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BA Modules 2024/25

The following modules are offered to UCL undergraduate students taking BA History of Art or the History of Art, Materials and Technology route, affiliates registered in the UCL History of Art department, students in the School of European Languages and Cultures (SELCS) who are taking a combined honours degree which includes History of Art in the title, and combined honours students taking BA Philosophy and History of Art.

Year 1 Thematic Seminars are only available to first year students taking the BA History of Art or affiliates in the History of Art Department.

Year 2 Period Modules, Year 2 Methods Modules, and Year 3 Special Subjects are normally available to History of Art students only (single and combined honours). Please remind yourself of your programme diet before making your module choices. Students should check the prerequisites under each module description to see whether they are eligible to take the module.

BASc Arts & Sciences (Cultures pathway) students may only take Year 2 modules if they have completed the first-year survey modules HART0006 and/or HART0005. Details of elective modules open to both UCL degree students and affiliate students who are registered outside the History of Art department are listed on the Art/Architecture in London page.


Year 1

HART0001 History of Art and its Objects - The Core Course - 30 credits

Module tutor: Rosemary Moore (T1) & Jenny Nachtigall (T2) + Postgraduate Teaching Assistants. 
Timetabled: Autumn and spring terms: Lecture 14:00 - 15:00, BA1 discussion group either 09:00 - 10:30 or 15:30 - 17:00, Fridays.
Module description: This is an obligatory introductory module for all History of Art students and is not normally available to students from outside the department. The module is an introduction to a range of skills required to study the History of Art, including the first-hand study of works of art. It is designed to familiarise students with some current debates in the subject, and introduce them to a variety of theoretical positions of which they need to be aware in the course of their degree.
Duration of Module: 20 weeks, beginning in first week of autumn term.
Student Contact Hours: 40, in 20 weekly 1-hour lectures and 20 1-hour seminars.
Prerequisites: Students should normally be in the first year of a Single or Combined Honours degree in History of Art.

First Year Suggested Reading 

Term 1 

HART0006 First-year History of Art Survey (1): Premodernity - c.1600 - 15 credits 

Module Tutor: Alison Wright
Timetabled: Autumn Term: 09:00 - 11:00, Wednesdays
Module Description: The First-Year History of Art Survey comprises two obligatory modules (HART0006 and HART0005) for all History of Art students. In ten lectures each term, students are introduced to key monuments and central issues in the discipline of art history and are encouraged to consider them critically. The main issues that will emerge throughout the modules are: representation and the image’s relation to the world; art history’s relation to history and context; the role of viewer(s); questions of canon formation and methodology. The Survey covers a wide range of art, architecture and visual culture from ancient times to the present day.
Duration of Module: 10 weeks, beginning in the first week of autumn term
Student Contact Hours: Lectures and question time: 20 hours
Prerequisites: Students should normally be in the first year of a Single or Combined Honours degree in History of Art, or History of Art, Materials and Technology

First Year Suggested Reading 

HART0004 Thematic Seminar - 15 credits 

Module Tutor: Students will select a thematic seminar at the start of term taught by an academic member of staff. Rota to be confirmed at the start of the academic year, depending on research leave and other variations in the timetable.  
Timetabled:  Autumn Term: 11:00 - 14:00, Thursdays (seminar will run for two hours either 11:00 - 13:00 or 12:00 - 14:00, to be confirmed by tutor at start of term). 
Module Description:  This module is designed specifically for students on the first-year Single Honours History of Art, or the History of Art, Materials and Technology route. It comprises a number of historical and topical seminar options, which are designed to provide students with smaller group teaching and direct engagement with art objects in museums, galleries and historical sites. Students take one out of the several options on offer during the academic year. The module is taught as a mixture of informal lectures, seminars and/or gallery visits, accompanied by weekly reading projects and group discussion of key issues.   
Duration of Module: 10 weeks, beginning in the first week of autumn term
Student Contact Hours: 20+ 
Prerequisites: Students should normally be in the first year of a Single-Honours degree in History of Art or History of Art, Materials and Technology 

HART0003 Introduction to Art and Science - 15 credits 

Module Tutor: Tea Ghigo
Timetabled: Autumn Term: 14:00 - 16:00, Tuesdays
Module Description: This is an introductory module that covers basic organic and inorganic chemistry in a lab-based environment for first year History of Art, Materials and Technology students. During the course you will learn the scientific foundations needed to understand the relationship between the materials used to make artworks and the physical properties of these materials. The module will cover topics such as the periodic table, bonding, solubility, and pH values. Problem-led lab work will allow you to consolidate your learning and to apply your analytical skills to the study of the materials of art.
Duration of Module: 10 weeks, beginning in the first week of autumn term
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours in 10 weekly 2-hour classes, plus supervised optional practical sessions
Prerequisites: Normally only offered to 1st-year MAT students. No previous experience of chemistry is required to undertake this module

Indicative Weekly Topics and Suggested Reading

Term 2

HART0005 First-year History of Art Survey (1): c.1600 to the Contemporary - 15 credits

