Prescribed Electives

HR2003 (DD2007) The Art and Architecture of the "Long Century" 1789-1914

Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

In this inter-disciplinary elective course you will chart the evolution of painting, sculpture and architecture using selected examples from Britain, France, Spain, Italy and Germany from the era of the French and American Revolutions to the end of the First World War and the advent of the Jazz Age. You will discover how art, architecture, criticism and consumption changed in this time, and speculate on why this happened. You will examine the changing role of the artist, the critic, and the viewer in the 19th century as the major movements in art and architecture are placed within a wider context of historical, political and social change, in which adaptation and survival were interdependent. This course is open to all students from any academic background. Once completed you will have a deeper understanding of the 19th century European art and the concept of modernity; which can provide a basis for further study in Art History and History. 


HR2004 (DD2008) Survey of Modern Art
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This course is designed for students who have already taken foundational Art History courses. It introduces you to key developments in art under the banner of Modernism in Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. A number of historical movements will be explored alongside the work of individual artists. You will engage in critical writing and the visual analysis of works of art and be encouraged to reflect upon the historical context in which diverse modernist
currents emerged, and links between artistic trends and philosophical, psychological and political developments. This course will provide you with a strong foundation for more advanced studies in post-war and contemporary art.

HR2008 (DD2012 / DD8008) Faith and Art 
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This course is designed to situate art and artists in a number of diverse spiritual, geographical and historical contexts and in so doing allow you to explore art history through a variety of human beliefs. This will include, but is not limited to the rituals of worship, sacred spaces, divine objects, images of magic, illuminated manuscripts and so on. We will examine case studies that demonstrate how stained-glass windows tell us Biblical stories; ask what kind of secrets the faceless Venus of the Stone Age hides from us; suggest which tunes Islamic calligraphy ‘sings’ to our eyes; analyze what Jocho’s Amida Buddha has been telling us throughout the centuries, and much more. This course is open to all students from any academic background. Once completed you will have a deeper understanding of these concepts and they can provide the basis for further study in Art History and History.


HR2011 Global Modernisms: 1850-1950
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This course examines modern art in the West and in selected global contexts in the period of circa 1850 to 1950. In the course, we will study the historical development of modern art in the West, while considering its relationship to the development of modern art in other global contexts, especially in colonised regions. We will also critically examine the competing narratives about Western and global art histories which have emerged in recent scholarship. The course is an intermediate-level course which lays a basis for your further studies and professional endeavours in fields related to modern art (including, for example: contemporary art, curatorial studies, museum studies, art criticism and art history). Building on your knowledge of premodern Western and Asian art, this course seeks to introduce you to key artistic expressions of modernity and modernism, and to the interactions between modernity and colonialism as expressed in and shaped by art. In the course you will be engaged in thinking critically about the development of modern art in Western and global contexts, and about Southeast Asia’s place in these competing narratives. 


HR3003 (DD3013) From Modern to Post-Modern Art 1945-1985
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This course is designed for students who’ve already taken foundational Art History courses and chronologically follows DD3005 Survey of Modern Art 1900-1945. In this course you will be introduced to the moment of transformation from modern to contemporary art. It’s intended as a historical and conceptual framework for the development of critical thinking and visual analysis regarding today’s art practice. You will be introduced to a series of art forms and ideas, which still pervade the contemporary, 21st century global art world. You will examine the cultural and socio- political contexts through which these art forms and ways of thinking emerged. The analysis of these artistic contexts is essential for the understanding of a number of parallel situations in contemporary Southeast Asian art and will provide a strong knowledgebase for taking further Art History modules that focus on the contemporary.


HR3004 (DD3022) Art in the Age of Colonialism 

Pre-requisite(s): DD1004 | 3 AUs

This course introduces you to the diverse content and methods of global art histories. In questioning the monolithic binaries of Western and non-Western art, you will study various objects that crossed national and regional boundaries during the age of colonialism. This course prepares you for more advanced academic writing, reading, and research in art history.


HR3008 (DD3026 / DD8011) Aesthetic Manifestations of Buddhist Devotion & Practice
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This course is intended to deepen and widen your pre-existing knowledge of Asian or Buddhist art, and to develop critical frameworks for rethinking prevailing canons of Buddhist art. It covers a selection of artefacts, sites and works of art from over two millennia from ca. 300BCE to the 21st century. The geographical scope mirrors the internationalisation of Buddhism, from South Asia to East, Southeast Asia, and the Western world, since the first millennium. We ask: how have Buddhist teachings been interpreted by image-makers over space and time, and how have the representations been subsequently experienced, read and used, and what makes “Buddhist art” “Buddhist” and “art”? These studies will provide a basis for further in-depth studies of Buddhist Art.


