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BA module descriptions

BA modules 2018/19

Modules offered to UCL History of Art BA, History of Art with Material Studies BA and Affiliate/Erasmus students registered with the UCL Department of History of Art.

ALL Year 1 Thematic Seminars, Year 2 Period Modules, Year 2 Methods Modules, and Year 3 Special Subjects are restricted to History of Art Students only (SH, CH, BASc/Culture).

Year 1

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

Module tutor: Natasha Eaton
Timetabled: Autumn and Spring Terms; Fridays 2-5pm.

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.
Student Contact Hours: 40, in 20 weekly 1-hour lectures and 20 1-hour seminars.
Duration of Module: 20 weeks, beginning in first week of Autumn term.
Student Workload: Reading and other preparation for weekly classes, three pieces of written work and an oral presentation (notes submitted).
Means of Assessment: 3 assessed essays (essay 1 exhibition review: 1500-1800 words; essay 2 critical object-based response: 1800-2000 words; essay 3: 2000-2500 words) and 1 x 12-15 minute presentation task (each element 25% of the overall mark).
Prerequisites: Students should normally be in the first year of a Single or Combined Honours degree in History of Art.

First Year Summer reading list

HART0006 History of European Art: Classical to Renaissance - The Foundation Course I - 15 credits

Module tutor: Rose Marie San Juan
Timetabled: Autumn Term; Wednesdays, 9-11am.
These are obligatory introductory modules for all History of Art students. In ten lectures each term students are introduced to the dominant narrative of art history as an historical development ('the canon'), and are encouraged to look at that model critically. The subject matter of the lecture series ranges from classical to contemporary art. Space is also given to categories outside the conventional canon.
Student Contact Hours: Lectures and question time: 20 hours for each course.
Duration of  Module: 10+ weeks, the first course begins in first week of Autumn term, the second in the first week of the Spring term.
Student Workload: Attendance at all lectures, reading in support of lectures, exam.
Means of Assessment: 100% by unseen examination in Summer Term.
Prerequisites: Students should normally be in the first year of a Single or Combined Honours degree in History of Art.

First Year Summer reading list

HART0003 Science for Art Historians - 15 credits

Module tutor: Emma Richardson
Timetabled: Autumn Term; Tuesdays 11-1pm.
Introductory module covering basic organic and inorganic chemistry in a lab-based environment for first year History of Art students. The module will lay the scientific foundations for understanding the relationship between the composition of artefacts, physical properties, and application. The first part of the module will cover topics such as the periodic table, solubility, pH, and bonding. We will begin with a review of the basics in order to set a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding materials, such as the physical properties of bronze or the deterioration mechanisms of painting.
Duration of module: 10 weeks, beginning in the first week of the Spring term.
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours.
Student Workload: Attendance at all classes, prescribed and back-up reading, lab work, essay
Means of Assessment: 20% written-up lab work, 20% essay (2000 words), 60% by unseen exam (2 hours).
Prerequisites: Normally only offered to 1st-year HAMS students. No previous experience of chemistry is required to undertake this module.

HART0004 Thematic Seminar - 15 credits (Autumn)

Module tutors: Mechthild Fend, Rose Marie San Juan, Rye Holmboe and Emily Floyd
Timetabled: Autumn Term: Thursdays 11am-1pm.
This module is designed specifically for students on the first-year Single Honours History of Art, or History of Art with Material Studies 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.
Student Workload: Attendance at all classes, back-up reading, 2 essays.
Means of Assessment: Two essays, one 1500-2000 words weighted at 40% submitted before Reading Week, the other 2000-2500 words weighted at 60% submitted by the end of term.
Prerequisites: Appropriate background in history or art history.

HART0005: History of European Art: Renaissance to Contemporary - The Foundation Course II - 15 credits (Spring)

Module tutor: Allison Stielau
Timetabled: Spring Term; Wednesdays, 9-11am.
These are obligatory introductory modules for all History of Art students. In ten lectures each term students are introduced to the dominant narrative of art history as an historical development ('the canon'), and are encouraged to look at that model critically. The subject matter of the lecture series ranges from classical to contemporary art. Space is also given to categories outside the conventional canon.
Student Contact Hours: Lectures and question time: 20 hours for each module.
Duration of  Module: 10+ weeks, the first course begins in first week of the Autumn term, the second in the first week of the Spring term.
Student Workload: Attendance at all lectures, reading in support of lectures, exam.
Means of Assessment: 100% by unseen examination in Summer Term.
Prerequisites: Students should normally be in the first year of a Single or Combined Honours degree in History of Art.

First Year Summer reading list

HART0002 Methods and Materials of Artists - 15 credits

Module tutor: Hanna Hölling
Timetabled: Spring Term: Mondays 2-4pm.
This module addresses methods and materials of the artist with a particular emphasis on artistic practices deployed in the second half of the twentieth century. In the context of the history of artistic techniques and technologies used in fine arts, students will have the opportunity to discuss the physical constitution of artworks alongside their concept and materiality.

Among the issues addressed will be installation art, video sculpture, film projection, performance, software-based art, earthworks, and biodegradables. What exactly constitutes an artwork? How does the work endure over time? How does reproducibility, iteration, degradability and obsolescence affect what the work is and what it may become?

Duration of Module: 10 weeks, beginning in 1st week of Spring term.
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours.
Student Workload: Attendance at all classes, prescribed and back-up reading, practical work, one short written task, possibly one short presentation, and one assessed essay.
Means of Assessment: 40% by course-essay (2000 words), 60% by unseen exam (2 hours).
Prerequisites: Normally only offered to 1st-year HAMS students.

Summer reading list

HART0144 Thematic Seminar - 15 credits (Spring)

Module tutors: Mignon Nixon, Stephanie Schwartz and Briony Fer
Timetabled: Spring Term: Thursdays 11am-1pm.
This module is designed specifically for students on the first-year Single Honours History of Art, or History of Art with Material Studies 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 Course: 10 weeks.
Student Workload: Attendance at all classes, back-up reading, 2 essays.
Means of Assessment: Two essays, one 1500-2000 words weighted at 40% submitted before Reading Week, the other 2000-2500 words weighted at 60% submitted by the end of term.
Prerequisites: Appropriate background in history or art history.


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

Autumn Term:

HART0032 Methodologies of Art History - 15 credits

Course tutors: Robert Mills and Maria Mileeva
Timetabled: Autumn Term: Tuesdays 11am-1pm.
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.
Student Contact Hours: 20 hours, a mixture of lectures and text-based discussion classes.
Student Workload: Attendance at all classes, prescribed and back-up reading, two pieces of written work.
Means of Assessment: Two essays: a short Response Paper (1300-1500 words due around Reading Week weighted at 40%); a second essay (2000-2500 words due last week of term, weighted at 60%).

Prerequisites: Normally only offered to 2nd-year History of Art students. Other closely similar experience might be acceptable.

Summer reading list

HART0034 Methodologies of Making - 15 credits

Course tutor: Hanna Hölling
Timetabled: Autumn Term; Wednesdays 11-1pm.
This module introduces the discursive frameworks of art production and 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 collections, including questions of conservation, and 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 theoretical underpinnings and case studies related to the main topic of the class. During the second part, students will try to apply these theories to one exemplary case study of art production, curating or conservation across the centuries. How is theory performed? How is it entangled with practice? How can we theorise practice or develop a practical aesthetic?
Duration of module: 10 weeks.
Student contact hours: 20+ hours.
Student Workload: Attendance at all classes, prescribed and back-up reading, two pieces of written work.
Means of assessment: Two essays: a short Response Paper (1350-1500 words weighted at 40%); a second essay (2000-2500 words weighted at 60%).
Prerequisites: Normally only offered to 2nd-year History of Art students. Other closely similar experience might be acceptable.

Summer reading list

 

HART0071 (HAMS only) Methods and Materials II - 15 credits

Module tutor: Emma Richardson
Timetabled: Autumn Term; Mondays 11am-1pm.
This module will expand on, and extend, the materials and methodologies covered during the first year's module, presenting an overview of the major classes of materials found within museum collections, and addressing their application as artist's materials. In this second module, focus will be given to the more obscure materials found in works of art, for example wax, synthetic resins, and foam. Discussion will be given to the types of physical properties that different materials exhibit, so that the student might begin to understand why an artist may have used a certain material. This module will provide the student with the theoretical and practical aspects of artists' techniques and application, and highlight some of the issues surrounding their preservation and conservation.
Duration of module:  10 weeks.
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours in 10 weekly 2-hour classes, plus supervised lab/project work.
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, preparation for classes, independent project work.
Means of Assessment: 2000-2,500 word essay weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and 2 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites:  Students should have completed a first-year Art History programme or have equivalent relevant experience.

Summer reading list

HART0036 Advanced Lecture in the History of Art: Image/Object: Modernism and After - 15 credits

Module tutor: Briony Fer
Timetabled: Autumn Term; Mondays 2-4pm.
The module looks at developments in modern art during the twentieth century and up to the present. What was at stake in competing visions of what the modern meant? How has modern art come to look as it does? What critical function might it have as it has moved away from depicting objects in the world? In order to answer such questions, the module focuses on thematic topics that have been persistent within modernism.
Duration of module:  10 weeks.
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours.
Student Workload:
Prescribed and back-up reading,one essay, and exam.
Means of Assessment: 50% by essay (2000-2500 words), 50% by unseen 2 hour examination.
Prerequisites:  Students should have completed a first-year Art History programme or have equivalent relevant experience.

HART0047 Modernism and the European Avant-Gardes - 15 credits

Module tutor: Maria Mileeva
Timetabled: Autumn Term; Fridays 11-1pm.
This module will examine the history, theory and practice of International Constructivism. Chronologically positioned in the interwar period, the development of Constructivism will be discussed in relation to examples of art, architecture, and design. The start of the module will locate the origins of Constructivism in the social and political context of the October Revolution in Russia and the radical artistic experiments in Paris, Moscow, and Munich before the outbreak of the First World War. Outlining key themes and interrelationships - such as utopia and revolution, artistic experiment and mass culture - this module will relate artistic production of the European avant-garde to the demands of politics and cultural experiment in the turbulent period of 1920s and 1930s. The second half of the module will address the international imperatives of Dada, Constructivism and the Bauhaus by looking at a series of artistic and theoretical developments in Germany, France, Poland, Hungary, and Britain. We will examine the art and writings of Aleksandr Rodchenko, El Lissitzky, Naum Gabo, László Moholy-Nagy, Theo van Doesburg, Kurt Schwitters, Hans Richter and Walter Gropius. The module will critically discuss and examine the discourses of the terms modernism, avant-garde and abstraction in their application to the theory and practice of constructivism.
Duration of module:  10 weeks.
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours.
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, private gallery visits, one essay, class presentation, and exam.
Means of Assessment: 2000-2,500 word essay weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and 2 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites:  Students should have completed a first-year Art History programme or have equivalent relevant experience.

HART0069 American Geographies: Figuring the West, 1848-1915 - 15 credits

Module tutor: Stephanie Schwartz
Timetabled: Autumn Term; Fridays 2-4pm.
The 'West' has long occupied a privileged place in U.S. geopolitics. Since the first decades of the nineteenth century, this region has heralded both the success and demise of the American experiment. This module considers the ways in which American visual culture (painting, photography, film, and city planning) has pictured, produced, critiqued and mythologized this geography. Central to our discussion of the spatial politics of empire building will be the particular importance of the figure of the 'frontier' in American geopolitics. Why, we will ask, has the American frontier remained open-ended and ill-defined for the last two centuries? Does it mark a specific place? Is it a figure of modernity? As will become evident throughout the module, these questions were as central to the formation of the nation as they are today. Topics for discussion will include the organization of the US border with Mexico, immigration, land rights and gun control.
Duration of Course:  10 weeks.
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours.
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, private gallery visits, one essay, class presentation, and exam.
Means of Assessment: 2000-2,500 word essay weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and 2 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites:  Students should have completed a first-year Art History programme or have equivalent relevant experience.

Summer reading list

HART0070 Relics, Saints, Images and Power - 15 credits

Module tutor: Robert Mills
Timetabled: Autumn Term; Thursdays 11-1pm.
Saints were the celebrities of medieval Europe. From the miracles they worked to the rituals and journeys they inspired, holy bodies were invested with immense spiritual and political power. Relics were also hugely important as a source of aesthetic inspiration. This module explores art and architecture associated with physical remains of saints. Focusing especially on three cult sites in the Middle Ages - Jerusalem, Santiago de Compostela and Canterbury - we will see how imagery associated with saintly bodies adapts and morphs to suit the needs of different times and places. Looking at this imagery through the prism of categories such as translation, liminality, the simulacrum and the souvenir, the module asks how modern critical frameworks can reconnect us with the potency of the relic. As well as considering reliquaries and cult statues, we will explore such phenomena as mappaemundi or world maps, virtual or armchair pilgrimage, and replica buildings designed to 'translate' sites associated with the Holy Land from East to West. At the end of the module we will also consider the afterlife of the relic. Why, in some parts of Europe, did the power of saintly remains seemingly diminish? Where and how has it re-emerged?
Duration of module: 10 weeks
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours (10 two-hour classes, including a class outing).
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, private gallery visits, one essay, class presentation, and exam.
Means of Assessment: 2000-2,500 word essay, due after reading week, weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and 2 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites: Students should have completed a first-year Art History programme or have equivalent relevant experience.

Summer reading list

HART0041 Art and Architecture c.1700-1850: Romantic Revivals: Medievalism, c.1790-1850 - 15 credits

Module tutor: Hans Christian Hones
Timetabled:
Autumn Term; Tuesdays 9-11am.
The nineteenth century was obsessed with the Middle Ages. All over Europe, artists sought to mine their national past as a source for a new aesthetic, evoking the Middle Ages in style and subject matter alike. But which longings and ideas motivated this revival - historically accurate, deeply religious, and romantically-subjective at the same time? The module will touch on artistic movements ranging from the 'style troubadour' in France, over the Nazarenes in Germany, to the Pre-Raphaelites in Britain, and discuss works by artists like Ingres, Delacroix, Overbeck, and Lord Leighton - but also discover some lesser-known protagonists. We will explore how the Middle Ages became a projection space for many quintessentially modern issues and questions, ranging from Nationalism and Historicism to Chivalric heroism and Romantic love. Apart from the time's artistic production we will also consider topics such as the collecting of medieval artefacts, antiquarian discourses, and early conservation movements.
Duration of module: 10 weeks.
Student contact hours: 20+ hours (10 two-hour classes).
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, private gallery visits, one essay, class presentation, and exam.
Means of assessment: 2000-2,500 word essay weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and 2 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites: Students should have completed the first-year Art History programme or have equivalent relevant experience.

Summer reading list

HART0051 Architecture and Modernity - 15 credits

Module tutor: Jacob Paskins
Timetabled: Autumn term; Tuesdays 2-4pm.

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.
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours.
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, private gallery visits, one essay, class presentation, and exam.
Means of Assessment: 2000-2,500 word essay weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and 2 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites: Students should have completed a first-year Art History programme or have equivalent relevant experience.

Summer reading list


Spring Term:

HART0031 History of the Category 'Art' - 15 credits

Module tutor: Mechthild Fend and Hans Christian Hones
Timetabled: Spring; Tuesdays 11am-1pm.
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.
Student Contact Hours: 20 hours, a mixture of lectures and text-based discussion classes.
Student Workload: Attendance at all classes, prescribed and back-up reading, two pieces of written work.
Means of Assessment: Two essays: a short Response Paper (1350-1500 words due around Reading Week weighted at 40%); a second essay (2000-2500 words due the last day of class weighted at 60%).
Prerequisites: Normally only offered to 2nd-year History of Art students. Other closely similar experience might be acceptable.

HART0035 Advanced Lecture in the History of Art: Early Modern Bodies - 15 credits

Module tutor: Rosemary Moore
Timetabled: Spring Term; Mondays 2-4pm.
The body was at the centre of artistic, religious and 'scientific' concerns throughout the period 1500-1700. These included, for example: the religious and political controversies of the Reformation and Counter Reformation, which raised questions over the relationship between body and image, sensation and the sacred; the development of perspectival techniques, including anamorphosis, which requires one to adjust the position of one's own body in relation to the painted image; the renewed interest in mythology and anatomy; as well as encounters between Europeans and the peoples of the Americas. This lecture module will engage with a range of artworks, from watercolours, frescoes and paintings on canvas, to drawings, prints and sculpture. Case studies will include works by well-known and celebrated artists such as Raphael, Dürer and Titian, in addition to images that students may be less familiar with, for example woodcuts from medical treatises or books of marvels and 'monsters'. Today, just as in the early modern period, the body continues to be a locus of heated debate concerning identity, gender, race, sexuality and eroticism. Readings will therefore encompass a wide variety of theoretical approaches to the body.
Duration of module: 10 weeks.
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours.
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, one essay and exam.
Means of Assessment: 50% by essay (2000-2500 words), 50% by unseen 2 hour examination.
Prerequisites: Students should have completed a first-year Art History programme or have equivalent relevant experience.

HART0039 Early Modern Art & Architecture: Locating Colonial Latin American Art - 15 credits

Module tutor: Emily Floyd
Timetabled: Spring term; Fridays 11-1pm.
The Spanish conquest of the Aztec and Inca Empires in the first half of the sixteenth century initiated a roughly two hundred-year period of Spanish rule over their former territories, a region extending from Mexico to modern-day Chile. The art produced during that period has been understood in a variety of ways: as derivative, as subversive, as hybrid, as reflective of nationalistic ideals, among other approaches. This module considers the artistic production of New Spain (Mexico) and Spanish South America through the lens of location: locating agency in colonial artistic production and locating colonial art within global networks of production. The module offers students a broad introduction both to the art of the colonial period in Spanish Latin America and to the theoretical and historiographic issues that have shaped our understanding of this material.
Duration of module: 10 weeks.
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours.
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, private gallery visits, one essay, class presentation, and exam.
Means of Assessment: 2000-2,500 word essay weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and 2 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites: Students should have completed a first-year Art History programme or have equivalent relevant experience.

Summer reading list

HART0044 Modern and Contemporary Art: The Anti-Aesthetic - 15 credits

Module tutor: Rye Holmboe
Timetabled: Spring Term; Thursdays 11am-1pm.
This module considers thematic categories that have come to be associated with the anti-aesthetic: the abject, the carnivalesque, the grotesque, the primal and the formless, among others, and thinks about the ways in which these categories have been mobilised in modern and contemporary art. Areas considered are, for example, the theoretical writings of Georges Bataille; the question of the Dionysiac in the performances of the Viennese Actionists; and the mobilisation of the body in 1960s performance art. Later parts of the module will think about how the anti-aesthetic might be understood in the context of the art institution and in its relationship to commodification and the art market. This interdisciplinary module, which considers examples from painting, sculpture, performance and theatre, explores the extent to which anti-aesthetic categories can be seen to be transgressive, asking what the critical and political stakes of this category might be today.
Duration of module:  10 weeks.
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, private gallery visits, one essay, class presentation, and exam.
Means of Assessment: 2000-2,500 word essay weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and 2 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites:  Students should have completed a first-year Art History programme or have equivalent relevant experience.

HART0050 Representing 'Others' c.1700-c.1850 - 15 credits

Module tutor: Natasha Eaton
Timetabled: Spring Term; Tuesdays 2-4pm.
For the last 30 years, 'otherness', 'alterity' 'empire' and postcoloniality are central to how we engage with the world. From debates surrounding globalization, to the ways in which we are rethinking Britishness, imperialism and its troubled legacies continue to occupy our political landscape and to inform the entanglements of British and non-western art. As leading anthropologist Nicholas B. Dirks warns, 'in calling for the study of the aesthetics of colonialism, we might end up aestheticising colonialism, producing a radical chic version of Raj nostalgia'. With this cautionary agenda in mind, the aim of the module is to problematise the aesthetic and political underpinnings of these cultural encounters. Key issues will involve images in magic and worship, the development of Orientalism, primitivism, the role of art-as-gift, the breakdown of realism/mimesis in the colony, the 'translation' of native objects into art by the European 'museum effect' and the adaptation or transmutation of British pictures by the colonised. Resistance, mimicry, hybridity and alternative strategies for cultural exchange, will be read through post-colonial theory in conjunction with, or against the grain of visual materials, so as to contest art history's 'hegemony' over the image-making of other places.
Duration of module:  10 weeks.
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours.
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, private gallery visits, one essay, class presentation, and exam.
Means of Assessment: 2000-2,500 word essay weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and 2 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites:  Students should have completed a first-year Art History programme or have equivalent relevant experience.

HART0054 Theory and History of Conservation - 15 credits

Module tutor: Rebecca Gordon
Timetabled: Spring Term; Tuesdays 4-6pm.
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. Visits to museums and sites of conservation and special tasks will enrich classroom discussions.
Duration of Module:  10 weeks.
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours (10 two-hour classes, including a Gallery Visit).
Student Workload: Attendance at all classes, prescribed and back-up reading, two pieces of written work.
Means of Assessment: 2000-2,500 word essay weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and 2 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites:  Students should have completed a first-year Art History programme or have equivalent relevant experience.

Summer reading list

HART0072 (HAMS only) Textile Technologies - 15 credits

Module tutor: Emma Richardson
Timetabled: Spring Term; Mondays 11am-1pm.
This module will combine both theoretical and practical approaches to the understanding of textiles, their properties and their application as artistic media. By examining the history and development of textiles, we will begin to map their usage through the centuries to the present day, and their application within art and design. We will explore the physical properties of fibres, yarns and textiles, investigate the implications for fabrication, and understand what impact this has on their visual nature. In addition to seminars and lectures, the module will include guest speakers, and object based learning at the Victoria and Albert Museum and The National Gallery. Additionally, practical sessions, where the student will study the structure of fibres under the microscope and learn to dye fibres of different origin, will provide an appreciation for materiality and help interpret textile artworks of various construction.
Duration of module:  10 weeks.
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours.
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, private gallery visits, one essay, class presentation, and exam.
Means of Assessment: 2000-2,500 word essay weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and 2 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites:  Students should have completed a first-year Art History programme or have equivalent relevant experience.

