• Class Number 2716
  • Term Code 3230
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 12 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Chaitanya Sambrani
    • AsPr Chaitanya Sambrani
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 21/02/2022
  • Class End Date 27/05/2022
  • Census Date 31/03/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 28/02/2022
SELT Survey Results

How do we approach the writing of Art History? Methodologies of Art History introduces students to the history of our discipline; the ideas and theories that are essential knowledge for those wishing to pursue studies in Art History at a higher level. We will explore various approaches and examine in depth the methodological strategies adopted by Art Historians. These include iconographic, semiotic, formalist and materialist methodologies; critical theory, queer theory, feminist and post-colonial critiques; along with the historiography of the discipline focussing on the role of biography, the philosophy of aesthetics, and art criticism.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. critically examine art historical methodologies;
  2. apply art historical methodologies to their own research and writing;
  3. understand the discipline of art history as it developed from classical antiquity to the present; and
  4. speak with confidence about the methodologies of art history and defend particular view points.

Research-Led Teaching

All teaching in this course stems from ongoing research and professional practice on part of the course convenor and guest speakers.

Field Trips

We will make use of on-campus opportunities with the School of Art and Design Gallery and Drill Hall Gallery for our workshops. Subject to prevailing conditions and risk assessment, we will consider visiting the National Gallery of Australia in Week 10.

Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment


Required Resources

All students are expected to have access to ANU Libraries and campus facilities.

Whether you are on campus or studying remotely, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Monday-Wednesday, 10 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 3 pm Lectures and seminars on art historical methodologies
2 Monday-Tuesday, 10 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 3 pm Lectures and seminars on art historical methodologies
4 Research Questionnaire (15%) upload to Wattle by 9 am on Tuesday 15 March
7 Tuesday-Wednesday, 10 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 3 pm, and Thursday 10 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 4 pm Lectures and seminars on art historical methodologies
8 Tuesday-Wednesday, 10 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 3 pm Lectures and seminars on art historical methodologies Scripted presentation (20%), seminar paper to be delivered in class
9 Encyclopaedia/catalogue entry (10%), upload to Wattle by 9 am on 02 May
10 Monday, 10 am to 5 pm, exhibition visit and writing workshop
12 Monday, 10 am to 3 pm, writing workshop Critical reading forum (15%), min. 12 entries on Wattle throughout semester.
13 Research essay due

Tutorial Registration

There are no separate tutorial groups in this small group course. All students in the intensive will attend all classes together.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Research Questionnaire 15 % 15/03/2022 1, 2
Critical Reading Forum 15 % * 1, 2
Scripted presentation (seminar paper) 20 % 26/04/2022 1, 2, 4
Encyclopaedia or Museum Catalogue Entry 10 % 02/05/2022 1, 2, 3
Research Essay 40 % 30/05/2022 1, 2, 3

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


This is a compulsory course specifically offered to Honours and postgraduate students in Art History and Curatorship. All students are expected to attend and actively participate in all of the organised activities.


This course does not require students to sit a formal examination.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 15/03/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2

Research Questionnaire

This exercise is designed to teach advanced research skills required for study at honours and post-graduate level. Complete an online questionnaire that requires you to find information about an object of your choice. Honours students must choose an object that is central to the topic of their proposed thesis. Post-graduate students must consult with the course convenor while choosing their object. The questionnaire is accessed via Wattle. All references and the bibliography should be set out according to the bibliography conventions of the library referencing style guides under the Chicago style: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2

Critical Reading Forum

While the face-to-face hours for this class are organised in blocks, students are required to participate in the Critical Reading Forum throughout the semester, writing a brief synopsis, question about, or response to a series of key readings posted on Wattle. 


Students are required to make at least one post (100-150 words) on each of the following topics:

1. Aesthetics/Philosophy of Art

2. The history of art history

3. Connoisseurship

4. Iconography and Iconology

5. Material Culture Studies

6. Marxism and the social history of art

7. Critical Theory

8. Art Criticism

9. Gender and Sexuality

10. Postmodern approaches to art

11. Postcolonialism

12. Digital Methods for Art History

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 26/04/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 4

Scripted presentation (seminar paper)

The purpose of this exercise is to develop professional academic skills by writing a scripted presentation and delivering it to the class according to the professional standards of an academic conference – a key feature of intellectual life for museum curators, art historians and academics. 


For Honours students, the topic for your paper should relate to a key object/s that you are working on for your thesis. Postgraduate students should select an object in consultation with the course convenor. The presentation must include a close visual analysis of the object, drawing upon one or more of the approaches discussed in lectures and readings for the course. For instance, if you are interested in iconography, then you should look closely at the social and historical meanings of figurative elements in your object. If you choose to take a queer or feminist approach, for example, then you will need to bring these ideas to bear on your analysis.


