Art 464 Syllabus


Gender, Art & Western Culture
Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still 21, 1979.
Spring 2017
Monday and Wednesday 5:30 to 6:45 PM
Instructor: Denise Johnson
Phone: 714.289.3569
Moulton Center 218

Office Hours by appointment
Monday & Wednesday
1 PM to 2:30 PM and 4 to 5:30 PM
10 AM to 11 AM


click here for a printable syllabus



Course Description

This course will explore the contributions of women artists to the western art tradition from prehistory to the present day focusing on the representation of sexuality and gender and the role of art in reflecting or constructing human identities. Visual language and art terminology will be used to examine a variety of artworks made by women from an assortment of historic, social, political and personal contexts. Because women have been traditionally underrepresented and generally discouraged from participating in the visual arts, students will develop a critical eye and learn to effectively utilize writing as they actively question the art historical tradition and thereby gain an advanced appreciation for the contributions of women artists in history.

Objectives & Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the course will:
Demonstrate a critical understanding of the contributions of women artists to the western art tradition;
Demonstrate an understanding of the historical context of women's contributions to art including the arguments against women's participation and the obstacles faced by women in overcoming traditional barriers;
Develop understanding of the ways that the intersecting dynamics of race, ethnicity, class, and gender produce dissimilar experiences for individuals and groups;
Describe, discuss, and interpret the formal/stylistic/material qualities of works of art produced by women artists from the prehistoric period to the present day utilizing appropriate art historical methodologies;
Discuss the relationship of art theories and critical debates surrounding the works of women artists;
and Synthesize strategies in critical theory to write analyses of artworks made by women.
Program Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the course will:


Develop the writing competencies used in the discipline of art history;


Locate works of art and visual culture within the context of world art history and articulate the relationship between intended meaning/function and audience response in specific cultural and historical contexts;


Conduct advanced art historical research using the full range of scholarly resources;


Recognize the theoretical concerns of art history and its allied disciplines, and discuss and apply specific theoretical perspectives to a given art historical context and to their own research projects.

General Education Learning Outcomes
7AI Artistic Inquiry: students compose critical or creative works that embody or analyze conceptually an artistic form at a baccalaureate/pre-professional level.
7SI Social Inquiry: employs theories of how people frame and analyze social and/or historical phenomena.
7GC Global Citizen: allows students to explore the diversity inherent in our social and natural environments, including human diversity and world cultures.



Instructional Strategies
Students will work toward course objectives through: lecture presentations; student reports on readings, active and engaged participation in class discussions; in-class partner exercises; reading assignments; writing assignments; exams; viewing images, videos, and audio representations of work by women artists; and viewing of an off-campus exhibition that will require a commute, and may entail a parking fee, and/or entrance fee.



Instructional Website
This class will be taught from the instructional website The Slide Projector at, Lecture presentations, assignments, and other course materials will be available for you at this site and you will need to access it regularly. Additionally, two exams will be taken outside of class on Blackboard.
Required Reading
Selected essays will be posted to the Art 464 Assignments page at

Chadwick, Whitney. Women, Art, and Society. Fifth edition. New York: Thames & Hudson Ltd., 2007. ISBN 9780500204054



Broude, Norma and Marry Garrard. Reclaiming Female Agency: Feminist Art History After Postmodernism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005. ISBN 9780520242524



Recommended Texts
Guerrilla Girls. The Guerrilla Girls’ Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art. New York: Penguin Books, 1998. ISBN 9780140259971
Barnet, Sylvan. A Short Guide to Writing About Art. Boston: Pearson Education Inc. (any edition, 10th or 11th preferred).
D’Alleva, Anne. Methods & Theories of Art History. Second ed. London: Laurence King Publishing, 2012.



