Studio 10: images of ‘woman’, images of ‘man’

Studio Outline

This dissertation studio title makes reference to Judith Williamson's essay "Images of 'Woman'"(in Screen, 1983), which discusses the iterations of femininities performed - and thus critiqued - by Cindy Sherman in her series 'Film Stills'. In this essay Williamson suggests that 'image' has a double sense, referring to the image in our minds and in our society, as well as the actual represented images which, in part, make up our visual and material culture.

This studio draws on Williamson's and Sherman's important work interrogating the 'elision of image and identity' to widen our critical eye - through a sound understanding and application of critical theory - to examine the elision of images and gendered and racialised identities in our historical and contemporary visual and material culture

First seven weeks of study

Week 1-7: Students will identify as key objects of study images and objects, which project images of gendered and racialised bodies. These can be drawn from a very wide range of sources - fashion and other magazines, television, cinema, graphic novels, comic books, illustrated books and everyday objects of mass culture as primary research. Relevant critical approaches and appropriate contextualisation of these and the objects of study will enable students to develop dissertations that essay the elision of image and gendered and racialised identities. In doing so students might enter the creative industries well versed in critical thinking such that their practice might be intellectually sound.

Seminar presentations by students and discussion of relevant and appropriate texts of critical theory will enable students to structure and develop critical analyses of the objects of study they have selected.

Discussions, presentations and regular writing practice with tutorial supervision will help students become confident in understanding images, and writing and articulating complex critical ideas in their own voices

Tutor: Dr Dipti Bhagat

Reading List

1. Williamson, Judith, ‘Images of “Woman”’, in: Screen, 24, vol.6 (1983), pp.102–116
2. Butler, Judith, Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex (Routledge: 1993)
3. Adams, Rachel and Savran, David, eds., The masculinity studies reader (Oxford: 2002)
4. Haddour, Azzedine, ed., The Fanon Reader: Frantz Fanon (Pluto: 2006)
5. Mirzoeff, Nicholas, ed., The visual culture reader, 3rd ed. (Routledge: 2013)