Course Catalog

01:988:255 Gender, Art, and Society

Course description: Have you realized that when you walk through a museum, most of the artists whose work you are viewing are men?  Yet women have played a major role in shaping art past and present.  This course will introduce you to individual women artists, as well as their achievements and impact. It will also introduce you to the social and cultural reasons for the neglect of women in the visual arts and how that neglect is being remedied today.  In addition this course will introduce you to the concepts involved in representation.  You will gain understanding of the different ways in which men and women are depicted in art and how those differences relate to culture and society.  You will have insights into issues of gender and art that will enhance your experience in future museum visits and you will appreciate all the more what you see. There are five and a half weeks to this summer school course. You will be required to read the material supplied each week and then participate in class discussions where you will write about your original research and relate it to the concepts presented.

Course objectives: We will look at women as artists and the representation of women and men in many cultures of the world with the intention of developing a global perspective about visual culture. You will learn how how viewing art through the lens of gender enriches your understanding of art in general. At the end of this course you will have the conceptual tools to analyze art from the point of view of gender. You will be able to walk into an art gallery or art museum, watch a film or view programming on television, or read an art book or magazine with the ability to do critical analysis, and you will know how to discuss your observations and communicate them to others.  This course combines the discussion of visual culture, popular culture/the vernacular, with art history.  You'll learn about some of the issues with each area.  You'll also learn some central concepts surrounding the history of visual representations of gender, such as style and class sometimes matter more than gender among many other such ideas.