Course Title: Critical Frameworks A

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Critical Frameworks A

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


340H Art


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 2 2019

Course Coordinator: Dr Michael Graeve

Course Coordinator Phone: 03 9925 2747

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 39.3.07

Course Coordinator Availability: Via email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities





Pre & Co requisites

Note it is a condition of enrolment at RMIT that you accept responsibility for ensuring that you have completed the prerequisite/s and agree to concurrently enrol in co-requisite courses before enrolling in a course.

For your information the RMIT Course Requisites policy can be found at:;ID=twx09y07zi1c    

Course Description

The Critical Frameworks courses rotate over three semesters. The format is the same but the content will change for each offering. You will benefit from discussions between the wider artist community across year levels and programs because the three courses (A, B & C) are co-delivered and shared with other postgraduate programs.

When you are enrolled in Critical Frameworks A, you will be expected to engage with the range of fundamental principles and contemporary concerns informing art practices at an entry level. Lectures and tutorials will encourage you to discuss issues including aesthetics; the construction of meaning in art from semiotics to affect; material innovations; philosophical discourses affecting practice; contemporary understandings of site and place; and the multiplicity of art history/s. Discussions draw upon the many narratives that underpin our understanding of art today, including mining history and interrogating conventions. Classes are not specific to media but draw upon the range of practices from those that result in discrete art objects to the ephemeral and the social.

You will use this course to initiate your understanding of the social, cultural and historical context in which you practice and to begin a dossier of artists that are relevant to your practice.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes

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

  • Analyse and evaluate global, social, cultural, environmental and historical knowledge and contexts that may inform your art practice.
  • Produce and participate in discourse and scholarship that is globally informed, culturally and socially aware, ethical and respecting of difference and diversity.
  • Engage in autonomous and continuous learning concerning new developments in artistic production and associated discourses.    

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

  1. Locate appropriate contemporary theoretical frameworks that inform your practice
  2. Identify and evaluate relevant material histories with which to align your practice.
  3. Articulate the relationship between your own creative practice and that of others.
  4. Contribute to the theoretical discourse that defines and shapes contemporary arts practice.

Overview of Learning Activities

Students meet most weeks with a rotating roster of speakers drawn from regular and visiting staff for a lecture presentation around a given topic. The lecture is followed up by an additional tutorial. Students are encouraged to question and challenge ideas from the presenter and each other to get to the heart of their own sense of the material presented.

Overview of Learning Resources

Students are able to make use of the online and hardcopy ADRs that are archived from previous MFA graduates. The texts and bibliographies provide an excellent and nuanced resource for the research of specific discourses in contemporary arts practice.

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

The University Library has extensive resources for Art students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies []

The MFA has a very extensive searchable reading list, which is made available to all enrolled students.

Additional support for academic writing can be accessed through the RMIT’s Study & Learning Centre [].    

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program capabilities.

Assessment may include:

  • Create an online dossier of artists relevant to your practice 20%
  • Create an online dossier of artists relevant to your practice 30%
  • Create an annotated bibliography of sources pertinent to your practice 50%

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

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.

A student 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, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: