Course Title: The Social Role of the Artist

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: The Social Role of the Artist

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


340H Art


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 1 2017

Course Coordinator: Dr Kristen Sharp

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2412

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

HUSO 2186 Art History and Theory 1 OR  HUSO 2213 Art History and Theory 2 OR Eqivalent

Course Description

In this course you will focus on the changing roles and identities of artists in society. These social identities will be examined in relation to specific historical, cultural and theoretical contexts for art. You will make comparisons between historic and contemporary examples and ideas in order to identify and deepen your understanding of the changing social roles of artists and art.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/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:

• Discuss and analyse a range of artistic identities and roles and locate these in relation to the historical, social and cultural contexts in which they emerge.

• Identify the relationship between art practice and changing theoretical perspectives on the meaning and role of artist and art in society.
• Engage in independent research and appropriately cite your writing and presentations.
• Use terminology appropriate to this course

Overview of Learning Activities

In this course you will engage in a range of learning activities such as lectures, screenings, reading and discussion of 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 artists and works. The key social identities that will be covered in this course include: the artist as an individual, the artist as an intellectual, the Romantic image of the artist, the artist as an agent of social/political change, the artist as a maker, the artist as a conceiver, the artist as collaborator, and the global artist.

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, examples and lists of works, 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, oral and online 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 teachers.
Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures which are described and referenced in a single document:;ID=ln1kd66y87rc .