Module Tutor: Nick Robbins
Timetabled: Spring Term: 09:00 – 11:00, Wednesdays
Module Description: The First-Year History of Art Survey comprises two obligatory modules (HART0006 and HART0005) for all History of Art students. In ten lectures each term, students are introduced to key monuments and central issues in the discipline of art history and are encouraged to consider them critically. The main issues that will emerge throughout the modules are: representation and the image’s relation to the world; art history’s relation to history and context; the role of viewer(s); questions of canon formation and methodology. The Survey covers a wide range of art, architecture and visual culture from ancient times to the present day.
Duration of Module: 10 weeks, beginning in the first week of spring term
Student Contact Hours: Lectures and question time: 20 hours
Student Workload: Attendance at all lectures, reading in support of lectures, exam
Means of Assessment: 100% by online remote examination in Summer Term
Prerequisites: Students should normally be in the first year of a Single or Combined Honours degree in History of Art, or History of Art, Materials and Technology

First Year Suggested Reading 

HART0144 Thematic Seminar - 15 credits

Module Tutor:  Students will select a thematic seminar at the start of term taught by an academic member of staff. Rota to be confirmed at the start of the academic year, depending on research leave and other variations in the timetable. 
Timetabled: Spring Term: 11:00 - 14:00, Thursdays (seminar will run for two hours either 11:00 - 13:00 or 12:00 - 14:00, to be confirmed by tutor at start of term) 
Module Description:  This module is designed specifically for students on the first-year Single Honours History of Art, or History of Art, Materials and Technology programmes. It comprises a number of historical and topical seminar options, which are designed to provide students with smaller group teaching and direct engagement with art objects in museums, galleries and historical sites. Students take one out of the several options on offer during the academic year. The module is taught as a mixture of informal lectures, seminars and/or gallery visits, accompanied by weekly reading projects and group discussion of key issues.  
Duration of Module: 10 weeks.
Prerequisites: Appropriate background in history or art history

HART0148 Introduction to Media and Technologies - 15 credits 

Module Tutor: Helia Marcal
Timetabled: Spring Term: 11:00 - 13:00, Fridays 
Module Description: This course offers an overview of technologies used to create artworks and cultural objects, from early modernity to the present. These might include but will not be limited to print technologies, still and moving image - photography, video, televised media - and mechanical and electronic projection devices. From paints, prints, daguerreotypes and celluloid strips through electromagnetic signals to bit steams, you will be introduced to the materiality of communication. Challenging the traditional genealogies of media, we will explore the media’s material histories, affordances, and the limits of their use. This class provides a foundation for a profound understanding of the methods and materials used by the makers, at different times and in a multitude of locations, and under consideration of social and technological contexts.
Duration of Module: 10 weeks, beginning in the first week of Spring term.
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours
Prerequisites: Normally only offered to 1st-year MAT students. No previous experience is required to undertake this module

Indicative Weekly Topics and Suggested Reading 


Year 2

All modules are 15 credits taught in one term. Note that the modules are arranged with the autumn term options followed by the spring term options.

Term 1

HART0036 Advanced Lecture in the History of Art (Modern and Contemporary) - 15 credits

Module tutor: New Lecturer in Contemporary Art
Timetabled: Autumn Term: 14:00 - 16:00, Mondays
Module Description: This is a compulsory lecture module for all History of Art single-honours, MAT and combined-honours students. Across ten weeks, it will develop an in-depth study of a significant art history theme with a particular focus on modern and contemporary topics. In 2024/25 this module will be led by a new Lecturer in Contemporary Art. A full description of this module will be published on the departmental website in the summer. 
Duration of Module: 10 weeks, beginning in the first week of autumn term
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours
Prerequisites: Students should have completed a first-year History of Art programme or have equivalent relevant experience

HART0031 History of the Category ‘Art’ - 15 credits

Module tutor: Jenny Nachtigall and Briony Fer
Timetabled: Autumn Term: Lecture 10:00 - 11:00, Seminar 12:00 - 13:00, Tuesdays
This module aims to familiarise students with the ways in which the concept of art has evolved in Europe. It examines the emergence of Aesthetics as a distinct branch of philosophy in eighteenth-century in Britain, France and Germany, and will consider subsequent nineteenth-century developments especially in relation to the role of the category Art in Modernism, and the ways in which it has informed more recent philosophies and histories of art. It is based on the study of texts in Seminars.
Duration of module: 10 weeks, beginning in the first week of autumn term
Student Contact Hours: 20 hours, a mixture of lectures and text-based discussion classes 
Prerequisites: Normally only offered to 2nd-year History of Art students. Other closely similar experience might be acceptable

Indicative Weekly Topics and Suggested Reading

HART0202 Scientific Analysis of Artists’ Materials - 15 credits  

Module tutor: Tea Ghigo 
Timetabled: Autumn Term: 14:00 - 16:00, Thursdays
Module Description: Most cultural institutions around the world are now equipped with scientific laboratories whose technology is constantly evolving, as is their role within the institution. This module centres around the analytical techniques most employed to analyse museum collections, with particular emphasis on paintings, illuminated manuscripts and other works of art on paper. After learning the chemistry behind painting and writing supports, pigments and dyes, students will become familiar with the most common invasive and non-invasive techniques to characterise them. How do x-ray or electron-based techniques work? What information can each technique provide, and how can this be contextualised historically? Furthermore, how can different techniques complement each other in addressing historical questions? Likewise, the course will address broader ethical and methodological questions involved in the material analysis of museum collections: how should an analytical method be chosen? What purposes can scientific analyses have beyond conservation and attribution?   
Duration of module: 10 weeks, beginning in the first week of autumn term. 
Student Contact Hours: 20 hours, a mixture of lectures and text-based discussion classes
Prerequisites: Normally, this course is for MAT students who have completed HART0003 Introduction to Art and Science. HoA students who have equivalent relevant experience may request to attend

