AH10150 The Modern World 1848-1914

Academic Year 2023/2024

Art and the Modern World, 1848 to 1914 examines the key developments in Western art from 1848 to the outbreak of World War One in 1914. This period saw the beginnings of modern art, when traditional practices of making and viewing art were challenged. Industrialisation brought rapid social changes that impacted dramatically on how the world was experienced and understood.

The module is organised in three sections:
1) Western European modernism, following the traditional narratives of modernisation, Industrial Revolution, and associated artistic breakthroughs;
2) Art and Society, exploring connections between art and categories such as gender, sexuality, ecology, and science and medicine in European society;
3) Decentring Western Europe, focusing on non-Western European modernisms, as well as the impact of colonisation and imperialism on art marking during the examined period.

Lectures are supported by weekly small-group tutorials.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Have a good understanding of the impact of urbanisation and technology on modern art.
Be able to analyse and contextualise key works of Western art produced between 1848-1914.
Understand connections between art and European society in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Recognise and account for major stylistic manifestations of modern art up to 1914.
Relate art produced between 1848-1914 to its wider social and philosophical contexts.

Indicative Module Content:

1) Western European Modernism

- The Academy and the Salon
- The Great Exhibition
- The Impressionists and the Birth of the Modern City
- Gustave Courbet, Realism, and the Paris Commune
- Neo-Impressionism
- Post-Impressionism and Expressionism
- Cubism

2) Art and Society

- England: Art and Industrialisation
- Victorian Radicals: from the Pre-Raphaelites to the Arts and Crafts Movement
- Before "Queer" Existed: Art and Sexual Difference in the 19th Century
- Art and Victorian Ecologies
- Art and Gender in the 19th Century
- Science, Medicine, and Art in the 19th Centiry

3) Decentring Western Europe

- Migration and Difference: Ecole de Paris
- Orientalism and Colonialism
- Brazilian Modernisms
- Eastern European Modernisms
- South African Modernisms

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The course is taught primarily via lectures with small tutorial groups. This will give students the opportunity to look at works of art in the original on a gallery visit and to discuss ideas. Although learning supports will be available on line, students will be strongly encouraged to visit the library in person, read books, visits galleries and museums, make use of recommended texts, and contribute in class. Support material from lectures will be available on Brightspace and students are encouraged to keep a journal detailing the content of the lectures and related tasks and research.

It is incumbent on any undergraduate student who fails this module to contact the lecturer concerned to announce their attention to resit, and to obtain details of resit assignments. Any resit/ repeat registration/ fee issues should be dealt with by the Arts programme office. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
AH10030 - Art & the Modern World, AH10070 - Dublin: Its Museums

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Continuous Assessment: Participation, engagement & attendance at tutorials Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Essay: End of semester essay based on material discussed in the course. Week 12 n/a Graded No


Group Project: A group video made at the National Gallery or the Hugh Lane Gallery Week 7 n/a Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Students will have the opportunity to receive individual feedback on their class test mid semester and on their essay at the end of the semester.

Please contact module coordinator, Dr Aleksandra Gajowy, for a provisional reading list.
Name Role
Priscilla Sonnier Tutor