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BA Modules 2022-23

The following modules are offered to UCL undergraduate students taking BA History of Art or BA History of Art, Materials and Technology. Also, 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 BA History of Art, BA History of Art, Materials and Technology, 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 a first-year survey module 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 & PGTAs 

Timetabled: Lecture – 14:00 – 15:00, BA1 discussion group either 09:00 – 10:30, 16:00 – 17:30.
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 x weekly 1-hour lectures and 20 x 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 Summer reading list

Term 1 

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

Module Tutor: Aparna Kumar
Timetabled: 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 Summer reading list

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, but may be Rose Marie San Juan, Nick Robbins, Lauren Rozenberg.
Timetabled: Autumn Term: Thursdays 11am-1pm.
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, 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 - MAT students only

Module Tutor:  Hélia Marçal
Timetabled: 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 Summer Reading List

Term 2

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

Module Tutor: Jacob Paskins
Timetabled: 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 Summer reading list

HART0144 Thematic Seminar (Spring) – 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, but may be Aparna Kumar, Cadence Kinsey, Richard Taws (TBC).
Timetabled: Spring Term: Thursdays 11am-1pm.
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 - MAT students only

Module Tutor: Hanna Hölling
Timetabled: 14:00 – 16:00, Tuesdays 
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
Summer Reading List


Year 2

Term 1

HART0031 History of the Category ‘Art’ – 15 credits 

Module Tutor: Ramon Amaro & TBC (new appointment) & PGTA
Timetabled: Lecture – 10:00 – 11:00, Seminar 12:00 – 13:00, Tuesdays 
Module Description: 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.

Suggested reading list
Indicative weekly topics

HART0034 Methodologies of Making – 15 credits 

Module Tutor: Hanna Hölling / Hélia Marçal
Timetabled: 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 Autumn 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.

Suggested reading list
Indicative weekly topics

HART0035 Advanced Lecture in the History of Art (1): ‘Between the Body and the Worms’: Medicine and Death in Late Medieval Art

Module Tutor: Lauren Rozenberg & PGTA 
Timetabled: 14:00 – 16:00, Mondays
Module Description: From exposed lungs in anatomical manuscripts to decaying marble corpses in churches, this course explores how living and dead bodies were represented in the late medieval period (ca. 1250-1500). Engaging with both contemporary theoretical approaches to the body and issues of making, we will question what such objects can tell us about medieval people’s multifaceted and diverse attitudes toward their own bodies and mortality. We will consider a myriad of scientific, religious, and secular objects from medieval Europe, ranging from manuscripts to illustrated poems, sculptures, and murals. By encountering medieval bodies as complex mutable entities which could be opened and wounded, the course explores such topics as anatomy, dissection, death, decay, the macabre, and the timely question of pandemics. How common or useful were anatomical illustrations? What was the role of images in a funerary context? Why would someone want to be immortalised as a rotting cadaver, eaten by worms for eternity? ‘Between the Body and the Worms’ explores such complex questions and the fascinating responses to the challenges of everyday life medieval bodies encountered.
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.

Suggested Reading List:

  • Binski, Paul. Medieval Death: Ritual and Representation. London: British Museum: 1996.
  • Hartnell, Jack. Medieval Bodies: Life, Death and Art in the Middle Ages. London: Profile Books and the Wellcome Library, 2018.
  • Kay, Sarah and Miri Rubin. Eds. Framing Medieval Bodies. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1996.
  • Park, Katharine. The Secrets of Women: Gender, Generation, and the Origins of Human Dissection. London: MIT Press, 2006.

Indicative Weekly Topics:
1. Introduction: Ubiquitous Anatomies and Medieval Lives
2. Anatomy: Theorising the Body (Theoretical Knowledge I)
3. Dissection and Fragmentation (Theoretical Knowledge II)
4. Treatments, Wounds and Surgery (Diseases I)
5. The Black Death and Medieval Pandemics (Diseases II)
6. Dancing and Playful Corpses (Death I)
7.  Handling the Corpse (Death II)
8. Burying the dead body (Tomb I)
9. Putrefaction and the cadaver tombs (Tomb II)
10. Conclusion and Resurrection

HART0054 Theory and History of Conservation – 15 credits

Module Tutor: Hanna Hölling & TBC (new appointment, UCL East Director)
Timetabled: 11:00 – 13:00, Wednesdays 
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. Visits to museums and sites of conservation and special tasks 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.

