Theory, Methods and Debates in Art History
1. To understand the foundations and the development of Art History as a discipline;
2. To acquire a thorough knowledge on Art History’s core theoretical and
3. To understand the main debates that these approaches have been raising (both
within the discipline and in the broader field of human and social sciences);
4. To grasp the relation between those debates on core theoretical and
methodological approaches and specific developments in art history writing (both
national and internationally);
5. To master theoretical and methodological references and debates in order to be
able to conceive a critically informed in-depth research project in Art History;
6. To ponder course contents over a written essay.
Joana Esteves da Cunha Leal
Weekly - 3
Total - 280
The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology (ed. D. Preziosi). - Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Critical Terms for Art History (ed. Robert Nelson and Richard Shiff). – Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.
A Companion to Art Theory (ed. Paul Smith and Carolyn Wilde). - Oxford & Malden: Blackwell, 2002.
Davis, Withney, A general theory of visual culture. – Princeton & Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2011.
Didi-Huberman, Devant l’image. – Paris: Minuit, 1990.
Iversen, M., Melville, S., Writing art history: disciplinary departures. – Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.
Is Art History Global? (ed. J. Elkins) – New York: Routledge, 2007.
Marxism and the History of Art. From William Morris to the New Left (ed. Andrew Hemingway). London: Pluto Press, 2006.
The Subjects of Art History: historical Objects in Contemporary Perspectives (ed. M.A. Cheetham, M.A. Holly and K. Moxey). - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Lectures given by the teacher and invited researchers, followed by analysis and
discussion of key texts (pre-appointed) prepared by the students, and by the final
presentation of the thematic essay written by each student (15-18 pags).
Método de avaliação - 3) seminar discussion on classes and presentation and discussion of the final essay(30%), 1) a written test(30%), 2) the final written essay(40%)
1. The foundations of Art History (Vasari, Winckelmann and Hegel). The
requirements of a scientific discourse versus the autonomy of the artistic sphere.
2. First theoretical and methodological approaches: a) from Burckardt cultural
history to the Viena School; b) the Warburgian roots of the Bildwissenschaft and
Panoksky's iconology; c) maxist aesthetics and the social history of art; Psychology
3. Structuralism and the developments of semiotics.
4. Art and society: critical theory, sociology of art and reception aesthetics.
5. From the idea of “crises” in/of the discipline to new theorical and methodological
debates: feminist art history (Pollock) and the new art history (T.J. Clark); R. Krauss'
writing and the October project; the raising of the visual studies and its reception.
6. Current art history writing.
Programs where the course is taught: