Course Title: Art 4: History+Theory+Cultures

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Art 4: 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

Successful completion of ART 1 History+Theory+Cultures

or ART2 History+Theory+Cultures HUSO 2401

or equivalent.

Course Description

This course will focus on specialised topics/themes considered relevant to contemporary art practice and discourse. You will select one class from a range of offerings each semester.

ART4 provides a sophisticated conceptual, critical, historical and theoretical framework for the study of art. It builds on the skills you developed in ART3 to establish your expertise in art. In this course you will explore a range of artists, ideas and practices and locate them in their appropriate cultural, theoretical and historical contexts.

In this course you will critically analyse and synthesise your knowledge of art by presenting a clear, coherent and independent exposition of your ideas and critical responses through writing and discussion. In ART4 you will further develop your communication skills by presenting expert knowledge about particular cultural and historical contexts with intellectual independence.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

  • 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
  • Form, develop and invent and vision and philosophy of art in which to base your professional practice or future study

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

  1. Critically analyse, synthesise and evaluate concepts, practices, theories and histories in art
  2. Locate art and theoretical material in its cultural and historical contexts
  3. Plan, engage and adapt your knowledge through independent research using appropriate citation in writing and presentations
  4. Effectively communicate knowledge through writing and/or oral activities using appropriate terminology

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 a supportive environment to facilitate your own independent and critically informed research, discussion, writing and presentation of materials relevant to the topic.

You will receive verbal and/or written feedback from academic staff and peers through a variety of consultations and tutorials 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’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. You will be given feedback on all your assessment tasks.

Formative Feedback:

You will receive formative feedback from peers and lecturers on task 1 & 2 during seminar classes prior to submission.

Summative Assessment:

There are two summative assessment tasks for this course:

1) Critical Response to a Specialised Text 50% (this may be a written and/or verbal presentation) LO 1,2

2) Extended Critical Essay 50% LO 1,2,3,4

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: