Art and Ideas II: More Art, More Ideas - Critique and Historiography in the History of Art

The details
Art History and Theory
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
02 January 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA V314 Art History,
BA V315 Art History (Including Placement Year),
BA V31B Art History (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA V350 Art History (Including Foundation Year),
BA V35A Art History (Including Year Abroad),
BA VV31 Art History and History,
BA VV32 Art History and History (Including Placement Year),
BA VV38 Art History and History (Including Foundation Year),
BA VV3B Art History and History (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA VV3C Art History and History (Including Year Abroad),
BA V3RB Art History and Modern Languages (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA VR39 Art History and Modern Languages,
BA V3R9 Art History with Modern Languages,
BA VR3B Art History with Modern Languages (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA PV33 Film Studies and Art History (Including Year Abroad),
BA VW36 Film Studies and Art History,
BA VW37 Film Studies and Art History (Including Placement Year),
BA VW38 Film Studies and Art History (Including Foundation Year),
BA VW3B Film Studies and Art History (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA QV23 Literature and Art History,
BA QV24 Literature and Art History (Including Placement Year),
BA QV2H Literature and Art History (Including Foundation Year),
BA QV32 Literature and Art History (Including Year Abroad),
BA QV3B Literature and Art History (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA VV53 Philosophy and Art History,
BA VV54 Philosophy and Art History (Including Foundation Year),
BA VV55 Philosophy and Art History (Including Placement Year),
BA VV5H Philosophy and Art History (Including Year Abroad),
BA VVHP Philosophy and Art History (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA V351 Curating,
BA V352 Curating (Including Year Abroad),
BA V353 Curating (including Placement Year),
BA V359 Curating (Including Foundation Year),
BA V35B Curating (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad)

Module description

New, exciting, and unconventional practices call for new, exciting and unconventional theories. This module will look at how art history has developed in the twentieth century, expanding the discipline to include visual culture, cultural studies of mass culture, performance, material culture, design history and digital culture.

These new ways of seeing are often driven by a critical impetus, and allow us to look in new ways at social and political issues of activism and social change, sex, technology, memes, police violence, migration, austerity and crisis, state surveillance, and our relation to animals and the environment.

Module aims

The aims of the module are:

1. to equip students with a range of the latest methodologies in art history, visual and material culture, performance studies and the digital humanities;

2. to provoke critical reflection on the social role, meaning and purpose of art and culture.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module the student should:

1. have a sound understanding of recent methodological turns beyond art history;

2. be able to articulate and critically evaluate a number of central issues in visual and material culture;

3. be able to evaluate the success of theoretical discussions of these issues with regard to a range of case studies;

4. be able to demonstrate all these competences through seminar presentations and discussions combining theoretical and primary source material and in written work.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

2 hours per week during the autumn term Combined lecture and seminar discussion. Following the formal lecture, one group of students will present a short talk (c. 15 minutes) on the week`s main topic and its related readings. Afterwards, the entire class will be expected to participate in a sustained, careful discussion of the key issues raised in the lecture and student presentation.


  • Saussure, Ferdinand de; Baskin, Wade; Meisel, Perry; Saussy, Haun. (2011) Course in general linguistics, New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Marx, Karl; Engels, Friedrich; Moore, Samuel; Aveling, Edward B. (1974) Capital: a critique of political economy, London: Lawrence and Wishart.
  • Mirzoeff, Nicholas. (2011-03) 'The Right to Look', in Critical Inquiry. vol. 37 (3) , pp.473-496
  • Weizman, Eyal. (2007) 'Checkpoints: The Split Sovereign and the One-Way Mirror', in Hollow land: Israel's architecture of occupation, London: Verso.
  • Knabb, Ken. (2014) 'Separation Perfected', in Society of the Spectacle, Berkeley, CA: Bureau of Public Secrets, U.S.
  • Barthes, Roland. (2012) 'The World of Wrestling', in Mythologies, New York: Hill and Wang., pp.13-23
  • Nicholas Mirzoeff. (2017) The Appearance of Black Lives Matter: [NAME].
  • Williams, Raymond. (1989) 'Culture is Ordinary', in Resources of hope: culture, democracy, socialism, London: Verso.
  • Melissa Hanham. (April 24, 2015) Metadata: MetaUseful & MetaCreepy, Amsterdam: bellingcat.
  • Barthes, Roland. (2012) 'Myth Today', in Mythologies, New York: Hill and Wang., pp.109-126
  • Forty, Adrian. (1986) Objects of Desire: design and society, 1750-1980, London: Thames & Hudson Ltd.
  • Redi, Judith A.; Taktak, Wiem; Dugelay, Jean-Luc. (2011-1) 'Digital image forensics: a booklet for beginners', in Multimedia Tools and Applications. vol. 51 (1) , pp.133-162
  • Williams, Raymond. (1988, c1983) 'Culture', in Keywords: a vocabulary of culture and society, London: Fontana.
  • Forgacs, David. (c1988) 'Structure and Superstructure i, ii and iii', in A Gramsci reader: selected writings, 1916-1935, London: Lawrence and Wishart.
  • Fanon, Frantz; Markmann, Charles Lam; Gilroy, Paul. (2017) Black skin, white masks, London: Pluto Press.
  • Foucault, Michel. (1979) Discipline and punish: the birth of the prison, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Essay 1 (2500 Words)  24/02/2020  40% 
Coursework   Essay 2 (3000 Words)  23/04/2020  40% 
Practical   Weekly Oral Presentations - TOTAL    20% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Gavin Grindon, email:
Dr Gavin Grindon



External examiner

Prof Richard Simon Clay
Newcastle University
Professor of Digital Cultures
Available via Moodle
Of 18 hours, 18 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Art History and Theory

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