Suggested reading list
Indicative weekly topics

HART0162 Imagining Jerusalem in the Middle Ages – 15 credits

Module Tutor: Bob Mills 
Timetabled: 14:00 – 16:00, Tuesdays 
Module Description: This module will explore the diverse artistic and religious cultures that enriched and enlivened medieval Jerusalem, with a particular emphasis on works created or recreated between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries. As well as investigating key sites in Jerusalem itself, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount complex, students will explore the ways in which Jerusalem was understood and imagined beyond its physical borders, through such phenomena as mappae mundi, relics, architectural replicas and apocalyptic imagery. Taking a geographically decentred approach to the study of medieval art, the module will introduce students to the aesthetic and intellectual networks running between Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It will open a window onto relations between different religious and ethnic groups in the region. Finally, it will reflect on the modern legacies of medieval efforts to represent Jerusalem.
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.

Suggested reading list:

  • Bale, Anthony. Feeling Persecuted: Christians, Jews, and Images of Violence in the Middle Ages. London: Reaktion, 2010.
  • Boas, Adrian. Jerusalem in the Time of the Crusades: Society, Landscape and Art in the City Under Frankish Rule. London: Routledge, 2001.
  • Boehm, Barbara Drake and Melanie Holcolmb, Jerusalem, 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016.
  • Chareyron, Nicole. Pilgrims to Jerusalem in the Middle Ages. Trans. W. Donald Wilson. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005.
  • Connolly, Daniel K. The Maps of Matthew Paris: Medieval Journeys through Space, Time, and Liturgy. Woodbridge: Boydell, 2009.
  • Donkin, Lucy, and Hanna Vorholt, eds. Imagining Jerusalem in the Medieval West. Proceedings of the British Academy 175. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • Folda, Jaroslav. Crusader Art: The Art of the Crusaders in the Holy Land, 1099–1291. London: Lund Humphries, 2008.
  • Haydock, Nicholas and Edward L. Risden, Hollywood in the Holy Land: Essays on Film Depictions of the Crusades and Christian-Muslim Clashes. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2009.
  • Klein, Menachem. ‘Old and New Walls in Jerusalem.’ Political Geography 24, no. 1 (2005): 53–76.
  • Kline, Naomi Reed. Maps of Medieval Thought: The Hereford Paradigm. New ed. Woodbridge: Boydell, 2012.
  • Lassner, Jacob. Medieval Jerusalem: Forging an Islamic City in Spaces Sacred to Christians and Jews. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2017.
  • Montefiore, Simon Sebag. Jerusalem: The Biography. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2011.
  • Rudy, Kathryn. Virtual Pilgrimages in the Convent: Imagining Jerusalem in the Late Middle Ages. Turnhout: Brepols, 2011.
  • Wharton, Annabel Jane. Selling Jerusalem: Relics, Replicas, Theme Parks. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006.

Indicative weekly topics:
1. Contesting Jerusalem: A Tale of Three Cities
2. Rebuilding Jerusalem (i) Byzantine and Islamic Rule
3. Possessing Jerusalem: Crusading History
4. Rebuilding Jerusalem (ii): Crusader Art and Architecture
5. Fragmenting Jerusalem: Relics of the True Cross
6. Virtual Jerusalem: Replicas and Simulacra
7. Mapping Jerusalem: Travel and Translation
8. Heavenly Jerusalem: Cult Statues and Apocalypse
9. Remembering Jerusalem: Mythologizing the Crusades
10. Filming Jerusalem: Orientalism and Medievalism in Hollywood

HART0051 Architecture and Modernity – 15 credits

Module Tutor: Jacob Paskins
Timetabled: 14:00 – 16:00, Thursdays
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.

