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Fine Arts Seminar - Feminist Aesthetics
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Alfred University
Prof. Dobie
Fall 1995

Although feminist aesthetics is a relatively "new" field, it covers a broad spectrum of issues. In this course, we will look at feminist aesthetics both as a response to traditional approaches and as a current practice. Our discussions will be grounded in looking at visual images. Some of the questions to be addressed are: Is there a feminist aesthetic? What makes are ëfeminist'?; What contribution do feminist critiques make to the practices of art and criticism?

Required Texts:

Feminism and Tradition in Aesthetics, edited by Peggy Zeglin Brand and Carolyn Korsmeyer.

Other readings will be provided in handouts. These are marked below with asterisks.

Topical Outline:

Introduction (Week 1)

Reading: Hein, "The Role of Feminist Aesthetics in Feminist Theory" (p. 446).

Sex and Gender (Weeks 2, 3, 4)

Readings: Mattick, "Beautiful and Sublime..." (p. 27) Korsmeyer, "Gendered Concepts and Hume's Standard of Taste" (p. 49). Campbell, "The Oscillating Embrace" * Gerrard, "Leonardo da Vinci and Creative Female Nature" (p. 326). Lehman, "The Realm of the Senses" * Lubiano, "Black Ladies, Welfare Queens and State Minstrels" *

The Practice of Women Artists (Weeks 5,6)

Readings: Silvers, "Has Her(oine's) Time Now Come? (p. 279). Interview with Audrey Flack and Patricia Mathews, "Goddess Redux" * Minh-ha, "Who is Speaking..." (p. 193). Piper, "Monologues from ëFour Intruders Plus Alarm System' and ëSafe'" (p. 235). Brand, "Revising the Aesthetic-Nonaesthetic Distinction" (p. 245).

Attend: Bergren Forum ó Prof. Martha Anderson
***First Papers Due Week 6***

Looking at Art: Spectators, Interpreters, Critics (Weeks 7-12)

November 17: Attend Twelve Angry People

We will meet at the Performing Arts Annex at 7:45 p.m. Discussion of play at following class meeting.

Readings: Tickner, "Feminism and Art History" * Gablik, "The Reenchantment of Art" * (excerpt) Rosler, "Lookers, Buyers, Dealers, and Makers" * Eaklor, "Seeing Lesbians in Film and History" (Dr. Vicki Eaklor will join us for this class discussion.) Mulvey, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" * (With Mulvey's article, we will view Rear Window) Carroll, "The Image of Women in Film" (p. 371). (See Thelma and Louise in class.) hooks, "The Oppositional Gaze" (p. 142) Bordo, "Material Girl" and hooks, "Power to the Pussy: We Don't Wannabe Dicks in Drag" Owens, "The Discourse of Others" * Tate, "Nobody Loves a Genius Child" * and hooks, "Altars of Sacrifice: Remembering Basquiat" *

*** Student presentations will be given in weeks 10 and 11 ***

Evaluating Feminist Aesthetics

NOTE: Counseling and Health Education Services is presenting The Date Rape
Backlash: the Media and the Denial of Rape--a video showing and panel discussion, November 30, 7-9 p.m. in Nevins Theater.

Readings: Waugh, "Analytic Aesthetics and Feminist Aesthetics: Neither/Nor?" (p. 399). Margolis, "Reconciling Analytic and Feminist Philosophy and Aesthetics" (p. 416). Felski, "Why Feminism Doesn't Need an Aesthetic" (p. 431).

more Meetings

10/2/2020 » 10/3/2020
Virtual Conference: "Art, Desire, and God: Phenomenological Perspectives"

10/24/2020 » 10/25/2020
Virtual Workshop on the Philosophy of Games

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