Study Abroad and Exchanges



FIN3036 : Art and War (Inactive)

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


Art and war intersect in multifaceted and complex ways. Art has been used to document, reflect upon, critique and memorialise acts of war. Some would argue that ultimately language and art fail in their ability to truly encapsulate the experience of war and others that art can intervene where other forms of expression fail. Given the sensitive nature of the subject, the art produced in response is often contentious and heavily debated. Focussing predominantly on works from the 20th century to the present, this module will critically examine the relationship between war and art, drawing on examples from a range of media. As well as officially commissioned war art, war reporting, degenerate art, political works and memorials will also be considered. Throughout the course, discussion will be informed by the work of writers and theorists from a range of disciplines.

Outline Of Syllabus

During this course, students will examine the relationship between art and war through a series of thematic topics which cover a range of media. As well as studying officially commissioned war art, other potential themes are: the ethics of war reporting, looking at the work of war photographers such as Robert Capa and contemporary photographers such as Luc Delahaye; Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art), examining the relationship between the Nazi party and modern art considering work by artists such as Kathe Kollwitz and also how the Nazi’s used culture as a propagandist tool; Styles and Conflict, how certain styles become associated with particular periods in history; Heroism, gender and identity, contrasting the heroism generated in certain war art with the critique posed by artists such as George Grosz and Otto Dix; Scarred Landscapes, analysing how the established genre of landscape painting altered in face of war and became a vehicle for considering both the appropriateness of a modernist aesthetic and the devastation of war, and Art of Political Conflict/Art of Resolution, examining Belfast murals and the work of photographers such as Paul Seawright. The module will also consider issues surrounding memorialisation, the avant-garde and contemporary responses to the ‘War on Terror.’
Throughout the course, discussion will be informed by the work of writers and theorists from a range of disciplines.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading124:0024:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00Office hour
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching12:002:00Museum visit
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study180:0080:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
FIN2035Art and War
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1. Lectures: to allow definition of the scope of the syllabus, an introduction to a body of knowledge, and modeling of the level and nature of the analysis required
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
3. Tutorials: to provide feedback and analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of submitted work, and increase awareness of the potential for individual development
4. Museum/Gallery Visits: to enrich student’s experience and inform the student of visual, technical and material aspects of the art of the period.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation202M10Resit in form of essay
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M502000 words
Essay2M201000 word visual analysis assignment
Essay2M201000 word text-based analysis assignment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The course work affords students the opportunity to conduct research with seminar and peer support into particular areas of interest, to develop their organizational and presentation skills, and then to demonstrate their ability to think independently in using their group-work to inform their individual essay. The essay demonstrates the student’s ability to absorb and critique information and then present an argument in relation to a specific topic. It demonstrates the student’s ability to relay an argument in a clear manner using appropriate academic writing skills. The analysis assignments enable the student to present a detailed critique on visual and theoretical issues raised in the course through detailed case studies. The presentation enables the student to concisely express information and practice transferable skills.

Reading Lists