Course Title: Extend cultural research expertise

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2016

Course Code: VART6312C

Course Title: Extend cultural research expertise

School: 340T Art

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6128 - Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts

Course Contact: Jennifer Cabraja and Fay Reynolds

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4472

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Anthony Riccardi

Nominal Hours: 50

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

In this course you will develop skills and knowledge skills and knowledge required to extend and refine individual cultural research capability, both in the context of own practice and as part of the broader cultural context.

Independent professional practice in the creative industries involves the ability to research and engage with current cultural debate and with cultural history and theory.
At this level, you will engage in a self-directed independent research process.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUVRES601A Extend cultural research expertise


1.Situate own practice in the wider context

Performance Criteria:


1.1. Reflect on the nature of own practice and its relationship to the broader contemporary cultural context 

1.2. Explore the relationship of individual practice to particular aspects of cultural history and theory

1.3. Consider how own work connects to or diverges from the work of other professionals

1.4. Analyse the ways in which individual practice has evolved, and the influences that have affected this evolution


2.Extend research capability

Performance Criteria:


2.1. Investigate ways to extend individual research  to support professional practice and self-development

2.2. Develop potential areas of research based on current or planned developments in practice and broader areas of interest

2.3. Conduct in-depth analysis of critical writing as part of an ongoing research practice


3.Refine and articulate own positions and ideas

Performance Criteria:


3.1. Evolve personal ideas based on developing research activity and critical analysis 

3.2. Participate in current cultural debate  with peers and within the wider community

3.3. Seek and apply critical feedback from others

3.4. Develop substantiated ideas  on cultural topics

3.5. Develop and present information in formats that meet professional and relevant academic standards and conventions 

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you will have developed and applied the skills and knowledge required to demonstrate your competency in the above elements.

Details of Learning Activities

Learning activities will take place in a lecture theatre using industry standard resources. You will complete exercises and industry style projects. You will also be required to undertake independent study.

In this course, the student learns through:

  • lectures
  • teacher directed group activities/projects
  • online research
  • group discussions
  • independent research

