Professor of Art History
Levine 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. Levine has published essays and catalogue entries for museum exhibitions and scholarly journals in the United States and Europe. These include “A Hymn to Labor, A Hymn to Nation: Constantin Meunier’s Representations of Work and the Monument au Travail,” “From Noble Beggars and the Corrida to the Café ‘El Burrero,’” "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." She has been working on topics in the Holocaust, including a study of the attack on the 20th Convoy, and various topics in art and visual culture of the holocaust especially as it pertains to artists active in Belgium during WWII.
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.
This course will explore the aesthetic policies of the Third concentration camps, and the more recent trends to memorialize the Holocaust in visual terms. Topics will include: the Weimar Republic and the inter-war critiques of German society by German artists, the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and National Socialism, Hitler as a failed artist and the effects his lack of success had on the official aesthetic policies of the Third Reich, Leni Riefenstahl's films, artists who continued to produce their work while hiding, artistic production at the concentration camps, the "Degenerate Art" exhibition and the mass destruction of avant-gardist art in Germany, and the "rape" of Europe and the Nazi "collection" practices. We will examine notions of collective memory as they are constructed in holocaust monuments in Europe and the U.S. and recent cinematic representations of this crucial period.
In Greek, the term "Ekphrasis" means "to describe, to point out, to explain" and is associated with the desire to turn that which is visual into words. How do text and image reflect and depend on each other? For centuries, these two modes of representation have enjoyed fruitful yet difficult paths of communication and mutual questioning/interrogation. This course will touch on various issues that emerge from the rhetorical collaboration between text and image. Beginning with G.E. Lessing's 18th century discussion of the ancient sculpture of the Laocoon and ending with contemporary texts and imagery, we will examine the mutual "collaborations" between artist and writer, and writer and artist as romantic, modernist, and post-modernist activities. Writers and artists may include but are not limited to: Auden, Baudelaire, Beuys, Bruegel, Cezanne, Duchamp, Elmer, Ginsburg, van Gogh, Gogol, Hawthorne, Keats, Kennedy, Khnopff, Lessing, Moreau, Redon, Rich, Rossetti, Ruskin, Sexton, Shelley, Stein, Tennyson, Tsvetaeva, Turner, da Vinci, Waterhouse, Wilde, and Williams. This course is designed primarily for Division II students with at least one course in literature and/or art history.