Indicative Weekly Topics and Suggested Reading

HART0051 Architecture and Modernity - 15 credits 

Module Tutor: Jacob Paskins
Timetabled: Autumn Term: 14:00 - 16:00, Tuesdays
Module Description:  Architecture today is dominated by international design firms that produce spectacular buildings across the world. But how did architecture become global? This module asks how architectural knowledge and styles spread across continents during the past 150 years. We will confront how European colonialism exported architecture and urban planning to North Africa, the Middle East and India. How did the striking architecture of universal expositions transmit ideas about modernity? How did the so-called International Style of modernism spread through Europe, the United States, Japan, China and South America? Guided by the work of postcolonial theorists and historians, we will examine the reactions to an apparently global form of modern architecture in the twentieth century. Ultimately, we ask if there is any room for regional difference in globalised architectural production? 
Duration of Module: 10 weeks, beginning in the first week of autumn term
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours
Prerequisites: Students should have completed a first-year History of Art programme or have equivalent relevant experience

Indicative Weekly Topics and Suggested Reading List

HART0056 Prints and Printmaking - 15 credits

Module Tutor: Emily Floyd 
Timetabled: Autumn Term: 11:00 - 13:00, Fridays
Module Description: Multiple, ephemeral, mobile: prints, be they woodcuts, engravings, etchings, or lithographs, among other techniques, share certain features that make them unique. Printmaking is a profoundly indexical medium, always referencing the matrix (the woodblock, the copperplate, the lithographic stone) from which the resulting impression was reproduced. Prints have served as models for other art forms, as the vehicles for the circulation of new ideas, as devotional or scientific tools, as book illustration, as colonial tools. This module will focus on a diverse range of techniques and theories of printmaking. Questions to be considered include copies and copying, the multiple image, movement and circulation, and ephemerality. 
Duration of Module: 10 weeks, beginning in the first week of autumn term
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours 
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, gallery visits, one essay, one exam, in-class presentation
Prerequisites: Students should have completed a first-year History of Art programme or have equivalent relevant experience

Indicative Weekly Topics and Suggested Reading - TBC

HART0176 Cutting a figure: Making and Shaping the Body c.1400-1500 - 15 credits

Module Tutor:Alison Wright 
Timetabled:  Autumn Term: 11:00 - 13:00, Thursdays. 
Module Description: This course addresses conceptions of the human body as constructed by artisanal practice, focussing on processes of making and materials: their affordances, associations and the effects that are drawn from them. Focussing on the late medieval to Early Modern period, it explores an expanded field of crafted objects (tableware to armour) as well as some canonical sculptures and paintings, all works that variously represent, stand in for, dress, contain or serve the body.  Continuities with earlier periods as well as changing technologies of making, and developments like the emergence of the ideal ‘nude’ and forms of self-fashioning will be brought into view. Placing our objects of study in relation to wider social and political practices or beliefs, we discuss period discourses and ask how often-unstated constructions of difference (cultures, gender, appearance…) are at play. Each week the class will address a different theme in the making of the body with reference to one or more materials of making. The properties, working and effects of materials - from modelled clay to cloth of gold - will be analysed to gauge the ways they respond to and effect function, meaning and temporality. In a period in which durability and weight were often pre-requisites of crafted bodies, we also recognise fragility and how time remakes the body. 
Duration of Module: 10 weeks, beginning in the first week of autumn term
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours
Prerequisites: Students should have completed a first-year History of Art programme or have equivalent relevant experience

Indicative Weekly Topics  and Suggested Reading

Term 2

HART0035 Advanced Lecture in the History of Art: Remaking the Early Modern Human Body - 15 credits

Module tutor: Rose Marie San Juan
Timetabled: Spring Term: 14:00 - 16:00, Mondays
Module Description: The early modern remaking of the human body entailed many arenas and strategies, from its brutal fragmentation in official practices of punishment and medical research to its re-invention as an artificial entity in the form of the articulated skeleton or the mechanical automaton. A crucial factor was the rendering of the body as a visual image, one that drew on new and innovative formats and materials and served many purposes. What they all shared was the close scrutiny under which they were now assessed:  medical anatomical image’s relation to the experience of the actual human body, differences between the European body and the body now encountered within travels to distant lands and categorised as cannibal, exchanges between the human and non-human body on display in the cabinet of curiosities, radical shifts between religious sacred images and new forms of painting of everyday life in the new  picture gallery, and even the comparison between images of capital punishment and the experience of witnessing such practices. In different ways, all demonstrated the body’s life-like condition, not only as an entity defined through animation but also in constant transition and mutability. This kind of replication of the body, involving artistic invention, experimental technologies and mixtures of the human and non-human, is the focus of this course, which will examine all forms of representation that confront the body as material and in transition, including unpredictable transitions such as those between life and death.  
Duration of Module: 10 weeks, beginning in the first week of spring term
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, one essay, and exam
Prerequisites:  Students should have completed a first-year Art History programme or have equivalent relevant experience

