HART1003 Ways of Seeing: Themes and Theories in Art

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 core unit in the History of Art major sequence
  • Level 1 option in the Gender Studies major sequence
  • Level 1 complementary unit in the Fine Arts major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit are Design and Creative Arts, Society and Culture
  • Category A broadening unit for Bachelor of Arts students where relevant according to the broadening requirements for each student
  • Level 1 additional unit in the Fine Arts second major sequence
  • Level 1 elective
This unit examines how visual representations have been constructed, circulated and seen throughout history. Exploring themes such as beauty and ugliness, identity, and the economics of art, the unit investigates the meaning of images and objects across time and cultures. Each week offers a different methodological approach to analysing art, allowing students to explore how lenses such as gender, race or politics shape our understanding of visual forms. By experimenting with different ways of seeing, students gain insight into how the value of art and visual representation has evolved over time. How we see affects what we see and the unit enhances visual literacy while honing each student's critical eye. Emphasising oral and written communication as well as refining research skills, the unit has broad applications to a variety of different disciplines and encourages students to become critical viewers of our increasingly visual world.
Students are able to (1) identify various methodologies used in analysing visual representations from a diverse range of cultures; (2) employ and compare different modes of visual analysis; (3) use a range of different texts and cultural perspectives to improve basic historical and critical interpretations of images in different cultural and global contexts; (4) acquire research skills for art historiography and employ different theoretical approaches in essay writing; and (5) develop communication skills in interpersonal relations, oral discussion, and essay writing about art and design.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) quizzes and exam; (2) written work; and (3) discursive learning. 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
Contact hours
Lectures: 2 hours per week; Tutorials: 1 hour per week
This unit examines art history through a theoretical lens. In its content and outcomes, the unit pairs well with the historical focus of HART1000 Great Moments in Art, but may be taken independently as well.
  • 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 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.