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Visual Arts

A library help guide to Visual Arts resources at UVic Libraries.

Welcome - Critical Theory and Art

This page is intended to help you to begin research in critical theory in art and artistic responses in some of the pressing contemporary social issues. It introduces related subject headings for specific topics and shows representative reference works, examples of research monographs (books), and online resources.

It is not meant to be exhaustive in its scope but aims to provide a starting point to the vast array of published literature on these subjects. Please note that some topics are grouped together for the sake of convenience in order to present the materials as broadly as possible. As such, these groupings are not meant to be absolute categories.

Research tips

  • Some examples of subject headings are not particular to "art" (eg., "Anti-racism," "Feminism," "Resistance (Philosophy)," "Pacifism," etc.). In such cases, you may use the Advanced Search feature in Library Search and add a 'subject' field search using the keyword 'art' or 'artists' in addition to your search terms, or use two search fields for 'subjects' such as "feminism" and "art".
  • If you find a useful item in the library catalogue, scroll down on the item page to see the subjects it is listed under. Browsing through a few of these can be a good way to find similar relevant materials.

Reference works

These materials are useful for a general introduction to topics within the broader theme of art and social justice or critical theory. Call numbers for books listed here are in the reference section on the main floor of the library. Click through to titles you are interested, however, as some are also available in the main collection.
Creative Commons License
This work by The University of Victoria Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise indicated when material has been used from other sources.