HART0032 Methodologies of Art History - 15 credits

Module tutors: Emily Floyd and New Lecturer in Contemporary Art
Timetabled: Spring Term: Lecture 10:00 – 11:00, Seminar 12:00 – 13:00, Tuesdays
Module Description: This text-based module introduces students to the diverse ways in which art historians engage with and write about visual art and culture. Students will be asked to analyse a range of art historical methods as well as varied approaches to critical writing, with the goals of becoming familiar with recent methodologies that pertain to the visual image and developing ways of bringing critical issues to their research and written work. Topics addressed normally include: formalism, iconography and iconology, the social history of art, psychoanalytic approaches, semiotics, poststructuralism, issues of gender, sexuality and race, postcolonialism.
Duration of Module: 10 weeks, beginning in the first week of spring term.
Student Contact Hours: 20 hours, a mixture of lectures and text-based discussion classes.
Prerequisites: Normally only offered to 2nd-year History of Art students. Other closely similar experience might be acceptable

Indicative Weekly Topics and Suggested Reading

HART0034 Methodologies of Making - 15 credits 

Module tutor: Tea Ghigo  
Timetabled: Spring Term: 11:00 - 13:00, Mondays.  
Module Description: This module focuses on the experimental system of art making, remaking, collecting, mediating, and conserving. It encompasses readings and discussions centred around theories related to the materiality and the immaterial, makers and their tools, the workings of institutions and collections, alongside the notions of time and archive. For the most part, classes will begin with a lecture followed by a discussion. In the first part of the class, students will be introduced to theories of making exemplified by artworks and artefacts related to one of the main topics of the module. In the second part of the class, students might be asked to bring and discuss an example of an artwork or an artefact, to develop a statement drawing on the readings, or to engage in structured debates on the topic of the class. How is theory performed? How is it entangled with practice? How can we theorise practice or develop a practical aesthetics? 
Duration of Module: 10 weeks, beginning in the first week of spring term
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours in 10 weekly 2-hour classes
Prerequisites: Normally offered to 2nd-year History of Art students, but also relevant for other disciplines that engage in theoretical discourses on forms of making

Indicative Weekly Topics and Suggested Reading

HART0054 Theory and History of Conservation - 15 credits 

Module Tutor: Helia Marcal
Timetabled: Spring Term: 14:00 - 16:00, Fridays
Module Description: When thinking about artworks and artefacts, conservation provides an extensively rich area of study of their modes of conception, creation, dissemination, display and perpetuation. This is due to the premise that in order to engage with an artwork, conservation first and foremost seeks to understand what the work is and how it functions within and beyond its historic moment. Outsiders often refer to conservation as a homogenous field of activity that aims at prolonging the cultural objects’ lives into the future. But there are, in fact, different conservations that operate with respect to diverse theories, types of artefacts, institutional settings, historic contexts, and the cultures that produce them. During this module, we will sketch a picture of conservation that always exists between a set of dichotomies of hands and minds, practice and theory, the tangible and the intangible, and the traditional and the new. By putting today’s conservation into an historical perspective, we will examine how more recent conservation became of necessity a reflective, critical practice. Whenever possible, visits to museums and sites of conservation will enrich classroom discussions.
Duration of Module: 10 weeks, beginning in the first week of autumn term
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours
Prerequisites: Students should have completed a first-year History of Art programme or have equivalent relevant experience. This module is a requirement for MAT students but HoA students may also choose it as one of their ‘period’ options

Indicative Weekly Topics and Suggested Reading

HART0203  Curating Mughal South Asia - 15 credits   

Module Tutor: Vivek Gupta 
Timetabled: Spring Term: 11:00 - 13:00, Thursdays
Module Description:  Mughal and Islamic heritage in modern India is undergoing swift erasure. The last years have witnessed the burning of libraries, renaming of cities, and hasty relocation of the National Museum, Delhi. In the UK and US academic institutions and museum collections marginalize the study and curation of Mughal objects as they do not fall neatly within “Islamic” or “South Asian” categories. Nevertheless, British collections of Mughal art are the richest in the world because of the legacy of colonialism. This module introduces students to the history, material culture, and visual arts of Islamicate South Asia (ca. 1200–1850) through a series of exhibition projects from 1985 to the present. The first half of the module provides tools for analyzing various forms of architecture and portable objects including textiles, decorative objects, and manuscripts. The second half of this module focuses on an exhibition in planning on late Mughal India, Hindustani Airs: Women Playing Songs in Lucknow, at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. This show aims to reanimate the ephemeral traces of song, poetry, dance, and play of performance milieus. Together we will query how to curate the arts of Mughal South Asia given advances in scholarship and current political shifts? How can an exhibition on performance cultures shed light on power relations of gender, race, and social class? How do colonial collections impact the stories we tell from Mughal South Asia? Most sessions feature an exhibition and group of star objects that guide the lecture and discussion. We will work from exhibition catalogues, webpages, video tours, and reviews to reimagine exhibitions we cannot visit. This course coincides with a landmark exhibition The Great Moghuls at the V&A.   
Duration of Module: 10 weeks, beginning in the first week of spring term
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours 
Prerequisites: Students should have completed a first-year History of Art programme or have equivalent relevant experience

