What is Art?

An Ashoka University online course for high-school students.


Janice Pariat

Course Dates

15th-30th Dec


M,W,F – 5 to 6:30pm


6 Hours/Week


INR 12,000

Apply by

12th December,2021

Pre-college courses to explore specific disciplines

3-Weeks live, online courses during holidays

India's best faculty, amazing peers & learning support

Completion certificate from ashoka university

About The Course

In this course we pose a deceptively simple question—”What is art?”—and try to answer it by exploring definitions of art developed by societies from the ancient Greeks to our contemporary globalised world. Is art about imitation? Expression? Form? Beauty? Institutions? In class, we will consider objects and activities in settings both remote in time and place and present around us, and attempt to build a critical language for classifying and evaluating a broad range of visual forms of expression across cultures east and west.

Apply for Horizons Summer 2022

    I Agree to Privacy Policy & consent to being contacted by AshokaX for course related information.


    Mahavir Jhawar

    Janice Pariat

    M.A. History, University of London

    Janice Pariat is Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and History of Art at Ashoka University. She earned her Master’s in History of Art from School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London. She has another Masters in English and Communications from University of Westminster. She completed her Bachelor’s from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University.

    Her work, including art reviews, cultural features, book reviews, fiction, and poetry, has featured in a wide selection of national magazines and newspapers, namely: The Hindu, The Indian Quarterly, Verve Magazine, The Caravan, and The Print. She writes a monthly literary column titled “Paperwallah” for The Hindu.

    Horizons Course Objectives

    Discover Your Interest and Aptitude

    Go Deep Into Specific Disciplines

    Learn with Amazing Peers from Schools across India

    Explore Unique Perspectives and Ideas

    Develop New Skills and Abilities

    Learning Support for the Course

    Mansi Agarwal

    Teaching Assistant

    Mansi Agarwal – Teaching Assistant
    Mansi is currently in her fourth year at Ashoka University, studying Economics, Environmental Studies and Entrepreneurship to understand how businesses can contribute to sustainable and inclusive living. She has volunteered with IamGurgaon, to help make the city a better place to live in. She spends her free time designing and painting and hopes to have a studio of her own someday.

    Hear from Past Learners

    Madhavi Menon

    Professor of English, Ashoka University

    Director, Centre for Studies in Gender & Sexuality

    Director of the PhD Programme in English

    Ph.D. Tufts University

    Madhavi Menon is an eminent theorist and scholar of gender, sexuality, politics, and identity. 

    She joined Ashoka University in 2013 as one of its founding faculty members. She went on to establish the university’s Centre for Gender & Sexuality Studies (CSGS), which is the first of its kind in India. Previously, she was a professor at Ithaca College and American University

    Most prominently known for her work on queer theory and Shakespeare, she has also edited the collection Shakesqueer and written three books on Shakespeare and sexuality. She is also most recently the author of Infinite Varieties: A History of Desire in India and Law of Desire: Rulings on Sex & Sexuality in India. 

    In addition to being Director of CSGS, she is the Director of the Ph.D. programme in English and Professor of English at Ashoka University.