HART0074 Questions of Feminism in Modern and Contemporary Art - 15 credits

Module tutor: Mignon Nixon
Timetabled: Spring Term; Wednesdays 11am-1pm.
Feminism galvanized profound changes in art and art history. Those changes form the focus of this module. We learn about art informed by feminism and about feminist perspectives on art. With the help of influential texts in the fields of art history, cinema studies, gender studies, and psychoanalysis, among others, we examine the pivotal role of art in stimulating and shaping feminist thought. We also consider how feminism has challenged, and continues to contest, the intellectual and institutional traditions of art and art history. Finally, we reflect upon the historical, methodological, and political ramifications of these debates over time.
Duration of module:  10 weeks.
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, private gallery visits, one essay, class presentation, and exam.
Means of Assessment: 2000-2,500 word essay weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and 2 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites:  Students should have completed a first-year Art History programme or have equivalent relevant experience.

HART0045 London and Paris, c.1700-1850

Module Tutor: t.b.c.
Timetabled: Spring Term: Thursdays 2-4pm.
The module deals with the development of London and Paris as sites of visual fascination through their architecture, sculpture and the emergence of the public art exhibition alongside alternative sites of urban spectacle such as theatrical performances, public executions, military parades and spaces of consumption. The module will consider mediation of London and Paris through a range of examples which may include print culture, costume and literature. The module will also explore conceptual frameworks such as spectacle, "modernity", politics, the city and its "underworlds", commodities and sensation.
Duration of module: 10 weeks.
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours (10 two-hour classes, and 3 perambulations around London).
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, private gallery visits, one essay, class presentation, and exam.
Means of Assessment: 2000-2,500 word essay weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and 2 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites: Students should have completed a first-year Art History programme or have equivalent relevant academic experience.


Year 3

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


FINAL YEAR ESSAY OPTIONS

HART0118 Undergraduate report - 30 credits

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

HART0119 Independent Study Essay in History of Art - 15 credits

Course tutor: All Staff
A 4500-5000 word essay to be handed in normally at the beginning of the Spring term. This half-unit 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 History of Art and Material Studies Project Paper - 30 credits

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

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

Course tutor: Hannah Hölling

Timetabled: 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 HAMS students.
Duration of Course: 10 + weeks.
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours.
Student Workload: Students carry out a work placement and write an extended essay.
Means of Assessment: 5000 word essay
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year HAMS module.


FINAL YEAR SPECIAL SUBJECT COURSES

HART0078 Advanced Undergraduate Module in the History of Art: The Italian Avant-Garde - 30 credits

Module tutor: Flavia Frigeri
Timetabled: Autumn and Spring terms; Fridays 9-11am.
This module is an advanced undergraduate module on the history of the Italian avant-garde, with an emphasis on key political debates, aesthetic developments, and experimental practices in Italian Modernism and post-war art. It is taught in tandem with the research resources in London. The module will unfold chronologically. Starting with Divisionism and ending with Arte Povera it will map the development of modern and post-war Italian art. Seminal movements such as Futurism, Metaphysical Art, Informel and Arte Povera will be tackled along with in focus classes devoted to singular artists, such as Giorgio Morandi, Lucio Fontana and Michelangelo Pistoletto, amongst others. Attention will also be given to contemporary developments in the fields of design and film and how these in turn inflected the dialogue around art.
Duration of module:  20+ weeks.
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours.
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, class presentation, private gallery visits, 2 essays, exam.
Means of Assessment: Two 2,500-3,000 word essays weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and a 3 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art course or equivalent relevant  experience.

HART0079 Advanced Undergraduate Module in the History of Art: Modern and Contemporary: The Body and its Vicissitudes - 30 credits

Module tutor: Rye Holmboe
Timetabled: Autumn and Spring terms; Mondays 2-4pm.
This module examines notions of embodiment in performance through its interdisciplinary relationship with dance, theatre, painting, sculpture, and video/television in modern and contemporary art. We consider the mobilisation of the body as a critique of bourgeois modernity. Equally, we analyse performance and embodiment as therapeutic, pedagogical or transformative processes, and as attempts to form different modes of consciousness. Some of the areas explored include: Antonin Artaud and the Theatre of Cruelty; Isadora Duncan and the advent of free dance; Samuel Beckett, absurdity and negation; the figure of the marionette in the history of modern art; performance and counterculture in the 1960s, particularly as it relates to anti-psychiatry; the place of performance within feminist art; the relationship between gender identification, race and queer subjectivity; the current interest in dance within contemporary art; and the positioning of performance within participation and relational aesthetics.
Duration of module:  20+ weeks.
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours.
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, class presentation, private gallery visits, 2 essays, exam.
Means of Assessment: Two 2500-3000 word essays weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and a 3 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art course or equivalent relevant  experience.

