Fine Arts | Witches, Dwarfs, and Freaks: The Social Other in Renaissance and Baroque Art (2nd 8 weeks course)
A330 | 25757 | Tal
2nd 8 weeks course!
In a period best defined as B.P.C. (Before Political Correctness)
minorities of different race, religion, gender, physicality, and
mentality were rejected, discriminated, humiliated, mocked,
demonized, prosecuted, and executed by society. Muslims and Jews
were considered heretics, spinsters and widows were believed to be
prostitutes and witches, gays were condemned sodomites, and dwarfs
served the royalty as entertaining creatures. Also marching in the
procession of outsiders are cripples, madmen, gypsies, beggars,
bossy women, transvestites, impotents, and melancholics.
Discussions in class will focus on questions such as: How
were the identities of outcasts visually composed? What are the
components of their stereotype? Can we distinguish in the images
between fact and fiction? Was the viewer amused or terrified by
those images? How did outsiders assist to shape and define
the “normal” insiders? Images of Otherness will be examined with
regard to folklore, medicine, sociology, popular culture, and
Requirements of the course include reading assignments,
quizzes, attendance, participation, and a final take-home exam.