In this course we will analyze the seminal works of some 20th century women visual artists, fiction writers and poets.
There is an extraordinary tide of art by women in our own time: an increasing portion of this work is explicitly female in the sense that the artists have chosen to explore experiences central to their sex and to find forms and styles appropriate to their exploration.
Historically, a woman artist who attempted to investigate female experience has been dismissed as self-absorbed, private, escapist, nonuniversal.
As several major studies of women's writing have demonstrated, the woman artist throughout most of our history has had to state her self-definition in code, disguising passion as piety, rebellion as obedience.
Another topic of the course will be around the binary opposition of Western thought man/woman, nature/culture, analytic/intuitive and how it has been replicated within art history and used to reinforce sexual differences as a basis for aesthetic valuations. Writes Adrienne Rich in "a thinking woman sleeps with monsters": let's go meet the monsters.