Inventing Joan of Arc: The History of a Hero(ine) in Pictures and Film Winter 2023

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Joan of Arc (known during her own lifetime most commonly as Jeanne “la Pucelle,” or Joan “the Maid”) was one of the most dynamic and yet enigmatic personalities of the European Middle Ages. Born into a peasant family in the French border province of Lorraine in 1412, she gained control of an army, won brilliant military victories, crowned a king, and was burnt at the stake as a heretic, all before her twentieth birthday. Triply marginalized by gender, age, and socio-economic status, she nonetheless managed to shake the Church and State establishments to their very core. But who was Joan of Arc? Nationalist martyr? Pioneer feminist? Champion of the people? Instrument of God’s grace? Victim of post-traumatic stress disorder? Exemplary transgender warrior? Over the centuries since her death, artists — and not just politicians and scholars — have attempted to answer this question, creating myriad visions of la Pucelle under the influence of an ever-changing lens of contemporary tastes and concerns. Through readings and discussion, this course will survey the history of representations of Joan of Arc in painting, prints, sculpture, and film, from the time of her death to the present.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 15
Expected: NA
Class#: 1156
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: 10-page project or comparable creative project
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: None
Materials/Lab Fee: $10 and cost of books
Attributes: EXPE Experiential Education Courses
SLFX Winter Study Self-Expression
STUX Winter Study Student Exploration

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