Art33n: American Art & Culture in the Gilded Age
Course Syllabus

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Part I: Introduction

Week 1

Jan 10 Introduction
Read: William Dean Howells, The Rise of Silas Lapham

Week 2

Jan 15 NO CLASS-Martin Luther King's Birthday
6pm pizza party chez Corn (96 Churchill) ; film-viewing Age of Innocence

Jan 17 Gilded Age Rituals, Manners, and Morals
Assignment: short answer questions on The Rise of Silas Lapham and The Age of Innocence (this assignment will come via email)

Part II: Gilded Age Girls and Women

Week 3

Jan 22 "Society" Women
Read: Jules Prown "Mind in Matter, An Introduction to Material Culture Theory and Method," Winterthur Portfolio, v. 17, Spring 1982, 1-20
Trevor Fairbanks, "The Shock of John Singer Sargent's Madame Gautreau" Arts Magazine, v. 55, April 1981, 90-97
David Lubin, "The Boit Children," from the Act of Portrayal, Eakins, Sargent, James, 83-122

Jan 24 "Idealized" Women
Read: Annette Stott, "Floral Femininity, A Pictroial Definition," American Art, v. 6, Spring 1992, 61-78
Bernice Leader "Antifeminism in the Paintings of the Boston School," Arts Magazine, v. 56, Jan. 1982, 112-119

Jan 26 (Fri) Term paper, part I, due 5pm in faculty mail box

Week 4

Jan 29 Class presentations and discussion of first papers
Read: Kate Chopin, The Awakening, 1899

Jan 31 "Hysterical" Women
Read: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "The Yellow Wallpaper," New England Magazine, January, 1892
Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, on "The Hysterical Woman: Sex Roles and Role Conflict in Nineteenth-Century America," from Disorderly Conduct, Visions of Gender in Victorian America, 197-216

Week 5

Feb 5 "Real" Women I
Read: Judith A. Barter, "Mary Cassatt: Themes, Sources, and the Modern Woman" in Barter, Mary Cassatt: Modern Women, 43-107 (LR)
Assignment due in class: short paper on a close reading of a Cassatt painting TBA

Feb. 7 "Real" Women II
Read: Griselda Pollock, "The Gaze and the Look: Woman with Binoculars - A Question of Difference" from Dealing With Degas, Representations of Women and the Politics of Vision, 106-130

Part III: Death in the Gilded Age

Week 5

Feb 12 Victorian Death
Read: Selections from Martha V. Pike and Janice Gray Armstrong, A Time to Mourn, Expressions of Grief in Nineteenth Century America, 15-29, 90-106

Feb 14 The Adams Memorial
Read: Henry Adams, "The Dynamo and the Virgin" from The Education of Henry Adams
Visit: Stanford family gallery at the Cantor Art Center and Stanford family mausoleum

Week 6

Feb 19 NO CLASS President's Day
Prepare readings and short paper for February 21

Feb 21 Winslow Homer and Life
Read: Bryan J. Wolf, "The Labor of Seeing: Pragmatism, Ideology and Gender in Winslow Homer's The Morning Bell," from Prospects, v. 17, 1992, 273-318.
Nicolai Cikovsky, Jr. "Winslow Homer's (So-called) Morning Bell,"American Art Journal, 1998. 5-17
Assignment due in class: short paper on the two essays

Week 7

Feb 26 Winslow Homer and Death
(This class will be scheduled at a different hour)
Read: John Wilmerding, "Winslow Homer's Right and Left," Studies in the History of Art, v. 9, 1980, 59-85
Jules Prown, "Winslow Homer in His Art, Smithsonian Studies in American Art, Spring 1987 31-45

Assignment: Term paper II

Mar 2 (Fri) Term paper, part II, due 5pm in faculty mail box

Part IV: The Subjective Self

Week 8

Mar 5 "Real" Men
Read: Elizabeth Johns, "The Gross Clinic, or Portrait of Professor Gross," from The Heroism of Modern Life, 46- 81
Martin Berger, "Painting Victorian Manhood," from Helen A. Cooper, ed., Thomas Eakins: The Rowing Pictures, 102-134

Mar 7 Discussions of Term Papers, Part II

Week 9

Mar 12"Suffering" Men
Read: Elizabeth Johns, "The Concert Singer," from The Heroism of Modern Life, 115-143
David Lubin, "Modern Psychological Selfhood in the Art of Thomas Eakins" from Joel Pfister and Nancy Schnog, eds., Inventing the Psychological: Toward a Cultural History of Emotional Life in America, 133-166

Mar 14 Conclusion


The very last meeting of this class will be in Spring quarter on Thursday, April 5 (time to be arranged) in the Gilded Age exhibition at the Cantor Art Center. Each student will make a short presentation in front of the work of art on which she has written her paper.

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