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

Undergraduate Course: Art History: Texts, Objects, Institutions, Part Two (HIAR10158)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis is a compulsory course to be taken in Semester 2 by all third-year single honours students in History of Art, some combined honours students and all fourth-year Fine Art students, except for those doing the History of Art Work Placement. It is designed to support your development of independent research skills and the writing of your independent Analytical Project(s). It is co-taught by a team of lecturers in History of Art, through a programme of regular one-hour lectures, supported by individual or small-group supervisions.
Course description Art History: Texts, Objects, Institutions, Part Two offers an introduction to the writing of art history and the uses of art theory and art criticism. Lectures will focus on how to approach the analysis of different types of texts, including key theoretical and philosophical ideas which have influenced the study of history of art (such as, for example, Marxism or post-structuralism), as well as introducing the study of art criticism, and recent changes in art criticism such as the rise of online blogs and the decline of the 'expert'. This course will build upon the Part One course in Semester One, which introduced the study of objects and institutions, by developing these skills in relation to the study of art-historical and theoretical texts and art criticism.

Like Part One, this course allows you to frame your own area of investigation through choosing a particular text or selection of texts for close analysis. It is assessed by a 4,000 word Analytical Project, in which you will analyse your choice of EITHER an example of a major art-theoretical or art-historical text, OR 1-3 exhibition reviews or pieces of art criticism. You should develop your project in consultation with an academic supervisor, who will meet with you in TWO supervisions of up to half an hour each and who will offer you feedback on your plan and bibliography. Again, for those who need it, it will be possible to sign up for a THIRD supervision, towards the end of the semester, to discuss any problems or questions arising as you prepare to submit your project.

Throughout the course there is an emphasis on the development of individual research and study skills. You will be guided and advised by your supervisor to choose the text(s) on which you will focus your Analytical Project, and supported by them in developing a list of key readings and resources. In this way, the course is designed to help you develop the independent study skills you need to prepare for your final-year dissertations.

For students taking this course whilst studying abroad (e.g., modern languages students), lectures are recorded and made available online, and supervisions are by email and/or Skype.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: History of Art 2 (HIAR08012)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History of Art courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate confidence and ability in developing your own independent research project through all stages from conception to completion.
  2. Show a sophisticated understanding of the different types and genres of art-historical writing and their different aims and methodological features.
  3. Analyse relevant texts in ways that acknowledge divergent traditions of art-historical interpretation and the controversies that arise within these.
  4. Develop the scholarly and practical skills associated with more independent forms of study such as the undergraduate dissertation. This includes skills such as time management, compiling a bibliography, the effective use of library and online resources, as well as the process of selecting and evaluating sources.
Reading List
Amelia Jones, The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader, Routledge, 2002.
Anne D'Alleva, How to Write Art History, 2nd edition. London: Laurence King, 2010.
Donald Preziosi, The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Grant Pooke and Diana Newall, Art History: The Basics. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2008.
Wilfried Van Damme et al, eds, World Art Studies: Exploring Concepts and Approaches. Zurich: Begriffe, 2011.
James Elkins The State of Art Criticism, New York, 2010.
Kerr Houston, Introduction to Art Criticism, Boston, 2013.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Critical analysis
Independent research
Organisation and planning
KeywordsHistory of Art,Theory,Methods,Art criticism,Research,Independent study
Course organiserDr Tamara Trodd
Tel: (0131 6)51 3120
Course secretaryMrs Sue Cavanagh
Tel: (0131 6)51 1460
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