HART3331 Visual Culture and Art in America: 1900–2000

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 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 3 elective
This unit examines the role of art and visual culture in America during the twentieth century. A range of visual forms, painting, sculpture, photography, film and video, design, new media, architecture, museums and exhibitions are discussed within the societal contexts and historiography of a century known for dynamic political, economic and technological change. Using methodologies such as the social history of art, iconography and the diverse theoretical positions that have framed the art of the twentieth century, the unit explores the development, production and interpretation of visual culture in North America. Key themes that students are introduced to in lectures and encouraged to further examine through tutorial discussion, written analysis and a research essay include the exploration of the visual culture environment; the role of the artist; visual forms of cultural production; and the influence of modernism and globalisation on the development of an American cultural identity.
Students are able to (1) develop a good knowledge of the historical development of visual culture and art in America; (2) use iconography and social context in the interpretation of American works of art; (3) locate works of art within the historical, cultural, economic and artistic conventions of American society; (4) employ skills in research, expression and critical thought; (5) acquire an advanced level of competency in the formulation, organisation and communication of ideas through essay writing, discussion and seminar presentations; and (6) develop substantial connections between American art and the broader cultural milieu.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) research essay; (2) short essay; and (3) seminar presentation. 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)
Adjunct Associate Professor Gary Dufour
Unit rules
at least one Level 2 unit from the History of Art major sequence
VISA2248 American Visual Culture; VISA3331 Special Unit: Visual Culture and Art in America: 1900–2000
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; tutorials: 1 hour per week
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
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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 via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.