Course Catalog

01:988:259 Homosexuality and Visual Culture

Course description:  How has history been changed by queer artists?   The canon of western art history has been marked by exclusion and restriction.  Revisionist efforts have reclaimed previously overlooked artists played.  Artistic representations and the historicization of them reveal the social, political, cultural, and economic forces that construct gender visually.  This course will introduce you to the central role of homosexuality and homoeroticism in visual culture in the distant and recent past as well as the present.  You’ll learn about the marginalization of homosexual artists and how, even when seemingly secret or invisible, they continued to participate directly in cultural production of art and popular culture.  You’ll also learn about the ways artists, critics, and patrons remedy the neglect and overcome the censorship, as well as considering how the changing notions of language and the community have impact on their lives.  This course includes fourteen sequential units.

Course objectives:  We will examine how queerness has existed in the history of visual culture.  You’ll understand how gender and queer intersect in the visual arts and how artists have analyzed and considered the social construct and performance of the queer in art.  You’ll also learn about how concepts such as homophobia, censorship, and marginality figure into the discourse as well.  You’ll develop the skills to discuss critical theory about queerness in art and examine identity issues in art.  We’ll also consider how the terminology (gay, lesbian, queer and trans) relate to cultural production and its histories.  We’ll look at the role of activism and how it relates to queer theory and art.