Course Title: Art History and Theory 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Art History and Theory 1

Credit Points: 12


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


340H Art


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 2 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017


Hong Kong Arts Centre


340H Art


Offsh 3 10,
Offsh 3 11,
Offsh1 16


RMIT University Vietnam


340H Art


Viet1 2012,
Viet2 2012,
Viet3 2012,
Viet1 2013,
Viet2 2013,
Viet3 2013,
Viet1 2014,
Viet2 2014,
Viet1 2015,
Viet3 2015,
Viet1 2016,
Viet2 2016,
Viet2 2017

Course Coordinator: Dr Kristen Sharp

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2412

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: City Campus 6.4.11

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment.

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course provides a thorough introduction to modernism in art with reference to issues that are central to current debates on contemporary art. 

The course begins with an introduction to the discipline of art history & theory and a discussion of key terminology and methodology, it then focuses on important developments in art & society from 19th century Europe to the late 20th century.


Melbourne Students: The content for this course will be taught in SEMESTER 2, 2017.

Hong Kong Students: The content for this course will be taught in SEMESTER 1, 2017.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In addition to offering students an understanding of international modernism in art, this course provides the foundation for students understanding the relevance of the historical and theoretical context of contemporary culture. It aims to give students a good grasp of key terminology and techniques in writing, documentation and the basis of research. The course aims to provide students with an understanding of the importance of well-informed, independent thinking in developing a written argument, and aims to give students confidence in researching the critical and historical context of art.


In this course you will develop the following program capabilities:

  • engage in autonomous and continued learning, apply new theories of practice and embrace new developments in cultural/artistic production
  • develop a critically reflective arts practice, in order to continually develop, change and plan for a future that is both informed and improved by arts practice
  • form, develop and implement a vision and philosophy of art as a profession, contributing to the positive development of culture in both local and international contexts

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities are centred on the lectures and tutorials. The tutorials provide a forum for discussion of the lecture topic and readings. Key concepts and works will be explained and illustrated in lectures, tutorials and online resources with opportunities to discuss their use in tutorial classes. In addition, key methods in Art History & Theory such as essay writing, critical analysis and research skills will be covered in tutorials.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT University will provide you with a range of resources and tools to engage in this course. RMIT University’s online systems will also support your learning and you will have access to a wide range of online and hardcopy resources through RMIT University Library. 

Supplementary notes, readings, slide lists and guides about essay writing and referencing will be posted on Blackboard. A course bibliography will be posted on Blackboard with a list of recommended readings.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the learning outcomes in this course and on your development against the program capabilities. Assessment may include a range of written and oral presentations. 

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks and staff members are available for individual consultation. 

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more. 

An assessment charter ( ) summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers. Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures which are described and referenced in a single document:;ID=ln1kd66y87rc.