Concerning the Modern’:
This essay is designed to examine the degree to which you are able to understand
and engage with key themes explored on the Modernities module. It is also designed
to examine your ability to engage effectively with independent research you have
carried out, and to cite these sources accurately and appropriately in the main body
of your essay, in your footnotes and in your bibliography.
Please follow the following guide when preparing and writing your essay.
1. Select an example of art or visual culture of your own choice. It might be a work
referred to in the lectures or in one of the set texts but it doesn’t need to be.
Write about your chosen example in relation to one of the three major themes
explored on the module: Modernity and Rationality, Protest, and Modernity and the
Unsayable in Art. While you should focus discussion on a single case, you are of
course free to make comparison with other works.
Question; Choose a work by Mary Cassatt or Berthe Morisot and discuss it with reference to
the ways in which female and male artists negotiated the social sphere.
2. In addressing these questions you are expected to carry out appropriately wide ranging
research on and around your chosen image, and to draw on and distinguish
between different interpretations and debates. However, when writing up your
findings, be selective and focused in your approach. Don’t try to cover too much
ground, thus sacrificing depth for breadth.
3. Cite your sources accurately in footnotes and bibliography. You must also include
a visual image of the work you are discussing, again properly referenced.
References (that need to be used)
Griselda Pollock, ‘Modernity and the Spaces of Femininity’ , in The Visual
Culture Reader, ed. Nicholas Mirzoeff, London and New York: Routledge, 1998, pp.
T.J. Clark, ‘On the Social History of Art’ , in Modern Art and Modernism: A
Critical Anthology, eds. Francis Frascina and Charles Harrison, London: Paul
Chapman Publishing, 1982, pp. 249-258.
Gordon, Robert, and Andrew Forge. Degas. Paris: Flammarion, 1988
Clark, T. J. The Painting of Modern Life: Paris in the Art of Manet and His Followers. New York: Knopf, 1985.
Pollock, Griselda. Vision and Difference: Femininity, Feminism and Histories of Art. New York: Routledge, 1988
Jenks, Chris. Visual Culture. London: Routledge, 1995. 146.
Garb, Tamar. “Gender and Representation.” Modernity and Modernism: French Painting in the Nineteenth Century. New Haven CT: Yale University Press, 1993. 219-290.
Thompson, Heather. “The Female Impressionist as Flaneuse.” 1999. http://prizedwriting.ucdavis.edu/past/1999-2000/the-female-impressionist-as-flaneuse
Baudelaire, Charles. “The Painter of Modern Life.” My Heart Laid Bare and other Prose Writings. Ed. Peter Quennell. Trans. Norman Cameron. London: George Weidenfeld & Nicolson Limited, 1950.
Garb, Tamar. “Gender and Representation.” Modernity and Modernism: French Painting in the Nineteenth Century. New Haven CT: Yale University Press, 1993.