Course Title: Art 1: History+Theory+Cultures

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Art 1: History+Theory+Cultures

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Coordinator: Dr Kristen Sharp

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2412

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course introduces you to select ideas, themes and practices in contemporary art. It will locate contemporary art in a theoretical, historical and cultural context and introduce you to a range of ideas, methods and cultures of art practice. It will help establish a strong critical foundation for your studio practice and will expand your experience of art.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In this course you will develop the following capabilities:

  • Acquire knowledge of creative practice and theory and their applications to fine art
  • Critically examine global, social, cultural, environmental and historical knowledge and contexts to inform your art practice

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

  1. Identify and discuss key ideas, histories, theories and cultural contexts of contemporary art
  2. Research and engage critically with artists and their work relevant to your studio projects
  3. Apply and communicate your research through writing and oral presentations

Overview of Learning Activities

In this course you will explore a range of artists and their work.

Lectures will present the theoretical, critical and historical contexts for the creation, reception and understanding of art and culture. You will be encouraged to actively participate in discussions of a range of relevant topics and critical texts, and to apply these to your own studio practice. Seminars will provide guided workshops to develop and extend your skills in researching, writing and speaking about art. Where possible, there will be opportunities for you to experience firsthand the exhibition and presentation of art through gallery and museum visits.

You will receive verbal and/or written feedback from academic staff and peers through a variety of consultations and seminars on your work. You will also have access to online materials, instructional tutorials, and readings through Canvas and the


Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. Required readings, examples and lists of works, guides about essay writing and referencing will be posted on Blackboard. A list of additional research sources will be distributed through blackboard that you may find useful for assignment work.

The RMIT University Library has extensive resources for fine art students. In both Melbourne and Hong Kong you will be able to access relevant titles through the following online subject guide

The Library also provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help via the subject guides. See the following link for details

The libraries in Melbourne and Hong Kong also have quality print resources specifically for your fine art studies. Consult with the teaching staff for specific suggestions and access to these resources.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. You will be given feedback on all your assessment tasks. Assessment:

1) Response to feedback on your own work 20% (week 4)

2) Presentation on a selected artist(s) or theme 40%

3) Written Analysis on an artwork or theme 40%

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. Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: