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Course Information

Instructor Info:Sura Levine
Office Extension x5493
TA Info:Sally Monroe
Irissa Baxter
Term: 2013F
Meeting Info: Monday Wednesday
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Adele Simmons Hall (ASH) 111
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Adele Simmons Hall (ASH) 111

The representation of the human body is central to the history of art. This course will explore this crucial subject as it has been portrayed over the past two centuries. The course begins with readings on anatomy and the shift from Jacques-Louis David's virile masculinity in the 1780s to a more androgynous and even feminized male as rendered by his followers. It then will explore the spectacle of a modern city in which prostitutes/ Venus/ femme fatales/other kinds of working women, often were favored over the domestic sphere. After examining art from the period of World War I where various assaults on traditional mimesis took place among avant-garde artists, this course will explore contemporary investigations of bodily representation, from the body sculpting projects of Orlan to identity politics and the ways that bodily representation have been developed.



Course Objectives:

This course will teach the basic skills and methods of art history while also investigating the topic of the body in visual representation.  The papers required will require progressively more advanced work from students as they develop skills in looking, reading, analysis, and research. 




Evaluation Criteria:

Students will be evaluated on their written work, their attendance (two or more absences will have real consequences in the final evaluation; four absences will result in an immediate no-evaluation), participation in discussions, and visits to museums. Students will also be expected to attend relevant lectures as detailed during the semester, and will make a habit of revising their work.


All Hampshire College students and faculty, whether at Hampshire or at other institutions, are bound by the ethics of academic integrity. The entire description and college policy can be found in Non Satis Non Scire at under Academic Policies/Ethics of Scholarship. Plagiarism is the representation of someone else’s work as one’s own. Both deliberate and inadvertent misrepresentations of another’s work as your own are considered plagiarism and are serious breaches of academic honesty and integrity. All sources used or consulted in the process of writing papers, examinations, preparing oral presentations, course assignments, artistic productions, and so on, must be cited. Sources include material from books, journals or any other printed source, the work of other students, faculty, or staff, information from the Internet, software programs and other electronic material, designs and ideas.

All cases of suspected plagiarism or academic dishonesty will be referred to the Dean of Advising who will review documentation and meet with student and faculty member. Individual faculty, in consultation with the Dean of Advising, will decide the most appropriate consequence in the context of the class. This can range from revising and resubmitting an assignment to failing the course. Beyond the consequence in the course, CASA considers first offenses as opportunities for education and official warning. Multiple or egregious offenses will have more serious consequences. Suspected instances of other breaches of the ethics of academic integrity, such as the falsification of data, will be treated with the same seriousness as plagiarism and will follow the same process.

Additional Info:

All of the readings for this class are available on the web page.  Students will read assignments before class each period and will bring ctexts to class for easy referencing in discussions.


In this course, students are expected to spend at least six to eight hours a week for preparation and work outside of class time. This time includes: reading, writing, research, screenings, practicums, visits to museums and libraries.

In addition and in compliance with new federal regulations, incompletes for this course will only be given  in exceptional circumstances (death of a family member, illness, other issues [to be negotiated with me]). If you are given an incomplete, your work will be due on the first day of class of the next term. In the event that you do not turn in work on that date, you will be given a no-evaluation.