Postcolonial Visual Art

Subject 107-436 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: 2 contact hours/week , 8 additional hours/week. Total of 10 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Admission to the postgraduate diploma or fourth-year honours in art history or the Bachelor of Creative Arts (Honours).
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
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 Susan Lowish


Susan Lowish

Subject Overview: 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 postcolonial 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 artists and filmmakers from Europe, South Asia and Australia. Students should complete the subject with an understanding of both the broad theoretical issues and historical/regional specificity of cross-cultural visual art forms.
  • become familiar with major post-colonial artists and photographers;
  • be able to comprehend and discern the relationship between post-colonial and colonial visual cultures;
  • be able to understand the major theoretical debates in the study of cross-cultural art;
  • be able to 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.
Assessment: A class paper of 2000 words 40% (due during the semester), and an essay of 3000 words 60% (due at the end of the semester).
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
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;
  • be able to participate in team work through involvement in syndicate groups and group discussions.
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Creative Arts(Honours)
Master of Art Curatorship (Coursework and Minor Thesis)
Postgraduate Certificate in International Studies
Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Arts
Postgraduate Diploma in International Studies
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Art History
Art History
Art History
Cultural Studies

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