Course Title: Art, Science and Modernity

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Art, Science and Modernity

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


340H Art


Sem 2 2015

Course Coordinator: Linda Williams

Course Coordinator Phone: 9925 2369

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Art History & Theory 1 (HUSO 2186)
Art History & Theory 2 (HUSO 2213)

Course Description

In this course you will study the relationship between the arts and sciences in the period since the 17th century Age of Scientific Enlightenment. You will explore the relative status of science and art in contemporary society, and consider how the culture of the Enlightenment influences contemporary art and thought.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

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

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • explore and analyse key ideas of the Enlightenment and its legacy in contemporary culture.
  • engage critically with concepts concerning the differences arising between the roles of art and science in the 17th century, and identify how these ideas have developed in the contemporary context.
  • identify relevant artists, scientists and thinkers and locate them in the broader social and historical contexts in which they operate.
  • apply theories and concepts through critical analysis of texts, including artworks.
  • conduct independent research and present your ideas effectively in written form, with appropriate citation.

Overview of Learning Activities

In this course you will engage in a range of learning activities such as lectures, reading texts, critical and analytical thinking, group discussions and/or on-line forums, research and essay-writing. In lectures and seminars you will examine and discuss a range of artworks and key concepts, such as the Enlightenment, modernity, modernism and postmodernism in relation to art and science.

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 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, online 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 lecturers.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures which are described and referenced in a single document.