Teaching Schedule

WeekClass contentTasksElements
1Introductory talk and Research essay requirements is explainedResearch essay preparation1/2
2Post Modernism 1
Historical context to postmodernism and the other topics of this module; overview of Post structuralism and postmodernism; Introduction to Post Structuralist and Post Structuralist thinkers.
3Post Modernism 2.
Saussure: The main elements of Saussure’s Structural Linguistics
Research essay questions developed.
4Post Modernism 3
Levi-Strauss: The application of the Structuralist approach to Anthropology
Barthes: Structuralism in relation to the study of culture. Lyotard: Legitimation. Grand vs. Little Narrative.
5Post Modernism 4
Baudrillard: Hyperreal. Simulacra. Orders of Simulation
Derrida: Deconstruction. Text. Binary Oppositions. Centralized term/Marginal term. De-centering. ”Free play of Binary Opposites”. “Under Erasure”. Slippage. Difference/Difference
6Post Modernism 5
Foucault: His study of history. Discourse. Archaeology. Episteme. Examples of Foucault’s approach, in relation to the history of madness, imprisonment and medicine
Artists and movements:
Postmodern architecture-Finlay, Graves, Bofill, Site, Blom, Gehry,
Artists and movements
Trans Avant-Garde: Chia, Clemente
Neo Expressionism: Penck,Baselitz, Immendorf, Kiefer.
Neo Classicism: Mariani, Andrejevic, Komar and Melamid
7Post Modernism 6
Other figuration.
Schnabel, Salle, Fischl, Tansey, Bartlett , Rothenberg, Richter, Muniz, Wall
The Other
Wojnarowicz, Coplans,
Polke, Prince, Baldessari, Bidlo, Brown, Foss, Roberts
Graffiti, Kitsch, “low art”
Basquiat, Haring, Koons, Pattern and Decoration: Schapiro, Taaffe
Booth,Henson, Zahalka, Tillers,
Short Films
Viola, Campus
8Post Modernism 7
Sculpture/site specific/enviroment
Cragg, Fritsch, Hirst, Kusama, Wodiczko, Gearing
Graffiti, Kitsch, “low art”
Basquiat, Haring, Koons, Pattern and Decoration: Schapiro, Taaffe
Booth,Henson, Zahalka, Tillers
Short Films
Marclay, Philipsz
9Feminism and Gender 1
A discussion of the term “Feminism” and the different types of Feminisms; a short history of Feminism from the French Revolution to the present day, outlining not only significant historical developments but also the changing ideas and activities of First, Second and Third wave Feminism;
Definition and explanation of the term “gender” and related issues; Essentialism vs. Non Essentialism; psychological background to Feminist theory, especially post-feminist theory; an account of the ideas of Freud in regards to infant sexuality and the formation gender; Freud’s influence on Feminism and Feminist critique of Freud
10Feminism and Gender 2
Psychological background to feminist thought continued; the ideas of Jacques Lacan regarding gender development; Lacan’s
influence on feminism and feminist critique of Lacan
Three feminist thinkers- their ideas discussed: Luce Irigaray, Helene Cixous, Julia Kristeva
11Feminism and Gender 3
An examination of women artists and how they implemented Feminist ideas into their work.
Artists: Edelston, Chicago, Guerilla Girls, Kelly, Sherman, Lacy, Holzer, Kruger, Mendieta,
Australian: Binns, Fabye, Jill Posters, Wilson, Watson, Allen
Short Film
Joan Jonas
12Art and Politics 1
The ideas of Karl Marx; Dialectical Materialism; his economic, political and social theories; his critique of Capitalism; Ideology; Gramsci; Marx and art; various Marxists’ attitude towards Modernism; Modernism and Socialist Realism in Russia; Post Marxism and revolutionary politics post 1968: the relation between Post Marxism and Post Structuralism
13Art and Politics 2
The function of art in a Marxist context; an examination of the works and ideas of Hans Haake; an examination of the works of other artists: Miereles, Burgin, Avalos, Hock, Sisco, Hernandez ,etc
Australian: Larter, Dolk et al, Dun, Gittoes
14Post Colonialism
The idea of Post Colonialism as a discipline; its aims and practices in relation to art; an examination of some postcolonial thinkers- Fanon, Said, Bhabha, Spivak
The application of Post Colonial ideas in relation to art by examining modern African art as practiced in Africa and as practiced in America by artists of African descent
Artists in Africa-Odutokun, Samba, Ledy, Tokodagba, Muefangejo
African-American Artists -Bearden, B Saar, A. Saar, Piper
Australian: Tjakamarra, Onus, Gough, Bennet
15The Creative Process 1
A general coverage of the creative process, its stages, problems, strategies and solutions and ideas taken from various visual and non-visual artists including Picasso, Georgia O’Keefe, Kandinsky, Nolde, DeChirico, Dali, Giacometti, Matisse, Celmins, Pollock.
Research essay1/2
16The Creative Process 2
creative practices continued; Paula Rego, Antony Gormley, Anthony Caro, Doris Salcedo, Alix Lambert

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

A full bibliography will be provided.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is on going throughout the semester. Your knowledge and understanding of course content is assessed through completion of a body of work that demonstrates concept development, understanding of materials and adhering to the guidelines of working in a studio.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment for the first semester of this course is in the form of an essay with a topic of the student’s own choosing but in consultation with the lecturer. The research essay is designed to inform and benefit his/her practice from a practical, historical, conceptual, or theoretical viewpoint. In addition the student is also required to situate her/his research into contemporary contexts, including Post Modern, Feminist/Gender studies, political or Post Colonial discourse.


To demonstrate competency in this course, you will need to complete the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all assessment tasks.

