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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Postgraduate Course: The Aesthetics and Politics of Contemporary Art (HIAR11111)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines how the contemporary art field is shaped, focusing on key narratives and themes. The material focuses on ┐contemporary art┐ as a complex, evolving formation that is historically grounded in its negotiation of politics and aesthetics.
Course description This course discusses discourses and practices that have defined the aesthetics and politics of contemporary art. The discussion is necessarily selective and intended to familiarise students with the diverse processes and concepts that have impacted the contemporary art field. Although this is an evolving field that will require updating the material included, contemporary art is also understood as entailing a historical component, and so themes such as postmodernism and globalisation, the critique of art institutions, the impact of technology and social movements, developments in art and/or curatorial theory, questions around art and the complex structure of contemporary societies will be part of this examination. The course is intended to familiarise you with debates that have shaped the art world as we know it today.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  21
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 173 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One 4,000 word essay, submitted in weeks 8-11
Feedback For this course there is one piece of formative assessment. All students are asked to write a short (500 words) critical response to one of the course┐s set texts (essential, recommended or further). This need not be academically referenced. This should be submitted via the Formative Feedback folder on Learn by 5pm, Monday of Week 5.

Feedback will be offered both via TurnItIn and during an optional 10-minute one-to-one feedback session during Week 6. A sign-up sheet for this will be circulated in Week 5.

Formative Assessment does not count to your final grade/mark but is used to support your learning. Feedback on formative assessment is designed to help you learn more effectively by giving you feedback on your performance and on how it can be improved and/or maintained.

No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate detailed and advanced knowledge of a corpus of images and texts in the field of contemporary art, well as key concepts, themes and theoretical approaches relating to contemporary art.
  2. Demonstrate a developed and nuanced understanding of contemporary art as a complex field articulated across both theory and practice, which is not free from contradictions that historians and artists are tasked with identifying and reflecting on critically.
  3. Display an informed understanding of art history of the contemporary as a field defined by debate pertaining to social issues, the critical examination of which often requires an interdisciplinary approach.
  4. Examine in detail the ways in which issues of periodisation pertain to the construction of ┐the contemporary┐ in art.
  5. Critically analyse texts and images both orally, through participation in seminars, and in writing.
Reading List
J. Stallabrass, Contemporary Art: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press 2006

F. Jameson, Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, Duke University Press 1991

J. Harris, ed, Globalization and Contemporary Art, Wiley Blackwell 2011

G. Kester, The One and the Many: Contemporary Collaborative Art in a Global Context, Duke University Press 2011

P. O┐ Neill et al, eds, How Institutions Think: Between Contemporary Art and Curatorial Discourse, The MIT Press 2017
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMiss Angeliki Roussou
Course secretaryMrs Anna Johns
Tel: (0131 6)51 5740
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