Module Catalogue 2023/24

FIN2019 : Feminist and Queer Approaches to Modern and Contemporary Art

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Fiona Anderson
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Code Title
FIN1013Art Histories I
FIN1014Art Histories II
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module examines how gender and sexuality have impacted art making and art history from the 1960s to the present. We will explore efforts to write feminist and queer histories of art, examine the ways in which women and sexual minorities have been excluded from mainstream art histories and consider ways of redressing this imbalance, and think about what it might mean to make art that is feminist or queer.

The module is structured so as to bring up questions of how traditional conceptions of gender and sexuality are formed and regulated. It will also encourage students to interrogate how and why identity categories, particularly those that seek to demarcate the ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal,’ were, and are, constructed and maintained through visual and cultural means. For us, gender will be understood not as static and ultimately knowable, but rather as shifting, contingent, and open to scrutiny and critique through the making of art.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module with begin by considering how political and cultural understandings of gender and sexuality have developed over time and how they have impacted art making and the development of art history. The lectures and seminars will explore topics such as art and the home, nudity, sex and censorship, consumerism and feminist art, gender and racism, contemporary colonialism and exile, trans* identities, institutional sexism, and queer theories of gender, memory, and history. Our study will incorporate a range of media, from painting, collage, photography, and film, to performance and sculpture, and art from countries including the UK, USA, Germany, South Africa, Poland, Iran, Morocco, and Japan.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

On completion of Gender and Contemporary Art, students should have knowledge of:

Different forms of visual responses and practices related to issues surrounding art and gender.

A critical understanding of the social and cultural construction of gender and sexuality.

Contextual factors – aesthetic, social, political, economic and institutional – that influence the creation of artworks, their exhibition and reception.

Key artists, theorists and their tenets.

A range of interpretational artworks.

Intended Skill Outcomes

On completion of Gender and Contemporary Art, students should have developed skills in:

Presenting information and ideas in a clear and engaging manner.

Researching a topic, making productive use of the library and appropriate online resources.

Engaging with interdisciplinary texts and evaluating appropriate material to inform relevant debates.

Evaluating information, ideas and theoretical and ideological points of view in order to reach independent conclusions.

Discussions within a group context.

Visual analysis.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials111:0011:00Online lecture materials.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00In-person lectures.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:0010 hours for Formative Assessment 40 hours for Summative Assessment
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading113:0033:00Lecture and seminar preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00In-person seminars.
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities111:0011:00Online asynchronous seminar enhancement.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study173:0073:00Independent Study
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
FIN3019Feminist and Queer Approaches to Modern and Contemporary Art
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module will revolve around weekly lecture materials, delivered both in person (1-hr per week) and online (1-hr per week) via ReCAP. These will be supplemented by in-person seminars and asynchronous structured learning activities in order to foster group discussion and analysis.

Lectures: to allow definition of the scope of the syllabus, an introduction to a body of knowledge, and modelling of the level and nature of the analysis required.

Online lecture materials shared via ReCAP (including pre-recorded interviews, artist moving image work): to allow definition of the scope of the syllabus, an introduction to a body of knowledge, and modelling of the level and nature of the analysis required. These are broken down into smaller sections for ease of online digestion.

Seminars: to encourage interaction and the development of cognitive and key skills; to allow preparation and presentation of directed research on specific issues and case studies.

Asynchronous structured learning activities: to develop essay writing skills, close reading skills, visual analysis, and better encourage interaction between peers in their analysis and discussion of the course content.

Nb. In person lectures and seminars can move to synchronous and asynchronous online delivery as required in response to pandemic-related restrictions.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A1002000 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Case study2MCase study analysis
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essay affords the student the opportunity to conduct academic research into a topic relating to the course, from a selection of questions set by the course organiser. These questions will be oriented towards encouraging students to engage closely with the practices studied on the course. This assessment will be supported by discussions during seminars.

The case study analysis offers the chance to hone writing and analytical skills in advance of the essay in a formative and less pressurised context. The formative nature of the assessment will permit fast feedback, allowing the case study analysis to feed fully into the summative essay.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023/24 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.