Postgraduate Diploma Course in Aesthetics, Criticism and Theory (ACT) | Postgraduate Certificate Course in Aesthetics, Criticism and Theory (ACT)

Aesthetics, Criticism and Theory (ACT)

Image: Homestead, Fletcher Williams III, 2018
Materials: Tin Roof, Picket Fence, Interior Wood Paneling, and Rebar
Dimensions: 44 x 44 x 84 in.

JPM’s intensive postgraduate certificate course in Aesthetics, Criticism and Theory (ACT) provides students with a rigorous introduction to art history, criticism, aesthetics, critical theory, and contemporary art practice. In-depth seminars at the institute are complemented by film screenings, studio, gallery and museum visits, ensuring a thorough engagement with a breadth of artistic praxes and institutions of the art world. For the duration of the course, students can expect to have three to four sessions per week, both at JPM and across the city.

ACT begins with classes on aesthetics in Western philosophy with careful attention to Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hegel and Foucault. We then move to an analysis of how the discipline of art history and the practice of art criticism emerged and transformed over time. Students survey the field of art history and criticism in South Asia in relation to developments in the West. These survey lectures will be followed by a week long seminar on ‘Shock and Awe: The Sublime in the 18th and 19th Century’. The second month of the course also includes a critical writing workshop, allowing the students to practice and engage with a variety of forms for writing about art.

The second section of the course is devoted to the foundations of critical theory with close readings of Marx, Lefebvre and the Frankfurt School, followed by seminars on ‘the many lives of images’ and ‘spaces of colonial and postcolonial modernity’. These seminars prepare students for the final section, which puts theory into direct engagement with practice. Inviting practitioners that consciously move between disciplines, institutions, pedagogy, curating and diverse forms of making and exhibiting, students are exposed to a range of contemporary creative processes.

Seminars on modernism, modernity and postmodernism open the final month of the course. These classes provide tools with which to address and understand contemporary art. Engaging with thinkers such as Geeta Kapur, Arjun Appadurai, Laura Mulvey, TJ Clark, Arthur Danto, Paul Gilroy, Abigail Solomon-Godeau, WJT Mitchell, and Jacques Ranciere, among many others, students enter the charged debates that follow from key moments in art history marked by texts such as When Was Modernism and The Black Atlantic. Classes on documentary practice, histories of photography and video art, and the unpacking of recent transmedia exhibitions like When is Space (Jawahar Kala Kendra, 2018) and The Boat is Leaking. The Captain Lied. (Fondazione Prada, 2017) accompany these seminars.

Throughout the course, students engage with the oeuvres of select painters, sculptors, architects, as well as video, performance, sound, digital and multimedia artists. ACT brings the very best faculty of scholars and practitioners from our city, India, and abroad; those experienced in pedagogy that tacks between lecture, discussion, close reading, seeing, and writing. ACT students are introduced to ideas and histories that allow them to develop and evolve their own academic research, writing, and professional interests in the visual arts world imaginatively.

Learning how to read, think and write critically are an essential part of the course. The history of aesthetics and the history of art, media and technology go hand in hand. Scholars have carefully selected texts, films, exhibitions and artists for each session and much of this material is available to the students on our online learning management portal, JPM Think. Students are expected to come to class well-prepared.

Lecture Schedule

4 February 2020 - Tuesday
1) Introduction
- Ms. Alisha Sett

5 February 2020 - Wednesday
2) Plato’s Republic
- Prof. Arun Iyer

6 February 2020 - Thursday
3) Aristotle’s Poetics
- Prof. Arun Iyer

11 February 2020 - Tuesday
4) Kant’s Critique of Judgment
- Prof. Arun Iyer

12 February 2020 - Wednesday
5) Hegel: Introduction to the Lectures on Art
- Prof. Arun Iyer

13 February 2020 - Thursday
6) Foucault: Manet and the Essence of Painting
- Prof. Arun Iyer

18 February, 2020 – Tuesday
7) Art History and the History of Art Criticism I– From Giorgio Vasari to Lucy Lippard, with special reference to Aby Warburg and Erwin Panofsky
- Ms. Nancy Adajania 

19 February 2020 - Wednesday
8) Art History and the History of Art Criticism II– The Indian Context, from Coomaraswamy to Geeta Kapur
- Ms. Nancy Adajania 

20 February 2020 - Thursday
9) Art History I – The Heaven of Ideas, the Floor of the Studio
- Mr. Ranjit Hoskote 

21 February 2020 - Friday
10) Art History II – From Winckelmann to Wolfflin: The Making of Art History
- Mr. Ranjit Hoskote 

27 February 2020 - Thursday
11) Theory and Practice of Imperialism: Locating the British Raj
- Dr. Zareer Masani

3 March 2020 - Tuesday
12) From the Communist Manifesto to Sartre's Critique of Dialectical Reason
- Prof. Jairus Banaji

5 March 2020 - Thursday
13) Marx's Capital: a basic introduction (architecture, analysis, definitions)
- Prof. Jairus Banaji

17 March 2020 - Tuesday
14) Shock and Awe I: The Sublime in 18th and 19th Century European Art, Literature, Music and Philosophy
- Mr. Aveek Sen

18 March 2020 - Wednesday
15) Shock and Awe II: The Sublime in 18th and 19th Century European Art, Literature, Music and Philosophy
- Mr. Aveek Sen

19 March 2020 - Thursday
16) Tagore and the Modern
- Mr. Aveek Sen

20 March 2020 - Friday
17) Critical Writing Workshop
- Mr. Aveek Sen

24 March 2020 - Tuesday
18) Benjamin and Adorno
- Prof. Alka Hingorani

25 March 2020 - Wednesday
19) Davis’ Lives of Images
- Prof. Alka Hingorani

31 March 2020 - Tuesday
20) Lefebvre: The Production of Space
- Dr. Himanshu Burte

1 April 2020 - Wednesday
21) The Spaces of Colonial and Postcolonial Modernities
- Dr. Himanshu Burte 

7 April 2020 - Tuesday
22) When is Space? Tendencies in Contemporary Architecture in India I
- Ms. Rupali Gupte and Prasad Shetty

8 April 2020 - Wednesday
23) When is Space? Tendencies in Contemporary Architecture in India II
- Ms. Rupali Gupte and Prasad Shetty

14 April 2020 - Tuesday
24) VISTARA: The Architecture of India
- Mr. Ranjit Hoskote 

15 April 2020 - Wednesday
25) The Document and the Archive
- Ms. Alisha Sett

21 April 2020 - Tuesday
26) Art and Agency: From Chittoprasad to Navjot
- Ms. Nancy Adajania

22 April 2020 - Wednesday
27) When Was Modernism?
- Ms. Alisha Sett

28 April 2020 - Tuesday
28) Sound Matters
- Dr. Radiclani Clytus 

29 April 2020 - Wednesday
29) Interrogating the New
- Dr. Radiclani Clytus 

Classes mainly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Timing: 6:00 – 8:30 PM 

Eligibility: Graduation Degree

Admission Requirements: 

  • A copy of your last degree certificate
  • A passport-size photograph


04 Feb - 29 Apr, 2020


Rs. 18,000
(PG Certificate)