DD3016 History of Design
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This introductory course covers key movements and events in the evolution of Interaction Design, Product Design and Visual Communication. In Interaction Design, you will survey the work and ideas of artists and designers who have explored interactive media, as well as the scientists, engineers and mathematicians who have developed information technologies. You will study the histories of certain technologies which have come to define the medium of personal computer and human-computer interaction. For Product Design, you will explore how design trends and movements are formed in the contexts of history, emphasizing human relationships between designed objects, visual imageries, art & design movements, science, technology, culture and society. In Visual Communication, you will gain a historical awareness of graphic design and its relationship to technology and industry practice. You will analyse design and designers from various eras through practice and theoretical research projects. This course will equip you with a solid foundation in design history and theory, and inform further study in contemporary design practice.

DF2009 History of World Cinema
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This is an introductory-level course that surveys the historical context of cinema from its inception in the silent era, through to the current era, with a special focus on Asian cinema and its forms. You will examine how changing political, social, and cultural discourses have affected film production practices for Asian filmmakers, and explore identity politics in the age of globalized cultural production. You will then apply critical analysis and academic research of specific films and/or national cinema in Asia. This learning will form the foundation for further studies in theories and practices of film studies and well as give contextual knowledge to your own film projects.


DP2002 History of Photography
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This open elective course will provide an overview of the evolution of the photographic medium over two hundred years from earliest invention to contemporary innovations. In this course you will examine the emergence of photographic traditions and practices within the context of artistic, cultural, social, scientific, and philosophical forces that shaped particular directions in the medium's development. This course highlights the development of photography as the first media art and is highly relevant to students pursuing the Photographic pathway in Media Arts.

DT2007 History of Animation
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

In this introductory-level course you will receive a chronological and thematic overview of the history and development of animation through the 20th century. Emphasis will be given to significant animation milestones, with comparative analysis of international and regional, studio and independent, commercial and artistic examples. This course provides a valuable contextual background for other studies in animation, narrative studies, film studies and media theory.

HH1025 World Archaeology
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This course will enable students to rectify a criticism which is often levelled against historians: that the field is becoming increasingly narrow, hyper-specialized, and does not prepare students to grapple with large-scale, long-term changes and processes, and to be able to formulate analogies with case studies from different parts of the world and periods of time. At the end of the course, students will be able to: 1) gain an understanding of the human and natural factors which led to the formation of large political, social, and cultural units in different areas in the world, 2) be able to differentiate superficial short-term processes of change from more profound but subtle evolutionary trajectories by isolating and comparing specific attributes found in case studies derived from different eras, 3) develop processes of reasoning which will enable them to distinguish between necessary and sufficient causal factors, and dependent versus independent variables which fostered the growth of large-scale socio-cultural units with specific geographical correlates and boundaries or frontiers, and be able to explain why these variables differ when discussing the origins of political, technological, economic, or religious institutions and adaptations in various parts of the world, and 4) be able to identify and critique hypotheses and assumptions advanced by some basic works of scholarship dealing with topics on which the course focuses: for example, what constitutes a common long-term evolutionary trend which can be compared across different places and times, and what superficial differences mask or obscure common evolutionary processes between different societies or geographical regions?


HH2125 The World in 12 Objects
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

The World in 12 Objects appropriates an approach through a set of objects to describe and discuss human perception of the past and how divergent perceptions have shaped the histories we write of humans’ place in the world. This course also examines past societies and their practices, traditions, and products. The course focuses on 12 objects over 12 weeks. By examining a single object each week, the course uses different objects as points of entry to discuss different topics examined in archaeology and history such as religion, trade and exchange, communications, migration, urbanization, industry and production, etc. By centering on an object, its properties, form, production, context, and history, the course provides students with the tools to explore history by focusing on the life history (biography) of material items, such as a dinosaur fossil, stone tool, crozier, bronze sword, glass bead, a mummy, Kraak porcelain, or a piece of water pipe etc. 


HH4003 The Silk Road: Old and New
Pre-requisite(s): HH1001 | 4 AUs 

This course introduces you to the history of the Silk Roads in the longue durée.  Through this course, you will become familiar with and understand the major trends, debates, concepts and theories in the history of the Silk Roads, both the overland and the maritime, especially with respect to the role of Southeast Asia and Central Asia in the history of Eurasian exchange in different epochs of global history. You will also be able to apply these concepts, as you analyze and evaluate the different features of Silk Roads from the pre-modern to the modern period.   This course will also allow you to develop and produce new original work in the history of the Silk Roads. 


HH4125 Colonial Archaeology of Southeast Asia
Pre-requisite(s): HH1125 or HH2025 or HH2125 | 4 AUs

Colonial Archaeology of Southeast Asia provides a focused and close examination of the key questions and issues relating to the colonial period, which corresponds to the time frame between 1500 and 1900. In terms of periodization, the period spans the time from the early modern through the modern historical periods of Southeast Asian history. In the course, students gain an understanding of the objectives, tools and sources of archaeology and history. The course also ensures that students continue to be informed by the goals of archaeology defined by its focus on material culture and close link to history, especially in the study of past cultures, societies and technologies of periods when historical documentation was also available. By examining case studies, images, and readings, the course allows the students to build on what they have learned from the other archaeology and historical archaeology courses such as HH1125, HH2025 and HH2125 to interpret and critically evaluate the information presented in this course. Students will learn to identify and discuss key questions, approaches, methods, and sources related to colonial archaeology at the end of the course. In particular, students will acquire the ability to utilize historical archaeology methodology to analyze the sources of colonial and modern Southeast Asia.

HR2002 (DD2003) Issues in Art History and Theory
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

In this course you will be introduced to unique and topical issues related to Art History and Theory. You will explore one or more issues, conduct analysis and exploration, and produce written papers and oral presentations focussed on Art History and Theory that addresses a specific aspect that you have identified. From this course you will develop a select set of knowledge and critical tools that you will be able to apply to further research in related Art Historical or Theoretical topics.

HR2005 (DD2009) Survey of New Media
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This course is designed for students who’ve already taken foundational Art History and is an introduction to the history and development of contemporary artistic practices under the spectrum of New Media. The starting point for the course is the situation where fine arts expanded from traditional forms into a new aesthetical condition. The course also analyses a number of concepts from Cultural Studies that have found a meaningful field in New Media. These studies and discourses will provide a strong knowledge-base for taking further Art History modules that focus on art and technology, as well as being applicable for advanced projects in design, interaction and animation.

HR3001 (DD3008) Cities, Bodies, Memories, Art and Everyday Life In Contemporary Singapore

Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

Starting from the city as a spectacle, in this course you will explore how the Everyday in a city provides authentic experience and how artists approach it. Through a range of artistic methods you will learn about the cultural and social fabric of Singapore as a generic and poetic city, a place of shared desires and memories. You will explore architectures of the Everyday from two perspectives: "city as text" and "city as body". Through these two distinct forms of interpretation

and interaction — reading and writing — you will engage with the phenomenon Future Asian City as a performative socio-political space and the practices it evokes in art, education, and media. 


HR3002 (DD3010) Issues in Global Contemporary Art
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This course will introduce you to an overview of selected key concepts and problems that characterize contemporary art as a platform for the production of critical thinking. You will learn about the significance of current trends and topics in the field of contemporary art history, particularly in Singapore and the Southeast Asian region. This course will provide a foundation for advanced studies in contemporary art history and theory. 


DF2002 Survey of Experimental Filmmaking
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This lecture course will introduce you to the history and diversity of experimental filmmaking. By comparing and contrasting different developments and formats of filmic experiments you will be able to gain a deeper insight in the development of different forms and artistic strategies, develop skills for a critical approach to film in general and relate specific ideas from the experimental field to the dynamics in classical narrative cinema. This means that you will learn to analyse experimental film forms, relate the specific knowledge to other contexts, and apply these methods to other filmic concepts and theories. This learning will give a historical and theoretical basis for practical film-making projects, as well as future research in Film Studies.


DF2006 Ethnographic Film
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This foundation level course aims to introduce you to the historic developments and discussions in relation to ethnographic film and visual anthropology. It will give you a solid understanding of a continuously evolving debates that have significantly changed our understanding of this specific field of filmmaking. The seminar will introduce you to key texts and films that have influenced the discussion. In this way, this module offers to you a solid foundation for further studies in diverse fields like for example film, visual media, ethnography, social studies or anthropology.


DD3012 Methods in Art & Design
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This advanced level course will introduce you to theories and methods of art and design research. You will use these methods to investigate different ways of interrogating the theoretical, sociological, and contextual aspects of design to generate insights that can inform your design process and practice. This learning aims to fine-tune your research skills and forms the research foundation for your future research studies.


HH3001 Historiography: Theory and Methods
Pre-requisite(s): HH1001 | 3 AUs

What IS history? Who is to say? Can historians ever write “objective” histories? What is lost and gained in the process of turning the traces of a messy past into neatly woven narratives? Are historians unfairly imposing the questions of the present on the past? What is the role of the nation in history-writing today? Is the writing of history ultimately a power game that ensures the dominance of those who possess it? Why do particular books come to be considered ‘classics’? Why do certain types of history become influential at particular moments of time? How have historians questioned and critiqued the power dynamics of their discipline? In an age in which information is widely available, are we in a sense all historians or should the practice be left to those trained at universities and well-versed in the art of using footnotes? In the digital age, what is the value of the written document as a historical source? What can past approaches to the writing of history teach us about what it means to be a historian today?  

