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Curatorial Practice Now - HOA00009C

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  • Department: History of Art
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Erhan Tamur
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module summary

This module introduces students to the history and current practice of art curating. Through a combination of themed seminars, visits, and case studies, we will encounter and debate salient issues in the history of exhibition-making. Drawing on curators' first-hand experience and expertise, we will begin exploring how museums, galleries, archives and the individuals who work in them have influenced the art world at large and how they continue to shape the public's experiences. We will also investigate the ethics and politics of curating as well as the current debates on the restitution and repatriation of antiquities.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

By the end of the module, students will be familiar with a range of case studies and recent scholarship concerning art curation in a global context. They will have a deepening understanding of how objects of various kinds have been (and can be) assembled and displayed, and of the various choices facing curators in different institutional contexts.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should have acquired:

  • Familiarity with a range of case studies and secondary texts concerning art curation

  • A firm grasp of a variety of curatorial roles within and outside institutions

  • A critical understanding of the intersection of curating and the socio-political and economic contexts

  • Understanding of how art objects of varying kinds have been assembled and displayed in the past, in comparison with current practices in different types of institutions

  • The ability to analyse and evaluate different methodological approaches to the collection and display of art objects


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules




Module feedback

You will receive feedback on assessed work within the timeframes set out by the University - please check the Guide to Assessment, Standards, Marking and Feedback for more information.

The purpose of feedback is to help you to improve your future work. If you do not understand your feedback or want to talk about your ideas further, you are warmly encouraged to meet your Supervisor during their Office Hours.

Indicative reading

  • Bahrani, Zainab, Zeynep Çelik, and Edhem Eldem, eds. Scramble for the Past: A Story of Archaeology in the Ottoman Empire, 1753-1914. Istanbul: SALT, 2011.

  • Butt, Zoe. “Infrastructural Activism: Alternative Spaces and Curatorial Networks.” In Talking Contemporary Curating, edited by Terry Smith, 300-318. New York: Independent Curators International, 2015.

  • Dekker, Anette, and Gaia Tedone. “Networked Co-Curation: An Exploration of the Socio-Technical Specificities of Online Curation.” Arts (Basel) 8, no. 3, (2019): 86.

  • Emberling, Geoff and Lucas P. Petit, eds. Museums and the Ancient Middle East: Curatorial Practice and Audiences. London: Routledge, 2018.

  • Heyam, Kit, and James Daybell. Gendering the Museum: A Toolkit.

  • Hicks, Dan. The Brutish Museums: The Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence and Cultural Restitution. London: Pluto Press, 2020.

  • Ippolito, Jon. “Ten Myths of Internet Art.” Leonardo (Oxford) 35, no. 5 (2002): 485–98.

  • Marchart, Oliver. “The Globalization of Art and the ‘Biennials of Resistance: A History of the Biennials From the Periphery.” World Art 4, no. 2 (2014): 263-76.

  • Meijers, Debora J. “The Museum and the ‘Ahistorical’ Exhibition.” In Thinking About Exhibitions, edited by Reesa Greenberg, Bruce W. Ferguson, and Sandy Nairne, 7-18. New York: Routledge, 1996.

  • Middleton, Margaret. “Queer Possibility”. Journal of Museum Education 45, no. 4 (2020): 426-436.

  • O’Neill, Paul, ed. Curating Subjects. London: Open Editions, 2011.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.