UWA Handbook 2017

Unit details

HART2202 Art as Politics: The Rise of Realism in the Nineteenth Century

Credit 6 points
  Offering
(see Timetable)
AvailabilityLocationMode
Not available in 2017UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the History of Art major sequence
  • Category B broadening unit for Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Design students
  • Level 2 elective
Content This unit explores the political and visual concerns of Realism in the middle of the nineteenth century. Focusing on the work of Courbet and his followers, the unit examines how Realism challenged Europe's Romantic past and responded to the political and cultural changes of the 1840s and 1850s. By engaging Realist debates concerning the role of direct observation and the representation of daily life, the unit investigates the evolving political stakes of art production in the post-Romantic period. Additionally, students analyse how the Realist movement cultivated the politicised notions of the Artist-as-Rebel and the artistic avant-garde. Because Realism engages theories of Anarchism, Marxism, and Collectivism, the unit also offers an introduction to these ideas.
Outcomes Students are able to (1) identify relevant artists and artworks associated with nineteenth-century Realism; (2) identify the key theoretical concerns of Realism in the visual arts; (3) apply this notion of Realism to the interpretation of painting and other visual forms; (4) incorporate theories of class, politics and the avant-garde into an historical understanding of the Realist movement; (5) make arguments about the connection between visual culture and politics in the middle of the nineteenth century; and (6) communicate knowledge about relevant artworks and their relationship to theories of Realism.
Assessment Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (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
Prerequisites: HART1000 Great Moments in Art (previously VISA1000) or HART1001 Art, Technology and Society (previously VISA1001) or HART1003 Ways of Seeing: Themes and Theories in Art
Contact hours lectures: 2 hours per week; tutorials: 1 hour per week

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • 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.