Revolution and Radicalism: Histories of Western Art

Kingston University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Revolution and Radicalism: Histories of Western Art

  • Host University

    Kingston University

  • Location

    London, England

  • Area of Study

    Art History, Studio Art

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Content:

    This introductory module performs two main functions. Firstly, to explore the nature,
    concerns and challenges of artistic practices from the later 18th century onward in
    relation to the broader context of social and political change. In particular notions of
    revolution and radicalism provide a guiding thematic through which to interrogate
    moments in history, fully acknowledging our contemporary positioning in relation to
    those histories.

    Secondly, the module engages with the nature of disciplinary enquiry, providing students
    with a clear sense of historiography as well as the shifting nature of art historical
    concerns. At the same time art's collisions with other areas of practice are seen as an
    important, productive aspect of the Avant Garde project.
    The module therefore sets out to allow students new to university work to take
    ownership of their studies, to become art historians by learning the key skills necessary
    to conduct basic research and to come to their own judgements regarding the worth of
    the literature they encounter.

    Critical skills will be honed by challenging the narratives of modern art as the students
    study these: they will be encouraged to critique the rhetoric of revolution and radicalism,
    and to place the histories of modern art in the larger frameworks of visual culture.

    Topics covered may include:
    ? problems of development, evolution and chronology in the History of Art.
    ? the Avant Garde and the Academy: complicating narratives of a traditional
    ? geographies of Art History: centres and peripheries.
    ? the significance of art: aesthetics, politics and social change.
    ? the artwork as image and object.

    Autumn Semester:
    ? Introduction to Module, Theme One; Modernity ? where are we? How did we get
    here? Looking at individuals and institutions
    ? Public and private spaces of art
    ? Tradition and innovation (Classicisms and Romanticisms)
    ? The City
    ? The Country, museum visit to Tate Britain
    ? Theme Two; Art & Society ? public art
    ? Modernism and realism
    ? Surrealism and its Legacy
    ? Theme Three; Markets ? Salons to Biennales
    ? Canvases to careers
    ? The Avant-Garde

    Spring Semester:
    ? Theme Four; Art & Politics ? Artists and revolutions: the Avant-Garde and Utopia
    ? Aesthetics, law and order: the Avant-Garde and tradition
    ? The Avant-Garde and activism
    ? Art and consumerism
    ? Theme Five; Modernism ? Manet?s modernism, museum visit to Courtauld.
    ? Modernism and mechanical reproduction
    ? Cubism and European modernisms between the wars, museum visit to Tate
    ? New York modernism: Greenberg and his critics,
    ? Theme Six; Postmodernism ? ?high? postmodernism.
    ? Black British art
    ? The Globalisation of Art, contemporary art in India

    Lectures, visits, seminars, workshops

    ? Group presentations (20%)
    ? Research Log (20%)
    ? Essay (60%)
    STUDY OPTION 2 OR 3: Assessed essay (1,500-2000 words) (tbc)

    Study Option 1 = Whole Year
    Study Option 2 = Autumn
    Study Option 3 = Spring/summer

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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