History of Art 290 : Insiders and Outsiders in the Age of Pieter Bruegel

Instructor: Professors Elizabeth Honig

This course fulfills an elective requirement for the DE in REMS.

This seminar considers how group identification was formed, and what defined exclusion from those groups, in northern Europe of the early- to mid-16th century.  We will focus in particular on two questions integral to a renaissance conception of social belonging: the normative body and physical othering (deportment, disability, the racially other), and dwelling vs. a state of placelessness (vagrants, beggars, itinerant artists, other sorts of travelers).  We will put pressure on the paintings of Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel as the testimony of an artist thinking deeply about what it meant to belong, or not, in renaissance Europe, and we will read English and Flemish primary texts and documents about the disabled, vagrants, and soldiers; travel literature and ‘underworld’ texts; and modern theories of community, dwelling, embodiment and disability. No foreign language reading will be necessary.

This is a graduate/undergraduate seminar. Permission of the instructor is required; if possible, please contact me at elizahonig@yahoo.com by mid-August as there will be assigned readings for the first meeting. This class may be taken for 2 units (without research component) or for 4.

Section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes