Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 Hours.
Seminars / Tutorials 5 Hours. Seminar.


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 2500 word essay  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. problematise concepts such as 'art', 'the artist', ' primitivism' in the context of the study of World Art and apply these to particular case studies or examples.

2. recognise the way that cultural exchange through trade, colonisation, and tourism affects the values attributed to art and artefacts and the status of the producers. You will understand the role of museums and exhibitions in this process and be able to apply these ideas to particular examples.

3. be effective in note-taking, reading critically, library research, essay writing and the presentation of ideas in class discussion.

Brief description

The aim of this course is to examine selected aspects of non-western visual culture in their social and historical context and to consider the on-going interchange between cultures which is not just a phenomenon of the recent past. The course will examine critically the concept of 'primitivism' and notions of 'art' and the 'artist' and will look at the way non-western art is displayed in exhibitions and museums, promoted in development projects, and marketed in shops. Theoretical issues will be examined through case studies of particular societies and historical moments. These will be used to consider how visual cultural artefacts are produced, used and valued by their own society and how these values may change when they are exchanged or seen outside that culture through, for example, colonisation, trade and tourism. The course will also consider who makes these things: is it men or women, artists or artisans, individuals or groups, people of high or low status, or with special or even magical powers, and are they full-time producers or occasional workers?

Reading List

Supplementary Text
Adler, Peter Asafo! Textiles Thames & H. Primo search Barley, Nigel Smashing Pots Ceramics Brit.Museum P. Primo search Batkin Clay people Native American Art and Crafts Santa Fe, N.M. : Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian Primo search Berlo, Janet Catherine Native North American Art Native American Art and Crafts Oxf.U.P. Primo search Bernhard Aratjara Aborigine Art Kln : DuMont Primo search Caruana, Wally Aboriginal Art Aborigine Art Thames & H. Primo search Clifford, James Predicament of Culture Key Text Harvard U.P. Primo search Coe Lost and found traditions Native American Art and Crafts Seattle : University of Washington Press in association with the American Federation of Arts Primo search Conway Design history ArticlesWomen's Decorative traditions in Kabylie London : Allen & Unwin Primo search Coombes, Annie E. Reinventing Africa Primitivism - Issues, Exhibitions and Critiques edition n.e. Yale U.P. Primo search Courtney-Clarke, Margaret African Canvas African Art Rizzoli Internat.Pubns.,U.S. Primo search Courtney-Clarke, Margaret Ndebele African Art edition n.e. Thames & H. Primo search D'Azevedo The traditional artist in African societies African Art Bloomington Primo search Denyer, Susan African Traditional Architecture African Art edition n.e. Africana Pub.Co. Primo search Drewal Yoruba African Art New York : Center for African Art in association with Harry N. Abrams Inc Primo search Errington, Shelly Death of Authentic Primitive Art and Other Tales of Progress Key Text Univ.California P. Primo search Eyo, Ekpo Treasures of Ancient Nigeria African Art Collins Primo search Gillow, John Traditional Indian Textiles Textiles Thames & H. Primo search Guth, Christine Japanese Art of the Edo Period Japan Weidenfeld & N. Primo search Harris Textiles, 5,000 years Textiles edition n.e. New York : H.N. Abrams Primo search Harrod Obscure objects of desire ArticlesPatricia Baker "20th Century Mythmaking: Persian Tribal Rugs" p126-135 London : Crafts Council Primo search Huyler, Stephen P. Painted Prayers India Thames & H. Primo search King, J.C.H. Portrait Masks from the Northwest Coast of America Native American Art and Crafts Thames & H. Primo search Laboratory