AR119-4-AU-CO:
Art and Ideas: I(B)

The details
2019/20
Art History and Theory
Colchester Campus
Autumn
Undergraduate: Level 4
Current
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
15
03 July 2019

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

(none)

Key module for

BA V314 Art History,
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

This module aims to provide an overview of the varied ways in which art historians, philosophers, artists and critics have thought and written about art from Antiquity to the twentieth century. It is organised around two major themes: Representation, and the problematic emotions of pity and fear.
The module begins by examining a painting by the Belgian surrealist René Magritte, The Treachery of Images. We will consider how Magritte addresses issues relating to representation that have preoccupied artists and thinkers throughout history. Next, we will explore some of the writings on art of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato – particularly in the Republic and Ion. We will examine Plato's critique of the arts and consider the wider implications of his positions. In the following weeks we will consider how some of the same problems have been addressed at other points in history, looking at the writings of Leonardo da Vinci and Roland Barthes. The module next turns to the issue of negative emotions such as pity and fear. The question of whether artists should depict these emotions, or try to arouse them in their viewers, was one that preoccupied Plato. It was taken up by Plato's follower Aristotle, who wrote a powerful defence of both art as a whole and tragedy specifically. Aristotle's short treatise, the Poetics, has had a lasting influence on art theory in Europe and elsewhere. We will consider how it might contribute to our understanding of art, and tragedy in particular. Alongside this, we shall consider the notion of horror as it is analysed by Julia Kristeva. The module draws to a close with an exploration of Friedrich Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy, in which a discourse developed over millennia, and rooted in the philosophy of Aristotle, collides with the preoccupations of Modernity.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

to provide students with knowledge of some of the key theoretical issues relating to the history of art;

to encourage students to interact and to engage critically with theoretical texts relating to the study of art history;

to develop students' skills of analysis and interpretation of works of art and architecture;

to stimulate students to develop skills in oral and written communication through debates, essays, and examinations;

to introduce students to original works of art and architecture in galleries and museums, in addition to their classroom studies

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module students should be able:

to demonstrate a sound knowledge and grasp of a number of key theoretical texts relating to the study of the history of art;

to speak and write articulately about theoretical issues relating to the study of the history of art;

to analyse and interpret works of art and architecture;

to relate their analyses and interpretations of works of art to theoretical literature;

to approach theoretical literature in a critical fashion.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

No information available.

Bibliography

  • John M. Cooper; Plato. (1997) Plato: Complete Works, Indianapolis, IA: Hackett.
  • Kemp, Martin; Walker, Margaret; Leonardo. (1989) Leonardo on painting: an anthology of writings, New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • Aristotle. (1984) The complete works of Aristotle: the revised Oxford translation, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. vol. 2
  • Sontag, Susan. (©1971, 1974, 1977) On photography, London: Penguin.
  • Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm; Smith, Douglas. (2000) The birth of tragedy, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Kristeva, Julia. (1982) Powers of horror: an essay on abjection, New York: Columbia University Press.

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 Slide Test 20%
Coursework Essay (1500 words) 09/12/2019 60%
Practical In-class Quizzes TOTAL 20%
Practical In-class Quiz (week 4)
Practical In-class Quiz (week 6)
Practical In-class Quiz (week 8)
Practical In-class Quiz (week 10)
Exam 120 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main)

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Caspar Pearson
spahinfo@essex.ac.uk

 

Availability
Yes
Yes
No

External examiner

Prof Richard Simon Clay
Newcastle University
Professor of Digital Cultures
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 28 hours, 24 (85.7%) hours available to students:
4 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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