• Offered by School of Art and Design
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject Visual Arts
  • Areas of interest Cultural Studies, Visual Arts, Film, Creative Arts, Arts

In this course we examine the politics of storytelling in contemporary art practice and the effects of different kinds of historiographic methods in a range of media, including video installation, documentary and public sculpture. The way contemporary artists engage in history making is to question given formats and representational conventions, exposing their latent power and reworking them. The production of histories is intimately entwined with the generation of possible futures and this course explores the political responsibility of artistic-historical narratives and their agency in transmitting and shaping the digestion of the stories they tell. Each student will undertake research into a specific (probably local) history, using methods from relevant disciplines, which could include ethnographic methods like participant observation or historiographic methods like oral history, archival and textual research, but could also include archaeological methods like surveying and excavating. Students will research the methods and media that are most appropriate to the history they are working on, and then educate themselves on how to go about using these methods and media within their capabilities and the resources available to them. The conceptual design and the realization of each of the students' projects will be informed by analysis of a various contemporary art projects which engage in the politics of memory and their approach to formats like the visual essay, the voice-over, re-enactment, the edited interview, archival display, and the monument. Although the media students work with is dependent on the conceptual development of their projects, the course will include some technical instruction on video production, post-production and installation.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. use, create and discuss historiographic methods for contemporary art practice;
  2. realise, document and present artworks that critically engage with historical research;
  3. conduct research into histories, historiography and art history and apply findings to creative production; and
  4. analyse and substantiate artistic outcomes with research and rationale.

Other Information

School of Art & Design studio courses have a limited enrolment capacity. Students are advised to enrol as early as possible to maximise the opportunity of securing a place.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Contextualising research (20) [LO 1,3,4]
  2. Critical reflection, 1000 words (10) [LO 1,3,4]
  3. Project and developmental works made in response to research into a specific history (70) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  4. Assessment will be based on the Rubric for this course. Assessment includes periodic critique and review sessions that provide formative feedback on work in progress. (null) [LO null]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 48 hours of contact over 12 weeks comprising lectures, tutorials, critiques and supervised studio practice; and
b) 82 hours of independent student research, studio production, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ARTV2802.

Prescribed Texts



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:
6 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.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $3120
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4800
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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7658 26 Jul 2021 02 Aug 2021 14 Sep 2021 29 Oct 2021 In Person View

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