Research project in gender & sexuality in art history

Gender & Sexuality in Art History



Final Project Format.  Every paper must:

·      Be 8-10 pages, typed, double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point font.

·      Have a bibliography listing all works consulted, not just cited works.  The final bibliography is NOT annotated.

·      Use Chicago, MLA, or APA citation style throughout the paper.

·      Include images at the end of the paper, after the bibliography.

·      The bibliography and images are NOT part of the final page count.



·    Black and white images are fine. 

·    Images should not be part of the paper final page count.

·    Images should be clearly identified by artist, title, and date.

·    Images should not be cited or listed in the bibliography.


Important reminders:

·      Late projects will not be accepted.

·      Projects MUST be submitted in hard copy form.  Email submissions will NOT be accepted.

·      Sloppy or inadequate presentation results in grade reduction. 

·      Inadequate citations also lead to grade reductions.

·      No citations and/or evidence of plagiarism or cheating of any kind will result in a failing grade for the course.


Overall assignment reminder

All projects must:

  • involve scholarly research;
  • have a bibliography with appropriate college-level sources;
  • demonstrate original, analytical thinking;
  • be presented orally to the class;
  • be submitted to me in a clean, well-organized, typed paper with images

Developing a thesis

A strong project has a clear, identifiable thesis statement in the introductory paragraph.  A thesis statement is the answer to your research question.  After you’ve completed your research, formulate the answer to your question.  This thesis is then the main point of your paper.  A strong thesis meets the following criteria:

  • Answers the research question.
  • Is one complete unified statement about the artist or artwork.
  • Is precise enough to limit the material.
  • Is general enough to need support.
  • Is defensible.
  • Is not too obvious.


It is important that the thesis be your idea about the work of art.  Even though you are working with secondary sources, don’t just repeat or summarize someone else’s ideas on the subject.


Sample thesis statements:


Carved wooden masks, such as the nineteenth-century mask at the William Benton Museum of Art, were worn at ritual performances to represent social, spiritual, satirical, and commemorative values of Yoruba culture.


Hiram Powers’s The Greek Slave of 1844 tells us about the cultural construction of gender in nineteenth-century America.


The message of William Hahn’s Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point (1874) was that the natural and technological qualities of the American West were compatible, and that the West could endure as both a symbol and resource.


By looking at Grant Wood’s midwestern background and his process of creation, we shall find that American sources – not European ones – best explain his famous painting of 1930, American Gothic.


In Lunch Hour (1939), Isabel Bishop embodied a middle-class ideology of office work that prescribed proper business conduct for women in the 1930s.





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