HA1AA-Art's Histories: a survey

Module Provider: Art
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Dr Paul Davies

Email: p.davies@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module is designed to introduce students to the history of art and architecture through a chronological survey that begins with classical antiquity and runs through to the present day.

This module is designed as a chronological survey course. The module aims to provide students with an overview of art and its histories through analysing important periods, practitioners and works. The module will draw out the underlying implications and inherent problems of historical periodization and the formation of the canon of western art. The individual lectures will focus on raising themes and issues related to the study of the relevant period and generate awareness of the changing contexts, functions and status of art objects as well as other historically and geographically determined differences. There will be a strong emphasis on critical analysis in the module with students being encouraged to reflect on differing ways of seeing art and on how art’s histories are generated. The module can be taken on its own but couples ideally with History of Art and Architecture Workshop.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:

  • date, identify and discuss major works of art and architecture
  • identify and discuss important themes and issues related to the study of a range of specific periods
  • identify and explain the main issues influencing the creation of works of art and buildings
  • analyse some of the problems of periodization and the notion of a canon
  • use the basic technical vocabulary associated with the history of art and architecture
  • reflect critically on how interpretations are generated in art history
  • organize their material and articulate their arguments effectively in writing, both under timed conditions and in assessed essays
  • prepare and give clearly structured presentations

Additional outcomes:
Research and IT skills will be developed by the use of library and relevant Web resources and databases.

Outline content:
The module focuses on material mainly in western art and architecture from prehistory to the present day, which it will primarily present chronologically. The first term will largely cover periods before c. 1600, the second those of the following centuries. Lectures will focus on entire periods and related research issues or concentrate more extensively on a small number of important artists and their work, depending on the material and related research issues. Strong emphasis will be placed on close visual analysis and, where possible, works of art will be chosen from nearby collections to enable students to study works first hand.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
One one-hour lecture per week and three one-hour seminars over the two terms. Students are expected to visit museums or galleries on their own initiative.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10 10
Seminars 4 4
Tutorials 2 2 3
Guided independent study 70 70 25
Total hours by term 86.00 86.00 28.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 40
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Other information on summative assessment:
Students write two assessed essays of 1,500 words. The first essay is to be submitted by the end of the tenth week of the autumn term, the second by the end of the tenth week of the spring term. Each essay carries 40% of the coursework mark.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy.
The following penalties will be applied to coursework which is submitted after the deadline for submission:

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.
    (Please refer to the Undergraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guideUG.aspx)

    Length of examination:
    One one-and-a-half-hour paper requiring two questions to be answered.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August / September. Coursework will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Otherwise it must be resubmitted by 22nd August.

    Last updated: 21 August 2014

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