FIN2037 : Contemporary Art and Globalisation


Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


In the 1980s, the idea of national schools of art gave way to the notion of a “global” contemporary art. Biennials, international events and the internet have all drawn artists into globalised networks of art-world attention and opened up possibilities for collaboration. At the same time, global inequalities, neoliberal policies and neo-colonial politics continue to shape the art world. This course will explore the manner in which globalisation has both shaped and itself become a theme in artistic production that intentionally reviews its own conditions and parameters. It will introduce students to theoretical concepts surrounding globalisation and their implications for artistic practice. Particular areas of focus will include the rise of the biennial and international exhibitions, the possibilities for the exercise of the political in contemporary art, articulations of migration and displacement through the visual, the impact of digitisation on art production and reception, as well as the emergence of the “archival turn”.

Outline Of Syllabus

The course will examine the relationship between contemporary art and globalisation concentrating on the period from the 1980s to the present. It will begin with a consideration of biennales and international exhibitions such as Documenta, the Dakar Biennale and Bamako Encounters, and their role in the globalisation of contemporary art. It will also question whether only contemporary art can be considered “global” by introducing selected international exhibitions of modern art in the Global South. It will then explore the work of artists including Larissa Sansour, Khalil Rabah, Doris Salcedo, Sonia Boyce and others in relation to questions of politics, memory, migration and the digital. Our consideration of these issues will be informed by writings of theorists, artists and curators including Okwui Enwezor, Salah Hassan, Edouard Glissant, Hito Steyerl, and Terry Smith. The course will be structured around a series of lectures and seminars, which will provide an opportunity for further exploration of art works and theory.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:0010 hours for formative, 40 hours for essay.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00PIP lectures.
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials111:0011:00pre-recorded supplementary lecture materials delivered online to support PIP teaching.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading113:0033:00Lecture and seminar preparation.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00PIP seminars.
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion41:004:00Student discussion groups on Canvas.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study180:0080:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
FIN3037Contemporary Art and Globalisation
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1. Lectures: to allow definition of the scope of the syllabus, an introduction to a body of knowledge, and modelling of the level and nature of the analysis required. PIP lectures will be supplemented with online material (in the form of pre-recorded lecture materials, relevant videos, etc.) to make the module content more accessible, manageable and digestible.

2. Seminars: to encourage interaction and the development of cognitive and key skills; to allow preparation and presentation of directed research on specific issues and case studies. Seminars help to foster collegiality among the cohort and are an important supplement to the teaching delivered by group discussions.

3. Canvas discussion groups: to allow for more innovative, interactive and cross-curricular teaching.

Nb. In person lectures and seminars can move to synchronous and asynchronous online delivery as required in response to pandemic-related restrictions.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M1002000 words
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Case study2MVisual Analysis.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The Essay affords the student the opportunity to conduct academic research into a topic of their choice relating to the module content, with the question(s) set by the module leader. The questions encourage students to engage closely with the key topics, critical ideas and practices studied on the module curriculum. The assessment will be supported by critical discussions undertaken during the seminars and/or discussion boards. The assignment is designed to develop critical thinking, the ability to develop an argument, writing skills, visual analysis and theoretical comprehension.

The Visual Analysis Case Study offers students the chance to hone writing and analytical skills in advance of the essay in a formative and less pressurised context. The formative nature of the assessment will permit faster feedback, allowing the case study analysis to feed fully into the summative essay.

Reading Lists