Major Study Units
  • Evidence of women artists
  • Marie Antoinette as case study
    • Goddess Culture
    • Rousseau’s Good Mother
  • Private property and Patriarchal rule
  • The Cult of True Womanhood
  • Suspicious magic
    • White Marmorean Flock
    • Man becomes the measure
    • Women's Suffrage Movement
  • Guilds and convents
  • The Avant-Garde & Modernity
    • Centers of learning
    • The New Woman
    • Organized markets
  • WWII
    • Agency removed
    • Women photographers
    • Distinction between craft and fine art
    • Rosie the Riveter
  • Renaissance Conventions
  • Abstraction and Inequality
    • Linear perspective & the male gaze
  • Seductive Subversion and Pop Art
    • Golden nugget of genius
  • Sexual Politics
  • Bologna as case in contrast
    • The Feminist Movement
  • The Virtuosa
    • Equal Rights Amendment
    • Wife portraits
    • Wave Theory
  • Baroque Period
  • The Artist’s Body
    • Celebrity women artists
  • Reclaiming the Gaze
    • Biography as a methodology
    • Mulvey's Visual Pleasure
  • Freedoms in the North
  • Appropriation
    • Protestant Revolution
    • Backlash
    • Still-Life& Miniature portraits
    • Anita Hill
  • Academic Rejection
  • Riot Grrrl & zines
    • Hierarchy of genre and gender
    • Contemporary Concerns
  • French Revolution
    • Wage gap
    • Rococo vs. Neoclassicism and gender
    • Political representation



Methods of Evaluation

Students will be evaluated on the presentation of evidence that they have achieved the course objectives; on the frequency and quality of their contributions to in-class discussion; on their ability to make oral and written critical observations about the artists, movements, and concepts presented in the course; on the quality of the writing they present for homework assignments; and on their ability to demonstrate growth in their understanding and application of the history and theory of women’s contributions to the western art tradition.

There are 500 points possible, which will be earned through the following graded components:


Class Participation - 10%

Students will earn up to 50 participation points through the following activities:

  • Actively and consistently contributing to in-class discussions and applying theoretical ideas to works to earn up to 15 participation points;
  • Voluntarily reporting on assigned readings during class to earn up to 10 participation points through meaningful contributions to multiple conversations over the semester.
  • Attending one lecture in the Visual Thinker Lecture Series and submitting a VTLS Report worth 25 points. Please be reminded that Art and Art History majors are required by the department to attend all Visual Thinker Lectures.

Assignments 60%

Students will develop descriptive and analytic skills by writing five critical considerations on women artists. Each essay will consider a unique woman artist from a relevant period of time that will be added to an online collection of essays worth up to 50 points each. In these essays, students will earn five points for accurately and insightfully citing at least one assigned reading, and another five points for proper CMS citation of a credible source not assigned.


Visual Analysis/Museum Paper
Additionally, students are asked to find and see in-person the work of women artists at a credible art venue to conduct a visual analysis of one work on view, and report on the exhibition experience. Students may earn up to 50 points on the Visual Analysis/Museum Paper.


Exams 20%

Students will take two exams worth 50 points each on the course Blackboard page at Make-up exams cannot be accommodated, except under extenuating circumstances!


Final Presentation 10%

During our scheduled final exam period, each student will be asked to give an in-class presentation on a contemporary woman artist. You’ll be asked to select an exemplary work and apply theory and methodologies learned in class to the analysis of the work and its meanings. In preparation, each student will be asked to submit a presentation plan that identifies the artist and work you’ll be speaking about, a methodology for your analysis, and citations for your sources worth 20 points. The presentation itself will be worth a maximum of 30 points.


Extra Credit

Students are limited to earning a maximum of 25 points, 5% of the total points possible (500), in extra credit points during the semester. Any points earned above this cap will NOT be applied to the final grade.



Points will be earned on writing assignments through committed consideration of the material, demonstration of learned concepts and language, and evidence of critical thinking. In addition to the individual requirements, each writing assignment will earn points based on rigorous analysis through the skilled application of the art historical methodologies, as well as pointed and thoughtful responses to the questions proposed.
100 to 97%
500 - 483 points

Writing demonstrates excellence in both articulation and critical thinking. Art historical methodologies are used thoughtfuly and with exceptional skill. All questions are answered thoroughly, and disussion points carry beyond basic responses with sophistication. Credible academic sources were employed to support the author's positions, and Chicago Manual of Style citation rules were carefully followed. The written assignment leaves little to no room for improvement, and demonstrates committed interest in the discipline.

A -
96 to 90%
482 - 448 points
B +
89 to 87%
447 - 433 points

Writing demonstrates clear focus and an above average consideration of the subject matter. While all questions have been answered, there is room for improvement in carrying the analysis and discussion beyond a basic response. The work exhibits potential for excellence however, a clearer application and understanding of the art historical methodologies is needed. Author has met the requirements for research and citations, but the stated positions could be significantly served by additional research.

86 to 84%
432 - 418 points
B -
83 to 80%
417 - 398 points
C +
79 to 77%
397 - 383 points

Most of the material is understood, but the focus is not entirely clear, and analysis is cursory. Question responses could be more fully realized, and the material, more thoroughly examined. Citation issues are present, little research was executed in support of the author's positions, and/or sources are not credible or academic. There are issues with language that make the writing somewhat difficult to understand.

76 to 74%
382 - 368 points
C -
73 to 70%
367 - 348 points
D +
69 to 67%
347 - 333 points

Lowest possible grade for a complete assignment submitted on time. Writing demonstrates little understanding or connection with the material and is flawed in content and form. Question responses do not provide evidence of critical thinking. Citation issues are present, no research was executed in support of the author's positions, and/or sources are not credible or academic. There are issues with language that make the writing very difficult to understand.

66 - 64%
332 - 318 points
D -
63 - 60%
317 - 298 points
< 59%
297 - 0

Work fails to meet any requirements satisfactorily.



Assignment is incomplete but shows potential. Student is offered one additional class day to revise, add to, and re-submit the assignment.



Instructor Policies
Commitment to the Conversation

Conversation and debate will be central to the learning experience this semester. Art historians do not work in secluded spaces that are disconnected from the world around them. Given the importance of engagement to the art historian’s task, students will be expected to fully commit to in-class dialogues and will agree to take a break from texting, emailing, and fulfilling requirements for courses other than our own, while in class. Laptop, tablet, and smart phone use will only be permitted during class time when the devices are being used for the purpose of understanding Art 464 material.

Students found to be using laptops and tablets during class for activities other than those related to Art 464 may be asked to leave class until their full attention can be directed to our course material.


Regular attendance is mandatory. You are permitted two unexcused absence without damage to your grade. More than two missed classes will potentially lower your grade, and missing four or more classes will put you at risk of failing.

Please also be punctual! Students arriving 15 or more minutes after class begins should expect to be marked absent for the entire class session and may miss the departure of the class on arranged field trips. Students are asked to exchange contact information with their classmates to remain connected to the class as we travel to various destinations.

Respect is Key
We will often consider provocative, challenging, even vulgar subject matter in this class. It is assumed that each of us undertakes this learning endeavor with honorable intention and a commitment to understanding diverse perspectives and histories. When this is difficult for us, we agree to keep an open mind and to respect all views and identities, even those with which we are not able to concur. When this suits our viewpoint, we equally agree to openly consider ideas that may conflict with our own. While engaging in class activities, we agree to refrain from using derogatory, inflammatory, or otherwise disrespectful language. We do such, fully committed to the principles of academic freedom, holding “that the widest possible scope for freedom of expression is the foundation of an institution dedicated to vigorous inquiry, robust debate, and the continuous search for a proper balance between freedom and order,” “that censorship is always suspect, that intimidation is always repugnant, and that attempts to discourage constitutionally protected expression are antithetical to the central focus of the University's mission: education and discovery of new knowledge,” and that these principles are “accompanied by a corresponding principle of responsibility.” (From the Chapman University Faculty Manual, 2016)

Please submit coursework on Blackboard before the start of class on the day the assignment is due, even if you will need to miss class.

Late Assignments
You may submit one assignment, one class day late. The late assignment will not be marked down, however any assignments turned in more than one class late, or in addition to the one accepted assignment, will only receive credit at the digression of the instructor.



Chapman University Policies
Academic Integrity Policy
Chapman University is a community of scholars which emphasizes the mutual responsibility of all members to seek knowledge honestly and in good faith. Students are responsible for doing their own work, and for submitting coursework completed this semester, for this class. Academic dishonesty of any kind will not be tolerated anywhere in the university. Academic dishonesty of any kind will be subject to sanction by the instructor/administrator and referral to the university's Academic Integrity Committee, which may impose additional sanctions up to and including expulsion. Please see the full description of Chapman University's policy on Academic Integrity at
Students with Disabilities
In compliance with ADA guidelines, students who have any condition, either permanent or temporary, that might affect their ability to perform in this class are encouraged to inform the instructor at the beginning of the term. Upon recommendation of the Center for Academic Success, adaptations of teaching methods, class materials, including text and reading materials or testing may be made as needed to provide for equitable participation.
Equity and Diversity Policy

Chapman University is committed to ensuring equality and valuing diversity. Students and professors are reminded to show respect at all times as outlined in Chapman’s Harassment and Discrimination Policy: at Any violations of this policy should be discussed with the professor, the Dean of Students and/or otherwise reported in accordance with this policy.



Class Schedule and Required Reading
This is a tentative schedule that may change. Assignment directions and due dates will be posted on The Slide Projector and on Blackboard. Updates will be announced in class, on lecture presentations, and modified on the Syllabus page of The Slide Projector.
Discussion Theme & Field Trip
Assignment & Reading Due
January 29
January 31
Evidence of Early Women Artists
Chadwick: Preface & Introduction
February 5
Women, Venus and Magic
Broude & Garrard: Introduction
February 7
Mother Worship
Chadwick: Chapter 1
February 12
Man Becomes the Measure
February 13
Andrea Medina, Equity in the Maya World, AF 201 at 4 PM
February 14
Love and Roses
Written Assignment Proposals Due
February 19
Golden Nuggets
Chadwick: Chapter 2
February 21
The Virtuosa
Broude & Garrard: Here’s Looking at Me
February 26
Micol Hebron Class Visit
Chadwick: Chapter 3
February 28
Arte Gentileschi
Broude & Garrard: Learning to be Looked At & Artemisia’s Hand
March 5
Enlightened Ladies
Exam 1 Due
March 7
Protestants & Beer
Chadwick: Chapter 4
Broude & Garrard: Depoliticizing Women
Claire Dederer, Beckman 404 at 7 PM
March 12
Art & Revolution
Chadwick: Chapter 5
March 14
The Good Mother
Broude & Garrard: Portrait of the Queen
March 19
Spring Break
March 21
March 26
Cult of True Womanhood
Broude & Garrard: Mary Cassatt
March 28
Sister Suffragette
Chadwick: Chapters 6 & 7
April 2
Strange Sisterhood
Chadwick: Chapter 8
Bensussen Lecture
April 4
Bros and Hos
Broude & Garrard: The Gendering of Impressionism & Selling, Seduction, and Soliciting The Eye
April 6
Art History Symposium, AF 209, 11 AM to 5:30 PM
April 9
Avant-Garde Ladies
Chadwick: Chapter 9
Broude & Garrard: New Encounters
April 11
The New Woman
Broude & Garrard: The New Woman in HH’s
Visual Analysis/Museum Paper
April 16
Representing the Woman’s Body
Exam 2 Due
Chadwick: Chapter 10
April 18
Healing the Madness
Broude & Garrard: Claude Cahun, Marcel Moore, and the Collaborative Construction of a Lesbian Identity
April 23
Everything’s Rosie?
Chadwick: Chapter 11
April 25
Hitler’s Bath & Other Triumphs
Broude & Garrard: Reconsidering the Stain
April 30
Seductive Subversion
Broude & Garrard: Minimalism and Biography
May 2
Personal Politics
Chadwick: Chapter 12
Broude & Garrard: Sexual Politics of Dinner
May 7
Reclaiming the Gaze
Chadwick: Chapter 13
May 9
Where Do We Go From Here?
Chadwick: Chapters 14, 15 & 16
Who Are the Great Women Artists?
May 14
Socratic Circle Final Exam 1:30 - 4 PM



Important Dates
Late Registration
The last day to add this courses is Friday, February 10.
Drop Deadline
Students wishing to drop the course without record must do so by Friday, February 10. The last day to withdraw from a course, or change grading option to P/NP is Friday, April 14.
Final Exam
The in-class final for this course is mandatory, and will not be offered at an alternative date, except under extenuating circumstances. The instructor understands that the end of the academic year and travel come with much urgency and pressure. Nonetheless, the hours set aside for the final exam are a part of your earned credit and as such, are an important component of your grade.
Grades will be available no later than Sunday, May 29.



Sofonisba Anguisola, The Chess Game, 1555.