Texas A&M University - Commerce


Through the careful study of artworks and art historical texts, students will be engaged in an extended, historically-based examination of how issues of gender, including the role of women in artistic production, have shaped our cultural landscape. Through specific examples, ranging from an examination of the nude in classical art to identity politics of the past twenty years, students will encounter feminist issues by studying concrete examples of its application to the history of art.  Students will read challenging, sophisticated and seminal texts and demonstrate their command of such texts in short responses and class discussions. They will gain a new perspective on the history of art, and on the role of gender in art history. Additionally, students will research a topic related to the class subject, using databases and other tools, and present that in a short paper. By the end of the course, the student will have a broad knowledge of art historical development and the role that women played as cultural producers. 



-       discuss and explain historically significant works of art produced by women

-       become acquainted with the characteristic features of the major styles and movements throughout art history

-       learn to analyze the relationships among content, context, and style

-       analyze and discuss significant theoretical and feminist texts

-       develop research skills

-       enhance visual literacy and critical thinking skills



Students’ ability to meet the course objectives and learning outcomes will be evaluated by written assignments, class participation, exams, and essay questions.



- Whitney Chadwick, Women, Art and Society (World of Art), 5th ed(ISBN: 0500204055)
- Alexandra Lapierre, Artemisia: A Novel (ISBN: 0802138578)


- Helena Reckitt, ed, Art and Feminism (Themes and Movements), Abr Rev Up edition, (ISBN:0714863912)

***additional readings will be posted on ecollege or handed out in class***



-       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. Failure to format properly will result in a lower grade.  Artwork titles MUST be italicized. Papers must be stapled.


Participation: Each person is expected to come to class prepared, which means having done the reading and/or worksheet and ready to engage in the class.  The class should not just be a lecture, rather, people are encouraged to speak up, contribute to the conversation and ask questions. At the beginning of class, students may be asked to write up responses to the readings, which will count towards the reading. A major part of the participation requirement is ATTENDANCE, which is mandatory.  


Attendance: Each student in this course is allowed no more than three unexcused absences. Each absence after three results in the lowering of the grade by 1/3 of a letter grade. When a student accrues more than eight unexcused absences the instructor has the right to drop the student from the course or to give a failing grade.


Unexcused absences require no explanation. For an absence to be considered excused, appropriate documentation must be presented. Excused absences are defined in The Student Guidebook and various university policies, but the policy employed in this class is confined to the following: (1) Participation in pre‐approved University activities such as athletic events, sponsored field trips, and travel for specific University‐related academic reasons; (2) Verifiable legal proceedings; (3) Documented cases of illness, injury, or emergencies. All such excuses must be shown to the instructor in original, written, documentary form within 7 days of the absence(s) together with a photocopy for the instructor’s records. (Please understand that this copy is a student’s only record of an absence.) In lieu of documentation, the absences become unexcused and are counted as such.



Throughout the course, you will have two exams (the midterm and the final exam).  They will be composed of slide identifications (where you must identify the artist/title/date/style of the work) short answers, and essay questions.  These exams will NOT be cumulative, and will only cover the material immediately preceding that exam.


Short Responses:

Throughout the course, you will be asked to respond to various reading assignments. Make sure to answer the prompt fully, and follow the specific formatting guidelines.


Research Project:

There will be one research assignment, where you will be asked to read a biography on a prominent women artist. After completing the book, you will research the same artist and compare the results. More information will be handed out later.


Grade Breakdown:

10% Participation

15% Short Written Responses

25% Research Project

20% Midterm

30% Final Exam


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 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 and tablets

-       Headphones of any kind

-       Sleeping

-       Sunglasses

-       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


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 three absences for this course; plan accordingly and there is no need to contact me about unexcused absences that are incorporated into this allowance.  For excused absences, you need to bring in a hard copy of appropriate documentation of your absence.



Make‐up exams will be administered only in instances of excused absences (and acceptable documentation) and may not be designed in the same format as the regularly‐scheduled exam. When an excused absence causes a student to miss an exam, it is the student’s responsibility to inform‐‐or to have someone else notify‐‐the instructor within 4 days of the exam. If permitted, these exams must be made up within two weeks of the scheduled date, at a time and place determined by the professor.


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 addressed incorrectly.   After the email is received, we will then set up an appointment to discuss the concern. 



Women and Art Schedule*

8/25 - Introduction

8/27 - Influence of Venus on Imagery of Women

Reading: Linda Nochlin, “Why Have there Been No Great Women Artists?” in Woman in Sexist Society: Studies in Power and Powerlessness, ed. Vivian Gornick and Barbara K. Moran. New York: Basic Books, 1971.


9/3 - Woman of the Middle Ages – W.A.S. - 43-65

9/8 - Renaissance Portraiture – W.A.S. – 66-86, 114-116

9/10 - Baroque Paintings and 17th Century Genre Painting– W.A.S. – 87-113, 129-138

9/15 - begin screening of Artemisia (dir. by Agnès Merlet, 1998, 98 minutes)

2-3 page response to Alexandra Lapierre, Artemisia: A Novel - explain her sources, the structure of the text, and summarize the major plot points

9/17 - discussion of book vs. movie

finish screening of Artemisia (dir. by Agnès Merlet, 1998, 98 minutes)

Reading: Mary D. Garrard, “Artemisia’s Trial by Cinema,” in Singular Women: Writing the Artist, ed. Kristen Frederickson and Sarah E. Webb. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.

9/22 – Judith Leyster / Motherhood in the 18th Century - W.A.S. – 124-127, -117- 174

Reading: Carol Duncan, “Happy Mothers and Other New Ideas in Eighteenth Century French Art,” Art Bulletin 55, no. 4 (Dec. 1973): 570-583.

9/24 – NO CLASS

9/29 – Asian Artists

10/1 - 19th Genre Painting and Sculpture– W.A.S. – 175-227

Reading: James M. Saslow, “’Disagreeably Hidden’: Construction and Constriction of the Lesbian Body in Rosa Bonheur’s Horse Fair,” in The Expanding Discourse, ed. Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard. New York: Harper Collins, 1992

10/6 - 19th Century Photography

10/8 – Impressionism – W.A.S. – 228-251

Reading: Griselda Pollock, “Modernity and the Spaces of Femininity,” in The Expanding Discourse, ed. Norma Bd roude and Mary D. Garrard. New York: Harper Collins, 1992

10/13 - Lesser Known Impressionists and Camille Claudel

10/15 - MIDTERM

10/20 - Modernist Representation of the Female Body– W.A.S. – 279-315

10/22 - Questioning Femininity in the Early 20th Century

Reading: Joan Riviere, ““Womanliness as Masquerade” International Journal of Psychoanalysis (IJPA) 10 (1929).

1-2 page response: summarize the article and discuss one artist we have already covered (not Artemisia) who might fit in Riviere’s discussion

10/27 - Photography as Document

10/29 – Discussion with visiting artist, Reading TBA

11/3 – Postwar Abstractions – W.A.S. – 316-354

Reading: Anne Wagner, “Lee Krasner as L.K.,” Representations, no. 25 (Winter 1989): 42-57.

11/5 - Challenging the Patriarchy – W.A.S. – 316-354

11/10 - Sculpture at Mid 20th Century

Readings: Anna Chave, “Eva Hesse: A Girl Being A Sculpture“ in Eva Hesse: A Retrospective New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992: 99-117.

Anne M. Wagner, “Another Hesse” October 69 (Summer 1994): 49-84. 

Anna Chave, “*Response to “Another Hesse”+ October 71 (Winter 1995): 146-8.

1-2 page response: Explain both Chave’s and Wagner’s arguments. Then explain whose side are you on? (use quotes as evidence)

11/12 – screening !Women Art Revolution (dir. Lynn Hershman-Leeson, 2010, 83 min.)

11/17 - Beginnings of Feminist Art

Reading: Peggy Phelan, “Survey” in Art and Feminism. New York: Phaidon, 2012.

11/19 - Feminist Art

11/24 - Absences in Feminist Art – W.A.S. – 423-466

Reading: Adrian Piper, “The Triple Negation of Colored Women Artists” in Next Generation: Southern Black Aesthetic, ed. Devinis Szakacs and Vicki Kopf. Winston-Salem, NC: South-Eastern Center for Contemporary Art, 1990: 15-22.

11/26 – Thanksgiving Break

12/1 - Postmodernism and the YBAs – W.A.S. – 467-4I 95

Reading: Craig Owens, “The Discourse of Others: Feminists and Postmodernism” in The Expanding Discourse, ed. Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard. New York: Harper Collins, 1992

12/3 - Identity Politics and Discussion of the Final Project

12/10 - FINAL EXAM @ 10:30-12:30