Indicative Weekly Topics and Suggested Reading

HART0061 Art and Society in France 1848–1914 - 15 credits   

Module Tutor: Tamar Garb 
Timetabled: Spring Term: 11:00 - 13:00, Wednesdays
Module Description:  The course places developments in French Art from Realism to Cubism in social and historical context. Coverage includes the development of the major artistic practices in the period including Realism, Impressionism, Neo-Impressionism, Symbolism, Fauvism and Cubism. We will examine the way that art intersects with important social and political themes including social realism, modernity and modernism, gender, sexuality and representation, race and racialisation, colonialism, orientalism and primitivism. Artists we cover will include Courbet, Manet. Morisot, Cassatt, Degas, Seurat, Gauguin, Picasso and Matisse. Major historical developments in the period which establish a context for the production and reception of art are the 1848 revolution, the 2nd Empire, the Franco-Prussian war, the Commune, the 3rd republic, Anarchism, The Dreyfus Affair and colonial expansion. Throughout aesthetic and social/political concerns will be explored in tandem.  
Duration of Module: 10 weeks, beginning in the first week of spring term
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours 
Prerequisites: Students should have completed a first-year History of Art programme or have equivalent relevant experience

HART0201 The Arts of Living - 15 credits

Module Tutor: Jenny Nachtigall 
Timetabled: Spring Term: 14:00 - 16:00, Tuesdays
Module Description: One of the most enduring origin stories of the modern European avant-gardes is that they wanted to transform art into life. But what do we mean when we talk about life in relation to art? Focussing on the period c.1900-1960, this module will engage with the roles of images and objects in broader debates on the living and the dead in modernity. The module aims to introduce students to practices and theories that were left out of canonical accounts of the modern avant-garde movements and their social roles in times of political upheaval and technological change. We will revisit European interwar avant-gardes like Expressionism, Dada, Surrealism, New Objectivity and Soviet Productivism through a new lens on the life and the living. In so doing, we will think about how seemingly neutral concerns with the organic, animation and animism relate to the politics of the body, colonialism, and questions of the environment. At the core of the module will be the artistic and political diversity through which “life” is represented, produced, staged, or contested in modern art and architecture, and in the writing of its histories.   
Duration of Module: 10 weeks, beginning in the first week of spring term
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours 
Prerequisites: Students should have completed a first-year History of Art programme or have equivalent relevant experience

Indicative Weekly Topics and Suggested Reading

HART0197 Imaginary Gardens, Real Toads: Painting in the Low Countries, 1550-1700 - 15 credits   

Module Tutor:Allison Stielau 
Timetabled: Spring Term: 11:00 - 13:00, Fridays
Module Description:  This module considers painting produced in the Low Countries (modern-day Belgium and the Netherlands) in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It tracks the invention and proliferation of scenes of every-day life without clearly identifiable narratives. These include the largely unpeopled categories of still life and landscape as well as so-called genre scenes, which depict common activities of work and pleasure. The quotidian subjects and curious naturalistic aesthetic of these paintings have presented art historians with an interpretive conundrum. Are they message-less mirrors of the early modern world? Or didactic and moralizing scenes that should be read symbolically? Moreover, can their realisms be taken at face value, or are artistic liberties (and contemporary visual clichés) identifiable in the representation of everything from frogs and tulips to scenes of agricultural harvest and popular festivities? To what extent might we understand the subjects of our investigations with the seeming contradiction once formulated by the poet Marianne Moore: “imaginary gardens with real toads in them”?    
Duration of Module: 10 weeks, beginning in the first week of spring term
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours
Prerequisites: Students should have completed a first-year History of Art programme or have equivalent relevant experience

Indicative Weekly Topics and Suggested Reading

Year 3  

The essay options are set out first. All Special Subject modules are of 30 credits and are taught over both terms.

Final Year Essay Options

HART0118 BA Dissertation in History of Art - 30 credits

Module tutor: All Staff
A 10,000 word essay dissertation to be handed in at the beginning of Term 3. Students define a research project with the help and approval of the Department and receive guidance while undertaking the research and writing the dissertation. 

HART0119 Independent Study Essay in History of Art - 15 credits 

Module tutor: All Staff
A 4500-5,000 word essay to be handed in normally at the beginning of Term 2. This 15-credit module is designed to enable students to present an essay for assessment in connection with their own private studies. Students define the topic with the help of a member of staff in the Department and receive guidance while undertaking the research and writing the essay.

HART0120 BA Dissertation in History of Art, Materials and Technology Project Paper - 30 credits

Module tutor: All Staff
A 10,000 word dissertation to be handed in at the beginning of the Summer term. Students define a History of Art, Materials and Technology research project with the help and approval of the Department and receive guidance while undertaking the research and writing the essay. 