HART0080 Advanced Undergraduate Module in the History of Art: The Early Modern Technologies of Vision - 30 credits

Module tutor: Rosemary Moore
Timetabled: Autumn and Spring terms; Thursdays 11am-1pm.
This module will examine the impact of new technologies of vision (for example: print, optical lenses, systems of perspective etc.) and ask: how did these shape the production and dissemination of knowledge in early modern Europe? From botanical illustrations by Dürer to studies of the human anatomy by Leonardo, Raphael and other artists, we will examine artworks that seem to suggest a renewed interest in the study of the natural world, along with woodcuts and engravings from medical or 'scientific' treatises. Some of the earliest known European images of the landscapes and peoples of the so called 'New World' of the Americas will also be addressed. Print will be central to our discussion of these 'new technologies of vision' and while it is often conceptualised as a medium that transmits clear, verifiable and accurately replicable information about the world, we will also consider some of the problems that this language masks.
Duration of module:  20+ weeks.
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours.
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, class presentation, private gallery visits, 2 essays, exam.
Means of Assessment: Two 2500-3000 word essays weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and a 3 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art course or equivalent relevant  experience.

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

Module tutor: Diana Dethloff
Timetabled: Autumn and Spring terms; Tuesdays 11am-1pm.

This module examines art production, patronage and performance in the formative period of Britain's artistic history, covering the period from 1558 to c. 1650. Topics will include: the importance of the visual arts in the 'cult' of monarchy, in particular Elizabeth I; ephemeral spectacles such as masques, progresses and courtly entertainments; the representation of power and authority; the representation of women; the representation of dress and fashion; the influence of continental practice on English art and architecture; printed and medallic imagery; studio training and workshop practice; the effects of the Civil War on established patronage systems and art collecting and the beginnings of an art market.
Duration of module:  20+ weeks.
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours.
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, class presentation, private gallery visits, 2 essays, exam.
Means of Assessment: Two 2500-3000 word essays weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and a 3 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art course or equivalent relevant  experience.

HART0106 Architecture and the Modern City - 30 credits

Module tutor: Jacob Paskins
Timetabled: Autumn and Spring terms; Fridays 2-4pm.
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.
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, class presentation, private gallery visits, 2 essays, exam.
Means of Assessment: Two 2500-3000 word essays weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and a 3 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art course or equivalent relevant  experience.

Summer reading list

HART0110 Between Realism and Modernism: Documentary Work in the Early Twentieth Century - 30 credits

Module tutor: Simon Constantine
Timetabled
: Autumn and Spring terms; Thursdays 2-4pm.

This module examines the rise of documentary practice in Europe and the United States in the interwar period. Focusing upon the photographic strategies of the European avant-garde and the U.S. government's use of photography as a means to remedy the Depression and orchestrate Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, the module organizes a media history of documentary work-in books, films and illustrated magazines. Students will be encouraged to mine the overlaps and intersections between these media, and to develop a transatlantic history of documentary practices. In addition to exploring the relationship between the rise of documentary work and the emergence of new mass media, this module also aims to position documentary film and photography within debates upon the multiple and radical politics of realism and modernism. Module materials include the books, films, and illustrated portfolios produced by Europe's and America's documentary vanguard, including August Sander, Dziga Vertov, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Walker Evans, Margaret Bourke-White, Paul Strand and Pare Lorentz. We will also consider the legacies of the interwar period by exploring developments such as MoMA's New Documents exhibition (1967), the Düsseldorf School of photography and the 1970s 'reinvention' of documentary alongside recent studies of documentary practices and media histories.
Duration of module:  20+ weeks.
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours.
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, class presentation, private gallery visits, 2 essays, exam.
Means of Assessment: Two 2500-3000 word essays weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and a 3 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art course or equivalent relevant  experience.

HART0094 Abstraction since the Second World War - 30 credits

Module tutor: Briony Fer
Timetabled: Autumn and Spring terms; Fridays 11am-1pm.
The module has three main aims. Firstly, to examine developments in abstraction from c. 1945 to the present day, with special emphasis on the work of Latin American artists - as well as the more familiar narratives of European and U.S. abstraction; secondly, to show how the forms of abstraction have been contested and fought over in key episodes in modern and recent contemporary art; thirdly to explore ways of interpreting the work in the light of contemporary theoretical and critical interests in the body, in technologies and in process.
Duration of module:  20+ weeks.
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours.
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, class presentation, private gallery visits, 2 essays, exam.
Means of Assessment: Two 2500-3000 word essays weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and a 3 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art course or equivalent relevant  experience.

