Global Art History

Ref: C2423021

This course encourages students to approach art history from a global perspective, challenging and even revising some of the narratives told by the Eurocentric stories of the development of art. Starting from Renaissance Europe and its Europe, Venice, we will examine what happened to art objects that moved between cultures before moving on to the eighteenth and nineteenth century and analysing the imprint of imperialism and colonialism on art produced both in Britain and its colonies. The course ends with a discussion on colonial legacies in modern and contemporary art, the constant interaction between art and politics, and the role of arts and cultural institutes in the current post-colonial debate. Apart from studying and analysing artworks and their creators, we will also engage with critical and scholarly debates on art history in the global context.

Course aim

This course will introduce the story of art objects from around the globe, from the fifteenth century to the present day. It focuses on inter-cultural exchanges and challenges the Eurocentric narrative of art history.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for improvers
  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Develop an appreciation for and understanding of the diverse cultural and inter-cultural contexts in which artworks were produced and interpreted.
  • Gain knowledge of important artistic practices and phenomena shaped by key cultural exchanges between the fifteenth century and the present day.
  • Demonstrate some knowledge of interpreting artworks from different approaches and using the accurate and appropriate terminology.
  • Develop some understanding of scholarly approaches used in relation to studying art history from a global perspective.
  • Demonstrate some independence in producing evidence-based arguments, critically analysing artworks, and conducting research on the theme of global art history.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam to use our video learning platform, Zoom. You will need a personal email address to join the WEA’s digital learning platform to resources, record your progress and achievement and work with others.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Global Art History


This course is funded by the Greater London Combined Authority but is also open to residents of other areas.

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact

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