HART0108 (MAT only) Art/Work/Space - 15 credits 

Module tutor: Tea Ghigo
This is a work placement module that entails a work experience in a museum, heritage institution, collection, gallery, conservation studio or in the art trade. On the basis of the experience acquired during this module, students write an essay on a topic relating to one of the aspects of this experience. This module is available only to MAT students. 
Duration of Module: 10 + weeks
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours
Student Workload: Students carry out a work placement and write regular short texts related to their placement to form a portfolio
Means of Assessment: Portfolio (up to 3000 words)
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year MAT module

Final Year Special Subject Modules

HART0088 Art and Visual Culture in Early Modern England - 30 credits 

Module Tutor: Rosemary Moore
Timetabled: 14:00 - 16:00, Tuesdays
Module Description: This course will examine the intersections of art and visual culture, medicine, knowledge and authority in early modern England. The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were characterised by religious, dynastic and political upheaval in Britain, while the violence of colonialism and slavery can also be traced back to the period. At the same time, movement of people, and of ideas – facilitated in part by the development of print – contributed to technological innovation, scientific curiosity and empiricism. How then might we understand the role of images in all this? Concepts of mobility, transformation and exchange will be key to our approach, as will the representation of the human body. From self-fashioning and heraldic devices in portraiture, to case studies of anatomical imagery that offer insight into the capacity of print to rapidly disseminate information across geographical borders, we will inviestigate a wide range of media. Alongside this, we will consider different approaches to observing, measuring and recording. In this way, we aim open up questions as to the presumed ‘naturalism’ of, for instance, John White’s watercolours representing the indigenous inhabitants encountered during colonizing expeditions to Roanoke Island in the 1580s, or the meticulous copperplate engravings of Robert Hooke’s Micrographia (1665).
Duration of Module: 20 weeks
Duration of Module: 20 weeks
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours 
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art module or equivalent relevant experience

Indicative Weekly Topics and Suggested Reading

HART0106 Architecture and the Modern City - 30 credits

Module Tutor: Jacob Paskins
Timetabled: 11:00 - 13:00, Mondays
Module Description: Architecture is inhabitable, multi-dimensional space. But film, photography, drawings and texts provide much of our understanding of architecture and the modern city. This module asks what different forms of architectural dissemination can tell us about the design and meaning of buildings and urban space. How does cinema, television and radio represent architecture to a mass public? How has architecture become a touchstone in the art of comics? How do written texts including guidebooks and magazines communicate architectural knowledge to diverse audiences? How do manifestos and the architecture book transmit new ideas about architectural design? Asking these questions, we will explore how historians have used these different modes of architectural representation to write the history of architecture in the twentieth century. Finally, we will consider how these varied artefacts continue to inspire architecture and urban design.
Duration of Module: 20 weeks
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours 
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art module or equivalent relevant experience

Indicative Weekly Topics and Suggested Reading

HART0177 German Art, 1450-1600: Renaissance and Reformation - 30 credits

Module Tutor: Allison Stielau 
Timetabled: 11:00 - 13:00, Wednesdays
Module Description: This module considers visual and material culture produced in German-speaking lands between 1450 and 1600. Renaissance and Reformation are two conceptual frames that have shaped the study of this period, which spans both the flourishing of cultural production informed by an interest in antiquity and the profound upheavals of religious schism that would reorder Europe’s political and social landscape. Over the course of two terms, we will interrogate the usefulness of Renaissance and Reformation for understanding “German Art” while gaining familiarity with a wide variety of media, from popular printed broadsides to carved wooden altarpieces, fine panel paintings and engravings, and the jewel-like vessels of elite art collections. We will also engage with some of the most significant artistic and religious debates of the period. Was Italian art superior to its Northern counterpart? What role should images play within Christian devotion? What should artists portray if the traditional subjects become inappropriate? We conclude with the historiographical question of how the Reformation and the so-called Northern Renaissance in the sixteenth century have impacted the discipline of Art History as a whole.  
Duration of Module: 20 weeks 
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours 
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art module or equivalent relevant experience

Indicative Weekly Topics and Suggested Reading

HART0196 On Property: Photography, Land and Labour in America - 30 credits

Module Tutor: Stephanie Schwartz
Timetabled: 14:00 - 16:00, Thursdays
Module Description: This module takes as its subject the concept of property. More specifically, it seeks to examine how property became a critical framework through which to account for the emergence of the modern liberal subject as someone who owns their land and labour. Our focus will be on the role photography played and continues to play in this process as well as the process by which someone or something (land, labour, housing, etc.) comes to be owned. We will also consider photography as a form of property, attending to foundational debates about reparation and authorship. 
The course is organised chronologically, offering a survey of key photographic practices through which the ownership of land and labour were fought over and reinvented. However, it will eschew a concern with the development of photography as a medium or an artistic practice for a more synchronic account of the social spaces through which that which is counted as property was - and still is - contested, including the battlefield, the prison, the factory, and the home. Course readings will mix histories of photography with geography and political economy in order to ask students to consider the multiple technologies making these spaces public and private. Likewise, it will consider how subjects are made to belong - or not - to a public, be it a nation or a neighbourhood, or even a class. Accordingly, weekly readings will also contend with critical studies of race, gender, and class as they frame current studies of photography and property. Influential films will also serve as points or sites of critical intervention, allowing students to take stock of the wider visual landscape through which the subject as property or as an owner of property was invented.
Duration of Module: 20 weeks
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours 
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art module or equivalent relevant experience

