British Art and Sensibility at the NGV

Subject AHIS90010 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 6.25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

March, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 07-Mar-2016 to 14-Apr-2016
Assessment Period End 06-May-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 14-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 15-Apr-2016

This subject is delivered as an intensive, with 1 x 2 hr seminar in each of first two weeks of classes, and 2 x 2hr seminars in each of the last two weeks of classes (total 12 hours over four weeks). Classes will be held at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 12 hours - 6 x 2 hour seminars
Total Time Commitment:

85 Hours


Admission into 101AA Ph.D.- Arts or DR-PHILART Doctor of Philosophy in Arts.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Art History

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:


Prof Jeanette Hoorn



Subject Overview:

The course will be taught by Professor Jeanette Hoorn and Mr Hugh Belsey in situ at the National Gallery of Victoria. We will focus upon the eighteenth century collection of British painting held by the gallery. With the emergence of science and the development of a complex market in the cities of England and Europe came a new culture of sensibility that came to influence all levels of social interaction. The culture of sensibility, conveyed through both the arts and sciences, placed a new emphasis on understanding the senses and how both the body and the natural world interacted. In this course, we will read the culture of sensibility through some of the best eighteenth century British paintings in the world that are housed in Melbourne's collection focussing in particular, on the materiality of paint on canvas and how it creates meaning for the viewer. We will teach directly in front of the painting in the gallery in which each work of art is housed asking students to join in with the discussion and to present their perceptions of how the works under examination contributed to and shaped this very exciting revolutionary eighteenth century culture.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject, students should have:

  • an ability to discuss a work of art in the context of an art gallery;
  • an ability to reflect upon their own research work in relation to the content of the module; and
  • enhanced engagement with leading-edge research in particular areas of the Humanities and Social Sciences today.

1. One 2,500 word essay (100%), due one week after completion of teaching.

Hurdle Requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

The subjects will contribute, through teaching and discussion with academic staff and peers, to developing skills and capacities including those identified in the University-defined Graduate Attributes for the PhD, in particular:

  • the capacity to contextualise research within an international corpus of specialist knowledge;
  • an advanced ability to engage in critical reflection, synthesis and evaluation of research-based and scholarly literature; and
  • an advanced understanding of key disciplinary and multi-disciplinary norms and perspectives relevant to the field.
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Doctor of Philosophy - Arts

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