This course will provide answers to these and many other questions pertaining to the craft of the historian. Building on the basic skills acquired in HH1001: What is History, this course offers a more advanced introduction to the theories and methodologies underpinning the historical discipline. We will discuss issues of class, race, gender, colonialism, knowledge creation, and globalization in relation to 20th century historiography. Each week we will explore a different approach to history, such as: the Annales ‘school,’ Marxism, social history, post-structuralism, gender history, post-colonialism, oral history and transnational history, among others. For each historical approach, we will look at one or two important or illustrative historical works and contextualize their contribution to wider historical and theoretical debates through reading relevant secondary sources. 


HH4021 Public and Applied History
Pre-requisite(s): HH1001 | 4 AUs

Experimental, problem-focused and socially useful, HH4021 offers a unique opportunity to reach out from beyond the walls of the NTU classroom. It is a course that will ground you in both the various methodological practices, and professional contexts, of Public History. It begins by thinking about the ways in which our understandings of the past, and the uses it is put to, are shaped by the present. We move on to address how the past is encountered imaginatively, through objects and in the media. HH4021 will push you to find ways of applying historical methodologies to non-academic contexts, to evaluate the way in which these methodologies are applied and to reflect on the ethical, methodological and intellectual consequences of making historical knowledge ‘useable’. 

HR2009 (DD2014) Contemporary Curating

Prerequisites: DD1003 OR DD1004 | 3 AUs

This course will introduce you to the basic precepts of contemporary curating. You will learn about the history of exhibitions, compare museum and independent curatorial approaches, and examine contexts/conditions specific to the curating of contemporary art, particularly in Singapore and the Southeast Asia region. This course is a foundation for further studies in curating practice and museum studies.


HR2010 (DD2015) Introduction to Museum Studies

Prerequisites: DD1003 | 3 AUs

This course begins with medieval European treasuries and the Renaissance cabinet of curiosities that led to the birth of museums in the nineteenth-century. It also examines museums that were established in both the West and the East during the period of high colonialism. In addition to exploring issues about collecting and displaying, students will also learn about museum education. Mid-term and final projects will be centered round studying and reporting on current display patterns and educational practices in Singapore museums, and developing educational resources/programs for various age groups from preschoolers to adults. Lectures will be enhanced by guest speakers from the world of museums. Field trips to local museums will be required.

HR4001 (DD4002) Exhibition Histories: Museums to Biennales

Prerequisites: DD1003 OR DD1004 | 4 AUs

This intermediary level seminar course will introduce you to the global history of exhibitions from the
1960s to the present, with particular attention given to how curatorial and artistic practices have
influenced exhibitions in the context of museums and biennials. This learning forms the foundation
for further studies in curating, cultural heritage, and museums, and also offers you an introductory
understanding of graduate coursework in the Masters in Museum Studies and Curatorial Practice
program at NTU. 

DA2004 Exhibition Design

Prerequisites: Nil | 3 AUs

This studio-based course is an introduction to design principles and methodologies that are relevant to exhibition making today. It exposes you to art galleries and museum environments and it is designed to develop an understanding of the synergy between designing in space and forming interpretative narratives. You will also learn how to present artworks in space and articulate their meaning.


DD2013 Visualization of Cultural Heritage

Prerequisites: Nil | 3 AUs

This course will introduce you to the different stages of visualising an object for cultural heritage
processing. This course is composed of acquiring the basic theoretical skills and the function of the
equipment to be used. A second part is when academic skills are translated into an actual project by
converting theory into practice. The course will give you the tools to develop your skills using real
specimens related to cultural heritage. You will be presented with a broad range of techniques to
analyse and document the biography of an example. This learning will provide the foundation for

more advanced investigations into cultural heritage and technology.


DD3027 Maritime Silk Roads: Heritage & Media

Prerequisites: Nil | 3 AUs

In this course, you will adopt a multicultural approach to heritage and media in contemporary and future global societies to discuss the maritime silk roads "as a metaphor for the on-going flow of [goods,] ideas and knowledge in Afro-Eurasia, which in turn contribute to the reconfiguration of global economic and diplomatic relationships" (van der Ploeg, J. - G. A. Persoon & H. Liu, p. 6). This course will challenge the monocultural bias of common perceptions and expand your awareness towards a multicultural perspective. This broader knowledge will provide a valuable contribution to other studies of the Afro-Eurasia context.


HH1125 History and Archaeology: An Introduction
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

History and Archaeology: An Introduction provides a comprehensive overview of the development of two closely related fields of study: history and archaeology. In the course, students gain an understanding of the objectives, tools and sources of archaeology and history and how the similarities in the two disciplines provided the basis for the establishment of historical archaeology as a field of study in the United States in the mid-20th century. Since then the field has expanded to other parts of the world including Africa, Europe, and Australia. The course introduces students to the history of archaeology defined by its focus on material culture, and how its development intersects with history, especially in the study of past cultures, societies and technologies of periods when historical documentation was also available. The course begins with a diachronic survey of the relations between history and archaeology before narrowing its focus to the specific development of historical archaeology in North America and its impact on other parts of the world, especially Asia. By examining case studies, images, and readings, the course helps students to acquire elementary skills to interpret the information presented in the course. Students will learn to identify and discuss key questions, approaches, methods, and sources used in historical archaeology at the end of the course. 


HH4005 Culture and Heritage: Perspectives from History
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 4 AUs

This course contributes to the History programme’s offerings in Interdisciplinary History. It will expand your knowledge of the debates surrounding the preservation and contestation of heritage and culture. It provides practice in the analysis of historical sources, historiography, as well as in written and oral expression. This course explores the distinction between authentic and inauthentic distinctions, and examines the impact of globalization and commercialization on heritage sites and practices around the world.​ ​

HR2006 (DD2010) Modern & Contemporary Chinese Art
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This course will introduce you to developments in the visual arts from the late Qing dynasty in the early 20th century to the present day post-Mao era, against the broad context of China’s tumultuous socio-political history. You will examine a broad range of visual materials, from Chinese woodblock prints to contemporary art, photography, architecture and design, towards identifying and understanding major themes and critical issues in Chinese art. This course will complement courses in other Asian art histories and Chinese literature. It will also provide a basis for further in-depth studies in Chinese art, history and culture.


HR2007 (DD2011) Contemporary Southeast Asian Art
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

In this course you will explore the development of contemporary art across Southeast Asia from the 1970s to the present, contextualised within the region’s complex socio-political history. Covering Singapore and countries beyond, visual forms of all media, including installation, performance, and video are examined to understand how artists from economically and politically diverse regional societies have produced pieces revealing transregionally-connected expressive approaches specific to Southeast Asia. Through artwork analysis, in tandem with critical reading of assigned texts, you will develop visual literacy of regional contemporary art (particularly its themes and audience-engaging methods), and access to the art historical debates that distinguish Southeast Asian contemporary art in the global contemporary art arena.


HR3006 (DD3024) The Modern and Modernism in Southeast Asian Art
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

An intermediate-level course for further studies in fields related to Southeast Asian art (curatorial studies, museum studies, art criticism and art history, for example), this course on 20th -century Southeast Asian art seeks to outline the historical development of modern art this region. Building on knowledge of premodern Southeast Asian art acquired in DD2000, it seeks to introduce you to the artistic expressions of the modern and modernism in Southeast Asia, and to familiarise you with the actors, agents and art historical narratives and to engage you in thinking critically about the art histories of Southeast Asia.


HR3007 (DD3025) Japanese Art: Edo to Contemporary
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This survey course will introduce you to developments in Japanese art from the Edo period (17th century) to contemporary. You will examine a broad range of visual materials, from Japanese woodblock prints to contemporary art, photography, architecture and design, in order to identify and understand major themes and critical issues in Japanese art. This course will complement courses in other Asian art histories and Japanese literature. It will also provide a basis for further in-depth studies in Japanese art, history and culture.


HR3009 19th Century Southeast Asian Art: Interactions and Refractions
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This course examines the emergences of modern art in Southeast Asia during the long 19th century (that is, from around the late 1700s to around the early 1900s). In the course, we will study the historical development of modern art in the region, with a special focus on the plural interactions that fuelled transformations in artistic expression during this period, and the ways in which art selectively adapted and refracted aesthetics, techniques and ideas found in art from other parts of the world. The interactions include intra-regional exchanges, for example between Islamic communities in Southeast Asia; as well as extra-regional exchanges, including with East and South Asia, the Arab World, and also with the colonial powers of Western Europe and North America. Together, we will critically examine competing narratives about the development of modern art in Southeast Asia. The course is an intermediate-level course which lays a basis for your further studies and professional endeavours in fields related to modern art (including, for example: contemporary art, curatorial studies, museum studies, art criticism and art history). Building on your knowledge of premodern Western and Asian art, this course seeks to introduce you to key artistic expressions of modernity and modernism in Southeast Asia, and to the interactions between modernity and colonialism as expressed in and shaped by art. In the course you will be engaged in thinking critically about competing narratives of the development of modern art in Southeast Asia. 


HR4003 (DD4008) From Colonialism to Tourism: Early Photography in Asia
Pre-requisite(s): DD1004 or DD2000 | 4 AUs

This course introduces you to the relationships between photography, colonialism, and tourism in nineteenth-century Asia. You will examine how photographic images participated as discursive objects in various contexts for different purposes and mediums. You will study a diverse range of images produced by western and local photographers that document and interpret Asia. Through museum visits and conversations with curators, you will develop and refine skills in fieldwork research in preparation for your final-year project.


HH2025 The World of Southeast Asia to 1600
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs 

This course examines the relationship between art, archaeology, and history in ancient Southeast Asia. This course spans the period from prehistory until 1600 which marks the approximate point when Southeast Asian polities and cultures began to change as a result of the forces of early colonialism. The course readings cover conventional themes in Southeast Asian ancient history. Topics include “Indianisation” (or Sanskritisation as some scholars prefer to term it) in connection with Hindu and Buddhist concepts of kingship, processes of urbanisation and state formation, networks of communications and trade, and their impact on the development of intellectual ideas, religious practices, art and architecture; and comparisons between the ideas of earlier Southeast Asian historians and new perspectives. This course will end with new data from the field by archaeologists and other scholars. There will also be discussions about whether the data support or refute established notions of the Southeast Asian past.


HH2030 Ascetics and Aesthetics of Medieval Japan (previous course title: Ancient and Medieval Japan)

Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs 

The course is a social and intellectual history of pre-modern Japan, mapping both institutional shifts and the distinct cultures that emerged in the early Buddhist temple complexes of ancient Nara, in women’s quarters of the Heian court of Kyoto, in the medieval capital of Kamakura, among the samurai of the Warring States Period and in the tea houses and pleasure districts of Edo (early Tokyo). The course will engage the Japanese experience from a wide range of thematic and cultural perspectives. Themes will include political and military cultures, the machinations of court intrigue, the brilliant and melancholy literary productions of aristocratic women, the rise of a Buddhist intelligentsia, and the emergence of the high arts that have come to define what we all know and love about Japanese culture today.


HH3023 Burma/Myanmar: A History
Pre-requisite(s): HH1001 or HH1003 or HH1008 | 3 AUs 

Burma/Myanmar: A History introduces you to the development of cultures, peoples, polities, and societies which occupy the territory of what constitutes the modern nation-state of Myanmar. The course draws materials from archaeology, history, and art history. By drawing case studies, examples, images and readings, the course helps you to acquire elementary skills to interpret the information you learn in the class meetings. Once you can identify and contrast available data, you will be able to compose historical narratives surveying and evaluating societies and peoples of Burma/Myanmar from ancient times to the present day. Discussion about the case studies is significant because the sites examined formed the early connecting nodes of what might have been an extensive network of technology transfer along the north-south and east-west corridors linking China and India via mainland Southeast Asia. You will also learn what sources are available, how scholars used these sources, and how they come to write the essays they wrote.

HR3005 (DD3023) The Fantastic in Western Visual Arts
Pre-requisite(s): DD1004 | 3 AUs 

This course introduces you to a history of 'fantasy' in Western art. The nature, concepts and practice of fantastic art is explored through a series of artistic-historical periods, movements and individuals. A diversity of notions of 'fantasy' is addressed within different socio-political and historical contexts in which they were produced. This historical survey serves as a grounding for the understanding of the fantastic genre in today's artistic and media culture, which will be of use for further studies in Western Art History, as well as illustrators and animators who wish to specialize in the genre of the `fantastic'.

HR4002 (DD4007) British Art: 1815 - 1929
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 4 AUs 

The intermediate level course charts the evolution of British painting, sculpture, architecture and music from Wellington's victory at Waterloo in 1815 to the Wall Street Crash in 1929. Within this pivotal, long century, Britain experienced high social disruption. British art responded in kind: from the conservative canvases of Victorians at the Royal Academy to the Modernist abstractions of the Rebel Art Centre; and from the painters of the Great War caught within a doomed generation to the dance halls of The Roaring Twenties in the West End of London? We have been bequeathed priceless artefacts from this century of change. This course observes, analyses and assesses the role of art and artists within this rapidly evolving society and is of value for students engaged in the study of art history and the British world in the 19th and early 20th century.


DF2005 Writing for Film
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs 

This course is designed to introduce you to fiction film screenwriting. It covers the professional practice of developing, writing and rewriting short film scripts in a collaborative, workshop environment. Upon completing this course, you will have significantly developed your practice in preparation for future screenwriting projects.


DF2005 Writing for Film
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs 

This course is designed to introduce you to fiction film screenwriting. It covers the professional practice of developing, writing and rewriting short film scripts in a collaborative, workshop environment. Upon completing this course, you will have significantly developed your practice in preparation for future screenwriting projects.


HL2007 Contemporary Literature and Culture  
Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This course seeks to investigate various fictional images of an oft-tumultuous contemporary world from the mid twentieth century to the present. The contemporary is multi-faceted and represents a truly cosmopolitan series of landscapes and contemporary authors are alert to the strains of contemporary music, influenced by film and television, conscious of the prevalence of visual imagery. Many contemporary authors engage with the relativisation of various kinds of values and we will closely consider the ways in which this tendency continually resurfaces.


HL2009 Southeast Asian Literature and Culture
Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This module approaches its topic through a variety of selected writings in English or in English translation. Largely that of women’s writings, texts to be studied range from the non-fictional such as letters and biographies, to poetry, short stories and novels from various countries in the region – Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and the Philippines. Situating the writings in their respective socio-cultural, political and historical contexts, the course will discuss issues such as the conditions of literary production and reception; whether the description “Southeast Asian” is merely a geographical category, culturally embedded, or a valid and significant construct based on a shared, and in the case of the women’s writings, a gendered “Southeast Asian women’s” experience. The course will examine the extent to which the experience was precipitated by colonial and postcolonial urgencies; the extent to which these women’s narratives, and representations of their experience are feminist, and inescapably inscribed by patriarchal structures; and the usefulness of Western feminist and postcolonial theories in approaching these texts.


HL2015 War in Literature and Film
Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This course considers the manner in which art responds to war, and the ways in which war and violence are appropriated in both aesthetic and critical discourse. We will examine the centrality of war to human and civilisational experience, and also consider the conditions of inevitability that bind human experience to a deep-seated violent impulse. Issues raised by this course include, but are not confined to: the structural constitution of war the differences and similarities between war and violence the inherent ambivalence of war semantics, rhetorics and discourse of war artistic expression of war experience as ambiguating gesture Just War or just war visual vs textual representations.


HL2044 Introduction to Publishing
Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

Introduction to Publishing is taught by guest instructors from the field of publishing.  It will introduce you to the economic, legal, and social factors that influence which texts are published and how those texts circulate.  You will consider publishing from a range of perspectives, including authors, editors, and the publishers themselves, and think about the role of publishing in disseminating culture and information.

This course combines theoretical and practical approaches.  You will learn how literary productions are shaped by figures and forces beyond the author.  You will also consider how the skills you learn as English students relate to various roles in the field of publishing, whether as an author, an editor, a publicist, or a marketing professional. 

Although this course will consider a range of different types of publishing, it will pay specific attention to contemporary Singapore. 


HL3001 Film Theory
Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 OR FL8001 min 'B' grade | 3 AUs
Does the cinema most resemble the stage, a painting, or a photograph? When is it like poetry? When do we treat it like a novel or short story? What is the relationship between cinema, television, video, digital arts, and other moving images? What sort of machine is it? Is it more like a picture frame, window on the world, mystic writing pad, or a mirror? Does it function like a language, an address, a puzzle, or a provocation? How should we examine it in terms of narrative, apparatus, and ideology? In terms of image and sound, style, genre, the film artist, and audience reception? What is the relationship between the cinema and democracy? These have been the primary questions throughout the history of film theory and will be the key concerns of this module. It seeks to introduce students to the history and debates of film theory from its beginnings to the contemporary period. Students will be exposed to various ways of addressing films and writing about the cinema, including formalist and realist theories, cultural studies approaches to cinema, semiotics, auteur theory, genre and star analysis, ideological critiques, and apparatus theory. Screenings will include examples from early cinema, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Potemkin, Man with a Movie Camera, Bicycle Thieves, Perfumed Nightmare, Battle of Algiers, Citizen Kane, Rear Window, and Weekend.
HL3003 Film & Literature
Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 OR FL8001 min 'B' grade | 3 AUs

This course is about more than just literature adaptations. In what ways, we shall ask, are texts transformed from one genre to another? If turning a book into a film is perhaps the most obvious form of what we understand under adaptation and what we conceive of as the most often expected link between literature and film, how do films impact on how we read? How does film adaptation feature in fiction, for example? In this module, we shall critically analyse the shifting, ambiguous, and yet creative, two-way relationship between film and literature.
HL3036 The History of the Book
Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This course explores the influence of the book as a force in history and literature from the medieval period to the present. It will include hans-on examination of books and manuscript fragments as well as discussion of books as objects, social forces and vehicles for text.
HL3038 Theatre of the Absurd
Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

Martin Esslin coined Theatre of the Absurd to group together a substantial number of post-World War II dramatic works that questioned realism and challenged the conventional dramatic form.' There was no Absurdist movement, and most playwrights whom we consider Absurdists did not identify themselves as such. Nevertheless, the designation is useful to begin thinking about their shared concern for what it means to be human in a time of social and political upheaval. You will be provoked to consider this central question as you learn more about the playwrights' dramatizations of habit, time, humour and suffering. The course will train you to close read Absurdist plays, and develop an appreciation for theirI destabilising effects on actors and the audience member. By the end of the course, you are expected to be able to differentiate between the social, historical,philosophical factors that affect the writing and production of absurdist drama. The seminar format will facilitate discussions as you share your reading, viewing, and performance/staging experiences with the class. Course Content The discomfort and frustration evoked by the Theatre of the Absurd force character(s) and the audience to confront the question, "What does it mean to be human?" Each week, we will look closely at one play, and if a recording of a production is available, we will view snippets in class to give you an idea of how each play could be staged. You will also perform scenes from the play in 1, class. The course will provoke you to consider what it means to be human as we look closely at absurdist portrayals of habit, time, humour and suffering. 
HL3043 Modernist Soundscapes
Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

While the Western world may not have gotten noisier in the early twentieth century, there is evidence that people perceived the world as noisier. This course explores how modernist writers represented this soundscape. How did they make their narratives sound out? How did the changing soundscape influence and shape their representations of sound and listening?  


