Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Readings In Duchamp: Anti-Art, Blasphemy, Sexuality HISTART5056

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The course examines the career and work of Marcel Duchamp, with close attention to his links to Cubism, Dada and Surrealism.


Two hours per week, lectures and seminars.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level.


Essay (4,000 words) 80%

Oral presentation (15 mins) 20%

Course Aims

This course aims to:

- introduce students to the full range of art historical and critical literature on Duchamp (primarily in English).

- develop an account of the 'transgressive' aspects of Duchamp's practice in the light of three key areas: (1) Anti-Art (2) Anti-religion and Blasphemy (3) Gender and sexuality.

- ensure that students have a comprehensive knowledge of Duchamp's output in its historical, social and cultural contexts.

foster research skills appropriate to the study of this field of study (including transferable research and presentational skills).

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

On completion of the course students should be able to:

Critically evaluate the various art historical and critical approaches adopted in the Duchamp literature.

Marshall aspects of primary and secondary research in order to evalu
ate Duchamp's activities in three key areas: (1) Anti-art (2) Blasphemy and anti-Catholicism (3) Questioning of attitudes towards gender and the body.

Understand the range of Duchamp's work in the contexts of Dada, Surrealism and post-war art, as well as
in terms of its links with thematic areas such as hermeticism, scientific thought and popular culture.

Articulate their views on the above in written and verbal form making use of appropriate academic conventions.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.