Course Title: Analyse cultural history and theory

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2017

Course Code: OART5003C

Course Title: Analyse cultural history and theory

School: 340T Art

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5348 - Diploma of Visual Arts

Course Contact: Phillip Allan

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4030

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 70

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 required to research, analyse and debate cultural history and theory. You will be able to gain insight into historical art movements that will support and develop your own approach to creative work.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUARES503 Analyse cultural history and theory


1. Select focus for cultural research

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Select focus for research based on own needs and perspectives in consultation with others. 1.2 Consider information and ideas to be obtained. 1.3 Challenge own preconceptions about research processes and potential information sources 1.4 Select relevant historical and contemporary sources for investigation and consider any intellectual property requirements..


2. Conduct critical analysis

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Seek out and compare critical views of others in chosen area of enquiry 2.2 Investigate issues within historical and contemporary production, interpretation, promotion and consumption of culture. 2.3 Allow process of analysis to take exploration of issues in new and unintended directions


3. Discuss cultural history and theory

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Develop substantiated opinions and ideas about cultural history and theory 3.2 Make informed contributions to discussions of cultural history and theory 3.3 Encourage and participate in open and constructive discussion


4. Develop own practice from research

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Determine potential for integration of research findings into own work 4.2 Relate cultural history and theory to professional practice 4.3 Identify relationships between history and theory and contemporary cultural practice 4.4 Consider potential benefits of research in own professional practice and its future direction

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Select an appropriate research focus
  • Analyse cultural ideas and information
  • Develop substantiated positions to support professional practice
  • Participate in informed discussion of cultural history and theory.

In this course you will develop the following program capabilities:

  • Recognise historical and theatrical contemporary cultural practices
  • Develop opinions and ideas about cultural history and theory.

Details of Learning Activities

In this course, the student learns through:


group discussions

teacher directed group activities /projects/exercise


Out of class activities include independent research




Teaching Schedule


Class content

Task / Assessment due dates



Week 1



Introductory lecture includes the overview of theentire year’s content from Impressionism to Beuys. 

 Presentation and explanation of assessment is given and the students are informed about what is required of them.


Week 2


Impressionism 1

Impressionism and modernity. The influence of photography and Japanese art; Impressionist colour theory; the modern nude; Social/political/historical background.


 1ST Essay brief is handed out and explained


Week 3


Impressionism 2

Continuation of last week’s themes.




Week 4


The Heidelberg School

Problems of representing the Australian landscape; Australian ethos and formation of Australian mythology; Federation; Myth vs. social/historical/political reality



Week 5


Post Impressionism 1; Seurat / Cezanne

The reasons for the development beyond Impressionism.

Seurat: The formal and conceptual development and practice of Pointillism.

Cézanne: The development of the representation of space and depth in Western art; the development of Cézanne’s ideas and practice regarding space, depth, composition and colour; his influence on cubism and modernism.



Week 6


Post Impressionism 2: Gauguin / Van Gogh

Gauguin-The development of Cloissonism  / Synthetism; Gauguin’s artistic development in Brittany and Tahiti; the colonial context of his work; his relation to symbolism

Van Gogh-The development of his art and ideas; religious and social context; his extension of Impressionist ideas towards a personal symbolism of colour, form and content.



Week 7


The ideas and practices behind the Symbolist movement; Idealism; the literary sources regarding the use of form and imagery;




Week 8


Fauvism -Matisse, Derain, Vlaminck

The development of Fauvism. The development of works of Matisse, Derain and Vlaminck




Week 9


Cubism / Picasso

Picasso’s early work; Blue and Rose period. The formal and conceptual development of Les Demoiselles d’Avignon; the development of cubism; an examination of varieties of cubism by different artists



Week 10


Expressionism 1 The Bridge

Definition and historical usage of the term “expressionism”; introduction to modern German expressionism; the historical/ artistic/ economic/ social and political background to Germany at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century; The Bridge: Its artists, practices beliefs, aims; Philosophical background



