Writing About Art and the Moving Image

Subject AHIS90008 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2015.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2 hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment:



Admission to the Master of Art Curatorship, or to the postgraduate certificate, diploma or fourth-year honours in art history.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Major in art history or a cognate discipline.

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 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/


Charles Green


Subject Overview:

This subject will introduce students to the theory and practice of writing on contemporary art and the moving image. The distinct professional genres in which art writing is practised will be analysed as will the recent history of art theory. The subject will survey innovations and developments that have taken place in recent criticism, curatorship and critical writing, as well as discuss the theories, trends and shifts in current and future writing on art and the moving image. The goal of the subject is to develop the overlapping skills of active, critical reading combined with student understanding of critical theory and art.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who complete this subject will:

  • have an understanding of key issues in writing about contemporary art and the moving image, and writing about exhibitions of these;
  • be able to conduct independent research using catalogued sources and bibliographical indexes;
  • be equipped with the relevant skills and methods to distinguish the different models of writing on art and the moving image;
  • have an overview of the history of recent writing about contemporary art and the moving image;
  • understand the role of writing about contemporary art and the moving image in preparation for a career in the contemporary visual art industry;
  • gain an understanding of the policies and practices of contemporary art and moving image publications;
  • be able to understand the major theoretical and curatorial debates on contemporary art and the moving image, and be able to relate these to exhibitions in Australia; and
  • gain a knowledge of the changing nature of critical writing.

2500 word essay 50% (due mid-semester), 2500 word take-home examination 50% (due in the examination period). Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% (or 10 out of 12) classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. Any student who fails to meet this hurdle without valid reason will not be eligible to pass the subject. All required written work must be submitted in order to pass the subject. Essays submitted after the due date without an extension will be penalised 2% per day. Essays submitted after two weeks of the assessment due date without a formally approved application for special consideration or an extension will only be marked on a pass/fail basis if accepted.

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:

Students 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 judgments 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; and
  • be able to participate in team work through involvement in syndicate groups and group discussions.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Art Curatorship
150 Point Master of Art Curatorship
200 Point Master of Art Curatorship
Art History
Art History
Art History
Art History
Art History
Art History
Art History
Art History

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