Course Description

Principles and History of Art III (IFA 3202) explores the different mythological, symbolical, spiritual(Animism,Fetishism,Divination,Sorcery,witchcraft, blackmagic,white magic, cults, and occultism), political, economic and cultural way of life (i.e. material culture which ultimately defines ones cultural identity) of indigenous African civilizations and societies. Critical examination is done in order to establish the impact that the opening up of the African continent to external cultures and beliefs had on such societies.

The study of the material culture in selected African civilizations and societies that date from the 17th century to date will be the main focus of this course. Surveys of their ‘art’, the designing and crafting processes are studied with emphasis on African sculpture, masks, utilitarian/functional art and architecture. The elements that created social cohesion in these societies, such as their myths, legends, taboos, cultural norms and practices, spiritual beliefs and ancestral worship are comprehensively analyzed since they are the reason Africa’s art and culture exists.

The relevance of sustainability and or change and the consequences of such cultural practices in light of the current time and age are analyzed. Parallels and similarities between different African civilizations and societies are studied.

This course is part of a continuous study of the History of Art that starts from the Prehistoric era, in the first year of undergraduate study, through to other art eras such as the Egyptian, Greek and Roman Civilizations, the Gothic and Renaissance period among others.

This is a core course and is meant to service the practical and studio based courses (electives) by way of sensitizing artists about the possibilities of exploring avenues for inspirational concepts and themes, application of art and design techniques derived from traditional creative approaches to their studio based practical courses and projects.

Course Objective/Aims

  • Give students broader perspective on the general cultural and socio-religious context of the history of art.(Through art and cultural issues as described in the course content of semester two)
  • Enable students identify, analyze and appreciate any work of art or architecture irrespective of it’s time and place in the echelons of African art history.
  • Develop student’s written linguistic skills and ability and to enhance students oral skills and ability to adequately present one self in a dialogue.(Through projects researched on course related subjects and issues which are presented as PowerPoint’s)
  • Provoke students into further independent inquiry and analysis.(Through research on given assignments and projects)
  • Encourage independent judgment and objective criticism.(Through discussions, contributions of ideas and appraisal of each groups PowerPoint presentations)
  • Develop student’s intellectual and imaginative skills and power of creative thinking.
Attachment Name Attachment Type
Principles And History Of Art 111 IFA 3202 DOC PDF PS