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

Undergraduate Course: Analysing Art History: Texts, Objects, Institutions (Non-Compulsory Year Abroad) (HIAR10162)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
Course typeYear Abroad AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis is an optional course to be taken in the second semester of the third year by all single and joint-honours History of Art and Fine Art students who are following a non-compulsory year abroad. It is designed to keep you in touch with History of Art at Edinburgh while you are studying abroad, and to support your development of independent research skills, towards the writing of your final year dissertation when you return. It is co-taught by a team of lecturers in History of Art, through a programme of regular, recorded one-hour lectures, supported by individual supervisions by email and/or online via Teams.
Course description Analysing Art History: Texts, Objects, Institutions (Non-compulsory year abroad) offers an introduction to the study and analysis of the objects and institutions of art history. Lectures will focus on how to approach the analysis of different types of objects, including the analysis of form, materials and techniques, and how to investigate the social and historical meanings of objects. Lectures will also introduce the critical study of museums and galleries, the idea of 'institutional critique', and the study of curatorial strategies of display.

The course allows you to frame your own area of investigation, through choosing a particular object, institution or display for close analysis. It is assessed by a 4,000 word Analytical Project, in which you will analyse your choice of EITHER:
An object (e.g. painting, sculpture, monument, illustrated manuscript or book, suite of prints or drawings, applied arts object, relic, etc.) from any period or geographical region (you are encouraged to think creatively about visual and material culture and what exactly constitutes an 'art object')
OR: A particular exhibition or museum display.

The object or display MUST be chosen from your surroundings in your exchange country, and it MUST be something you can go and see while you are there.

You should develop your project in consultation with an academic supervisor, who will work with you in TWO supervisions of up to half an hour each, via Teams, telephone, email or other suitable means, and who will offer you feedback on your plan and bibliography. For those who need it, it will be possible to sign up for a THIRD supervision, again by Skype or email or other suitable channel, 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 focus for 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.

This course is pass/fail and is counted towards the award of credit on aggregate for the year abroad. It is not considered in the calculation of the final classification. The award of credit decision is made by the most appropriate School Board of Examiners for the course. The decision on award of credit will then be communicated to the College Study Abroad Progression Committee, which will confirm the student's progression status.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: History of Art 2 (HIAR08012) OR ( Architectural History 2a: Order & the City (ARHI08006) AND Architectural History 2b: Culture & the City (ARHI08007))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Dissertation/Project Supervision Hours 2, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 183 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) This course has 1 assessment component.

4,000 word independent research project (100%) due in week 11.
Feedback Formative feedback: You will meet with your supervisor at a mutually agreed time in Weeks 5-7, and should bring with you a 500-word plan for your Project, plus initial reading list. Your supervisor will give you verbal feedback on this plan in the meeting.

Students will in addition receive written summative feedback for their final assessments within 15 days.
No Exam Information
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. Acquire an informed and multi-faceted awareness of the element of institutional interpretation that necessarily informs viewers' encounters with works of art.
  3. Analyse art objects 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
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.
Hans Ulrich Obrist, A Brief History of Curating (Zurich: JRP/Ringer, 2008).
Anthony Gardner and Charles Green, Biennials, Triennials and Documenta: The Exhibitions that Created Contemporary Art (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016).
James Voorhies, Beyond Objecthood: The Exhibition as a Critical Form since 1968 (MIT, 2017).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Visual and critical analysis
Clear thinking and use of evidence
Independent research
Presentation and communication skills
Organization and planning
Study Abroad This course is designed exclusively for Study Abroad students. Lectures are recorded and made available via Learn, and supervisions happen by email, Skype or other suitable channel. The award of credit decision is made by the History of Art Board of Examiners and communicated to the College Study Abroad Progression Committee, which will confirm the student's progression status or not.

If this course is taken on top of 120 credits, or equivalent, that the student is taking whilst abroad, then permission is needed from College.

If this course is taken and included in the 120 credits, or equivalent, then no permission is required.
KeywordsArt history,objects,exhibitions,displays
Course organiserDr Yashaswini Chandra
Tel: (01316) 511782
Course secretaryMiss Chloe Hancock
Tel: (0131 6)50 4124
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