ARTHIST 115G Global Art Histories

ARTHIST 115G | BE, EDSW, EMHSS, LC | Semester One 2020 | City Campus | 15 points


A broad survey of art and visual culture spanning from the early modern period to the contemporary.

In different cultures and in different historical periods art is used variously to express and extend existing power and authority. Yet such images have also been used for revolution and change. In this course students will be introduced to a range of art practices situated within a global context and will consider art works produced in Māori and Pacific cultures alongside Indian, South Asian, Middle Eastern, European and American traditions.

Taking this comparative approach, the course provides students with the knowledge to recognise how power manipulates vision, concepts and materials, and how artists have challenged this power.

The classes are structured within thematic topics, which include the expression and representation of authority and power; the emergence of different perspectives on modernity and different cultural and political explorations of feminism and identity, migrations and diasporas.

Learning outcomes

Having successfully completed the course, you will have acquired the following skills and competencies:

  • The ability to visually analyse artworks, images and examples of visual culture using reliable methods and terms
  • Confidence in comparing and contrasting artworks and examples of visual culture across cultures
  • The ability to situate artworks in their social, historical, cultural and economic contexts
  • The skills to sustain an argument and logically compose a narrative in essay writing
  • Techniques to find and research quality resources and information in the library and online

The course aims to be exciting and exploratory. It features digital media, online learning, discussion groups, multimedia bibliographies and tutorials to encourage fresh and innovative ways of learning, understanding and engaging with artworks.

Topics covered

  • Representing Authority: Māori and Pacific 1700-1800s
  • Representing Authority: Māori and Pacific Carving and Sculpture
  • Representing Authority: Māori and Pacific Textiles
  • Representing Power through Ancestry: The Mughals in India 1550-1700
  • Representing Power through Art in Mughal India
  • Representing  Power through Religious Values: The Mughals and the Jesuits
  • British Power in India, Colonial Art and the Company School
  • Representing Power and Authority: African Art – 1500-1700 
  • Representing Authority: 1500-1600s Art in the Tudor and Stuart Courts of England
  • Neoclassicism and Romanticism
  • Modern Art in India
  • Modern European and American Art
  • Diaspora
  • Feminism
  • Aboriginal Art
  • Contemporary Māori and Pacific Art


Test (25%)
Essay (25%)
Exam (50%)

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