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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF3051 Sins, Sinisters and Sciapods: The Margins of Medieval Art

20 creditsClass Size: 18

Module manager: Dr Eva Frojmovic
Email: E.Frojmovic@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

At least 20 credits from any ARTF-coded module or appropriate equivalent in a relevant discipline. In the latter case, students are advised to get in touch with the module leader to discuss eligibility prior to enrolment

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Can the margins ever subvert the centre? We will:- study the ways in which medieval Christian art constructed images of its external (Muslim, African) as well as internal Others (Jews, peasants, social outcasts) and of imagined monsters;- also study the subversive margins of manuscripts and other artworks;- analyse how social, religious and ethnic difference is constructed through art, and link such constructions with medieval theology, social and economic thought;- seek to understand how images of Others were deployed to cope with social change, and how some marginalised groups could resist and adapt the dominant discourse of Christian art in their own art making.Assessment: 2 x 2-3,000 word essays (100%).

Objectives

By the end of this module, students should:
- have studied in-depth significant ways in which medieval Christian art constructed images of its external (Muslim, African) as well as internal Others (Jews, peasants, social outcasts) and of imagined monsters;
- be able to analyse how social, religious and ethnic difference is constructed through art, and be able to link such constructions with medieval theology, social and economic thought;
- have gained an understanding of how images of Others were deployed to cope with social change;
- have gained an understanding of whether and how some marginalised groups could resist and adapt the dominant discourse of Christian art in their own art making;
- be able to offer an argued consideration to the question of whether art can ever be subversive in relation to the social order and the collective imaginary.

Skills outcomes
- Presentation skills verbal and written
- Verbal and written fluency in constructing a logical and coherent argument
- Use of audio visual aids
- Participation in group discussions
- Co-ordination and dissemination of a range of historical, contextual and visual information
- Using bibliographies and databases.


Syllabus

On this module we will explore how difference (social, ethnic, religious ie Jews, Muslims and Africans, heretics, peasants, social outcasts) was conceptualised and visualised in medieval art and thought. While much traditional medieval art history conveniently glosses over such sites of conflict, this module, taking its inspiration from Michael Camille's work, will emphasise the ways in which the arts of the Western, Christian Middle Ages marginalised certain groups while endorsing a hierarchical society led (at least in theory) by the Church, thereby fixing medieval Western identities, and will ask the question whether the margins can be a space of resistance against the social order and cultural hegemony.

The module will cover marginal 'grotesques' in manuscripts and their subversive potential; the christianisation of ancient traditions about monsters and marvels at the edges of the world; art in the service of the crusade ideal (with its sharpening of anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim representations).

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Seminar102.0020.00
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

180 hours - consisting of weekly set readings, preparation of essays and preparation of presentation.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- class presentations
- participation in class disscussions
- attendance at seminars (register taken).

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 2,000-3,000 word essays40.00
Essay1 x 2,000-3,000 word essays60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2019

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