Course Title: Theme and Variation: Art Yesterday and Today

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Theme and Variation: Art Yesterday and Today

Credit Points: 12


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


340H Art


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016,


Hong Kong Arts Centre


340H Art


Offsh3 12,
Offsh3 17

Course Coordinator: Dr Kristen Sharp

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925-2412

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Availability: Via Appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

HUSO 2186 Art History and Theory 1 OR HUSO 2213 Art History and Theory 2 OR Equivalent

Course Description

In this course you will be introduced to the historical and theoretical background of key issues relevant to contemporary art by investigating aspects of selected works. You will explore histories of ideas and practices that underpin contemporary art. This recognizes the importance of continuities and change in relation to the historical context for contemporary art practice.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

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

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this course you will be able to:
 Identify and discuss theoretical and critical debates relevant to current art practice.
 Situate contemporary art practice in relation to relevant histories and theories
 Critically analyse the content and contexts of art works
 Use appropriate vocabulary in discussing art works and ideas
 Engage in independent research and appropriately cite your writing and presentations.

Overview of Learning Activities

In this course you will engage in a range of learning activities such as lectures, screenings, reading and discussion of texts, critical and analytical thinking, group discussions and/or on-line forums, research and essay-writing. In lectures and seminars, you will examine and participate in discussions of a range of artists and works.

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, examples and lists of works, guides about essay writing and referencing will be posted on Blackboard. A course bibliography will be distributed 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, oral and online 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 .