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ARTHIST 4AA3 Contemp Art/Visual Culture (C01)

Academic Year: Winter 2020

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. James King

Email: jking@mcmaster.ca

Office: Chester New Hall 316

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24493

Office Hours: 1:30-2:20 Tuesday: CNH-316



Course Objectives:

Students taking this course should develop a good, close working knowledge of contemporary art; they will also have the opportunity to study one artist in depth and plan a small exhibition of that artist’s work.


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

David Hopkins, After Modern Art 1945-2000. Oxford University Press.


Method of Assessment:

This seminar will be devoted to problems in studying contemporary art. There are two components to 4AA3. 1.Students will present three short, oral presentations (five minutes each) on assigned topics dealing with painting, sculpture, film, and performance art. 2.In addition, each student will select a modern or contemporary woman artist to study in depth (the instructor will provide a list). The first report (10 minutes) will center on the overall achievement of that artist—a written version of this presentation (2500 words) will be prepared; the second report will isolate a very specific aspect of that artist’s career (15 minutes) ; the third (15 minutes) will be the presentation of a plan for a small exhibit (15 works or so) on the specialized aspect chosen—that report will be presented to the seminar; it will also be the second piece of writing to be submitted (it should be 5,000-7,500 words).

Standing in this course will be determined as follows:

Written report on 21 January 15%

Final written report due on Tuesday. 31 March 50%

Oral presentations; participation in seminar discussions; attendance (compulsory) 35%

Students will have received 10% of their mark by March 13.


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Late work will not be accepted.


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail sas@mcmaster.ca. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.


Topics and Readings:

WEEK ONE (January 7): ORGANIZATIONAL METING

WEEK TWO (January 14): MODERNISM AS A FORCE AND A TERM

WEEK THREE (January 21): FIRST REPORTS

WEEK FOUR (January 28): THE GHOST OF MARCEL DUCHAMP

WEEK FIVE (February 4): THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ISMS

WEEK SIX (February 11): This class will be held at the Art Gallery of Hamilton to see the exhibition EARLY SNOW

WEEK SEVEN (February 25) : SECOND REPORTS

WEEK EIGHT: POST-MODERN AESTHETICS

WEEK NINE: CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY I

WEEK TEN: CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY II

WEEK ELEVEN: PERFORMANCE ART

WEEK TWELVE (March 31): FINAL REPORTS

WEEK THIRTEEN: CONCLUSIONS