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Dr. Susan Sage Heinzelman, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

Spring 2008


Unique Days Time Location Instructor


Course Description

This course will provide an introduction to European and U.S. feminist theory and visual culture by focusing on the relationships between several key feminist concerns: sexuality and gender and experience and difference. In addressing these concerns and the changing terminology and methodologies that have come to be associated with them, feminist art historians, artists, and critics have had to look beyond their own disciplines to others such as history and to new, more interdisciplinary fields of study such as women's studies, cultural studies, gender studies, ethnic studies, and gay and lesbian studies for terminology, methodologies, and, most important, productive types of questions about visual culture. We will begin the seminar by reading Linda Nochlins ground-breaking essay and question "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?"and Rozsika Parker and Griselda Pollocks Old Mistresses: Women, Art and Ideology. All three of these art historians challenge the traditional values and preconceptions of art history from a perspective informed by other disciplines. We will then look at the historian Joan Scotts essays on the historiography and the political effectiveness of the terms gender and experience as a way of situating Nochlin and Parker and Pollockss arguments in a larger historical, theoretical, and political context. In the second part of the course, we will consider a range of historical and contemporary feminist texts and images generated from within a number of different disciplines or for a variety of contexts. Our aim is not to be comprehensive, but to consider these key texts and images carefully. Through their juxtaposition, we will identify some of the tools necessary for developing a feminist approach to making and interpreting visual culture and the role culture can play in creating social and political transformation. Because of the size and format of the seminar, we will also be able to explore the connections between feminist research and pedagogy in an academic setting and feminism as a broad social movement in order to evaluate how our classroom experiences achieve feminist goals.

ASSIGNMENTS: 2-3 page bi-weekly reading response papers; an annotated bibliography and abstract of a research project; a progress report on this research project to the class.


Rozsika Parker and Griselda Pollock, Old Mistresses: Women, Art and Ideology and a reader of selected essays.


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