Art in Theory: The West in the World - An Anthology of Changing Ideas (Wiley-Blackwell, 2020).


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.