Suggested reading list - TBC
Indicative weekly topics - TBC

HART0176 Cutting a Figure: Making and Shaping the Body c. 1400–1550 – 15 credits

Module Tutor: Alison Wright
Timetabled: 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.

Suggested reading list - TBC
Indicative weekly topics - TBC

HART0180: Rome: Urban Space and Early Modern Visual Culture – 15 credits

Module Tutor: Rose Marie San Juan
Timetabled: 11:00 – 13:00, Fridays 
Module Description: Visual culture in many diverse forms was crucial to the modernization of the city of Rome in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The module will focus on new forms of painting, sculpture, printing, architecture, urban planning, and street performances and rituals through which a new kind of city and urban life was forged. It will take into account the existing city, with its charged historical legacies that physically marked the city and was constantly re-appropriated or suppressed. We will consider attempts to centralize political and cultural authority but also to open up visual forms to exchanges within increasingly wider and contested communities. The emergence of papal power with its grandiose architectural and fresco decoration will be considered but also shown to be in conflict not only with civic and private uses of visual arts but also with the larger forces of the new technology of printing, the emergence of the art market and the formation of public pace. The module will work between the visual image and urban space, and will be attentive to the ways our thinking of the past is itself constructed through these contested visual histories.
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.

Suggested reading list
Indicative weekly topics

Term 2

HART0032 Methodologies of Art History – 15 credits 

Module Tutor:  Richard Taws, Nick Robbins & PGTA 
Timetabled: 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.

Suggested reading list
Indicative weekly topics

HART0036 Advanced Lecture in the History of Art (2): Modern to Contemporary - 15 credits 

Module Tutor:  TBC (New appointment) & PGTA
Timetabled:  14:00 – 16:00, Mondays
Module Description: TBC
 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.

HART0071 Methods and Materials of Artists – 15 credits - MAT priority

Module Tutor:  TBC (new appointment, UCL East Director)
Timetabled: 11:00 – 13:00, Wednesdays
Module Description: This module will provide you with knowledge of the theoretical and practical aspects of artists’ techniques and application and highlight some of the issues surrounding their preservation and conservation. You will be asked to demonstrate the knowledge you have acquired through an independent project work, which will allow you to develop some of the skills needed to approach objects through their materiality, namely experimental design, and analysis of results. In addition to seminars and lectures, the module will (where possible) include object-based learning at museum and heritage institutions. 
Duration of Module: 10 weeks, beginning in the first week of Spring term.
Student Contact Hours: 20+ hours in 10 weekly 2-hour classes, plus supervised lab/project work.
Prerequisites: Normally, this course is for MAT students who have completed the first-year course on “Introduction to Art and Science”. HoA students who have equivalent relevant experience may request to attend.

Indicative weekly topics
Suggested reading list

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

Module Tutor: Mignon Nixon
Timetabled: 11:00 – 13:00, Fridays
Module Description: Feminism of the 1960s and 1970s 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. Considering influential texts in the fields of art history, cinema studies, psychoanalysis, politics, and gender studies, among others, we examine the pivotal role of art in stimulating and shaping feminist thought. We also consider how feminism challenged 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, 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.

Suggested reading list
Indicative weekly topics

HART0167 Colour: Art, Empire, Modernity – 15 credits 

Module Tutor: Natasha Eaton
Timetabled: 09:00 – 11:00, Thursdays 
Module Description: Colour has long fascinated and frustrated scholars across many disciplines. This interdisciplinary module explores the agency, magical and philosophical notions of colour within the context of modernity. With a strong theoretical emphasis, we will explore the emergence of the observer, pathology and affective qualities of colour and the underpinning of colour as chromophilia or chromophobia. Writers with whom we will engage include Aristotle, Newton, Burke, Goethe, von Helmsholtz, Fechner, Tagore, Wittgenstein, Gandhi and women concerned with colour such as Lubaina Himid. The module takes a roughly ‘genealogical’ approach to the histories of colour from the later seventeenth century to c.1950 – so as to include the legacies of empire and the emergence of the postcolonial. How far do we attempt to decolonize colour? What forms of interface do we project, albeit often anachronistically or by analogy, on the racial and global definitions of colour?
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.
 

