Art, Society, & Culture

ARTH 250/3.0

An introduction to the social conditions and cultural movements that shaped European visual art of the nineteenth century in its global context. The course will stress the tension between modernity and anti-modernism as well as competing views on the very nature of visual art.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes


  • of the social, political, cultural and technological developments of the period
  • of the 19th century Western art movements
  • of artists, their styles and artisitc interests
  • of issues relating to the categorization of the visual arts


  • of how social, political and technological factors affect the visual arts
  • of the non-linear development of the visual arts
  • of the factors contributing to the categorization of the visual arts


  • development of skill in historical analysis
  • development of crtical thinking skills
  • development of skill in formal analysis
  • development of writing skills


  • Introduction to Art, Society and Culture
  • Art & Politics
  • New Approaches to the Natural World
  • Realism and the Rise of the Middle Class
  • Urbanization and the Concept of "Modernity"
  • Exoticism and the Rise of Colonialism
  • Medievalism and Social Reform
  • New Ways of Seeing


This online course is an introduction to the social conditions and cultural movements that shaped nineteenth-century European visual arts in their global context. Two main themes will be stressed:  1) the tension between modernity and anti-modernism and 2) competing views on the very nature of the visual arts.  The dramatic social and political developments of the period were reflected in diverse cultural movements, some of which embraced change while others rejected it and looked to the past for artistic models.  Closely related to these cultural movements was the fundamental question of what comprised the visual arts.  For example, increased exposure to non-Western visual culture through colonization challenged European assumptions about art.

Although the course material is organized chronologically, it does not present a comprehensive survey of nineteenth-century European art.  Rather, emphasis will be placed on the social, political and cultural context of specific aspects of the visual arts of the period.  The course will be divided into eight units, most of which will be covered in either one or two week blocks.  Within each unit, material is subdivided into two or more topics of varying length. Topics to be discussed include, but are not limited to, the following:  Revolutionary and Napoleonic Propaganda, Industrialization and the English Countryside, The Harem and the Mosque, and the Arts and Crafts Movement.


Fall 2016
Course Dates: 
Sept 12 - Dec 2, 2016
Exam Dates: 


Essay 130%
Ex. Assignment30%
5 Quizzes20%
4 Discussion Forums20%

**Evaluation Subject to Change**


Professor Jane Russell Corbett (

Instructor message

ARTH 250 provides an introduction to the social conditions and cultural movements that shaped nineteenth-century European visual arts in their global context. It is a new art history course and I’m excited to be teaching it! The course is designed for both future art history majors as well as for those of you who are simply interested in learning more about western art.

Time Commitment

Students can expect to spend approximately 10 hours a week in study and online activity for ARTH 250.

Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.

About OnQ

OnQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into Moodle to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the OnQ site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

  • Laptop or Desktop computer purchased within the last 5 years. (mobile devices are not supported)
  • Windows Vista SP2/Mac OSX 10.9 or higher
  • Up to date versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari. Please note that Google Chrome is not recommended for use in our courses.
  • Most recent version of Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash

 See also Getting Started.


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Upcoming Application Dates section.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for 2016-17 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Canadian students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $648.40; for a 6.0-unit course, $1296.80. See also Tuition and Fees.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.