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The Medieval Image: Art and Culture (AHIS30021)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5Not available in 2019

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Year of offerNot available in 2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeAHIS30021
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Taking the so-called ‘late Middle Ages’ (approximately 1300–1520) as its focus, this subject confronts a set of seemingly simple questions: what is an image, who makes images, and how do they circulate in the world? It examines the roles images played during this period from a variety of perspectives, including mystical devotion, market conditions, the emergence of print technology, (im)materiality, artisanal craft traditions, and political frameworks in which conflicting attitudes toward image-making were developed. More broadly,students in this upper-level subject will investigate different art historical approaches to this period and scrutinize the way art history as a discipline orders images, objects, and art temporally.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should have:

  • acquired a good knowledge of the intellectual history of the visual image;
  • become aware of the social, cultural, or historical forces that shaped/affected certain intellectual movements and thus influenced attitudes toward image-making in the medieval period;
  • developed an understanding of the different visual strategies employed by artists in the medieval period for representing the divine;
  • developed an ability to analyse a work of art during the period in relation to the social, political or religious context in which it was created; and
  • developed an understanding of the conditions of the reception of medieval images, alongside issues relating to their production.

Generic skills

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

  • how to frame and develop a cohesive and compelling argument;
  • how to plan a research project; and
  • how to communicate the outcomes of their research in seminar presentations.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects

  • 670-337 Art, Ideology and Doctrine 400 - 1000;
  • ENGL30019 Medieval Art: Ideology and Representation;
  • ENGL30019 The Medieval Image: Art and Culture

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



  • A short visual analysis of 1000 words, plus an annotated bibliography of 1000 words, due during the semester. This first piece of assessment will be worth 50% of the final mark.
  • For the final piece of assessment, worth 50% of the final mark, students may elect a take-home exam (2000 words) or a research essay (2000 words), to be submitted during the exam period.
  • This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 80% attendance and regular participation in tutorials. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. All pieces of written work must be submitted in order to pass this subject.

Dates & times

Not available in 2019

Time commitment details

170 hours

Further information

Last updated: 10 August 2019