No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2016

VPA715 Contemporary Critical Issues (16)


This subject extends the exploration of contemporary theory and criticism begun in VPA701/VPA711 Theories of Criticism. Students identify and analyse recent examples of public and scholarly debate about arts practice within a chosen field. They describe and trace the course of debate, and relate it to the theoretical literature, and to analogous debates at other times and places. The emphasis is on the current forms of ethical and ideological thinking within the student's chosen field, and the relative influence of other factors such as the personal, the economic, and the structural.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details prior to contacting their course coordinator: VPA715
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 Humanities and Social Sciences

Enrolment restrictions

D VPA students only

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
- be able to identify and describe current debates in their chosen field of study
- be able to document and analyse events as well as theoretical arguments
- be able to demonstrate an understanding of the connections between practical controversy and the theoretical literature, by using theoretical frameworks to analyse the current debates
- be able to demonstrate familiarity with a range of analogous debates from other times and places, and their outcomes
- be able to discuss their own work in the light of contemporary practice.


The subject will cover the following topics:
- the complexity of theoretical, social and aesthetic issues that contemporary artists might confront - philosophies of knowledge including theories of modernism, postmodernism, gender studies and postcolonialism - critical and theoretical writing relating to the production and reception of art - concepts of truth, including the culture/nature dichotomy - the relationship between art and social change - formal constraints, such as markets, institutions, and legal regimes, within which artists and critics operate - psychological theories of representation.


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.