Indicative Weekly Topics and Suggested Reading

HART0198 Planetary/Provincial: Modern Art and Architecture in its Global Contexts - 30 credits

Module Tutor: Jenny Nachtigall
Timetabled: 11:00 - 13:00, Thursdays
Module Description: Arguably modernism was always driven by transcultural dynamics, even if art history remained stubbornly national. In this module we will engage with the challenges of a planetary outlook on modern art, architecture and aesthetics. In place of national surveys and further additions to the European canon, we will think about points of contact, appropriation and circulation in the art, architecture and aesthetics of Europe, East Asia and Africa between c. 1850–1960. Drawing on a number of case studies from Czechoslovakia, Germany, Japan and Nigeria, the module will also introduce key debates on the modern nexus of art and anthropology and emerging scholarship on the contradictions of colonial entanglement. We will pay close attention to material infrastructures of colonial trade, travel and economic exchange but also think about modes of world-making enabled by radical pedagogies, socialist and feminist internationalisms and transnational networks of solidarity and friendship.
Duration of Module: 20 weeks 
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours 
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art module or equivalent relevant experience

Indicative Weekly Topics and Suggested Reading

HART0168 Civilizations of the Book: The Global Middle Ages Through Illustrated Manuscripts - 30 credits 

Module Tutor: Jacopo Gnisci 
Timetabled: 11:00– 13:00, Fridays
Module Description: This module focuses on the birth and development of manuscript illumination in the Christian world between the late antique and medieval periods. We will: examine the classical background of manuscript illustration and the emergence of different centres of manuscript production in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East; explore and discuss the interconnections between images, texts, and Christian identity and the value of illuminations as historical sources for studying our global past; and reflect on how the material evidence has shaped existing approaches to these objects. By the end of this module you should be able to: a) identify the main visual and material features of a manuscript; b) outline the chronology of manuscript illustration between ca. 350 CE and 750 CE; c) recognize the differences between manuscripts produced in the Latin, Byzantine, Syriac, Armenian, Coptic, and Ethiopic traditions and demonstrate familiarity with key examples of these traditions; and d) critically analyse interconnections between images, texts and identity in the late antique and early medieval Mediterranean world. 
Duration of Module: 20 weeks  
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours  
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art module or equivalent relevant experience

Indicative Weekly Topics and Suggested Reading

HART0113 Place, Space and the Imagination: Reviewing the Italian City - 30 credits 

Module Tutor: Alison Wright 
Timetabled: 16:00 - 18:00, Mondays 
Module Description: This advanced-level art history course takes Henri Lefebvre’s concept of space as ‘socially produced’ as a point of departure for examining and questioning practices of urban planning, forms of religious space, performance, representation (artistic and political) and mapping in Italian cities from the late Medieval period to the early sixteenth century. Moving between actual and imagined spaces - civic, religious and domestic - the course tracks and seeks to account for changes in spatial experience and understanding in a period that encompassed the radical spatial developments of early Renaissance art.  The course draws on cross-disciplinary concerns in historical anthropology, sociology, and ideological criticism as well as art history, theories of vision, materiality and reception to re-consider monumental spaces, Italian (and some Netherlandish) works in all media. We have flexibility, so you will be invited to bring your own interests to the table at the start of the course. 
Duration of Module: 20 weeks  
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours  
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art module or equivalent relevant experience

Indicative Weekly Topics and Suggested Reading

HART0205 Colonial/Modern: Indigenous Art Past and Present - 30 credits

Module Tutor: Emily Floyd 
Timetabled: 14:00 - 16:00, Mondays
Module Description: Beginning from decolonial theorist Anibal Quijano’s contention that modernity and coloniality are inextricably linked, this course considers the way the category of Indigenous art and Indigenous artists have been shaped by colonial systems of power. Beginning in 1492 and the arrival of Europeans to what would come to be understood as America, we will explore how Indigenous peoples reacted to and resisted colonial authority and how European ideologies have inflected historical understandings of Indigenous artistic production. We will then proceed to consider such topics as Enlightenment theories of race, nineteenth-century colonial and independence movements, and modern and contemporary Indigenous artists’ reclaiming and reframing of past narratives. Other themes this course might address include tourism, pop culture, activism, and the digital, with room for flexibility in response to current events and student interests.   
Duration of Module: 20 weeks  
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours  
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art module or equivalent relevant experience

Indicative Weekly Topics and Suggested Reading - TBC

HART0172 Art and Visual Culture in Modern South Asia - 30 credits

Module Tutor: Aparna Kumar 
Timetabled: 14:00 - 16:00, Fridays
Module Description: This module examines developments in painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, film, museums, and exhibitionary culture across the Indian subcontinent from 1850 to the present through modalities of the nation and national identity in South Asia. This was a dynamic period in the region’s long history that saw the rise and fall of colonial empires, the emergence of nationalism(s), global conflict and crises of territory, migration and displacement. In addition to mapping the major centres of South Asian art and discourse in the twentieth century, this module will probe the artistic achievements of pioneering South Asian modernists, alongside contemporary voices to open a window into the complex social, political and cultural coordinates across which histories of art and modernism in South Asia emerged and continue to unfold. This module will also probe the role of art and art history in the formation of Indian and Pakistani nationalism in the early twentieth century. 
Duration of Module: 20 weeks  
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours  
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art module or equivalent relevant experience

