Abstract: ‘Tights, Tits, and Titian: Female Objectification from the Italian Renaissance to Contemporary Comics’

Ultimate Comics Thor Vol 1 #1 textless Scott J. Campbell variant (2010)

Women as accessories

As previously announced, I’ll be presenting “Tights, Tits, and Titian: Female Objectification from the Italian Renaissance to Contemporary Comics” at the 6th Annual Comics & Popular Arts Conference at Dragon Con 2013!

Here’s my presentation’s abstract as a little sneak peek.

From art historical depictions of “Venus,” odalisques, and nude bathers to the improbably proportioned superheroines of contemporary comics, the female form has long been the subject of objectification.

Wonder Woman trapped with her chest sticking out

Example of an objectifying composition

In fact, many of the same methods used to objectify the female form in comic books –women as accessories, distorted anatomy, composition, and situational pretense – were first popularized by fine artists throughout history.

In order to further examine this objectification, I will present and analyze depictions of women in mainstream comics alongside a few significant art historical works from the likes of Titian and Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. I will also examine how this objectification has been subverted both within historic art works such as Manet’s Olympia and in modern culture by websites like The Hawkeye Initiative.

Titian's Venus of Urbino vs Joe DeVito's Catwoman

Venus of Urbino by Titian and Catwoman by Joe DeVito

You can catch “Tights, Tits, and Titian” as part of the “Gender, Race, and Identities in Comics” presentation at Dragon Con on Friday, August 30th at 8:30 pm in the Hyatt (Hanover F).

I’m also serving as a panelist on “Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Cosplay and Fandom” which will be a roundtable discussion taking place Saturday, August 31th at 8:30 pm in the Hyatt (Hanover F).

I hope you see you there!

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1 Response to “Abstract: ‘Tights, Tits, and Titian: Female Objectification from the Italian Renaissance to Contemporary Comics’”



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