Explain the theoretical (and/or historical/cultural) context

Assessment criteria (work to these criteria)

Questions to consider in regard to meeting the criteria are below in italics.

1. Explain the theoretical (and/or historical/cultural) context of the chosen topic.

(Ask yourself: Have I thoroughly explained the theory or historical/cultural context of my chosen topic and backed it up with references to scholarly texts? Have I been thoughtful and critical, aware of the strengths, limitations, and nuances of the theories or aware of the nuances and different aspects of the context? What relevant information do I need to convey about this topic to act as a foundation for my analysis of the artefacts?)

2. Identify key themes (or issues, theories, and/or historical/cultural contexts) concerning gender, sexuality, and representation in the chosen examples from visual culture, design, and/or art.

(Ask yourself: What themes are reflected in the artefacts? Are my chosen artefacts relevant to the topic? Have I communicated the themes clearly?)

3. Critically evaluate and analyse representations of gender and sexuality in different examples from visual culture, design, and/or art by applying theoretical frameworks or by using the historical / cultural context as an analytical framework.

(Ask yourself: How effectively have I used the theories (or historical/cultural context) to analyse the artefacts? Have I made clear and meaningful links between the theories/context and the artefact? Have I been critical, specific, and detailed in my analysis to delve deep beneath the surface? Have I been sensitive to the nuances of the issue (or example), and have considered different perspectives and arguments?)

4. Essay structure, depth of research, academic writing conventions, bibliography, appropriate use of references to scholarly texts, spelling, punctuation, grammar.

(Ask yourself: Have I done my best to create an essay that is clear and easy to read, uses formal academic language, is well-structured, logical, accurate, scholarly, and well-researched?  Have I used Studiosity for feedback on my written expression?  Did I take part in the peer review and did I apply the feedback? Do I have approx. 8+ scholarly references in my bibliography? Have I used quotes or references to scholarly texts to support arguments? Is my bibliography accurate? Is my essay the right word length? Do my pictures help illustrate my points and do they have captions? Have I carefully proof-read the essay and presented it professionally?)

Assessment 1 Topics

Choose ONE topic from the list below:

1. Feminism is a contested term and movement/s, meaning different things to different people in different contexts. Give a critical account of what Feminism is and why it is complicated, discussing various definitions, and by drawing on scholarly research. Analyse at least 2 examples from visual culture, art, and / or design that demonstrate different aspects, definitions, or concerns of feminism (use this analysis to illustrate the points you are making about Feminism). Note – you may have your own ideas of what Feminism is, but you need to support your arguments with evidence / quotes / etc.

2. Feminism has evolved over time according to the challenges women have faced, the achievements of previous feminists, and due to various social and cultural changes. Give a critical account of the history and evolution of feminism, and the relevant social and cultural context. Demonstrate your understanding of the history and evolution of feminism by critically analysing at least 3 examples from visual culture, art and /or design that illustrate the way feminist ideas have evolved and reflect the social and cultural context. (Note – you should also be critical and thoughtful about historical accounts: e.g. are any perspectives left out? What are the limitations of certain approaches? Are there any risks in looking at the issue through a contemporary lens? etc.)

3. While Feminism in general is concerned with gender equality, in reality various modes of Feminism throughout history and in the contemporary context have excluded certain groups of women. Discuss 1-2 such examples, explaining the historical, social, and theoretical context. Analyse at least 2 examples from art, design, and / or visual culture that engage with or illustrate the issues. Use scholarly texts to support your discussion. (Examples may include white feminism, trans-exclusionary radical feminism, or sex worker-exclusionary radical feminism).

4. Compare and contrast at least two representations that depict the female body or the male body (or non-binary, trans, or gender queer bodies that are exploring or conveying a sense of femininity or masculinity). Analyse how these representations reinforce, challenge, or subvert current or historical perspectives of feminism or masculinities. Make sure you draw upon scholarly sources in your discussion and contextualise the examples against the relevant themes and historical / cultural, or theoretical backdrop.

5. Why is gender representation in culture an important but vexed issue? Explain some of the issues and context that surround why some people’s cultural contributions are more valued than others, or why some people are represented in culture above others. Choose 1-2 issues, events, or examples that have occurred in recent years that raise questions about gender representation and culture.  Discuss the context of the events, the implications, reactions (i.e. how the media or different groups in society reacted), or other relevant issues.  Analyse at least 2 examples from art, design, and / or visual culture that engage with or illustrate the issue. Use scholarly texts to support your discussion.

6. Explain what intersectionality is, why it is important, and how it relates to feminism by drawing on the ideas of relevant scholars. Demonstrate your understanding of intersectionality by analysing at least 2 examples of art, design, and / or visual culture, showing how they engage with these issues.

7. Discuss the impact of traditional / patriarchal notions of masculinity on men, boys, and other people. Analyse at least 2 examples from art, design, and / or visual culture that engage with or illustrate the issue. Use scholarly texts to support your discussion.

8. Do you think historical constructions or myths of Australian masculinity (and their associated values) have any relevance in present day Australia?  Why / why not?  Analyse at least 3 examples from 21st century visual culture that reinforce, challenge, or subvert historical myths of Australian masculinity or offer alternatives? Use scholarly texts to support your discussion.

9. Compare and contrast at least 3 representations of different aspects of masculinity from visual culture. Discuss the social, historical, and cultural context of the representations and the implications of each example in terms of the messages that are being sent, and the values being promoted (e.g. are they subverting or supporting traditional patriarchal values? Are they reinforcing or challenging stereotypes or gender roles? etc.). Use scholarly texts to support your arguments.

10. ‘Not all men…’ is a clichéd phrase used in debates about male violence against women in order to defend men or discredit feminist perspectives (i.e. ‘Not all men harass women / murder women / abuse women’ etc. Also see hashtag #NotAllMen). With reference to scholarly texts, discuss and critique the implications of this phrase, how it may (or may not be) problematic, any misunderstandings that may be attached to it, or other issues associated with it. Analyse at least 2 examples from visual culture, art, and / or design that demonstrate issues associated with this phrase.

11. Create 2 to 4 memes that deal with issues concerning feminism (any aspect), intersectionality, or masculinities (choose just 1 of these themes). With reference to relevant theories, theorists, and scholarly texts discuss the context of the meme, the references in it, the multiple layers of meaning, its relation to similar memes, the social critique, or the use of humour / irony / sarcasm (these are suggestions – choose the angle that is most relevant to your examples).  Alternatively choose several existing memes and analyse and compare them in relation to the above issues. Note – you must provide good quality versions of the memes within your document (approx. 1/4 to 1/2 page size).

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