Art history

Art History's Queer Stories

Module code: 870V4B
Level 7 (Masters)
30 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Essay

You will question the way art history and its institutions reproduce normative discourses about gender and sexual orientation.

Firstly, you will study how homosexuality was represented in 19th- and 20th-century visual culture, and how artists have worked within and against such representations.

Secondly, you'll explore theory such as feminist, queer and postcolonial as well as psychoanalysis to help understand how sexuality and other markers of difference, like race and class, appear in art history and visual culture.

You draw from a selection of ephemera, artwork, documents and “sticky objects” in Sussex and London collections to find your own ways to analyse representations of non-normative sexualities in the context of private and public spaces, archives, museums and galleries.

This module provides a forum for discussing queer visualities from the past and currently, taking into account the narratives of curators, the queering of collections and art activism.

Module learning outcomes

  • Be familiar with most recent debates on queer art history and visual culture
  • Have constructed an independent history of the issues and theoretical positions related to queer art history and visual culture
  • Have considered a range of texts and approaches, to critique their narrative, cultural and institutional strategies
  • Have developed independent position in relation to the course materials
  • Have developed an ability for close analysis