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Debates in Art History


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 4
  • Convenor: to be confirmed
  • Assessment: a compulsory course journal and two-hour unseen examination (two out of eight questions)

Module description

During this module you will:

  • learn about a range of art historical approaches and methods, and how these relate to their historical context
  • learn about the writing of art history
  • undertake close reading of texts.

Some of the ideas involved are challenging, so time for independent thought and critical reflection is built into the course structure. We also recommend that you take part in informal group meetings and/or use the Discussion Area on Moodle.

The module is made up of four parts, each comprising two lectures and one seminar. The lectures introduce a selection of approaches and the seminars allow you to explore these approaches in more detail through the discussion of a key text or texts. The summer term is devoted to preparation for the examination.


  • Form and style
  • Gender and politics
  • The significance of the artist
  • Mechanisms of meaning