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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF2111 Bodies of Difference: Gender, Power and the Visual Arts

20 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Brenda Hollweg

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

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

This module offers students the opportunity to explore a range of feminist, postcolonial and queer theories and cultural practices that think about the body, embodiment, and difference in all its intersectional complexity. Structured as a journey through the body, we address questions such as: What is a body? How are bodies marked as different, why and with what effect? How is subjectivity embodied? How can embodiment be figured and reconfigured in representation and cultural practices? How does difference structure both embodiment and subjectivity? How do concepts and practices address embodiment across interlocking axes of gender, ‘race’, class, sexuality, (dis)ability, language, location, ethnicity, and other unseen axes?


On completion of the module students should:
- understand and use a variety of feminist, postcolonial and queer theories exploring embodiment and difference;
- be familiar with a range of cultural practices that address the body in different ways.
- be able to articulate the complexities and dynamics of embodiment and difference in theory and visual culture.

Learning outcomes
By the end of the module students will be able to:
- Analyse images, texts, and cultural practices
- Understand and apply theories of gender, difference and the body
- Explain and describe the significance of feminist, queer and postcolonial critiques of visual culture
- Understand the methodologies that have been developed to analyse the ‘work’ of gender, sexuality, disability, and race in visual culture.
- Demonstrate research skills
- Critically reflect on own research and learning

Skills outcomes
Methodological skills integral to the study of art history and visual cultural analysis.

Verbal and written fluency in constructing a logical and coherent argument.

Co-ordination and dissemination of a range of historical, contextual visual information.

Further development of independent work toward the portfolio assessment, in-class discussion, and the final essay.


The module follows a journey through the body. This journey may include topics such as the eyes, the skin, the gut, blood, gesture, movement, erotic zones and companion bodies.

We will explore a range of theories and cultural practices that may include: film (avant-garde, documentary and experimental film or Hollywood cinema), contemporary art (such as conceptual art to video, performance, sculpture, installation and art writing) and digital media (e.g. social media, video games).

Teaching methods

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

Private study

Students are expected to complete the reading and portfolio task set for each week to support a level of independent study and preparation for lectures and seminars.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The in-class discussions allow ongoing monitoring of student progress. There will be a formative review of the portfolio tasks mid-way through the module to offer feedback.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
PortfolioSubmission of 4 of the weekly tasks and reflective statement on learning and research (500 words per weekly task or visual equivalent, e.g. 5 images)40.00
Essay1 x 3000 word essay60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The weekly portfolio tasks are to encourage a level of critical reflection on their own work that develops across the weeks. It includes a ‘critical reflection’ which acts as a statement on their learning and research.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2024 16:10:27


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