Week 11


Expressionism 2 The Blue Rider

The development and aims of The Blue Rider in comparison to The Bridge;

The development of the idea of abstraction, the influence of music, Theosophy; the development towards abstraction in his art



Week 12


Paula Modersohn-Becker/Kathe Kollwitz

The lives, art and ideas of Modersohn-Becker and Kollwitz. in the context of Expressionism and Feminism



Week 13



The historical, cultural and economic background of Italy in late 19th century to early 20th century. The Formation of Futurism. Its ideas and attitudes and agenda



Week 14



Social and political background; the reasons for World War 1 and the social, political and psychological ramifications of the war; Swiss dada-: the Cabaret Voltaire, the ideas and practices of the Swiss dada artists

New York dada; Duchamp: His version of dada and his art as a precursor to conceptual and postmodern trends, the rise of the object as art

Picabia: art and practice; machine aesthetic; Man Ray: art and ideas



Week 15


New Objectivity and the Return to Order Movements.

The artistic reaction to World War 1 and to the pre-war avant-garde movements



Week 16

Art Deco

An examination of Art Deco in the context of the post war period and the application of “High art” ideas in design



Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Library and online resources

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is on going throughout the semester. Your will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program capabilities. Assessment will incorporate a range of methids to assess performance and the applocation of knowledge and skills and will include:

  • Written and or/oral questioning and discussion to assess knowledge and understanding
  • Completion of an art journal

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

Assessment Tasks

 Assessment for the first semester of this course is based on a topic of the student’s own choosing taken from the time period of study 1860 to 1920’s The student’s knowledge and understanding of course content is assessed through how well he/she has dealt with the historical and conceptual context of the artist or movement chosen; how thoroughly she/he has analysed the works discussed and how well the artist /movement has been situated his/her/it’s social, cultural, political and critical contexts

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.

 Assessment Task

Semester 1:

1. Assessment 1: Essay The essay should be minimum of 1,500 words and handed in during the class of week 14


Semester 2:

2. Assessment 2: Essay The essay should be minimum of 1,500 words and handed in  during the class of week 30


Assessment Matrix

Unit title

Create works of art for public spaces

RMIT Unit code


National code


Assessment tasks

Elements/ PCs

*Foundation Skills


*Performance Evidence


*Knowledge Evidence



1. Assessment title: Ready for Action – Task 1

Action – Task 2



1.1- 4

2.1- 3

3.1- 3

4.1- 4


- Interprets and evaluates theoretical and contemporary material from selected information sources for use in own practice.


- Evaluates and compares texts that define other positions to inform the development and refinement of own opinions.



- Develops complex, logically structured material using clear and detailed language to convey analysis of theoretical information, opinions and ideas.


Oral Communications

- Uses relevant vocabulary and terminology to determine requirements with others.


- Participates in detailed exchanges of ideas and opinions using questioning and active listening techniques to elicit different perspectives and to confirm understanding.


Navigate the world of work

- Considers intellectual property responsibilities when planning and undertaking research for own use


Interact with others

- Identifies and uses appropriate communication methods and practices to initiate and participate in discussion and debate with others.


Get the work done

- Takes responsibility planning, organizing and implementing research related tasks


- Uses systematic, analytical and consultative process to make decisions about research objectives and relationships to own practice.

Evidence of the ability to:

- select an appropriate research focus and relevant information sources.


- analyse complex cultural ideas and information


- develop substantiated opinions to advance professional practice


- participate in informed discussion of cultural history and theory


- determine ways to use research in own professional practice

To complete the unit requirements, safely and effectively, the individual must:


-explain criteria for selection of a meaningful individual research focus


-list and describe historical and contemporary sources for cultural research


-the explain the characteristics of a “substantiated opinion or idea”


-explain in detail, the value of cultural history and theory to contemporary practice


-explain how intellectual property issues and legislation relates to the research process

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);

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.

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