Theories of Art

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 1
Duration
Term 2
Module code
158100032
FHEQ Level
4
Credits
15

Module overview

The concepts, assumptions and methodology for the study of the contested field of art and art history continue to be subject to debate and discussion. This module builds upon the foundations established in Term 1 by examining a range of key art historical concepts and theories in more detail. These may include the following: style, iconography, semiotics, connoisseurship, taste, Marxism, gender, race, identity, social histories of art, patronage, value, object biographies, visual culture, modernism/modernity, postcolonialism. Seminar discussion will examine how these theories, issues and concepts may be evaluated in relation to the study of Asian and African art.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Understand a range of theoretical approaches to the study of objects and works of art.
  • Critically evaluate key art-historical concepts and theories in relation to the study of Asian and African art.
  • Demonstrate a range of skills in visual and literary analysis, research and other study skills for successful academic and vocational pathways.

Workload

  • Lectures: 2hrs per week
  • Seminars: 1hr per week

Scope and syllabus

The module content will examine a range of key art-historical concepts and theories, and explore their application in relation to the study of Asian and African art. These may include the following: style, iconography, semiotics, connoisseurship, taste, Marxism, gender, race, identity, social histories of art, patronage, value, object biographies, visual culture, modernism/modernity, postcolonialism.

Method of assessment

  • 500-word critical literature review/short report (worth 15% of marks)
  • 1,500-word essay (worth 40%)
  • Seminar participation and logbook entries (worth 10%)
  • Exam: 2 hours (worth 35%)

Suggested reading

  • Dana Arnold, Art History: A Very Short Introduction, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020).
  • Jae Emerling, Theory for Art History, 2nd ed. (New York: Routledge, 2019).
  • Eric Fernie, Art History and Its Methods: A Critical Anthology (London: Phaidon, 1995).
  • Michael Hatt and Charlotte Klonk, Art History: A Critical Introduction to Its Methods (Manchester ; New York: Manchester University Press, 2006).
  • Robert S. Nelson and Richard Shiff, eds., Critical Terms for Art History, 2nd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003).
    Grant Pooke and Diana Newall, Art History: The Basics, 2nd ed. (New York ; London: Routledge, 2021).
  • Donald Preziosi, ed., The Art of Art History : A Critical Anthology, Oxford History of Art (Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 1998).

 

Convenor(s)

Dr Maria Kostoglou

Disclaimer

Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules