HAMVB-Visualising the Body

Module Provider: Art
Number of credits: 30 [15 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Dr Sue Malvern

Email: s.b.malvern@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module focuses on how of the body is present, presented and re-presented in visual art.

In addition to thinking about general issues of the relation of corporeality to visual art, it will draw on diverse theoretical contexts including phenomenology, psychoanalysis and feminism, it will explore how the politics of representation have established, idealised and contested the body, asking how the gaze may be affirmed, subverted, confounded, or refused. You will study a variety of visual material, in order to develop critical approaches to the practical and theoretical issues you are studying.

Assessable learning outcomes:
It is expected that students will be able to •argue closely a key practical and theoretical issue •present and illustrate arguments coherently and clearly. •use visual evidence as part of an intellectual argument

Additional outcomes:
In addition to the above, students will: •learn to assimilate and assess a range of visual material through independent reading and study; •become adept in understanding the complex practical and theoretical issues engaged in the production and reception of visual art at an advanced [postgraduate] level; •engage in high-level peer-group debate and learn from students of diverse academic background; •become both comparative and selective in the use of a wide range of visual and textual material.

Outline content:
The module is taught in ten 2-hour session during the term. Topics students may encounter include •Bodies, images and objects •Idealising the body: neoclassicism and homoeroticism •Spectacle, Pleasure, Body •The meaning of gesture in Aby Warburg’s history of art •The body in Italian Renaissance art •The practice of performativity •Bodily fluids: contemporary art and AIDS •The portrait, the body and the gaze •Unity and fragmentation in recent photography •The feminist body: contemporary art

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Individual staff decide on the balance which best suits their topic, but in general the 2-hour sessions are run in seminar format, with all students expected to read in advance of the class primary and secondary texts with their accompanying visual material for that topic listed in the Programme Handbook (which reaches all new students in the summer of their start-year) and to raise key points in open group discussion,. The class-teacher may introduce the whole topic by means of an opening lecture, or may ask particular students (in advance or at the class) to summarise the main arguments, after which discussion proceeds by free but guided debate.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 10
Tutorials 10
Guided independent study 280
Total hours by term 300.00
Total hours for module 300.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
Coursework: one 5,000-word essay (submitted on the first Friday of Summer Term).

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
A mark of 50% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:
Coursework that does not bear a confirmed mark of 50% or more must be resubmitted by 1 September.

Last updated: 23 April 2014

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