ARTH 5411: Gender and Sexuality in Art Since 1863

3 Credits

In 1863, Édouard Manet painted a scandalous nude titled Olympia, which was met with outrage by critics when it was exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1865. The painting has been the subject of extensive discussion ever since among critics, curators, and art historians who examine not only its modernist style and formal qualities, but also the class, racial, and sexual identities of the two figures it depicts. This course surveys the role gender and sexuality have played in the historical development of western art from Manet’s Olympia to the present, and the role that art has played in both reinforcing and challenging dominant theories of gender identity. It considers modernism and postmodernism not only as products of the rise of industrial and post-industrial capitalism, urbanization, colonialism, and globalization, etc., but also as tangled up with the establishment of gender and sexuality as powerful ideas that bring into being the very categories they name. Students gain knowledge not only about the historical development of art throughout this period, but also about diverse strategies for scholarly research that is informed by theories of gender and sexuality, and art historical models for reading bodies, gestures, texts, and works of art. They complete guided or independent research papers, prepare an in-class presentation on a work of art in a local museum, and complete a structured literature review through which they learn to read and critically evaluate art historical scholarship.

View on University Catalog

All Instructors

B Average (3.000)Most Common: B+ (22%)

This total also includes data from semesters with unknown instructors.

27 students
  • 4.18


  • 4.73


  • 4.71



      Contribute on our Github

      Gopher Grades is maintained by Social Coding with data from Summer 2017 to Fall 2023 provided by the Office of Institutional Data and Research

      Privacy Policy