HART 517 - MODERN ART AND MONSTROSITY
Long Title: MODERN ART AND MONSTROSITY
Department: Art History
Grade Mode: Standard Letter
Course Type: Seminar
Credit Hours: 3
Must be enrolled in one of the following Level(s):
Description: Why is it that in the modern era, beginning around the middle of the eighteenth century, artists begin to see various forms of monstrosity in aesthetic terms -- as something beautiful? What is it about the modern period that accounts for this shift in how monstrosity is represented and understood and how does it differ from earlier historical images of the monster? This class will examine the modernist fascination with monstrosity, asking why it became a topic of such interest to artists, writers, and filmmakers during this time, and what it can tell us about modernist aesthetics more broadly. Examining a range of representations from the 18th century on, we will look at visual artists, filmmakers, and novelists who depict various forms of monsters, be they human (Jack the Ripper) or non-human (the Golem). From Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the myth of the vampire, to Picasso’s monstrous images of 1920s, to the distinctly modern phenomenon of serial killing, this course will chart the dark monstrous underside to modern art. Graduate students will be required to give two twenty-minute presentations in class, and write two papers, one short (10-12 pages) and one long (20-30 pages). Graduate/Undergraduate Equivalency: HART 317. Mutually Exclusive: Cannot register for HART 517 if student has credit for HART 317.