HL3044 The Legends of King Arthur
Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

Who was King Arthur, and how did he evolve into the household name that he is today? Where did the legends of his knights originate, and how did they develop over time? How widespread were the Arthurian legends across medieval Europe, and what made them so appealing to authors of English literature in more recent centuries? These are some of the questions to be explored on this module, which surveys the long development of several of the major narratives involving King Arthur and his knights, stretching from their medieval origins to modern literary adaptations. The first half of the module focusses on medieval texts, all of which will be studied in translation. You will gain an understanding of the generic, stylistic and thematic individuality of these medieval texts, as well as an awareness of the ways in which each text reflects the composer’s explorations of the fundamental moral questions underpinning themes such as chivalric heroism and romantic love. The second half of the module turns towards modern reception, and here you will explore the changing significance and reimaginations of the Arthurian tradition in the nearer past. As Arthurian adaptations and reinventions continue to be produced and to occupy the public consciousness in the twenty-first century, this module seeks to offer you a sense of the enduring qualities of the legends of the ‘once and future king’.


HL4009 Popular Literature and Culture
Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 4 AUs

This module introduces the theoretical question of the relationship between ‘literature and serious culture’ to the (less-literary) study of ‘popular culture’. The module examines the following key terms (& sets of oppositions): (i) high culture vs. low culture; (ii) pop culture vs. popular (or mass) culture (the 2 terms are not the same); (iii) popular culture as resistance vs. ‘pop’/‘mass’ culture as consumption; and (iv) class and popular culture.


HL4014 Advanced Studies in Film
Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 OR FL8001 min ‘B’ grade | 4 AUs

What do films do? Why do they affect us the way they do? How do they make us think and act differently after we have experienced them? In this course, we will compare and contrast a number of films and philosophies to see what light their intersections and divergences shed on these questions. We will consider how the cinema relates to reality and how the cinema creates its own reality. As well, we will consider if any reality translates across time and space. We will examine the impact of filmic sound and vision on viewers? selves, consciousness, reactive thought processes, writing, and overall worldview. We will consider film theories and philosophies from classical, modern, and contemporary periods, and a large number of films from around the globe from the beginnings of filmmaking to today. In the end with luck and patience we will understand better what happens at the interface of the cinema and its audience/viewers.
HL4024 Advanced Studies in Contemporary Literature
Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 4 AUs

This module seeks to investigate various fictional images of the contemporary world. The contemporary, as it appears in the novels on this course, is multi-faceted and represents a truly cosmopolitan series of landscapes. These authors are alert to the strains of contemporary music, influenced by film and television, conscious of the prevalence of visual imagery in society and are keenly aware of the multi-racial/religious natures of their cities and towns. Contemporary British writers are deeply aware of international intellectual and artistics developments and the sheer variety of narrative approaches testify to the major contributions made by recent writers to the contemporary novel. Thus, it is possible to consider their work as representative of contemporary European society, while being conscious of profound threads of connection with the idea of the contemporary beyond the borders of Britain.


HL4040 Literature and Art
Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 (HL3023 and HL4040 are mutually exclusive) | 4 AUs

HL4040 explores connections between literature and painting. It focuses on four major issues: (1) the similarities and differences between works belonging to each of these genres; (2) the manner in which literary text responds to visual texts (3) the principle of literature as an art form (4) art and representation (and it’s opposite non-representation).


HL4041 Studies in Art Criticism and Culture
Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 4 AUs

It will provide a historical survey of art criticism’s development and introduce different critical approaches to writing about art and culture. The course focuses on (1) historical origins and modern development of art criticism (2) concepts, theories and philosophies underpinning major schools/bodies of thought in art criticism (3) the relationship between text and works of art/film/architecture (4) developing an approach to critical thinking and writing about art and culture. 

HH4015 Film: A Global History
Pre-requisite(s): HH1001 | 4 AUs

Two ideas animate this course: firstly that film was the major international cultural form of the twentieth century. Secondly, that historians of the twentieth century need to be able to deal with sources beyond the textual. HH4015 brings together these two ideas by grounding students in key debates about the history, aesthetics and philosophy of film. It also challenges students to take advantage of the recent mass film digitization programmes of the early twenty-first century – the aim being to give you the skills, experience and confidence to produce historical arguments with visual sources. 


HY4007 Aesthetics 
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 4 AUs

This course exposes students to core questions in aesthetics and the philosophy of art, and features readings from a range of contemporary and historical sources. Topics to be considered include the definition of art, the nature of aesthetic experience, the relation between art and truth, aesthetic expression, etc. You will evaluate the persuasiveness of competing definitions of art and the aesthetic, and will familiarize yourself with different methodological approaches for the study of aesthetic objects, experiences, and institutions.