Art History: Theory and Controversy

Subject AHIS10001 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours: 2 x 1-hour lectures and a 1-hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 170 hours across the semester, including class time.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects:

107-018 and 107-130 Art History A: The Work of Art

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Christopher Marshall


Subject Overview:

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.

Learning Outcomes:

On 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;
  • 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.

A 500 word exercise 25% (due during the semester), a 2000 word research essay 40% (due during the semester) and a visual test equivalent to 1500 words 30% (held in the examination period), and attendance 5%.

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. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students successfully completing this subject 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;
  • 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;
  • be able to participate in team work through involvement in syndicate groups and group discussions.

Formerly available as 107-018 and 107-130 Art History A: The Work of Art. Students who have completed 107-018 or 107-130 Art History A: The Work of Art are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Studies Major
Art History
Art History Major
Graduate Certificate in Arts - Art History
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Art History

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