ART511 Theories of Criticism (16)


This subject, along with ART502/ART512 and ART503/ART513, is intended to encourage and assist practitioners to reflect critically on their own disciplines. What, if anything, makes works of art, be they texts, textures, actions or video, different from other things? How are they produced, and how do they achieve their effects? On what basis can they be said to be good or bad? We survey the basic types of answers which have been proposed to these questions, and consider the extent to which theories, while useful, are subjective, competitive, and relative.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 1
DistanceWagga Wagga Campus
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ART511
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Communication and Creative Industries

Enrolment restrictions

Only available to Master of Creative Practice students.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate a familiarity with a range of theoretical discourse from the Greeks to the present day from a reading of selected documents of critical theory;
  • be able to demonstrate an analytical appreciation of key issues in theories of art;
  • be able to explore in detail some of the theoretical and critical implications in some areas of arts practice.


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • Classical theories
  • Ideas of inspiration and genius
  • Aesthetic theories
  • Determinism
  • Psychology and psychoanalysis
  • Formalism and structuralism
  • Post-structuralism


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.