FIN2019 : Gender and Contemporary Art

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


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.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading120:0020:00Seminar preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching31:003:00Office Hours
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops23:006:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study181:0081:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
FIN3019Gender and Contemporary Art
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1.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.
2.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.
3.Tutorials: to provide feedback and analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of submitted work, and increase awareness of the potential for individual development.
4. Workshops to allow for more innovative and cross-curricular teaching.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M502500 words
Written exercise1M501500 word analysis assignment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The coursework affords the student the opportunity to conduct research with seminar and peer support into particular areas of interest, to develop their organisational, group work and presentational skills in reporting back to the group and then to demonstrate their ability to think independently using their seminar discussion to inform their individual assignments. Assignments are targeted to develop critical thinking, the ability to develop an argument, visual analysis and theoretical comprehension.

Reading Lists