Assessment task                                                   Content/requirements                                  Due date

Essay                                                                     Essay of at least 3,000 words                     W15


Graded assessment applies for courses within the Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts.

GRADE         OUTLINE GRADING                                 CRITERIA

CHD              Competent with high distinction                 80-100 Highly developed

CDI               Competent with distinction                         70-79 Well developed

CC                Competent with credit                                60-69 Developed

CA                Competency achieved graded                   50-59 Sound


Non Graded

CA                Competency achieved                               A competent result indicates that the assessment requirements for the course have been met.

NYC             Not yet competent                                      Not yet competent indicates that the assessment requirements for the course have not been met.

DNS             Did not submit                                            Did not submit for assessment.

Assessment Matrix



Unit title

Extend Cultural Research and Expertise

RMIT Unit code

VART 6312C

National code


Assessment task

Elements/ PCs

*Required knowledge


*Required skills


*Critical aspects of evidence





1. Research Essay




1.1 - 4

2.1 - 3

3.1 - 5

- Potential research opportunities for individual cultural practice

- Range of historical and contemporary critical writing relevant to individual research focus

- Conventions for the presentation on information and ideas

- Intellectual property issues and legislation and how they relate to the research process.

*communication skills to:

  -articulate complex


  -participate in debate

   and discussion of

   cultural history and


*analytical and literacy

 skills to:

  -examine the nature of

   own practice and its

   place in the wider


- analyse varied

  information sources

  dealing with complex


* initiative and enterprise

  skills to seek proactive

  involvement in cultural


* planning and organising skills to set up and undertake a research process

* learning and self-3management skills to e5xtend individual research capability through self-directed projects

* technology skills:

   - present information in appropriate formats

   - use the web as a research tool.


 Evidence of the ability to:


*interrogate own practice to a depth that allows the candidate to make connections with the broader cultural contexts


*develop a professional research capability in the area of cultural history and theory


* articulate and present complex ideas following appropriate conventions.




e assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are available from the course contact person (stated above).

Other Information


You will receive verbal and written feedback by teacher on your work.  This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.






RMIT has a strict policy on plagiarism. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy.




Special consideration Policy (Late Submission)


All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension.


Please refer to the following URL for extensions and special consideration:;ID=qkssnx1c5r0y;STATUS=A;PAGE_AUTHOR=Andrea%20Syers;SECTION=1 (unresolved)





Reasonable adjustment

In assessing whether a particular adjustment is reasonable consideration should be given to:

·         the student’s disability and his/her views

·         the effect of the adjustment on the student, including effect on his/her ability to achieve learning outcomes, participate in courses or programs and achieve independence

·         the effect of the proposed adjustment on anyone else affected, including the education provider, staff and other students

·         the costs and benefits of making the adjustment.

As a result, what constitutes "reasonable" varies on a case-by-case basis and the balance is sometimes difficult to strike.  However, it is clear that education providers are not required to lower academic standards or disregard the needs staff or other students. In more complex cases discussion with the disability service will be useful. It may be useful to examine previous judgements in relation to the DDA.


An RTO needs to fit LLN into the delivery of its training and assessment as it has an important role in:

·         redressing any deficiencies in its students’ key LLN skills

building the generic skills of teamwork, communication and problem solving that are highly valued by employers.

Employability skills

In addition to developing skills and knowledge for a particular job, this program also aims to help you to develop broad work skills, known as Employability Skills. There are eight employability skills.

Employability Skills which feature in the Diploma of Visual Art include:

• Communication

• Teamwork

• Problem solving

• Initiative and enterprise

• Planning and organising

• Self management

• Learning

• Technology

Employability skills are embedded in the units of competency in your program. When you demonstrate that you are competent in your particular job skills and knowledge you are also demonstrating that you have developed relevant employability skills. Further information about the employability skills you will develop in this program is available at: chapter/EmpSkillsMandText


Course Overview: Access Course Overview