Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Art, Design and Architecture
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Daniel Palmer


This unit aims to help students develop their knowledge and understanding of various key theoretical writers and concepts relevant to advanced studies in contemporary art. Prevailing critical theories and terms are outlined in order to open up research venues considered particularly productive for the art researcher's own personal directions. The unit is designed as a training for independent research and encourages students to investigate a wide range of ideas circulating in contemporary visual culture.


On successful completion of this unit, students will:

  1. be aware of current discourses in a range of disciplines which bear on contemporary artistic production;
  2. be able to pursue critical arguments with a sense of their ideological relativity;
  3. assess the bias of an investigative method, considering gender, class and ethnicity;
  4. understand methodology as a critique of method and be able to practice criticism in their chosen field;
  5. identify assumptions inherent in the formulation of critical questions and cultivate caution against prejudicing the outcomes of research by foreclosing on the terms of inquiry;
  6. be ready to explain the basis of art works not merely as the outcome of practical constraints but the expression of cultural values.


Assignments (two written papers): 30% and 70%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Daniel Palmer

Contact hours

3 hours of lectures and tutorials and 9 independent study hours per week


Admission to honours year