Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


The introduction of prints on paper around 1400 is often cited as a media revolution comparable only to our own, recent transition into the digital age. First invented in China several centuries earlier, printmaking profoundly changed Western visual culture as low-cost, multiple-image prints permeated everyday life from card-playing to personal devotion. Such was the significance of prints in the transmission of artistic and political ideas that they soon required regulation in the form of copyright or censorship. Within the larger context of Europe's emerging colonial and missionary ambitions, prints also communicated between 'centre' and 'periphery', with images of Christian saints being printed as far afield as Mexico and China and visual records of foreign costumes and customs streaming back into Europe. This unit examines the production and reception of prints both as exclusive, high art and as popular, low art. Particular focus is paid to the implications of their status as multiples, their impact on the dissemination of knowledge, and their role as agents in cultural exchange.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) distinguish between a variety of printmaking processes and their origins in China and Europe; (2) describe prints using appropriate specialist terminology; (3) locate individual works within broader historical and cultural frameworks, such as the establishment of an artistic canon, the origins of empirical scientific investigation, colonialism, and cross-cultural representations; (4) formulate concise arguments based on critical reading of appropriate secondary literature; and (5) demonstrate oral communication and interpersonal skills.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) oral assessment; (2) short essay; and (3) major essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Susanne Meurer
Unit rules
HART1000 Great Moments in Art (formerly VISA1000)
or HART1003 Ways of Seeing: Themes and Theories in Art
VISA2276 The Art of Printmaking: a Cultural History, HART3276 Prints from Dürer to Toulouse-Lautrec
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.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.