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Journeys, Histories & Methods of Display - HOA00058H

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  • Department: History of Art
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Ana Bilbao Yarto
  • Credit value: 40 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module summary

Beginning with issues raised by the cabinet of curiosities, passing through current debates on decolonising the museum, and ending with the question of online curating, this module will offer students a journey through histories of display.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2020-21

Module aims

Beginning with issues raised by the cabinet of curiosities, passing through current debates on decolonising the museum, and ending with the question of online curating, this module will offer students a journey through histories of display. Given that collecting and curating have always been responsive to conceptions of art and artistic practices of their time and location, we will analyse how this responsiveness has been reflected in the development of the different kinds of spaces for display, including various types museums, festivals, and exhibitions of differing scales.

Alongside the exploration of various case studies, this module will critically engage with texts and in-class activities that provide insights into different approaches and methods of curating. Students will be able to identify paradigm shifts in collecting, curating and exhibiting in the West, and will have the opportunity to explore histories and formats of display developed in non-Western contexts.

Module learning outcomes

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

  • A firm grasp of the history of exhibition making in the West;
  • A deep awareness of the specificity of stories and methods of curating in a variety of non-Western contexts;
  • A clear understanding of the strong links between artistic practice and the emergence and development of various display methods;
  • Knowledge of the history and development of diverse art institutions;
  • A familiarity of the historical interdependency of collecting, archiving, and curating;
  • An understanding of the concept of ‘exhibition’ in its expanded sense;
  • The ability to challenge the canons of art history and its presuppositions;
  • The ability to critically engage with current debates in curatorial theory and practice;
  • The confidence to subject the texts studied to interpretation and critical analysis;
  • Excellent bibliographical and practical research skills.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Open Examination (5 day)
Two 2000 word essays
N/A 100

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Open Examination (5 day)
Two 2000 word essays
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive feedback on their formative work within one week.

Students will receive feedback on their summative work within 20 working days.

Indicative reading

  • Bennett, Tony, The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics. London: Routledge, 1995.
  • Greenberg, Reesa, Bruce W. Ferguson, and Sandy Nairne, eds. Thinking About Exhibitions, New York: Routledge, 1996.
  • Klonk, Charlotte, Spaces of Experience: Art Gallery Interiors from 1800 to 2000. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009.
  • Macdonald, Sharon, ed. A Companion to Museum Studies, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2006.
  • O’ Neill, Paul, Lucy Steeds, Simon Sheikh and Mick Wilson, eds. Curating After the Global: Roadmaps of the Present. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2019.
  • Vanderlinden, Barbara and Elena Filipovic, eds. The Manifesta Decade: Debates on Contemporary Art Exhibitions and Biennials in Post-Wall Europe. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2005.



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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students