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Faculty Feature: Sura Levine

Submitted by on July 8, 2013 – 9:24 amNo Comment

Sura Levine, professor of art history, holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan and an M.A. and Ph.D. in art history from the University of Chicago.

She is a specialist in the social history of 19th and 20th century European and American art with a particular interest in representations of class and gender in Belgian art. She has published essays and catalogue entries for museum exhibitions and scholarly journals both in the United States and Europe.

Recent essays include “Politics and the Graphic Art of the Belgian Avant-Garde,” “Belgian Art Nouveau Sculpture,” “Print Culture in the Age of the French Revolution,” “Constantin Meunier: A Life of Labor,” “Constantin Meunier’s Monument to Labor at the 1909 Meunier Exhibition in Leuven,” and “Pauvre Belgique: Collecting Practices and Belgian Art in and Outside of Belgium.”

Selected Courses

The Body in Modern Art (Spring 2013)

The representation of the human body is central to the history of art. This course will explore this crucial subject as it has been portrayed over the past two centuries. The course begins with readings on anatomy and the shift from Jacques-Louis David’s virile masculinity in the 1780s to a more androgynous and even feminized male as rendered by his followers. It then will explore the spectacle of a modern city in which prostitutes/ Venus/ femme fatales/other kinds of working women, often were favored over the domestic sphere. After examining art from the period of World War I where various assaults on traditional mimesis took place among avant-garde artists, this course will explore contemporary investigations of bodily representation, from the body sculpting projects of Orlan to identity politics and the ways that bodily representation have been developed.

Books, Book Arts, Artists’ Books, Bibliophilia (Spring 2013)

This course will examine the changing status of printed matter from the flowering of book design and book-bindings in turn-of-the-century England and the Continent through the early 20th-century transformative experiments of the Italian Futurists and the textual agitprop of the Russian Constructivists. Topics will explore the politics and possibilities of collaboration, innovation and design. Of particular interest will be such examples as William Morris’s Kelmscott Press, the Brussels-based publishers Edmond Deman and la Veuve Monnom; the Art Nouveau book and the renaissance of typographic design in Europe and the US; and the revolutionary book arts of El Lissitzky and Filippo Marinetti.