HART2202 Art as Politics

6 points
Not available in 2018UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the History of Art major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Design and Creative Arts
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 elective
This unit explores the connection between art and politics through the lens of the nineteenth century. A period of unprecedented political experimentation, the nineteenth century laid the modern foundation for art as both a political weapon and tool. Throughout the semester, students encounter anarchists, Marxists, utopians, and conservatives, and consider how the nineteenth century gave rise to the politicised notions of the Artist-as-Rebel and the artistic avant-garde. Through an examination of propagandistic painting, political cartoons, doctored photographs, and activist artists, this unit considers how the visual practices of the nineteenth century might inform our contemporary understanding and critical consideration of politics as a visual form.
Students are able to (1) identify relevant artists and artworks associated with nineteenth-century politics; (2) identify the key theoretical concerns of politics in the visual arts; (3) apply political theory to the interpretation of painting and other visual forms; (4) use visual analysis to critically examine the political culture of images in both the nineteenth century and present day; (5) make arguments about the connection between visual culture and politics; and (6) communicate knowledge about relevant artworks and their relationship to theories of politics.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) short essay; (2) long essay; and (3) oral assessment. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Assistant Professor Emily Brink
Unit rules
HART1000 Great Moments in Art (formerly VISA1000)
HART1001 Art, Technology and Society (formerly VISA1001)
HART1003 Ways of Seeing: Themes and Theories in Art
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; Practical Classes: 1 hour per week
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  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.