Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue
Feminism, Criticism and Practice in the Visual Arts
To provide a substantial knowledge of contemporary visual arts made by women during the last twenty-five years in all areas of visual art practice. To provide the students with the terms of critical analysis of or engagement with contemporary visual art made by women internationally. To raise the question of feminist readings of the visual arts by a careful analysis of contemporary critical discourse in the mainstream and in feminist publications. To problematise any notion of 'feminist art' and to suggest ways to analyse feminist interventions in the arenas of visual art practice and critical discourses on the visual arts based on a notion of reading for 'inscriptions in the feminine'. To develop the students' capacity to produce a historically and theoretically informed feminist criticism.
The module will begin with a series of theoretical and historical texts which introduce students to the history and critical debates in contemporary visual arts since 1970 as perceived from a feminist perspective and in terms of the larger debates around modernism and postmodernism. Each year a special theme will be chosen as a means of examining by detailed case studies the practices of a range of women artists chosen from an international range (for instance, 'The Blank Page', myths of femininity, the body politic). Using key theoretical texts to shape questions and drawing where relevant on the theoretical and historical studies of the other two modules, the module will examine a range of practices by women drawn from an international range in order to examine the existing critical discourses on women artists and develop feminist critical writing. Visits to studios and current exhibitions as well as screenings of work by women artists in video and film will complement the weekly study sessions. There will also be a series of guest lectures by practising artists. The content of this module will vary from year to year according to current exhibitions and issues in critical journals.
Form of teaching
Eleven two-hour seminars with lectures giving way to student presentations. Gallery and studio visits and a regular programme of screenings. This module may involve a day long commitment in the form of day visits or day schools.
Form of assessment
An essay of 4,000 - 6,000 words to be submitted by the first day of the third term. (Essays should be 6,000 words maximum, including all bibliographies, footnotes and appendices)
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