of Anthropology I am here Native American Art and Crafts Santa Fe, New Mexico : Museum of New Mexico Press Primo search Lane, Richard Images from the Floating World Japan Oxf.U.P. Primo search Lechuga, Ruth D. Mask Arts of Mexico mexico Thames & H. Primo search McLeod Ethnic Sculpture General Brit.Museum Pubns. Primo search Narazaki, Muneshige Japanese Print Japan Kodansha Internat.,U.S. Primo search Oliver, Paul Dwellings African Art Phaidon P. Primo search Paolozzi, Eduardo Lost Magic Kingdoms Primitivism - Issues, Exhibitions and Critiques Brit.Museum Pubns. Primo search Peterson, Susan Living Tradition of Maria Martinez Native American Art and Crafts Kodansha Internat.,U.S. Primo search Picton, John African Textiles Textiles edition r.e. Brit.Museum Pubns. Primo search Rubin Primitivism in 20th century art Primitivism - Issues, Exhibitions and Critiques Museum of Modern Art Primo search Simpson, Moira G. Making Representations Primitivism - Issues, Exhibitions and Critiques edition n.e. Routledge Primo search South Bank Centre Exotic Europeans Primitivism - Issues, Exhibitions and Critiques London : South Bank Centre Primo search Steiner African Art in Transit Tourism and Trading Camb.U.P. Primo search Thomas, Nicholas Possessions Key Text Thames & H. Primo search Vequaud, Yves Art of Mithila India Thames & H. Primo search Victoria and Albert Museum Indian art India London : H.M.S.O, Primo search Vincentelli, Moira Women and Ceramics Ceramics Manchester U.P. Primo search Vincentelli, Moira Women potters Ceramics A & C Black Primo search Wenzel, Marian House Decoration in Nubia African Art Duckworth Primo search Whitford Japanese Prints Japan Thames & H. Primo search Willett, Frank African Art African Art edition 3r.e. Thames & H. Primo search Africa Explores Primitivism - Issues, Exhibitions and Critiques Prestel Verlag,Germany Primo search Contesting Art Key Text Berg Publrs. Primo search Ethnic and Tourist Arts Tourism and Trading Univ.California P. Primo search Exhibiting Cultures Primitivism - Issues, Exhibitions and Critiques Smithsonian Instn.P. Primo search History of Twentieth-century American Craft General Abrams Primo search Myth of Primitivism Primitivism - Issues, Exhibitions and Critiques Routledge Primo search Reading the Contemporary Key Text Institute of International Visual Arts (INIVA) Primo search Social Life of Things ArticlesBrian Spooner "Weavers and Dealers: the Authenticity of the Oriental Carpet" p135-195 edition n.e. Camb.U.P. Primo search Social Life of Things ArticlesC.A. Bayley "The origins of swadeshi (home industry): cloth and Indian Society, 1700-1930" p285-322 edition n.e. Camb.U.P. Primo search Social Life of Things Tourism and Trading edition n.e. Camb.U.P. Primo search Thinking About Exhibitions Primitivism - Issues, Exhibitions and Critiques Routledge Primo search Unpacking Culture Key Text Univ.California P. Primo search M Vincentelli (1986) Ceramic Review Women Potters of Kabylie Articles London : Ceramic review Pennina Barnett (1995) Third Text Rugs are Us, the Oriental carpet as sign and text ArticlesAlso available in the National Library 1987 onwards edition 30 13-28 London : Kara Press African Arts ArticlesThe periodical is very well illustrated with many interesting articles. 1983 - 1995 available in Hugh Owen.

James Clifford, (1988) The Predicament of Culture Twentieth century Ethnography, Literature and Art, London,Harvard U.P., Cambridge Mass Primo search Jeremy MacClancy (1997) Contesting Art, Art Politics and Identity in the Modern World Berg, Oxford Primo search Nicholas Thomas (1999) Possessions, Indigenous Art, Colonial Culture London Thames and Hudson Primo search Olu Oguibe and O. Enwzor (eds) (1999) Reading the Contemporary, African Art from Theory to the Marketplace London, INIVA Primo search Ruth Phillips and Christopher Steiner (eds) (1999) Unpacking Culture, Art and Commodity in Colonial and Postcolonial Worlds University of California, Berkeley Primo search Shelley Errington (1998) The Death of Authentic Primitve Art and Other Tales of progress, University of California Press Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6