HART0171 Black Aesthetics: Theory and Artistic Practices – 15 credits 

Module Tutor: Ramon Amaro 
Timetabled: 14:00 – 16:00, Tuesdays
Module Description: While the term “Black aesthetics” can be traced back to transnational Black arts movements of the 1960s and 1970s, this module explores the relationship between what is regarded as Black artistic practice and the utilisation of art as a function of Black liberation. The module expands the notion of “Blackness” by placing emphasis on the inter-relation between race, theory and art practices of the African Diaspora, as they relate to anti-colonial and anti-racist thought. From a close exploration of foundational texts and artistic practices in Black Aesthetics to a theoretical corpus spanning key insights in psychoanalyses, phenomenology, metaphysics, this module challenges notions of perception, subject-production, and the politics of representation and difference that have come to define our contemporary understandings of race and racialisation in the African Diaspora.
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.

Suggested reading
Indicative weekly topics
 

HART0075: Sense and Sensation in Early Modern Art

Module Tutor: Lauren Rozenberg
Timetabled: 11:00 – 13:00, Thursdays
Module Description:  Early modern art was experienced not simply through the eyes, but also through the full range of human sense perception. This module considers the complex web of sight, smell, touch, taste, and sound within which artworks were embedded and out of which spectacles—like banquets and triumphal entries—were created. Although material will be drawn from across the continent, a particular focus rests on northern Europe in the period 1400 to 1600. Sites for exploration of sense-experience include the court, the street, the communal bath, the kitchen, the artist’s workshop, and the anatomy theatre. The role of the senses in late medieval piety and the rejection of sensuous worship by Protestant Reformers constitutes one unit of the module. Visits to local collections and films of historical reenactment offer opportunities for close-looking, analysis, and critique.
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.

Suggested reading - TBC
Indicative weekly topics – TBC

HART0160: Action/ Re-Action

Module Tutor: Cadence Kinsey
Timetabled: 14:00 – 16:00, Thursdays
Module Description: In this module we will explore the histories of live art in Europe, the U.S. and Japan from Gutai to contemporary practice, with a strong emphasis on technologically mediated performance. Structured around the notions of the ‘emancipated spectator’ and the ‘event’, we will consider works of art that sit at the boundary of art and non-art in order to challenge traditional structures of making, exhibiting and looking at art. Through close study of a range of artistic movements including Fluxus, Situationist International, Relational Aesthetics and Re-Enactment, we will explore some of the major debates within histories of performance and live art, and think about key concepts such as the spectator, participation and ephemerality.
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.

Suggested reading list
Indicative weekly topics


Year 3  

Final Year Essay Options

HART0118 BA Dissertation in History of Art - 30 credits

Module 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 

Module tutor: All Staff

A 4500-5,000 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 BA Dissertation in History of Art, Materials and Technology – 30 credits

Module 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, 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: Hanna Hölling
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 an extended essay.
Means of Assessment: 5000 word essay
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year MAT module.

Final Year Special Subject Courses

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

Module Tutor: TBC
Timetabled: 16:00 - 18:00, Mondays
Module Description: 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 
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art module or equivalent relevant experience.

Suggested reading list
Indicative weekly topics

HART0106 Architecture and the Modern City – 30 credits 

Module Tutor:  Jacob Paskins
Timetabled: 14:00 – 16:00, Tuesdays
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
Suggested reading

HART0107 Postcoloniality, Colonialism and Art in the British Empire – 30 credits 

Module Tutor:  Natasha Eaton
Timetabled: 09:00 – 11:00, Tuesdays
Module Description: Today ‘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 course is to problematise the aesthetic and political underpinnings of these cultural encounters. In so doing, this module will provide an alternative history of art in the British Empire. Instead of focussing only on ‘conquest’ and racial subordination, it will also emphasise cross-cultural exchange and a range of indigenous techniques for resisting British art. Its agenda is to make you aware of the critical intervention of other cultures in the formation and subversion of imperial artistic identity. In so doing, you will engage with contemporary debates preoccupied with postcoloniality and British visual culture. The focus of this course is the relationship between Britain and South Asia in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, although you will also be encouraged to contextualise this colonial experience with other spaces of empire. Material covered includes graphic media, Mughal miniatures, Anglo-Indian architecture, Bengali folk art and performance, ‘picturesque’ landscape paintings, caricatures, history painting, indigenous photography, ethnographic sketches and creole portraiture. An effort will be made to understand the phenomena of colonial and metropolitan collecting, “the exhibitionary complex” and the cultural underpinnings of imperial and vernacular museums.
Duration of Module: 20 weeks
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours 
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art module or equivalent relevant experience.

Suggested reading - TBC
Indicative weekly topics - TBC

HART0170 Black Poetics: History and Theory of Poetry and Performance in the African Diaspora, 20th Century to Present

Module Tutor: Ramon Amaro
Timetabled: 11:00 – 13:00, Mondays
Module description: This module explores the centrality of poetry and the assertion of Black aesthetics in the Global South, with a particular focus on various interpretations of the poetic that reach beyond Anglo-European notions of the figurative and nonliteral. From theories of feminist poethics and Caribbean poetry to Afro-futurist literature and contemporary dance, students will explore the poetic as a key site of experimentation and political necessity, which derives from an analysis of twentieth century to present Black aesthetics, and the history of race and caricature. Ultimately, the module opens new pathways to the study of race through various methods of performance and Black thought that reflect on the relationship between lived experience and broad claims of aesthetic practice.
Duration of Module: 20 weeks
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours 
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art module or equivalent relevant experience.

Suggested reading - TBC
Indicative weekly topics - TBC

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

Module Tutor: Aparna Kumar
Timetabled: 14:00– 16:00, Mondays
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.

Suggested reading
Indicative weekly topics
 

HART0153 Inventing Incas, Aztecs, and Europeans

Module Tutor: Emily Floyd
Timetabled: 14:00– 16:00, Fridays
Module Description:  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 
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art module or equivalent relevant experience.

Suggested reading - TBC
Indicative weekly topics - TBC
 

HART0165 South African Photography: From Colonialism to the Contemporary

Module Tutor: Tamar Garb
Timetabled: 11:00– 13:00, Thursdays
Module Description: Photography has been practiced in Southern Africa since the middle of the nineteenth century and was widely used to survey populations, classify peoples and organise knowledge. Hierarchical assumptions about race, gender and sexuality inform the way photographic figuration developed from early on. We will explore how the residue of the slave trade, Imperial plunder and Enlightenment ‘science’ produced a dehumanizing photographic iconography of the ‘African’. But alongside the classificatory and coercive, new forms of picturing emerged, from honorific portraits to family records, studio performances to parodies, providing sites through which multiple subjectivities and alternative African-based modernities were imagined. The colonial archive constitutes a resource for contemporary South African artists. Crucial too is the centrality of documentary photography and a particular version of this realist project emerged in the middle of the twentieth century that was harnessed to the anti-apartheid struggle. After the advent of democracy in 1994, photographers and artists looked to reinvent the medium by mobilising photographic history at the same time as exploring its capacity to invent new subjectivities and identities. Contemporary South African lens-based practices (analogue, digital, video, animation) navigate this complex photographic archive from typological imagery to the family album, from photojournalism to the snap-shot. The course will look at the critical debates and historical developments that this rich trajectory reveals, focussing on the way that human figures are mediated and framed through technology, genre and medium within the specific context of modern South Africa.  
Duration of Module: 20 weeks 
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours 
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art module or equivalent relevant experience.

