The majority of Arts Majors require 100 points of study for attainment. This means out of the 300 point program, you have the opportunity to achieve two Majors in your course. Along with this, the Faculty of Arts offers a variety of Breadth Subjects designed to enhance your learning with options from a variety of fields.
This is a sample subject list only. Subjects offered may change from year to year. Current and commencing students must refer to the University Handbook for enrolment purposes.
Sample Study Plans
|Art History: Theory and Controversy||12.5|
Art History: Theory and Controversy
This subject introduces the study of art history by focusing on the work of art through a number of case studies drawn from a Western cultural and historical context. It develops a broad understanding of the historical and aesthetic characteristics of artworks produced during selected artistic periods (for example Medieval, High Renaissance, baroque, rococo, neoclassical, contemporary art). The subject draws attention to the varying contexts informing works of art, including the relationship between art and its methods of production and preservation. its engagement with society and installation in museum settings; and the different ways in which viewers respond to art and interpret the me...
Detailed Information AHIS10001
|Modern Art: The Politics of the New||12.5|
Modern Art: The Politics of the New
This subject explores a selection of artists, movements and themes in late 19th and 20th century art. It will examine such topics as cross-cultural interaction and its impact on art, the advent of new artistic techniques such as abstraction and collage, the depiction of the self in modern and contemporary art, the relationship of art to its physical, social and political context, and the ways in which visual images help to define individual and social identities. Artists studied include Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, Hannah Hoch and Jackson Pollock. On completing the subject students should have an understanding of the history of modern art, have acquired a set of basic skills in visual ana...
Detailed Information AHIS10002
This subject provides a scholarly introduction to the history of art in Australia, at the same time incorporating new perspectives, approaches and ideas. It demonstrates ways of interpreting Australian art through its relationship to historical events and contemporary thought. Topics considered will include the perceptual values known as the picturesque and the sublime in topographical and landscape painting respectively, the concept of terra nullius and how the indigenous inhabitants were represented, women artists of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Australian Impressionism, artists abroad, neo-classicism, the art of war and the Anzac legend, modernism in Sydney and Melbourne and the ...
Detailed Information AHIS20002
|European Renaissance Art||12.5|
European Renaissance Art
The subject explores the art and culture of Renaissance Europe between 1300 and 1600, with a particular focus on Italy, France, and Spain. This is one of the most pivotal periods in the history of art, when many of our contemporary ideas about art and artists were coming into being. Topics to be covered include the life and practice of individual artists, including such figures as Leonardo, Titian, and Holbein; the rise of art theory,; collecting and the birth of the museum; and the role of power and desire in the making and reception of art. Readings include both Renaissance texts and contemporary art history and theory. Tutorials will examine issues related to a given week’s lecture, or...
Detailed Information AHIS20011
|Art and Revolution||12.5|
Art and Revolution
This subject introduces students to the principal artists and art theorists in Europe from Romanticism to the avant-gardes of the late 19th century. Students will be exposed to a range of different models for understanding the revolutionary developments taking place in painting and sculpture during this period, tracing the progressive shift away from traditional and classical ideals in the radical innovations introduced by modern artists in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The work of artists from among several different countries in Europe, such as England, France, Germany and Italy, will be investigated. A particular focus of the subject will be the impact on art of political, social ...
Detailed Information AHIS20016
|Art, Market and Methods||12.5|
Art, Market and Methods
This subject deals with the creation and the reception of the work of art. It commences in 15th century Italy with an examination of the organisation of artists' workshops and concludes by analysing the relationships between contemporary artists, their materials and markets. Topics in the subject are varied but will focus around certain key issues: the changing status of the artist, the determination of authenticity and value, and the role of materials and markets in the construction of meaning.
Detailed Information AHIS20018
|Avant-Garde and Postmodern Art||12.5|
Avant-Garde and Postmodern Art
This subject examines avant-garde and postmodern art and film during the 20th century. A variety of artistic theories, movements and artists from Europe and North America will be considered. The social, historical and theoretical context in which diverse avant-garde and postmodernist aesthetics were formed will be studied using historical sources and contemporary theory. Students will become familiar with issues such as the relationship of art and politics, utopian models of art, nationalism and the arts, as well as the shifting ways in which theories of gender, race and sexuality informed artists' work.
Detailed Information AHIS20020
|Sexing the Canvas: Art and Gender||12.5|
Sexing the Canvas: Art and Gender
What do pictures want in relation to sex and sexuality? How is art gendered? How do painters use the materiality of oil on canvas to make gendered critiques of the history of art and its cultures? Structured around the rich collections of the National gallery of Victoria, each class will focus upon a specific work considering what insights a gendered analysis of it can provide. Lectures will be delivered in front of the paintings in situ in the gallery. Curatorial and expert academic staff from the NGV and the University of Melbourne, as well as international experts from outside of Victoria, will provide the lectures which will address a range of works drawn from the 18 th century to the...
