Queen Mary Summer School

Artistic Rebellion in London and Paris

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This course offers you an introduction to the history of modernist and avant-garde art in Paris, and its impact upon cultural production in London. The course investigates how artists in both places responded to the political, social and technological transformations that took place in European societies between 1870 and 1980. You’ll look at the differences between life in Paris and in London during this period, and the effects that these had upon artistic production. You’ll also explore topics ranging from the influence of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting on the Bloomsbury Group’s demands for sexual and social freedoms, to the influence of Dada and Surrealism on David Bowie, and Situationist ‘culture jamming’ on punk rock. We hope you will think about the construction of official ideas of culture and the varying means by which artists have generated their own aesthetics of resistance. Making use of the incredible resources provided by London itself, the course will include field trips to galleries and museums and 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 summerschool@qmul.ac.uk

How to apply

Applications will open on 2 December 2019.

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


What do I need to apply?

You’ll need to upload the following documents together with your online application:

  • your current academic transcript or your record of studies to date
  • evidence of your English Language proficiency, if your first language isn’t English
  • a written statement explaining why you'd like to attend the Summer School
  • a copy of your passport

What do I do next? 

  • work with your home university adviser to select the courses you want to study at Queen Mary and ensure they are approved/can transfer back to your own institution
  • gather your transcripts and your proof of language proficiency (if applicable)
  • check that you meet the eligibility criteria
  • Fill out our online application form

What happens then?

  • We make a decision on your application within 5 days of your application date and send you an offer letter
  • You accept our offer
  • Apply for a visa (if you need it)
  • Book your flights to London**
  • Read all of our pre-departure emails carefully before you arrive
  • Pack and get ready for your stay in London
  • Arrive in London and move into your new home with us on campus
  • Join the welcome programme and start your course
  • Complete all your welcome programme/orientation tasks
  • Enjoy your time at the Queen Mary Summer School!

** Please don’t connect or enter the UK via Ireland, as there are visa restrictions.

Teaching dates
Session 1: 29 June - 17 July 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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