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AH2001: WHAT IS ART? (2022-2023)

Last modified: 04 Oct 2022 13:41


Course Overview

‘Art’ is a controversial category. In museums, you might see urinals and cardboard boxes exhibited – but what earns them this accolade? Is it about skill? Creativity? Beauty? Who decides what counts as ‘good’ art? And why are museums full of stuff made by white men? This course discusses these and related questions. It will introduce you to a wide range of historical definitions of art, and discuss key works, from antiquity to Instagram - many of which challenged the boundaries of ‘art’.   

 

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Karl Kinsella

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Programme Level 2
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • AH2501 What Is Art? (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

‘Art’ is a controversial category. In museums, you might see urinals and cardboard boxes exhibited – but what earns them this accolade? Is it about skill? Invention and creativity? Beauty? Who decides what counts as ‘good’ art? And why are museums full of stuff made by white men? 

This course discusses these and related questions. It will introduce you to a wide range of historical definitions of art, and discuss key works, from antiquity to Instagram - many of which challenged the boundaries of ‘art’.  

Through analysis of texts and artworks, we explore the historically contingent nature of what counts as ‘art’. We will also address the ethical implications of the term, e.g. its Eurocentrism. The course also serves as an introduction to some of the key methodologies and critical debates that inform art-historical interpretation. 

  


Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Lecture during University weeks 8 - 18
  • 1 Tutorial during University weeks 8 - 18

More Information about Week Numbers


Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Summative Assessments

Exam

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 50
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Written feedback; in-person feedback on request 

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualApplyDemonstrate an awareness of the intersections of artistic productions and art writing, developed through class discussion and measured through written assessments.
ConceptualUnderstandDemonstrate an understanding of the historically contingent nature of the category ‘art’.

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 30
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Written feedback; in-person feedback on request 

Word Count 1500
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualApplyDemonstrate an awareness of the intersections of artistic productions and art writing, developed through class discussion and measured through written assessments.
ConceptualUnderstandDemonstrate an understanding of the historically contingent nature of the category ‘art’.
ProceduralAnalyseDevelop ability to search for and critically appraise relevant primary and secondary sources

Source analysis

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 20
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Written feedback; in-person feedback on request 

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualApplyDemonstrate an awareness of the intersections of artistic productions and art writing, developed through class discussion and measured through written assessments.
ConceptualUnderstandDemonstrate an understanding of the historically contingent nature of the category ‘art’.
ProceduralAnalyseDevelop ability to search for and critically appraise relevant primary and secondary sources

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Resit Assessments

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 100
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Written feedback; in-person feedback on request 

Word Count 3500
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ProceduralAnalyseDevelop ability to search for and critically appraise relevant primary and secondary sources
ConceptualApplyDemonstrate an awareness of the intersections of artistic productions and art writing, developed through class discussion and measured through written assessments.
ConceptualUnderstandDemonstrate an understanding of the historically contingent nature of the category ‘art’.

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