Detailed Information GEND20006
|Art in Medieval Europe||12.5|
Art in Medieval Europe
This subject provides an introduction to the art of medieval Europe, from the Roman Empire (c. 300) to the late Middle Ages (c. 1400), surveying the major artistic developments across the period wth particular emphasis on Italy. It focuses on the function of imagery in specific historical and physical contexts, and considers the lives and motives of patrons, audiences as well as artists. Lectures introduce broad themes and topics, including: early medieval attitudes toward the classical past; European perceptions of Byzantium and Islam; political imagery in medieval courts; the cult of relics; the rise of devotional imagery; the emergence of the 'artist'; and the origins of the independen...
Detailed Information AHIS20019
|Level 3 Capstone Subject:|
|Theory and Practice of Art History||12.5|
Theory and Practice of Art History
This capstone subject examines the theory and practice of art history. Through a survey of the different approaches to the study of art which have emerged since the early modern period the subject will provide students with a fundamental grounding in the methodologies of the discipline. Students will also learn the broader critical and analytical skills necessary for the study of art at higher levels. The subject introduces students to the issues involved in applying art historical methods to real world contexts both within the academic environment and in industry contexts such as the museum sector. The subject will involve students in the research and interpretation of works of art encou...
Detailed Information AHIS30019
|The Age of Golden Ages: Art in Europe||12.5|
The Age of Golden Ages: Art in Europe
This subject interrogates painting, sculpture and architecture in Italy, France, Spain and the Netherlands in the 17th century. It will cover the art of Caravaggio, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt van Rijn, Diego Velàzquez, and Nicolas Poussin, among many others. This subject aims to give an introduction to the main issues to be found in the art historical literature on these artists, and so the subject deals with a wide range of questions and themes. These include theory, practice and the rise of academies, the representation of sexuality, interpretation/iconography, gender, and biography.
Detailed Information AHIS30003
This subject examines international contemporary artistic practice. Through case studies of specific artworks students will be introduced to the theories that informed, shaped or were employed by critics and curators in recent decades. A broad variety of media will be considered, including painting, sculpture, installation, performance, photography, video and multimedia technologies. Students may explore issues such as: the relationship of regional and global cultures, the diversity of identities within contemporary culture, the growing awareness of the art of minority groups, the impact of new technologies, media forms and ideologies on culture, and the impact of globalisation on network...
Detailed Information AHIS30020
|Contemporary Aboriginal Art||12.5|
Contemporary Aboriginal Art
Starting with the acrylics of the Western Desert (Papunya) and ending with the most recent developments in new media, the field of contemporary Aboriginal art will be surveyed. Issues such as copyright and appropriation, the art market, women’s art practice, curating and collection policy are debated in this subject and key works in painting, sculpture, printmaking, and photography are studied and discussed. By the end of semester students should have a familiarity with the main issues concerning the interpretation of Aboriginal art in Australia and have a broad knowledge of the pictorial practices of prominent contemporary Aboriginal artists. Guest lectures by artists, academics and indu...
Detailed Information AHIS30005
|The Medieval Image: Art and Culture||12.5|
The Medieval Image: Art and Culture
This subject traces the origin and development of the concept of the image of Western medieval thought. It examines the roles images played in medieval society through a survey of the various religious, philosophical, cultural and political frameworks in which conflicting attitudes toward image-making were developed. Lectures will introduce the differing ways in which philosophical and biblical traditions regarding figurative art and its value for religion shaped contrasting attitudes and led to aniconism and iconoclasm. The complex relationship Christians, Jews and Muslims shared with the visual arts will be addressed, and the legacy of disputes. Using specific case studies, tutorials wi...
Detailed Information AHIS30021
This class focuses on artistic encounters between European cultures and other world cultures between about 1300 and 1650. The goal is to place the art and culture of Europe into an expanded geopolitical sphere, and to explore particularly important and representative moments within the larger exchange of people, objects, ideas, and materials in the early-modern period. Readings will be drawn from both period sources and contemporary art history; and tutorials will focus whenever possible on objects in University and Melbourne collections.
Detailed Information AHIS30022
|Studying Contemporary Art Abroad||25|
Studying Contemporary Art Abroad
This subject is taught on location in a major art centre (the subject may be taught in one year in New York, or in other destinations as appropriate) using social, economic, geographical and cultural effects of the respective arts centre as a case study of culture in action. Students will be introduced to the key institutional components of the art centre studied: this may include as appropriate: urban and rural fabrics, museums, cultural sites, galleries, alternative spaces, corporate collections, auction houses, art magazines and studies, depending on the art centre. Students will study the history, context, display and consumption of art, allowing consideration of recent developments i...
Detailed Information AHIS30002