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Unit information: Modern European Art in 2020/21

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Unit name Modern European Art
Unit code HART20036
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Shaw-Miller
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of History of Art (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The unit explores a range of visual art practices in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Europe, focusing on specific case studies. The art of the era is explored in relation to the cultural, social and political contexts of its production and reception. Emergent ideas of modernism will be interrogated in relation to avant-garde practices and debates. Students will be expected to engage with primary textual and visual sources and critique historiographic approaches to art and wider visual culture.

Intended learning outcomes

  • demonstrate knowledge of a range of visual practices in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Europe;
  • analyse and draw conclusions about the significance of developments in European Modern art;
  • select pertinent evidence/data in order to illustrate/demonstrate more general issues and arguments;
  • identify a particular academic interpretation, evaluate it critically, and form an individual viewpoint.

Teaching details

1 x two-hour informal lecture and 1 x one-hour seminar per week

Assessment Details

One 2000-word summative essay (50%) [ILOs 1-4]; Timed Assessment (50%) [ILOs 1-4]

Reading and References

  1. Maja & Reuben Fowkes, Central and Eastern European Art Since 1950 (Thames & Hudson, 2020)
  2. Charles Harrison & Paul Wood, Art in Theory 1900-2000 (Blackwell, 2002)
  3. Griselda Pollock, Differencing the Canon: Feminism and the Writing of Art'’'s Histories (Routledge, 1999)
  4. Anna Moszynska, Abstract Art (Thames & Hudson, reprint, 2020)
  5. Michelle Facos & Sharon L. Hirsh, Art, Culture, and National Identity in Fin-de-Siècle Europe (Indian UP, 2003)
  6. Alan Bowness, Modern European Art (Thames & Hudson, 1986)