Women, Art and Culture

I.     Course Prefix/Number: HUM 242

       Course Name: Women, Art and Culture

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course focuses on women as both creators and subjects of visual art.  Through examining individual art works, course participants will consider how gender is relevant to the definition, creation and appreciation of visual art.  Instructors may take either a topical or historical approach to course content.  IAI F2 907D

IV.   Learning Objectives

After completing the course students will be able to:

  1. Examine and analyze specific works of visual art by women from a variety of cultures, eras, and backgrounds.
  2. Critique representations of women in various works of art and consider how they reflect, construct, or impose gender identity.
  3. Discuss the ways in which sexism, racism, class and ethnicity have limited our definition and appreciation of art, and have devalued and marginalized the work of women and people of color in arts institutions.
  4. Recognize the full extent of the contributions of women to both traditionally male dominated forms such as painting, photography and sculpture as well as in alternate forms such as portraiture, textiles, folk arts, quilting and other handcrafts.
  5. Reflect on the ways the discipline of Women’s and Gender Studies has transformed Art History and Appreciation.
  6. Be able to articulate and defend their opinions on the visual art works studied, both verbally and in writing.
  7. Exhibit values related to teamwork and collaboration, fostered by the pedagogy of shared-inquiry and critical dialogue appropriate to the humanities and philosophy.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

(This is a list of suggested topics. Instructors may choose to approach this class historically or topically. In your outline of topics please specify the dates on which you will cover specific topics as well as other important dates, such as exams and paper deadlines.)

  1. Middle Ages—tapestries, illustrated manuscripts, Medieval convents, Hildegard of Bingen
  2. Renaissance Art—Elizabetta Sirani, Sofonisba Anguissola, Properzia de Rozzi, Artemisia Gentileschi, etc.
  3. 17th-18th century Dutch and Flemish Artists—Judith Leyster, Rachel Ruysch, Clara Peters, etc.
  4. 19th century Artists—Rosa Bonheur, Edmonia Lewis, Camille Claudel, Mary Cassatt, Berthe Morisot, etc.
  5. 20th Modernists—Sonia Delauney, , Hannah Hoche, Gunta Stoltzl, etc.
  6. Modern  “Masters”—Kathe Kollwitz, Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe
  7. Women in Photography—Julia Margaret Cameron, Claude Cahun, Dorothea Lange
  8. The Female Form—objectification, pornography or art?—Lottie Laserstein, Suzanne Valadon, Peter Paul Rubens, Ingres, Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  9. Images of motherhood in the art of men and women
  10. Women in the Graphic Arts
  11. Quilting and other handcrafts
  12. Contemporary trends in women’s art—Betye Saar, Judy Chicago, Barbara Kruger
  13. Globalization and women’s art

VII.  Methods of Instruction

  1. Lectures and discussion
  2. Small group work
  3. Films and slide shows
  4. Field trips to public forums, galleries, plays, and performances
  5. Guest speakers

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

(Please include information here about all expectations you have for your students regarding behavior, work, etc. The following are sample topics you may wish to cover. Please be aware that you must require students in this course to produce at least 15 pages of critical written assignments over the course of the semester. These may be assigned in a variety of ways including journals, response papers, field trip projects, etc.)

  1. Standards for written work
  2. Quizzes/Exams
  3. Participation
  4. Essays
  5. Final Project
  6. Special policies about make-up exams, late papers, or other matters of concern

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

What follows are examples of appropriate texts.

Women, Art and Society by Whitney Chadwick
Guerilla Girls Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art by the Guerilla Girls
Global Feminisms: New Directions in Contemporary Art by Maura Reilly
Expanding Discourse: Feminism and Art History, Ed by Broud and Garrard
Women Artists in History: from Antiquity to the Present by Wendy Slatkin

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

(In this section, please present the percentages or point breakdown of their final grade. The writing assignments should count for at least 40% of the final grade. An example follows.)

  1. Quizzes/Exams……40 points
  2. Essays……40 points
  3. Final project with oral presentation……10 points
  4. Attendance and participation………10 points
  5. Grading scale: 90-100, A…….80-89, B………70-79, C……….60-69……..D

XI.   Other Course Information

Instructor information
Office and office hours:
Email and website:

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.