Module Identifier AHM0330  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Ms Moira M Vincentelli  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   Seminar 11 x 2 hr  
  Seminars / Tutorials   Tutorials 3 x 1 hr  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Discussion Paper of 2500 words30%
Semester Assessment Presentation Paper 2000 words20%
Semester Assessment Extended essay 5000 words50%
Supplementary Assessment Only failed components are submitted/re-presented for resit examination.100%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
At the end of the course the student will be able to situate their own work, whether in Art History or Art Practice, in the wider context of contemporary culture.
understand the concept of visual culture and its implications for the study of fine art and art history
understand and discuss theoretical texts within a group context, and present ideas about art and visual culture formally to the class and in writing.

Brief description

The module provides an overview of a significant expansion and redefinition of the scope of visual study, theory, and history that has taken place in the last two decades. It sets the practice of art and writing about art in the context of a broader concept of visual culture. It enables students to consider debates in cultural theory in relation to aspects of visual art. While dealing with the broad some of the classes will consider the work of selected artists, for example Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, Joseph Kosuth, Barbara Kruger, Jimmy Durham, Yinka Shonibare. Key topics would include the concepts of visual culture, material culture, personal and national identity, production and consumption, new technology, and institutional structures. The course would be based around key themes. Prior to each class students engage a series of set readings. Each student is expected to make two class presentations (one long, the other short) on two different topics listed under `syllabus, and to submit an extended essay pursuing and applying these topics extensively. The longer presentations ought ideally to reflect the student'r comprehension of the topic and their intellectual position in relation to it. The shorter presentation will be designed as a springboard for group discussion. In this sense, the students will be expected to cast their understanding of the topic into intelligent questions for debate.




1. Old art history/new art history
considers some of the theoretical positions that lay behind the new art history as it developed in the 1970s including post structuralism, feminism and psychoanalysis.
2. Cultural studies/Visual culture
examines different concepts and meanings of `culture' and in particular what might constitute visual culture and its relationship to art practice.
3. Institutions and organisations
discuses the role of educational institutions, government organisations, museums and galleries in structuring and supporting art and visual culture.
4. Material culture
examines the implications of concept of material culture and its relationship to visual culture or art objects.
5. Production and consumption
considers different ways of conceptualising the production and consumption of visual culture: cultural producers and artists , viewers and buyers , culture and commodity.
6. New technology
studies the role of new technology in the expanding range of visual practices: art works on the Internet, information overload, art marketing.
7. Post-colonial culture
discusses what is meant by the term post-colonial, the questioning of a Eurocentric viewpoint and the notion of World Art.
8. Globalisation and cultural identity
Global culture, personal identity and visual culture , with a focus on art in Wales.
9. Personal identity and self-culture
looks at the artist's use of their body and biography as a resource for medium and content
10. Cultural relativism and absolute values
considers what constitutes artistic value and who defines the canon?
11. The power of the gaze and the pleasures of the eye
examines notions of aesthetic pleasure in visual culture bearing in mind that `no act of looking is innocent'.

Reading Lists

** General Text
Ashcroft, Bill, Griffiths, Gareth and Tiffin, Helen (1995) The Post-colonial Studies Reader London and New York, Routledge
Barthes, Roland, (1989) Mythologies, London, Paladin
Becker, Gary (1996) Accounting for Tastes Princeton, Havard University Press
Bourdieu, Pierre (1993) The Field of Cultural Production, London, Polity
Connor, Steven (1992) Theory and Cultural Value Oxford, Blackwell
Greenberg, Reesa, Ferguson, Bruce, Nairne, Sandy (1996) Thinking about Exhibitions London, Routledge
Jenks, C (ed), (1995) Visual Culture, London and New York, Routledge
Lord, Peter (1994) Gwenllian: Essays on Visual Culture Llandysul, Gomer,
Sherman, Daniel, and Rogoff, Irit (1994) Museum Culture: Histories, Discourses, Spectacles London, Routledge,
Walker, John and Chaplin, Sarah (1997) Visual Culture: An Introduction Manchester, MUP
** Recommended Text
Lyotard, Jean Francois (1992) The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge Manchester, MUP

** General Text
Visual Arts and Culture
** Recommended Text
Third Text


This module is at CQFW Level 7