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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Undergraduate Course: Sexual Politics and the Image (HIAR10066)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaHistory of Art Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionWidely encountered in late 20th-century criticism, the term ?sexual politics? has revolutionised our approach to the image. ?Sexual politics? is a key term in the humanities because it positions sexuality, as well as the production of the sexed/gendered subject, as complex political issues that are neither fixed nor exclusively private. Instead, the term ?sexual politics? implies that these issues are actively negotiated in the public domain of culture. The image (in the visual arts and elsewhere) has come to play a central role in contemporary culture and therefore the deployment of the term ?sexual politics? in current approaches to the image helps illuminate how images are produced and consumed by different subjects. The deployment of the word ?politics? in this context suggests that the interests of diverse social groups are expressed in the image, which can therefore never be ?neutral? and completely autonomous -even if it appears so. On the contrary, within the framework of ?sexual politics? both making and looking at images are understood as social practices. The discourse of sexual politics makes evident the immediate relevance of images, and of art, to our private and public existence. Ultimately then the term ?sexual politics?, far from displacing the allure of the image, empowers us as spectators by helping us grasp the very complex processes that draw us to the image as such.
The course will place particular emphasis on the production and consumption of the image in the visual arts and related spaces of representation, such as film. We will concentrate on work produced during the last quarter of the 20th century when ?sexual politics? became a key concept in the practice and theory of art and visual culture. The unit will consider a variety of media and practices currently defining the expanded field of the visual.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: History of Art 2 (HIAR08008) OR Architectural History 2A (ARHI08002) AND Architectural History 2B (ARHI08003)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2011/12 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) WebCT enabled:  Yes Quota:  20
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
CentralSeminar1-11 11:10 - 13:00
First Class Week 18, Thursday, 11:10 - 13:00, Zone: Central. TBC - check on NB in Minto House
No Exam Information
Delivery period: 2011/12 Semester 2, Part-year visiting students only (VV1) WebCT enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
No Classes have been defined for this Course
First Class First class information not currently available
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this course, students will have knowledge and understanding of:
? The diverse ways by and through which sexuality structures the image as well as of the impact of sexual politics on a significant body of theory and contemporary art practice
? The ways that sexual politics, necessarily encoded in space and time, define one?s response to the image
? How and why artists, theorists and historians, sought to subvert the conventions defining the sexual politics of their times
? The conflicts between, and alliances, of theory and practice
? The significance of specific media and theoretical paradigms towards that end
? How to approach critically the wide variety of images in contemporary spaces of representation and assess the role of sexual politics in their formation, function and appeal to audiences
? How to participate with confidence in debates that continue to fuel arguments in contemporary art theory and practice but that spill over everyday practices as well
? How to formulate and assess own theoretical position and informed views in relation to relevant images and texts
? How to structure arguments that respect (do not underplay) the complexity of the positions encountered in art and its theory

Assessment Information
1 two-hour examination paper (50%) and 1 extended essay (50%)
Visiting Student Variant Assessment
2 x 2000 word essays (100%)
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Angela Dimitrakaki
Course secretaryMrs Sue Cavanagh
Tel: (0131 6)51 1460
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