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Unit information: Sculpture and the Body (Level I Lecture Response Unit) in 2021/22

Unit name Sculpture and the Body (Level I Lecture Response Unit)
Unit code HART20026
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Dent
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of History of Art (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

In the long history of sculpture as an art form, the human body has formed its central subject, from prehistoric figurines to Antony Gormley's body casts. Indeed, the ways in which we imagine our own bodies and, above all, our beliefs in a physical ideal have all been shaped by the ability of sculpture to give concrete and durable form to this central element of existence, the experience of embodiment. This course will explore how the sculptural image of the body has been transformed and recreated over time. The ancient Greeks represented gods and heroes in bronze and marble. The Romans took those exemplary bodies and used them to legitimise their political dominance. Christianity imagined another physique, the suffering bodies of Christ and of the saints. These traditions have loaded the body with cultural and political significance, and in the modern world the legacy of these traditions continues to haunt our ability to accept and understand our own bodies, both male and female, as well as to imagine new ones.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

(1) demonstrate knowledge of the development of sculpture to depict the body;

(2) analyse and draw conclusions about the significance of developments in sculptural images of the body;

(3) select pertinent evidence/data in order to illustrate/demonstrate more general issues and arguments;

(4) identify a particular academic interpretation, evaluate it critically, and form an individual viewpoint.

Teaching Information

Classes will involve a combination of long- and short-form lectures, class discussion, investigative activities, and practical activities. Students will be expected to engage with readings and participate on a weekly basis. This will be further supported with drop-in sessions and self-directed exercises with tutor and peer feedback.

Assessment Information

One 2000-word essay (50%) (ILOs 1-4)

One timed assessment (50%) (ILOs 1-4)


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. HART20026).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.