The Theory and Practice of Art History I

Module code: HA1111 

Module co-ordinator: Team taught

Module Overview

Art history is not merely a collection of dates and names but a forum of argument. Since it became a university subject, various methodological, philosophical and political approaches have come to exist in tension or harmony. The point of this module is to introduce students to the idea that there are not just facts to learn but positions to be adopted. In this module, lecturers select specific problems or issues from their own period of expertise and show how they, and other scholars, have approached these issues. The emphasis is upon providing a grounding in the methods of art history, and the methods covered in this module are a mixture of the traditional and radical – from archaeology and connoisseurship to debates about visual perception and post-colonialism. By the end of the module students will have an awareness of how different scholars have approached problems in their area of expertise, and how previous engagements with these issues have shaped modern approaches.

Assessment Method

  • Two hour examination at the end of the semester (50%)
  • 1,500-2,000 word essay (50%)