HART0117 Early Modern Metamorphosis - 30 credits

Module tutor: Allison Stielau
Timetabled: Autumn and Spring terms; Tuesdays 2-4pm.
Metamorphosis-the total change of one form into another-has been a major subject of art since antiquity. This module takes up topics of metamorphosis in early modern art and material culture. The first term will focus on the representation of transformation. Students will become familiar both with Ovid's Metamorphoses (in modern and early modern translation) and with responses to that text by artists ranging from Pollaiuolo, Bernini, and Rubens to anonymous masters in all media. We seek to understand the appeal and the challenge of transformation for the visual artist. In the second term we will consider physical and conceptual transformations of artworks themselves. Topics include processes of conversion and secularization, adaptation and recycling, the recovery and reframing of spolia (ancient fragments), and the shifting purposes and meanings of artworks through time and across varied cultural contexts.
Duration of module:  20+ weeks.
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours.
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, class presentation, private gallery visits, 2 essays, exam.
Means of Assessment: Two 2500-3000 word essays weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and a 3 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art course or equivalent relevant  experience.

Summer reading list

HART0076 Advanced Undergraduate Course in History of Art: Inventing Incas, Aztecs and Europeans - 30 credits

Module tutor: Emily Floyd
Timetabled: Autumn and Spring terms; Wednesdays 11am-1pm.
At the time of the Spanish arrival to Mexico and South America, the Aztecs and Incas controlled two of the largest empires in the world. What we know about these two empires is mediated through the violence of conquest: this is the problem at the centre of this module. Students will be introduced to both empires and the first hundred years of the post-conquest era, focusing on the problem of how the Spanish Empire came to absorb these two previous ones, how early modern European ideas about art, religion, and history shaped our understanding today of these empires, and how Europe was changed by its encounter with the "New World." Students will be asked to interrogate historiographic narratives that have shaped our conceptions of the Aztecs and Incas and analyse the complicated biases, lacunae, and misunderstandings of the sources available to us in order to interpret these empires. We will also consider the viability of art historical methodologies for approaching the material culture of these civilisations.
Duration of module:  20+ weeks.
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours.
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, class presentation, private gallery visits, 2 essays, exam.
Means of Assessment: Two 2500-3000 word essays weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and a 3 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art course or equivalent relevant  experience

Summer reading list

HART0077 Advanced Undergraduate Module in the History of Art: Russian Art and Culture: Realism and Avant-Garde - 30 credits

Module tutor: Maria Mileeva
Timetabled: Autumn and Spring terms; Mondays 11am-1pm.
This module will examine conflicts and developments in Russian and Soviet visual culture, from the turn of the century, through the October Revolution and to the death of Stalin in 1953. Focusing on the complex relationship between art and politics during this tumultuous period of war, revolution and social change, the module examines aspects of rupture and continuity in the development of Russian cultural identity. We will investigate Russian twentieth-century artists in active dialogue with artistic developments in Europe and America, discussing case studies of travel, exhibition, official export and emigration. We will study Russian art both inside and outside of Russia, as its makers and commentators crossed cultural and geographical borders making contact with artistic developments in Paris, Berlin, Munich, and New York. The module will follow broad changes in Russian painting, graphic art, architecture, film and design, alongside artistic movements such as Symbolism, Primitivism, Cubofuturism, Constructivism, Suprematism and Socialist Realism. We will consider competing and often contradictory desires amongst artists and critics to construct a national artistic language based on the traditions of Russian folk and icon painting, whilst embracing aesthetic and theoretical experiments drawn from the European avant-garde. Specific artists under investigation will include Wassily Kandinsky, Mikhail Larionov, Natalia Goncharova, Kazimir Malevich, and El Lissitzky, amongst others.
Duration of module:  20+ weeks.
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours.
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, class presentation, private gallery visits, 2 essays, exam.
Means of Assessment: Two 2500-3000 word essays weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and a 3 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art course or equivalent relevant  experience.

HART0097 Art and Sexual Politics in Late Nineteenth-Century France - 30 credits

Module tutor: t.b.c.
Timetabled: Autumn and Spring terms; Fridays 4-6pm.
This module will explore the sexual politics of visual culture in late-nineteenth-century France by examining the gendering of art institutions; the image of the artist and notions of subjectivity; art theory and criticism; science and medicine; public and private space; genre, technique and media. The class will look closely at artworks and objects, including paintings and photography. Themes addressed may include the nude; the exotic and the erotic; the image of the prostitute; Republican masculinities; motherhood; allegory and the use of gendered symbols in art; hysteria and madness; cleanliness and dirt.
Duration of module:  20+ weeks.
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours.
Student Workload: Prescribed and back-up reading, class presentation, private gallery visits, 2 essays, exam.
Means of Assessment: Two 2500-3000 word essays weighted at 45%; oral component 10% and a 3 hour exam in exam term weighted at 45%.
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art course or equivalent relevant  experience.