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ARTH 3314: Issues in Contemporary Art (Ritson): The Assignment

This guide gives starting points for conducting research in Dr. Ritson's Issues in Contemporary Art course.

Anita Steckel

Sample Assignment from Sculpture: Clay

Feminist Art

This guide includes suggestions to help you begin or continue your research on events or movements in feminist art in Dr. Ritson's "Issues in Contemporary Art" course. 

The Assignment

Feminism and Art Presentation

1.  Choose an artist from the list provided. 

2.  Conduct research to find information on your topic in preparation for writing a 2000-word (minimum) essay.  Your paper should include the following components. Include appropriate subheadings to reflect that each component is addressed:

a.  Brief biographical information (birthplace and year, location of birth, location of training)

b.  Brief social history (political, social, and cultural events that helped to create the environment in which the artist created her work)

c.  Explain how the artist was influenced by the social history of the time.

d.  Describe the event or movement with which the artist was associated and her role/participation.

e.  Explain how her association with this event or movement was reflected in her work. 

f.  Your paper should include a minimum of 8 sources. These must include primary sources, especially quotations from the artist and others with whom the artist was associated. Do not reconstruct a website or follow the argument of a single source verbatim.  Your paper is intended to be a synthesis of research sources and your intellectual work. 

g.  All of your sources should be cited in MLA style. Include in-text references and a list of Works Cited at the end of your essay.

h.  Your text should be free of errors in grammar or punctuation and should be written in complete sentences. 

4.  After completing the essay, use this as the basis for a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation.  

a.  Images:  Images will be particularly helpful as you discuss the artist’s work and her response to the social history of the time.  There is no image requirement, but you should be selective in your choices.  Use only one image per page, unless you intend to compare or closely connect two images. Also, look for high quality images that will translate well in a PowerPoint presentation.  The more you need to manipulate the image, the less likely that the image will offer an accurate representation of the art work.

b.  Text: Include the text from your essay in the notes section of your slides. For example, your first or introductory slide may include the introduction of your paper in the notes.  Your text related to social history should be included in the notes for slides that offer images related to the period, movement, event, etc.

c.  Citations:  Each image should be cited using MLA style; the citation for images should be included on the slide with the image.  Include a complete list of images cited at the end of your presentation. Also, include your list of works cited from the paper at the end of your presentation. 

Feminist Artists

Janine Antoni
Judith Baca
Judith Brodsky
Cornelia (Connie) Butler
Judy Chicago
Mary Beth Edelson
Howard Fox
Susan Grode
Guerrilla Girls
Harmony Hammond
Alanna Heiss
Lynn Hershman
Miranda July
Mike Kelley
Joyce Kozloff
Robert Kushner
Suzanne Lacy
Sheila Levrant de Bretteville
Lucy Lippard
Howardena Pindell
Yvonne Rainer
Maura Reilly
B. Ruby Rich
Faith Ringgold
Rachel Rosenthal
Martha Rosler
Moira Roth
Elizabeth Sackler
Miriam Schapiro
Carolee Schneeman
Lowery Sims
Sylvia Sleigh
Nancy Spero
Marcia Tucker
Camille Utterback
Cecilia Vicuña