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  3. Art History: Theory and Controversy

Art History: Theory and Controversy (AHIS10001)

Undergraduate level 1Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 1
Subject codeAHIS10001
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject introduces the study of art history by focusing on the work of art through a number of case studies drawn from a Western cultural and historical context. It develops a broad understanding of the historical and aesthetic characteristics of artworks produced during selected artistic periods (for example Medieval, High Renaissance, baroque, rococo, neoclassical, contemporary art). The subject draws attention to the varying contexts informing works of art, including the relationship between art and its methods of production and preservation. its engagement with society and installation in museum settings; and the different ways in which viewers respond to art and interpret the meanings and messages which it conveys. Students should develop a range of approaches to understanding art, from issues of censorship and art, to gender and sexual identity in art, and art and politics. The subject provides students with a fundamental grounding in art history, and in the broader critical and analytical skills necessary for the study of art in later years.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the subject, students should have:

  • a basic understanding of the history of visual forms and basic skills in visual analysis;
  • a basic understanding of the principal methods of analysis employed in the discipline of art history; and
  • basic oral skills for the discussion of visual forms and basic skills in essay writing relevant to the discipline of art history, including presenting an argument, marshalling and documenting evidence, and basic bibliographic skills.

Generic skills

On successful completion of this subject, students will be able to:

  • research through the competent use of the library and other information sources, and be able to define areas of inquiry and methods of research in the preparation of essays;
  • conceptualise theoretical problems, form judgements and arguments and communicate critically, creatively and theoretically through essay writing, tutorial discussion and presentations;
  • communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically through essay writing and tutorial discussion;
  • manage and organise workloads for recommended reading, the completion of essays and assignments and examination revision; and
  • participate in team work through involvement in syndicate groups and group discussions.

Last updated: 11 October 2019