Organisation of Material (20%)Knowledge of Subjecct (30%)Use of visual material (20%)Clarity and effectiveness of delivery (25%)Timing (10%)

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 02/05/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Encyclopaedia or Museum Catalogue Entry

This exercise requires you to choose an artist or artwork and write an entry for an encyclopaedia or a museum catalogue, applying rigorous standards of research and writing. You should imagine that you are producing this entry for a prestigious reference publication, or a catalogue from a prominent Australian or international museum.

Honours students should choose a subject that relates directly to their thesis topic. Postgraduate students must consult with the convenor about the subject before proceeding with the exercise. 

Assessment Task 5

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 30/05/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Research Essay

Explore one of the art historical methodologies studied in this course through a 4000-word research paper. Choose from one of the following approaches and interrogate its relevance to the practice of art history today.  

Does the approach you are focussing on remain a valid mode of inquiry? If not, why not? If it is, then argue for its relevance. Honours students should take this opportunity to make a sustained interrogation of the methodology(ies) that will best inform their thesis. Essays much be formatted in 12 point font, double-spaced. You must cite the sources of your ideas with footnotes, and a bibliography.

1. Connoisseurship

2. Iconography and Iconology

3. Marxism and/ or Critical Theory

4. Material Culture

5. Digital Art History

6. Psychoanalytical Theory

7. Feminist and/or Queer Theory

8. Structuralism, Semiotics and Deconstruction

9. Postmodernism

10. Postcolonial Theory


FailPassCreditDistinctionHigh Distinction

Research and knowledge


·      Does not include a bibliography

·      Little knowledge of major themes

·      Adequate range of sources

·      Relies mostly on internet sites

Adequate understanding of the topic

·      Good range of references but missing significant sources

·      Good understanding of the topic and major issues

·      Wide range of sources, including peer reviewed articles, but missing some authors

Thorough knowledge of the major issues and perceptive analysis of major points

·      Thoroughly researched, consulting all the major sources, including peer reviewed journals

Sophisticated understanding of the major issues and awareness of complexities



·      Lacks any argument and does not address the assessment criteria

·      Sound attempt to write an argument and adequately address the assessment criteria

Clearly stated argument which addresses the assessment criteria convincingly

Strong argument that presents a wide range of convincing points

·      Highly sophisticated and lucid argument that addresses the assessment criteria comprehensively and insightfully

Visual analysis


·      Does not discuss relevant images

·      Includes a suitable choice of images with a basic analysis

Visual analysis integrated in a basic manner

·      Suitable choice of images with comprehensive visual analysis

·      Visual analysis successfully integrated into the overall argument

·      Suitable choice of images with discerning visual analysis

Visual analysis astutely integrated into the overall argument

·      Excellent choice of images, with highly perceptive visual analysis

Visual analysis integrated into the overall argument in a compelling and seamless manner



·      Little or no structure

·      Aimlessly rambles

Completely off topic

·      Adequate arrangement of ideas

Usually remains focused on the topic

·      Clear organisation of ideas

·      Good use of paragraphing

·      Good introduction and conclusion

·      Remains focused on the topic

·      Strong organisation

·      Effective use of paragraphing and topic sentences

·      Logical paragraphs

Effective introduction and conclusion

·      Excellent organisation

·      Extremely logical paragraphs with highly effective use of topic sentences

Engaging and highly effective introduction and conclusion



Poorly written with many spelling and grammatical errors

·      Adequately written essay

Usually correct grammar and spelling

·      Well written essay

Usually correct grammar and spelling

·      Fluently written essay

Minimal errors in language

·      Highly articulate and written in an eloquent style

No errors in language



··      Inadequate referencing

·      Images inadequately labeled

·      No use of Chicago Style and footnotes

·      Adequate referencing and image labeling but with some mistakes and inconsistencies

Use of the Chicago Style Manual and footnotes

·      Good referencing and image labeling with few mistakes

Use of the Chicago Style Manual and footnotes

·      Careful referencing and image labeling with almost no mistakes

·      Use of the Chicago Style Manual and footnotes

Effective use of quotes

·      Meticulous referencing and image labeling

·      Use of the Chicago Style Manual and footnotes

Strategic and balanced use of quotes

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

All work will is to be submitted electronically, and feedback will also be offered electronically (via Wattle or email, as appropriate).

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

No resubmissions are permitted.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

AsPr Chaitanya Sambrani

Research Interests

Modern art and politics, art and nationhood in modern Asia, colonial and postcolonial art in Asia

AsPr Chaitanya Sambrani

By Appointment
By Appointment
AsPr Chaitanya Sambrani

Research Interests

AsPr Chaitanya Sambrani

By Appointment
By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions