Texas A&M University - Commerce

The physical body is ever-present and inescapable. By examining its role in art, this course begins to explore the way that artists have used their bodies and the bodies of others to express philosophical, political, historical, and personal beliefs. The class is loosely divided into thematic subjects, allowing for a more studied discussion of certain moments in art history. Seeking to be as broad as possible, this course will incorporate themes from all different periods of art, including but not limited to: ancient, medieval, Renaissance, the long nineteenth century, modern, and contemporary.  Additionally, all types of medium will be discussed, such as sculpture, painting, photography, poetry, film, new media, etc. As a graduate level course, the structure of the class is dependent upon student preparation and participation.  Each course period will be devoted to discussion of the assigned readings and art exploring the weekly theme. Furthermore, each student is expected to contribute and lead the course one time. The class will conclude with a major research project involving a presentation and paper.  

-    discuss and explain themes concerning the body in the history of art
-    acquire a working knowledge of the specialized vocabulary used in art history
-    become able to analyze important historical documents and criticism
-    enhance visual literacy and critical thinking skills
-    develop research and writing skills appropriate for an advanced student
-    plan and lead discussion for one class period
-    prepare and present on a relevant research topic

Students’ ability to meet the course objectives and learning outcomes will be evaluated through written assignments, class participation, research projects, and presentations. 

Tracey Warr, ed., The Artist’s Body (2012) ISBN: 0714863939
Ann Millett-Gallant, The Disabled Body (2012) ISBN: 023034142x
Carol Squiers, The Body at Risk (2006) ISBN: 0520247337

-    internet access
-    access to eCollege, course documents (including pdfs of the slides shown in class) will be uploaded here

Our campus is optimized to work in a Microsoft Windows environment. This means our courses work best if you use a Windows operating system (XP or newer) and a recent version of Microsoft Internet Explorer (8.0). Your courses also work with Macintosh OS X along with a recent version of Safari 2.0 or better. Along with Internet Explorer and Safari, eCollege also supports the Firefox browser (3.0) on both Windows and Mac operating system.

This is a web enhanced course through eCollege, the Learning Management System used by Texas A & M University-Commerce. To use the eCollege features associated with this course go to: https://leo.tamuc.edu/login.aspx. You will need your CWID (Campus Wide I.D.) and password to log in to the course. If you do not know your CWID or have forgotten your password, contact technology services at 903-468- 6000 or helpdesk@tamuc.edu. 

Technical Support: Texas A & M University-Commerce provides students technical support in the use of eCollege. The student help desk may be reached by the following means 24 hours a day, seven days a week:
 Chat support: Click on ‘Live support’ on the tool bar with the course to chat with an eCollege representative.
 Phone: 1-866-656-5511 (Toll free) to speak with eCollege technical support representative.
 E-mail: helpdesk@tamuc.edu to initiate a support request with eCollege technical support representative.
 Help: Click on the ‘help’ button on the toolbar for information regarding working with eCollege.

Each assignment must be handed in on time at the beginning of class and will NOT be accepted via email.  For each class period late (and if not handed in at the start of class), the grade will be deducted one letter grade.  Assignments will NOT be accepted over ONE week late.  

All written assignments must be typed using the following guidelines: 12 pt. Times New Roman font, 1” margins, double-spaced, with page numbers. Papers must be stapled. Artwork titles must be italicized. Failure to format properly will result in a lower grade. 


Statement on Student Behavior:
    All students enrolled at the University shall follow the tenet of common decency and acceptable behavior conducive to a positive learning environment (See Student’s Guide Handbook, Policies and Procedures, Conduct). 
    All students must show respect toward the instructor and the instructor’s syllabus, presentations, assignments, and point of view.  Students should respect each others’ differences.  If the instructor determines that a student is not being respectful towards other students or the instructor, it is the instructor’s prerogative to ask the student to leave, to refer the student to the department head, and to consider referring the student to the Dean of Students who may consider requiring the student to drop the course.  Please refer to pages 42 – 46 of the Texas A&M University-commerce Student guidebook’s Codes of Conduct for details.

Prohibited during class:
-    Cell Phones/Blackberries/MP3 Players:  Please keep these devices off while class is in session. It is disrespectful to both your classmates.  No cell phones are allowed during exam sessions. If you need to check the time, consult the clock in the classroom.  Repeated use of these devices will result in being asked to leave.
-    Computers or tablets
-    Sleeping
-    Disruptive or distracting behavior: Texting, conversing with other students during class, loud eating, etc. 
-    Repeated entering/exiting the classroom: Please be on time to class.  Not only is disruptive to the class environment, but you could miss important class announcements. This is a short class, so there should be no need to come in and out throughout the class period. Additionally, repeated tardiness will count with your absences, and could result in a lower grade.

Academic Dishonesty: There is no tolerance for any kind of academic dishonesty in this course. This includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism, cheating on exams, theft of instructional material or exams, representing the work of someone else as one’s own, and misrepresenting absences. Academic dishonesty is a severe transgression in college and may result in referral to the Dean of Students, expulsion from class and/or the University, and a failing grade.

Discussion: In this class, we will look at a wide array of artwork, some of which might include nudity, intense language, violence, etc. Each person will bring their own experiences to the art, and should feel comfortable expressing their opinions and vulnerabilities. The classroom is a safe environment, and each student should behave with integrity and treat their peers with respect.
    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact:
Office of Student Disability Resources and Services, Texas A&M University-Commerce, Gee Library, Room 132, Phone (903) 886-5150 or (903) 886-5835, Fax (903) 468-8148, StudentDisabilityServices@tamu-commerce.edu

After contacting the Office of Student Disability Resources and Services, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the instructor of what accommodations are needed IN ADVANCE of when they are needed (for example, if testing accommodations are necessary, please inform the instructor with appropriate documentation at LEAST one week before the test date).

For all emails sent, please include full name, student ID, and the class that you are attending.  Do not send emails to myself and other professors at once, as each professor has different issues to address.  You are allotted two absences for this course; plan accordingly and there is no need to contact me about absences.

Assignments are due at the start of the class on the assigned date. Late work will only be accepted for one week after the due date, and the grade will be penalized. Concerning grade decisions, I will not discuss specific grades on ANY assignment or test the day it is returned.  If you have concerns regarding a grade, email me within one week of receiving the assignment back clearly explaining why you think the assignment was assessed incorrectly. Upon receipt of the email, we will set an appointment to address the concern.  



Each person is expected to come to class prepared, which means having done the reading and ready to engage in the class.  The class is NOT a lecture, rather, students are required to lead and participate in the conversation and ask questions.  As this course is a graduate level course, you are expected to do the reading in advance, and come with questions and ideas about the articles that you have read for the class.  A major part of the participation requirement is ATTENDANCE, which is mandatory. Each student in this course is allowed no more than TWO absences (excused or unexcused). More than two absences will result in being dropped from or failing the course.

Research Project:
There will be one research project, of which more information will be handed out later. The assignment must be handed in on time at the beginning of class and will NOT be accepted via email.  For each class period late (and if not handed in at the start of class), the grade will be deducted one letter grade.  Assignments will NOT be accepted over ONE week late.  Graduate students projects will require significantly more research and be larger in scope. 

Discussion Leaders: 
Each student will lead discussion for one class period. Undergraduates will be partnered with another student, whereas graduate students will prepare the material on their own. Beyond the usual expectations of having completed the readings, this includes preparing summaries and questions for the class to discuss. Leaders can bring in video clips or slides that can add to the conversation. The students are responsible for collaborating with one another, dividing and discussing the material as they see fit. Once these dates are scheduled at the beginning of the semester, they cannot be changed or altered. 

Grade Breakdown:
Participation: 20%
Leading Discussion: 20%                 
Research Project: 60%
1/15 - Intro 
1/22 - Ideal Male Body 
1/29 - The Virgin/Whore Dichotomy 
2/5 - Reflected Body
2/12 - NO CLASS
2/19 - Sick Body
2/26 - Disabled Body
3/5 - Altered Body
3/12 - NO CLASS
3/19 - Fragmented Body
3/26 - Violated Body
4/2 - Sexualized Body
4/16 - NO CLASS
4/30 – Work Day