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Approaches to Art History Humanities, Social Sciences & Psychology Program Fall 2022 Semester - Cape Town

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Approaches to Art History

Approaches to Art History Course Overview


CEA Partner Institution: University of Cape Town
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Primary Subject Area: Art History
Instruction in: English
Course Code: FIN1009S
Course Details: Level 100
Recommended Semester Credits: 4


This course examines some of the foundational issues of academic art history. How and where did the study of art history begin, and what were its founding principles? We consider its origins in the late 19th century and then trace how it has changed in the course of the succeeding century and into the contemporary period. We look at debates over issues of aesthetic quality, questions of the relationship between art and society, questions of the art-historical canon and its exclusions. The core theme is art history as a subject of academic study, but this inevitably links to broader issues of how art is taught within the art school and of how art is exhibited within the museum. The course is taught by all members of the department and while aiming to offer an overview of its subject, it also aims to offer insight into how different art historians respond differently to the academic field they work within. How do they understand their task as art historians, how do they believe it should be taught? We foreground, via the example of our own different approaches, some of the diversity of opinion within the field.

DP requirements: At least 80% attendance of tutorials and satisfactory completion of 2 assignments per semester. Late essays penalised by 5% per day (including weekends).

Assessment: Coursework (50%), 2 hour examination (50%).

The University of Cape Town awards credits based on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) to determine course and contact hour recommendations per course. 1 NQF credit represents roughly 10 notional hours of work which includes study time, assignments and examinations. Notional hours may very per courses depending on the course level and modality therefore, CEA recommends using NQF credits as a basis to determine U.S. equivalencies (1 NQF=.222 semester credits)

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