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Queen Mary Summer School

Anarchists, Rebels and Revolutionaries: Art in Paris and London

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During the nineteenth, as well as for much of the twentieth century, Paris was a critical centre for European art. This module offers an introduction to the history of art in Paris between 1850 and 1970 and assesses the impact that Parisian artistic movements have had upon cultural production in London. During the course, you will learn about the histories of London and Paris and will be encouraged to consider the ways in which the development of both cities came to shape the work of the artists, writers and musicians living within them. We will discuss the ways in which artists responded to changes in their worlds by developing new forms of art, as well as the relationship between avant-garde art and revolutionary politics. Among the topics that will be covered are the relationship between urbanisation and industrialisation in Paris and the development of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, the impact of new technologies during the early twentieth century on the development of Futurism and Vorticism, the responses of both the Dadaists and the Surrealists to the horrors of the First World War, and the rejection of mid-twentieth century consumer culture by both the Situationists and the British Punk movement. You will acquire analytical tools that will allow you to discuss visual documents in relation to historical, political and cultural issues, and will experience London’s cultural offerings first-hand via field trips to galleries and museums, as well as guided tours of historic locations.

Download the course syllabus: SUM501E Artistic Rebellion_2020 [PDF 168KB]

Course content is subject to change.

Course aims

The course aims to introduce you to historical, political, social and artistic life in Paris and London between 1870 and 1980 through the study of a range of visual media, including painting, photography, journals, fanzines, posters, as well as related texts. It seeks to illuminate the transmission of artistic practices between these two geographical centres and account for the differences in these practices’ use and reception. It introduces you to the use of analytical tools to discuss visual documents in relation to historical and cultural issues, and seeks to assess the impact that Parisian modernist and avant-garde movements have had upon British cultural production. 

Teaching and learning

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, field trips (galleries, museums)

You will learn about:

  • the political and social history of Paris and London (in the 19th–20th centuries)
  • the principal modernist and avant-garde artistic movements in Paris and their impact upon cultural production in London.

You will be able to:

  • develop the analytical tools to analyse a painting, photograph, collage, poster, journal or fanzine as a visual document
  • analyse the social and political implications of a painting, photograph, collage, poster etc
  • understand and employ appropriate academic style and terminology
  • relate visual documents to historical, political and cultural issues
  • analyse cultural products in interdisciplinary ways
  • improve your skills in discussion, argumentation, and expression, both orally and in writing.



The Queen Mary Summer School costs: £1,700 per session, which includes tution and social programme. 

We offer a 10% discount to:

  • Students and staff from partner institutions
  • Alumni
  • Current Queen Mary students 


The cost of accommodation is £670 per session. For further information, please visit our accommodation page.

Additional costs and course excursions

There may be additional costs for field trips, such as entry to exhibitions, which will be in the region of £10-20.
All reading material will be provided online, so it is not necessary to purchase any books.

Please note there is no deposit payment required for the Queen Mary Summer School.

Entry requirements

To join our Summer School, you should have completed a minimum of two semesters’ study at your home institution.

We welcome Summer School students from around the world. We accept a range of qualifications:

  • if your home institution uses the four-point Grade Point Average (GPA) scale, we usually require a 3.0 GPA
  • if your home institution uses the letter scale, you will need to have a B+

We welcome international qualifications and we consider every application individually on its academic merit.

English language requirements 

All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English isn’t your first language, you must meet one of the following English Language requirements in order to join the Queen Mary Summer School:

  • If you hold a degree from a majority English speaking country plus Canada you may use this degree to satisfy the English language requirements for entry, provided the degree was completed no more than 5 years before the start date of the course to which you are applying.
  • IELTS, 7 overall or higher
  • TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 100 (L22; S25; R24; W27)
  • China UEE (University Entrance Exam) -  110
  • CET 4 – 550 or CET 6 – 490
  • PTE Academic 68
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English 185 70- grade C (old marking system)
  • Applicants with an alternative qualification should check it is equivalent to the above or contact us at

How to apply

Have a question? Get in touch, one of the team will be happy to help. 


Teaching dates
Summer School 2020
Course hours
150 hours (of which 45 will be contact hours)
10 minute presentation (20%) 2 x 1000 word assignments (80%)

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