AHT4503 - Advanced art theory - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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


Art, Design and Architecture

Organisational Unit

Department of Fine Arts


Professor Rex Butler

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


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%

Workload requirements

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

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


Admission to honours year