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The canon and exposure in art history


Art History: Canonisation and Exposure

7.5 credits




This course deals with the history of vision and visual regimes in the Western and Eastern world, from Antiquity to the present day. One theme is canon formation and its relationship to the history of art and visual culture; another is the history of art museums and exhibitions. They are intertwined in the study of conceptual art practices.

This course is only open for exchange students.

Want to know why you should study at Södertörn University? Find out here.

Work in the arts and culture or continue studying at Master’s level After studying Art History, you are prepared for work in the arts and culture sector. Potential workplaces include museums, art galleries or institutions. Other careers include writing, art criticism, publishing or curating art exhibitions. You can combine studying Art History with other subjects to broaden your competence, or choose to continue studying at Master’s level, then doctoral level, and work in research or as a teacher in higher education. After studying Art History you will have good academic writing skills, as well as having trained your ability to read and analyse critically, and to review advanced research literature. You will have practiced quickly writing and structuring text, managing sources and scholarly formalities. Outside of your working life, you also benefit from your knowledge of art that is both historical and contemporary. You will have the knowledge and ability to understand the general debate in aesthetics, thanks to your ability to critically interpret texts and images. What are former students doing now? Former students have generally followed two routes: some towards higher academic studies, at Master’s and doctoral levels, some towards work in the arts and culture sector. Former students now work in various roles in the arts world, including at galleries, museums and other cultural institutions. Others work as art critics or at publishers. Read about research in this subject
Perspectives on the history of art and visual expression On this course, you will examine aspects of the history of vision and visual regimes in the Western and Eastern world, from Antiquity to the present day, analysing visual technologies from the linear perspective to the Ferris Wheel, as well as the beholders that these technologies presuppose and produce. Canon formation is one of the main themes of the course, and you will investigate how this value structure pertains to the history of art and visual culture, using the perspectives of societal, racial and gender politics. You will learn to make relevant comparisons between historically determined perceptions of artistic value and beauty and to evaluate aesthetic judgements in relation to cultural fields. The course also studies the history of art museums and exhibitions, how material objects are exposed and how the public makes sense of what they perceive. You will relate visual expressions to the literature of art theory and, vice versa, illustrate theoretical ideas through art objects, and discuss and criticise different aesthetic and art-historical perspectives, both orally and in writing. Finally, a special theme is that of conceptual art practices; this is used to link together various elements of the course. Course design The course consists of lectures, seminars and one field trip, and is assessed through hand-in assignments, oral presentations and a written take-home exam.
Are you interested in art, images and visual phenomena? At Södertörn University, Art History is integrated with multicultural perspectives and aspects of gender and class. You will look in-depth at the history of art, and to examine art from a contemporary and modern perspective. The subject has a theoretical foundation, giving you expertise in contemporary and modern Art History. Theory is intertwined with practical elements. Studying Art History involves work with various themes linked to concepts, narratives, questions and methods. Classical Art History is combined with studies of visual cultures. It includes everything from works of art to mass-produced images, architecture and design. You will also analyse Leonardo’s “Mona Lisa” and reflect on the concept of a masterpiece. Art History as a subject offers interaction with external actors. Meetings with professionals in arts and culture during your studies provide broad insight into the sector. You will meet artists, experts and museum directors.