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

Undergraduate Course: Orientalism and Visual Culture (HIAR10119)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course introduces students to topics associated with the dissemination and interpretation of Orientalist art in Europe, America, the Middle East and North Africa. Through the analysis of works of art, primary source material and the art markets, students will explore how each of these regions engaged differently with the arts and cultures of the so-called Orient.
Course description Coinciding with the Western colonisation of the so-called Orient (Middle East and North Africa), the transmission and dissemination of knowledge about these countries to Europe and America in the nineteenth century brought forth a new wave of cultural creativity. With a budding interest in the arts of the so-called Orient, the West responded with the creation of specialised language and educational material to guide the populace on approaching these new works. This surge of fascination from Western institutions was supported and enhanced by art dealers, artists and scholars from the ¿Orient¿ who portrayed alternative perspectives of their cultures. This course will examine the role both parties played in the development of Orientalist art in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Through group work, class discussions and digital exploration of primary sources, students will learn about works of art from America, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. This interaction will then build into discussions on how, when and where knowledge about arts and cultures from the so-called Orient came to America and Europe and the people who facilitated this movement. From these developments, students will observe the impact Orientalism had on European and American art and culture, as well as how this, in turn, affected the arts and the perception of the West in the ¿Orient¿.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: History of Art 2A Reason, Romance, Revolution: Art from 1700 to 1900 (HIAR08027) AND History of Art 2B From Modernism and the Avant-Gardes to Postmodernism and Globalisation (HIAR08028)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students who have passed at least 60 credits of Architectural History at Level 8 can also take these courses. If the pre-requisites cannot be met, entry to this course can be negotiated in consultation with either the Course Organiser or Programme Director (History of Art).
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 24, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 150 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1 x 3-hour online examination paper (50%) and 1 x 2,000 word extended essay (50%)
Feedback Formative Assessment: Students submit a short essay mid-way through the semester. Students will be given written feedback on this within 15 days of the hand-in date. Students are expected to reflect on the given feedback and submit a paragraph with a list of intended action points.

Students will give one 10-minute presentation in the semester. They will be given verbal feedback on this in a meeting following the seminar.

Essay Feedback: Students submit a 2,500-word essay towards the end of the semester. They will be given written feedback on this within 15 days of the hand-in date.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)3-hour online exam3:15
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a knowledge of the defining features of the cross-cultural transmission of Orientalist art and culture.
  2. Describe and explain the relationship between representations of the so-called Orient and issues of power relating to the Western colonisation of the Middle East and North Africa.
  3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of postcolonial theory and theories of cultural translation.
  4. Apply theoretical concepts to analyses of European and American representations of the ¿Orient¿ and the interrelationship between those representations and artworks by Middle Eastern and North African artists
  5. Communicate (verbally and in writing) issues surrounding American and European representations of the so-called Orient and the present-day impact of those representations.
Reading List
Benjamin, R., Orientalist Aesthetics: Art, Colonialism, and French North Africa, 1880-1930 (Berkeley, 2003)

Said, E., Orientalism, edition with new preface (London, 2003)

Roberts, M., Istanbul Exchanges: Ottomans, Orientalists, and Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture (Oakland, 2015)

Celik, Zynep, Displaying the Orient: Architecture of Islam at Nineteenth-century World's Fairs (Berkeley; Oxford, 1992)

Lewis, R., Gendering Orientalism: Race, Femininity, and Representation (Abingdon, 1996)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Claudia Hopkins
Course secretaryMiss Chloe Hancock
Tel: (0131 6)50 4124
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