WesMaps - Wesleyan University Catalog 2019-2020       Summer Session       Winter Session       Home       Archive       Search
The Body in Medieval Art
ARHA 311
Spring 2020
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: MDST 311

Medieval thinkers theorized the body in ways vastly different from how human bodies are conceptualized and defined today in the twenty-first-century West. Indeed, the "medieval body" was not at all a stable or monolithic entity, but rather a shifting constellation of ideas and practices that waxed, waned, and coexisted throughout the European Middle Ages, c. 400-1400. The diversity of medieval attitudes toward the body helped inform its representation in art, which, simultaneously, was also dependent upon conventions of craft, medium, artistry, preciousness, and style. "Body" signals not only earthly bodies--sexed, fleshly, corruptible, and soon to decay--but also the soul (equally fragile), as well as heavenly, angelic, and divine bodies, including that of Christ. This course analyzes medieval strategies of representing these bodies while situating them in their respective intellectual and cultural environments. Primary-source materials will be contextualized by secondary literature, and our inquiries will remain cognizant of gender-, sexuality-, race-, and performance-critical methods. The bodies examined will include, and are not limited to, saintly, gendered, racialized, clerical, monstrous, virginal, heretical, sickly, healthy, courtly, resurrected, and uncircumscribable bodies.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ART
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ARHA-MN)(ARHA)(ARST)(MDST-MN)(MDST)(MDST-Art/Arch)(MDST-History)(MDST-Lang/Lit)(MDST-Phil/Reli)
Past Enrollment Probability: 50% - 74%

Last Updated on JUL-13-2024
Contact wesmaps@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. Please include a url, course title, faculty name or other page reference in your email ? Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459