Suggested summer reading: 
·    The Cambridge History of South Africa, an excellent anthology of essays. Available online at: https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/the-cambridge-history-of-south-africa/3871F39AF7DF0C9CE4DADE721787DDB0 - look particularly at chapters by Saul Dubow, Stanley Trapido, Deborah Posel, Anne Kelk Mager, Tom Lodge.  
·    Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, 1994 
·    Darren Newbury, Defiant Images, Photography and Apartheid South Africa, 2009 
·    Tamar Garb, Figures and Fictions, V & A, 2011 
·    For those of you who like fiction, why not try some of the following: Nadine Gordimer; John Coetzee (especially ‘Disgrace’), Ivan Vladislavic (especially ‘Portrait with Keys’), Marlene van Niekerk (‘The Way of the Women’ and ‘Triomf’), Zakes Mda (especially ‘The Madonna of Excelsior’, Zoe Wicomb (especially ‘David’s Story’), Athol Fugard (Especially Sizwe Bande is Dead’)  Damon Galgut (especially ‘The Promise’).
 

HART0177 German Art, 1450–1600: Renaissance and Reformation

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.

Suggested reading:
- Susie Nash, Northern Renaissance Art (2008) 
- Jane Campbell Hutchison, Albrecht Dürer: A Biography (1990)
- Peter Moser, Lucas Cranach: His Life, His World, His Pictures (2005)
- Cranach Digital Archive: https://lucascranach.org/home
- Lyndal Roper, Living I Was Your Plague: Martin Luther's World and Legacy (2021)
- W. G. Sebald, After Nature (2002), p. 1-37
- Dorothea von Mücke, "History and the Work of Art in Sebald's After Nature," (2011): https://nonsite.org/sebalds-after-nature-authorship-at-the-threshold-of-representation/

Indicative weekly topics:

  • Week 1. Temporal and Geographical Frames
  • Week 2: Was There a Northern Renaissance?
  • Week 3: Welsch vs. Deutsch
  • Week 4: German Senses of the Past
  • Week 5: The Impact of Print
  • Week 6: Commerce, Diplomacy, and Humanism: The Portraits of Hans Holbein
  • Week 7: Artistic Ego-Documents: The Case of Albrecht Dürer
  • Week 8: Fashion and Self-Fashioning
  • Week 9: Collectors and their Cabinets
  • Week 10: Renaissance Misogyny
  • Week 11: Art Histories of the Reformation
  • Week 12: The Image Question in Christian Art
  • Week 13: Luxury and Mimesis as Provocation
  • Week 14: Artists and Reform
  • Week 15: Iconoclasm
  • Week 16: Prints and Propaganda
  • Week 17: Making Art in the Reformation’s Wake
  • Week 18:  Defining Protestant Art
  • Week 19: Landscapes, Soundscapes, Smellscapes: New Research on the Senses in the Reformation World
  • Week 20: Legacies of the Reformation within Art History
     
HART0164 The Social Life of Artworks – 30 credits 

Module Tutor: Helia Marcal
Timetabled: 11:00 – 13:00, Fridays
Module Description: This module will explore the social lives of artworks. It will focus on biographical and ecological approaches to the study of objects, characterised by a focus on the interactions between people, objects, technology and nature. This approach will allow students to understand artworks through their means of production, to situate both art objects and themselves within the network of interactions art objects occupy, and to analyse processes of historicisation, acquisition, collection management, and conservation as part of a social-material context.
Duration of Module: 20 weeks
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours 
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art module or equivalent relevant experience.

Suggested reading - TBC
Indicative weekly topics - TBC

 

HART0079 Advanced Undergraduate Course in the History of Art: Modern & Contemporary

Module Tutor: TBC  (new appointment)
Timetabled: 14:00– 16:00, Thursdays
Module Description: This 20-week level 6 module will be delivered by a new appointment to be confirmed by the end of April 2022. It is expected that the appointed individual will deliver a new module reflecting their research interests in critical modernities and the built environment. UCL History of Art has a long commitment to critical and theoretical engagements with the politics and aesthetics of modernity in a global context. We embrace ideas of the modern that stem from multiple geographies and points of origin. For this appointment, we are seeking scholars who engage in critical debates around notions of the planetary, space, territory, emplacement, ecology and/or urbanism.
Duration of Module: 20 weeks 
Student Contact Hours: 40+ hours 
Prerequisites: Completion of 2nd-year History of Art module or equivalent relevant experience.

Suggested reading - TBC
Indicative weekly topics - TBC