Course Title: Sonic History and Critical Theory

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Sonic History and Critical Theory

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


340H Art


Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2011

Course Coordinator: Dr Kristen Sharp

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2412

Course Coordinator

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

HUSO2186  Art History and Theory 1 or equivalent

Course Description

This course offers a study of sonic cultures and practices, including their connection to temporal and spatial forms. It connects these sonic dimensions to other cultural productions in art, visual culture, poetics and literary narrative.
The course locates these practices in relation to their broader social and historical contexts. The course adopts an inter-disciplinary approach and draws on a wide range of relevant concepts from critical theory, cultural studies, art history and philosophy. The course is designed for students in all studio areas in the School of Art.<!--EndFragment-->

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Students will develop an understanding of the historical and contemporary meaning of sound and intermedia cultures, and be able to see the relevance of theory and philosophy to this often marginalised dimension of the social context. Students will also develop skills of presenting scholarly essays in this field of study.

This course contributes to the following School of Art Graduate Capabilities:

  • Autonomous and continued learning, with the ability to apply new theories of practice and embrace new developments in cultural/artistic production
  • Critical reflection and 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.

Students will have gained a clearer understanding of the changing meaning of sound in culture, including the relationship to other temporal, spatial and art practices, and the relevance of theory and philosophy to this field of study.

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities are centred on the lectures and seminars. The seminars provide a forum for discussion based on lecture topics and readings. Key concepts will be explained and demonstrated in lectures, seminars and online notes with opportunities to discuss their application during seminars and online forums. A range of works will be discussed in lectures and seminars.

Overview of Learning Resources

The lectures and seminars will draw on a range of resources from the theoretical and philosophical, to audio material and screenings. Bibliographical material will be provided, and students are strongly encouraged to extend research in the university library, and other linked libraries, and the Internet. Some copies of theoretical material will be distributed occasionally. Supplementary notes, readings, slide lists and guides about essay writing and referencing will be posted on the Learning Hub website. Where relevant, students may be required to present copies of audio material with essays.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will include a range of written, oral and online presentations.