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Theory and Practice of Art History (AHIS30019)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeAHIS30019
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This capstone subject examines the theory and practice of art history. Through a survey of the different approaches to the study of art which have emerged since the early modern period the subject will provide students with a fundamental grounding in the methodologies of the discipline. Students will also learn the broader critical and analytical skills necessary for the study of art at higher levels. The subject introduces students to the issues involved in applying art historical methods to real world contexts both within the academic environment and in industry contexts such as the museum sector. The subject will involve students in the research and interpretation of works of art encountered in University of Melbourne collections.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the subject, students should have:

  • encountered art in Melbourne collections, institutions, museums and civic spaces, and encounter specialists whose job it is to conserve, collect and display these objects;
  • developed a broad understanding of the historical and aesthetic characteristics of artworks produced during selected artistic periods (for example High Renaissance, baroque, rococo, neoclassical, contemporary art);
  • an understanding of 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; and
  • achieved a fundamental grounding in the methodologies of the discipline of history, and in the broader critical and analytical skills necessary for the study of art at higher levels

Generic skills

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

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

Last updated: 20 July 2019