Avant-Garde and Postmodern Art

Subject AHIS20020 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 102-hours across the semester, including class time.





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:

107-038 Modernist Avant-Gardes; AHIS30007 Avant-Garde and Postmodern Art

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Dr Caroline Wallace


Subject Overview:

This subject examines avant-garde and postmodern art during the 20th century. A variety of artistic theories, movements and artists from Europe and North America will be considered. The social, historical and theoretical context in which diverse avant-garde and postmodernist aesthetics were formed will be studied using historical sources and contemporary theory. Students will become familiar with issues such as the relationship of art and politics, utopian models of art, nationalism and the arts, as well as the shifting ways in which theories of gender, race and sexuality informed artists' work.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the subject students should have:

  • developed an understanding of fundamental models of avant-garde cultural practices;
  • developed an understanding of the ways in which such models incorporate or respond to the conditions of modernity;
  • developed an understanding of the ways in which avant-garde practice incorporate ideologies of subjectivity, gender, nation and ethnicity.

A 2000 word assignment 50% (due during the semester) and a 2000 word take home examination 50% (due during the examination period). This subject has a minimum attendance requirement of 75%, and regular participation in tutorials is required. 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 who successfully complete 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 107-038/670-348 Modernist Avant-Gardes. Students who have completed 107-038 or 670-348 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Art History
Art History
Art History
Art History Major

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