Renaissance Bodies

Subject Name: 
Critical Social Inquiry
Course Number: 
Hampshire College
Ever since Leonardo da Vinci produced his anatomical drawings and German artists studied corpses of executed prisoners, the visual arts and the medical sciences converged. While artists strove for the anatomically "correct" representation of eroticized male and female nudes, scientists enhanced the truth-value of their anatomical drawings by employing the new classicizing style. Also in religious art, spiritual truths were conveyed in a sensuous, erotic manner, as the many depictions of semi-nude saints, Christ, and the Virgin Mary demonstrate. In addition to viewing Renaissance and Baroque artworks, we will read recent historical scholarship and primary literature on the discovery of the clitoris and the emergence of lesbian desire; anatomical representations of gender difference; the debates surrounding wet-nursing and virginal lactations; male menstruation; homoeroticism in Renaissance portraits; race and the ethnographic portraits of Albert Eckhout. Mix of shorter papers on the reading assignment plus an independent research paper. Fieldtrip to the Met depending on availability of funds.
Culture, Humanities, and Languages Independent Work Multiple Cultural Perspectives Writing and Research Students are expected to spend at least six to eight hours a week of preparation and work outside of class time.
Instructor Permission: 
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
Schedule #: 

Course Sections

Renaissance Bodies
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
1 4.0 Jutta Sperling 09:00AM-10:20AM T,TH Franklin Patterson Hall 104