Indicative Weekly Topics and Suggested Reading

HART0174 Landscape: Empire, Industry, Environment - 30 credits

Module Tutor: Nick Robbins 
Timetabled: 09:00 - 11:00, Tuesdays
Module Description: If W.J.T. Mitchell has described landscape as the “dreamwork of imperialism,” it was also the dreamwork of industrial capitalism. The era in which landscape attained prominence as an artistic genre in Britain (c. 1750-1850) coincides both with key phases in British imperial expansion and with the development of fossil-fuel intensive industrialisation. So, what do we do with landscape now? This module revisits the study of landscape imagery, focused on Britain and its former empire, in order to critically engage its continuing relevance for histories of ecology, power, and the social functions of representation. While major artists in the canon of British landscape painting will be considered, the course will take a broader approach to landscape imagery and its circulation across mediums and geographies. Special attention will be paid to moments in which the stability of the landscape genre is disrupted or diverted - by issues of mis-translation and dislocation; by resistant or oppositional knowledge systems; by active revolt against territorial regimes; and by the materiality of artworks and natural forces themselves. 
Duration of Module: 20 weeks  
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours  
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art module or equivalent relevant experience

Indicative Weekly Topics and Suggested Reading

HART0116 Psycho - 30 credits

Module Tutor: Mignon Nixon 
Timetabled: 11:00 - 13:00, Tuesdays. 
Module Description: Since its inception in Freud’s work, psychoanalysis has demonstrated its awareness that psychoanalysis and art share their operational terrain of unconscious processes: the question of how they do so is another matter - one which is largely still up for grabs.  

Juliet Mitchell, 2019 

This module investigates dynamic interactions of art, psychoanalysis, and politics. From the Surrealist revolution to the present, art, film, performance, and visual culture have seized on radical ideas of psychoanalysis to articulate—to connect--subjectivity and politics. Psychoanalysis for its part has looked to art to develop its theories of the unconscious, sexuality, violence, and death. The fundamental proposition of psychoanalysis, its core idea, is the unconscious. In this module, we look at the role of the unconscious in representation, focusing especially on trends of sexuality, gender, and violence. We reflect upon the family, war, sexual violence, and groups. Among the concepts we explore are: dream-work, free association, play, the drives, sexual difference, gender difference, bisexuality, the symptom, hysteria, polymorphous perversity, humour, the death drive, the uncanny, fetishism, work of mourning, melancholia, mastery, repression, resistance, and transference. We may read selections from the theoretical writings of Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein, Wilfred Bion, Jacques Lacan, D.W. Winnicott, Marion Milner, André Green, Franz Fanon, Franco Fornari, Hanna Segal, Julia Kristeva, and Juliet Mitchell, among others. We may consider the work of artists and filmmakers including Louise Bourgeois, Claude Cahun, Sophie Calle, Andrea Fraser, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Mona Hatoum, Isaac Julien, Mary Kelly, Silvia Kolbowski, Yayoi Kusama, Glenn Ligon, Sarah Lucas, Steve McQueen, Ana Mendieta, Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen, Senga Nengudi, Yoko Ono, Carolee Schneemann, Cindy Sherman, Rosemarie Trockel, Kara Walker, and Carrie Mae Weems. We may draw upon the critical writings of Parveen Adams, Sara Ahmed, Jo Applin, Leo Bersani, Rizvana Bradley, Judith Butler, Douglas Crimp, Tim Dean, Briony Fer, Shoshana Felman, Hal Foster, Margaret Iversen, Kobena Mercer, Jose Muñoz, Griselda Pollock, Jacqueline Rose, Christine Ross, Kalpara Seshadri-Crooks, Hortense Spillers, Susan Suleiman, and Michele Wallace, among others. There will be occasional film screenings and exhibition visits, and students will be encouraged to explore the plethora of lectures and public events on and around psychoanalysis and culture at UCL and in London. 
Duration of Module: 20 weeks  
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours  
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art module or equivalent relevant experience

Indicative Weekly Topics and Suggested Reading

HART0078 Advanced Undergraduate Course in the History of Art: Modern & Contemporary - 30 credits

Module Tutor: New Lecturer in Contemporary Art 
Timetabled: 16:00 - 18:00, Tuesdays
Module Description: This final-year special subject will be led by a new Lecturer in Contemporary Art, who the History of Art Department will be appointing in spring 2024. This new module will centre on visual, theoretical and aesthetic questions as well as recent and contemporary art practices. The full module description will be announced once the new lecturer has been appointed, but topics may include critical debates around racism and racialisation; migration and diaspora; cross-cultural and cross-regional interactions; and/or ecologies and environmental politics. 
Duration of Module: 20 weeks 
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours  
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art module or equivalent relevant experience