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Postcolonial Visual Art (AHIS40006)

HonoursPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelHonours
Subject codeAHIS40006
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject focuses on contemporary cross-cultural visual art in relation to its colonial heritage. Responses to the colonial archive are a significant current in late 20th and early 21st century culture. In many different contexts and in a range of visual media (film, photography and painting) artists have critiqued and deconstructed dominant Western myths and stereotypes of race. In this subject we will address such responses, and the issues that they raise about relationships between cultures. The theoretical issues that inform this subject include the relationship between aesthetics and politics, forms of resistance, the structure and operation of racial stereotypes in visual cultures, questions of cultural agency, the relationship between postcolonialism and feminism, cultural hybridity, and cross-cultural borrowing and appropriation. The subject focuses on the work of contemporary artists and filmmakers from across the globe. Students should complete the subject with an understanding of both the broad theoretical issues and historical/regional specificity of cross-cultural visual art forms.

Intended learning outcomes

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

  • become familiar with major post-colonial artists and photographers;
  • comprehend and discern the relationship between post-colonial and colonial visual cultures;
  • understand the major theoretical debates in the study of cross-cultural art; and
  • recognize the ways in which discussions in the field of post-colonial visual art intersect with debates in the interdisciplinary field of post-colonial studies.

Generic skills

At the completion of this subject, student should gain the following generic skills:

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

Last updated: 11 November 2018