Art and Visual Culture in the Roman World (CLA3265)
|Staff||Professor Elena Isayev - Convenor|
|Pre-requisites||Relevant 2nd Year Humanities / Social Science/ Geography|
|Duration of Module||Term 1: 11 weeks;|
The module will explore various genres of Roman art and their physical, social and ideological contexts. It will ask, and suggest answers to questions such as: What was the purpose of art? How was it viewed by the people of antiquity? What does art tell us about the societies who made and viewed it? The course aims to encourage critical thinking about the purpose of studying art as a tool for understanding ancient cultural ideologies.
There is no exam in this course, but there are 2 different types of assessment – which may consist of the following:
1) Source Analysis – will allow for in-depth critical analysis of either a written or material source in light of the subject.
2) A thematic essay – which will be based around a specific problem or question, and will draw on the skills developed in the previous two exercises.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. On completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of a wide selection of relevant primary material from the Roman world, and critical skills for analysing and discussing such material in its social context.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 2. Students should be able to demonstrate sophisticated critical and analytical skills in analysing art and other visual material, which can be applied to a wide range of ancient and modern cultures.
- 3. They should have learned how material and visual culture enhances our understanding of past societies.
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 4. Students should be able to demonstrate independent research skills; students should also be able to show a broader awareness of issues involved in thinking about art and society.
- 5. Skills in the construction, organisation and presentation of an argument in both written and oral form, and in using PowerPoint presentations to visually support their arguments.
Indicative syllabus plan:
1 Introduction: Art
2 Between Art and Text: conflicting histories - Etruscan Women
3 Warriors & Princesses - chariots, knives, spinning wheels: burial and society
4 Culture Contact: Technology, Art and Homeric societies beyond Greece
5 Choice of Image in the private sphere: Ancient and Modern Sensibilities
6 Augustan Rome - a new face?
7 Architecture in Rome - the Imperial Playground
8 Reading narrative in public art: triumphal arches and columns
9 Reading narrative in public art: triumphal arches and columns II
10 Abstract Art in Late Antiquity
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||22||Seminars (1 x 2 hours per week)|
|Guided independent study||128||Private study|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Group informal presentation / Discussion||15 minutes||1-5||Oral comment, peer comment|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Essay||65||3000||1-5||Mark and written feedback|
|Written Assignment||35||1800||1-5||Mark and written feedback|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Essay||Essay||1-5||August refer-defer period|
|Written Assignment||Written Assignment||1-5||August refer/defer period|
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
A full reading list will be supplied by the module lecturer in the form of a topic/class specific handout which will also be posted on the Web. The following is a sample of some of the texts:
Clarke, J.R. 2003. Art in the lives of ordinary Romans. Visual representation and non-elite viewers in Italy, 100 BC – AD 315 . Berkeley.
Elsner, J. 1995. Art and the Roman viewer . Cambridge.
Elsner, J. 2007. Roman eyes. Visuality and subjectivity in art and text . Princeton.
Hales, S. 2003. The Roman house and social identity . Cambridge.
Hannestad, N. 1988. Roman art and imperial policy . Aarhus.
Hölscher, T. 2004. The language of images in Roman art . Cambridge.
Kleiner, D. 1992. Roman sculpture . Yale.
Pollitt, J.J. 1983. The art of Rome c. 753 BC – AD 337. Sources and documents . Cambridge.
Stewart, P. 2008. The social history of Roman art . Cambridge.
Zanker, P. 1988. The power of images in the age of Augustus . Michigan.
Module has an active ELE page?
Available as distance learning?
Last revision date
Key words search
Ancient History, Italy Rome, Literature, Archaeology