ARTH 301-302
Whores, Lepers and the Ugly:
Outcasts in Medieval and Renaissance Art
Instructor: Professor Maxwell
W 4-7

Harlots and ogres, murderers and liars, randies and one-legged bumpkins, Moslems and Jews.... All these outcast figures-Christendom's perpetual pariahs-played an important role in Western European art, appearing in all manner of public, private, secular, and religious art. Modern textbooks, though, have often pushed these figures to the margins of history, relegating them to footnotes or explaining them away with moralist arguments. This course examines both the nature of these outcasts and their role in art (primarily Medieval and Renaissance art, with some consideration for Baroque and Early Modern art), as well as their marginal treatment by modern art history. For this last problem, we will delve into theories of marginality. Feminism, semiotics, the folklore of Bakhtin, the psychoanalysis of Freud, and the diverse romanticist and modernist influences of W. Benjamin, L. Aragon, and V. Hugo will receive our special critical attention.

Syllabus | Images

Course Home Page
Department Home Page
Last update: October 26, 2003

For departmental information:
Web-related questions or comments: