KUN4550 – Topics in Modern and Postmodern Art and Architecture
Schedule, syllabus and examination date
The most prevalent word used to describe Postmodern art and architecture is “indifference.” As in our common understanding of the word, indifference is most often used by critics as a negative and judgmental term that puts forth a certain characterization, or better yet, caricature, of Postmodernism’s ambitions and achievements.
Postmodernism’s equation with indifference is meant to criticize it in terms of its:
1) embracing a condition of neutrality suggesting lack of commitment, taking shape in various forms of irony, cynicism and nihilism;
2) a moral weakness due to a general coldness, emotional distancing and a lack of affective connectivity;
3) an aesthetic and political failure that suggests it is a form of weak relativism that eschews any particular stance, position, judgment, value, or hierarchy;
4) a general passivity, inertia, or lack of will;
5) its full-scale capitulation to the tenets of capitalism in its emphasis on a general equivalence of things, most often characterized as a leveling or flattening of existence.
This course is meant to explore a very different and more complex sense of indifference than the negative interpretation outlined above. In doing so, it will open up a different framework for thinking about art, architecture, and urbanism of the last fifty years. Throughout the course we will look at a broad range of art and architectural examples, as well as drawing upon relevant art historical, literary, theoretical, and philosophical writings on topic.
After the completion of the course the student should be able to:
- Have a more nuanced understanding of postmodern art, architecture, and urbanism and its relationship to broader intellectual currents.
- Have a better sense of how postmodern art has been characterized in relationship to modern and contemporary art.
- Develop the ability to move supply between close attention to works of art and the kinds of ideas, words, and frameworks that we use to describe, explain, and interpret them.
- Analyze artworks from this period using the terms and concepts presented in the course literature with an in-depth use of art theory.
- Identify and present the most important critical and theoretical positions in the art historical literature dealing with this period, and define the key terms and concepts in this literature and develop a critical reflective attitude towards these.
- Evaluate the critical and theoretical positions in the course literature from a comparative perspective.
- Develop an ability to verbalize statements about works of art and to communicate your knowledge to others.
- Have improved writing skills in academic English.
- See the benefit of being able to use the course’s key concepts, terms and theory in your own master thesis.
Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.
Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.
If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.
Recommended previous knowledge
- It is recommended that you have passed 60 studiepoeng (equal to ECTS) in Art History and/or Aestethics before taking this course.
10 credits overlap with KUN2550 – Topics in Modern and Postmodern Art and Architecture
The topic for Autumn 2018 is the same as Spring 2017
Autumn 2020: Teaching will follow the guidelines for preventing the spread of Covid-19.
A detailed plan for the semester will show which activities will be digital. There will not be a requirement for compulsory attendance for teaching which is done digitally, but we strongly recommend that you follow all the teaching.
The teaching will consist of 27 hours of digital lectures and seminars.
This course will be conducted primarily as a seminar with class discussion, presentations, and some lectures.
Following the seminars are highly recommended. We expect students to meet prepared for classes and to participate actively.
In order to qualify to the final exam, you must complete a compulsory assignment:
- Compulsory attendance at seminars. There is an attendance requirement for this course; you have to be present for at least 7 out of 9 classes. There will not be a requirement for compulsory attendance for teaching which is done digitally, but we strongly recommend that you follow all the teaching.
- Submit a preliminary draft of your term paper by a stated deadline. The preliminary draft must be at 3-4 pages.
You submit your written assignment in Canvas. You must familiarize yourself with the login and submission procedures in timely manner before the submission of assignments.
Please note that you do not qualify for the final examination unless this compulsory requirement is fulfilled.
Access to teaching
A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.
The examination at KUN4550 is a semester essay.
The essay must consist of 8-10 pages (à 2300 characters without spaces, not including illustrations, notes and reference).
The assignment will be handed in using Inspera. You must familiarize yourself with the login and submission procedures in timely manner before the exam. Read more about Inspera below.
When writing a semester essay you are entitled to individual guidance by you teacher. To be eligible for this guidance you must submit a draft of your paper that meets certain requirements. More detailed information about guidance and how to submit your draft will be given by the teacher during class or in Canvas.
Submit assignments in Inspera
You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit assignments in Inspera.
Use of sources and citation
Language of examination
The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.
Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.
Explanations and appeals
Resit an examination
Withdrawal from an examination
It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.
Special examination arrangements
Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.
The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.
Fra og med våren 2010 publiseres alle rapporter fra periodisk evaluering av emner ved IFIKK samlet på instituttets studiekvalitetssider.