Methodology of Art History


Methodologies of Art History consider theoretical approaches that have shaped many diverse historical and contemporary perspectives on art, from Renaissance classicism to romanticism, symbolism, and formalism, and from modernism to kitsch, post-modernism and the Anthropocene. The course considers the impact of political theories such as Marxism, feminism, psychoanalysis, and deconstruction on interpretations of art. These methodologies enable students to grasp how the very description and theorization of art has continually redefined its multiple meanings over time and also how art, itself, defines historical periods. As the history of art was a Western construct, the course focuses primarily, but not exclusively, on Western theories of art.


Various theoretical perspectives that have shaped disciplinary perspectives and practices in art history. Introduction to particular types of methodologies (i.e. Marxism, feminism, race and gender, psychoanalysis, post-colonial theory, and deconstruction) as fields of inquiry through which the study of the visual arts and culture have been practiced. Historiography of the last two decades in art history; selected contemporary debates.

Enroll Consent

Instructor Consent Required

Joseph Kosuth, A Zoology of Thinking
Curriculum Codes
  • R
  • W
  • ALP
  • CZ
Typically Offered
Fall Only