• Offered by School of Art
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Art History
  • Areas of interest Art History, Visual Arts

How do we approach the writing of Art History?  Methodologies of Art History explores the various approaches to Art History and examines in considerable detail the methodological strategies adopted by Art Historians over the past century.  These include iconographic and semiotic methodologies, structuralist and post-structuralist approaches, sociological and Marxist perspectives, the feminist critique of art history; psychoanalytical methodologies; formalist methodologies; connoisseurship and biographical methodologies and uses of art criticism and aesthetics by art historians.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon Successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. critically examine art historical methodologies ranging from formalism, iconology and biographic methods through to semiotics, post-structuralism and engendered readings.
  2. apply art historical methodologies to their own research and writing.
  3. understand the discipline of art history as it developed from classical antiquity through to the present.
  4. speak with confidence about the methodologies of art history and defend particular viewpoints.

Indicative Assessment

Forum presentation and research paper (6000 words) - 50% (Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3 and 4)

Forum chair/responder and paper on key issues/questions (2000 words) - 20% (Learning outcome 1, 3 and 4)

Short writing exercises based on forum topics (3 x 1000 words) - 30% (Learning outcomes 1 and 4)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Contact hours include a one hour lecture followed by a three hour discussion forum.  The forums will take various forms, including:

  • seminar presentations followed by question and answer sessions.
  • structured group discussion.
  • films and documentaries that have had a significant impact on the discipline of Art History, followed by discussion.

Students are expected to complete an average of 16 hours per week outside these contact hours.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (HARTS or HARTS2), Bachelor of Art History and Curatorship (Honours) (HAHCR), or completion of 144 units towards the Bachelor of Philosophy (Arts) (APHAR or APNAR).

Prescribed Texts

D’Alleva, Anne 2010, How to Write Art History, Laurence King, London, pp. 144-169

Minor, Vernon Hyde 2000, Art History’s History, 2nd edn, Prentice Hall, New York, pp. 29-84

Preziosi, Donald (ed.) 2009, The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 13-44

Assumed Knowledge

Completion of a cognate major.



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
12 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

12.00 0.25000
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $5208
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $7152
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4513 15 Feb 2016 26 Feb 2016 31 Mar 2016 27 May 2016 In Person N/A

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