Institute of Archaeology
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Art: interpretation and explanation

This course aims to introduce students to a range of approaches to art conceived as a behavioural, social and cultural phenomenon.

Particular attention will be paid to questions of conceptualisation, theoretical logic and to the methodologies of art interpretation, with a broadly comparative framework.

Aims of the course

This course aims to introduce students to a range of theoretical approaches to art conceived as a behavioral, social and cultural phenomenon. Particular attention will be paid to questions of conceptualization, theoretical logic and to the methodologies of art interpretation within a broadly comparative framework.

Objectives

On successful completion of this course a student should:

  • Have a basic knowledge of the major theoretical perspectives and methodologies in art analysis.
  • Be able to explain the main strengths and shortcomings of such theories and methodologies
  • Be able to critically evaluate the selection and implementation of such perspectives in secondary literature
  • Be able to develop an independent research project informed by theoretical perspectives and based upon methodologies appropriate to their empirical material

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course students should have developed:

  • Independence in the critical assessment and evaluation of research.
  • Ability to orally communicate and discuss in clear terms complex ideas and theories.
  • Ability to develop sustained and coherent written analysis and evaluation of other people’s research.
  • Ability to apply acquired knowledge in context of independent work.

Teaching Methods

The course is taught through seminars. Seminars have weekly recommended readings, which students will be expected to have done, to be able fully to follow and actively to contribute to discussion. Students may be asked to make short presentations of case study material – in order to maximize the spread of comparative knowledge whilst ensuring the amount of reading is manageable.

  • Code: ARCLG067
  • Credits: 30
  • Coordinator: Jeremy Tanner
  • Prerequisite: A background in art history, anthropology or archaeology of art.
  • Handbook: open»

For registered students

  • Moodle page: open»
  • Turnitin id: 434905
  • Reading list:

Availability: Not running in 2013-14


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