WGSS 335
Michelangelo: Self and Sexuality
Last Offered Spring 2021
Division I Writing Skills
Cross-listed ARTH 331
This course is not offered in the current catalog

Class Details

Who are artists? We each have different answers to this question, but our responses would probably share some common assumptions about human individuality and the centrality of the self to artistic creation. In this tutorial, we will take a critical lens to these ideas by studying the life, work, and passions of the Italian artist, Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564). Michelangelo is a towering archetype of the autonomous artistic self: the distinctive personality who telegraphs individual beliefs, feelings, and desires through the creative act. His lifelong engagement with the physicality, beauty, and sensuality of the (male) human body has encouraged the connection between the man and his work on the most intimate levels of pleasure and desire. Ironically, Michelangelo would not have understood our modern conceptions of artistic selfhood or sexuality, but his own Renaissance moment was obsessed with questions surrounding the nature of human identity and subjectivity. His artistic practice–from painting to poetry–wrestles with them in countless, fascinating ways. Students’ writing and critical conversation will venture into the spaces between man and myth, selfhood and self-fashioning, artist and patron, past and present.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 4959
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Five 5-7 page essays, five 1-2 page responses to partner's essays, critical conversation
Prerequisites: Any ARTH course
Enrollment Preferences: ARTH majors and WGSS concentrators (or sophomores intending to pursue the ARTH major or WGSS concentration)
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
WGSS 335 Division II ARTH 331 Division I
WS Notes: Tutorial
Attributes: ARTH pre-1800

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