Writing Art History: Media, Society, Culture (V4155)

15 credits, Level 4

Spring teaching

Writing Art History examines the different ways in which works of art have been written about and discussed. It is not confined to the types of writing usually published in academic text books and journals. Instead, it considers how the discipline of Art History shapes, and is shaped by, numerous forms of written and visual communication, including television, exhibitions, journalism, film and aspects of digital culture.

The module is designed to develop your capacities to reflect critically on the multiple factors that inform art writing and to think about the ways in which different types of writing serve different purposes.

The module considers how key issues play out across different types of ‘text’: for example, how representations of artists vary across Hollywood film, monographic exhibitions and short articles published online; or the different ways in which the history of art has been represented through television series produced at different times or in different countries, and what they suggest about their broader cultural contexts.

Writing Art History takes in a broad range of issues, including: the discipline of Art History, artists' reputations, different types of historical narrative, value, ownership, museums and audiences.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: