Gender and Aesthetics: An Introduction, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Gender and Aesthetics

An Introduction, 1st Edition

By Carolyn Korsmeyer


208 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2004-02-12
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Feminist approaches to art are extremely influential and widely studied across a variety of disciplines, including art theory, cultural and visual studies, and philosophy. Gender and Aesthetics is an introduction to the major theories and thinkers within art and aesthetics from a philosophical perspective, carefully introducing and examining the role that gender plays in forming ideas about art. It is ideal for anyone coming to the topic for the first time.

Organized thematically, the book introduces in clear language the most important topics within feminist aesthetics:

  • Why were there so few women painters?
  • Art, pleasure and beauty
  • Music, literature and painting
  • The role of gender in taste and food
  • What is art and who is an artist?
  • Disgust and the sublime.

Each chapter discusses important topics and thinkers within art and examines the role gender plays in our understanding of them. These topics include creativity, genius and the appreciation of art, and thinkers from Plato, Kant, and Hume to Luce Irigaray and Julia Kristeva. Also included in the book are illustrations from Gaugin and Hogarth to Cindy Sherman and Nancy Spero to clarify and help introduce often difficult concepts. Each chapter concludes with a summary and further reading and there is an extensive annotated bibliography.

Carolyn Korsmeyer's style is refreshing and accessible, making the book suitable for students of philosophy, gender studies, visual studies and art theory, as well as anyone interested in the impact of gender on theories of art.


‘remarkably accessible, engaging, and very readable: it assumes little specialist philosophical knowledge. Gender and Aesthetics is very clearly written, and presents concise lucid explanations of several complex theoretical and philosophical positions.’ - The British Journal of Aesthetics

About the Series

Understanding Feminist Philosophy

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Aesthetics