HART2202 Art and Social Justice

6 points
Not available in 2020UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the History of Art major sequence
  • Level 2 complementary unit in the Fine Arts major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Design and Creative Arts
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 additional unit in the Fine Arts second major sequence
  • Level 2 elective
This unit explores the relationship between art and social justice from the Enlightenment to the present day. Used by activists, rebels, and political visionaries, art has helped visualise and mobilise civic debates and social revolutions. Through an analysis of painting, print, photography, sculpture, and performance, students will confront the sensational and subversive power of art and examine how visual form responds to inequality and injustice. By considering how art can function as advocacy, this unit investigates the evolving understanding of art as a tool for political activism and social change.
Students are able to (1) identify relevant artists and artworks associated with various forms of social justice; (2) identify the key theoretical concerns of social justice in the visual arts; (3) apply political theory to the interpretation of painting and other visual forms; (4) use visual analysis to critically examine how art can impact social change; (5) make arguments about the connection between visual culture and social justice; and (6) communicate knowledge about relevant artworks and their relationship to theories of social justice.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) short essay; (2) long essay; 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
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; 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 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.