Academic year
2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FM0248 (AF:376631 AR:209714)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
3rd Term
Course year
Go to Moodle page
The course is scheduled among the core educational activities for art-historical disciplines in the degree course in History of Arts and Conservation of Artistic Heritage.
The main course objective is to provide the basic tools for a comparative analysis on the themes of the monster and the hybrid body in contemporary art worldwide, with a focus on European, American, and Russian case studies. The topic will be addressed through a variety of approaches, from Body Art to the specific theme of monsters and hybrids, and, finally, through Post-Human perspectives.
1. Knowledge
The topic will be first addressed from a theoretical perspective, starting from the etymology of the words monster and hybrid; through some case studies, we will then proceed to carry out a transversal analysis of its occurrence in contemporary art. The course includes lectures by contemporary art curators and contemporary experts.
2. Communicative skills
Each student will be able to clearly communicate and substantiate the contents of the course.
3. Critical skills
Each student will be able to critically evaluate the historical evolution of this phenomenon and to identify the work of artists from different parts of the world not only in terms of a historical period but also of characteristic features.
Basic knowledge of contemporary art history acquired through the fundamental teaching courses scheduled in the biennial degree course.
The course will examine the work of contemporary artists of various nationalities, including Russian. Starting from the genre of the portrait, the course will move on to Body Art, then to various artistic expressions of the hybrid and monsters, to finally address Post-Human perspectives. We will try to shed light on the connection between the art and corporeality of classical mythology on the one hand and contemporary manipulations on the other. The hybrid will be considered as the point of intersection between human and animal, spiritual and carnal, as a metaphor of reality and as a perspective on the world.

1. Origins, etymology, and sources for contemporary art. Theoretical introduction to the topic.
2. From the “Identity and Alterity” Biennale to the human monster and the metamorphosis of the human beast.
3. The body in art: from the avant-gardes to J. Deitch’s exhibition "Post-human".
4. Chimerization, gorgonization, cyberization: three interpretive strategies.
5. Mutant identities and multiple identities.
6. The disabled body and contemporary art.
7. Becoming cyborgs.
8. The return to the body and the dismembered body.
9. Grotesque anatomies and hybris.
10. The vision of the body in Russian art.
11. Other examples: Russia, Spain, India, China, Japan.
Notes from the lessons
Slides projected during the lessons
Material from the e-learning Moodle platform
Pdf essays, links and videos.
Reference Books
Sally O'Reilly, Il corpo nell'arte contemporanea, Torino, Einaudi, 2011.
Jean Clair, Hybris. La fabbrica del mostro nell'arte moderna. Omuncoli, giganti, acefali, Milano, Johan &Levi Editore, 2015.
Lea Vergine, Body Art e storie simili. Il corpo come linguaggio, Milano, Skira, 2000.
Fancesca Alfano Miglietti, Identità mutanti, Milano, Bruno Mondadori, 2008.
Emanuele Coccia, Metamorfosi, Torino, Einaudi, 2022.
Il Bello e le bestie. Metamorfosi, artifici e ibridi dal mito all’immaginario scientifico, a cura di Lea Vergine e Giorgio Verzotti,Milano, Skira, 2004.
La Biennale di Venezia. 46ª Esposizione internazionale d'arte. Identità e alterità. Figure del corpo (1895-1995), a cura di Jean Clair e Manlio Brusatin, Venezia, Marsilio, 1995.
Jeffrey Deitch, Post-Human, Amsterdam, Idea Books, 1992.

The learning outcomes will be assessed by a written exam of two hours and a paper on a topic to be agreed with the professor (outcome of the seminar activity or individual work on a topic to be agreed with the professor). You can find information on the individual work on Moodle.
The exam consists of three open questions and the identification of three artworks, selected among the slides projected during the lessons. One incomplete answer will result in a fail grade.
The use of books, notes, and electronic media is not allowed during the test.
Non-attending students may sit the exam based on the bibliographical integrations enlisted in the dedicated section.
Lessons open to the discussions and commentaries of the slides and texts presented in class.
Webinars and talks with selected guests.
It is possible that the lectures will be integrated with visits to exhibitions.
Seminar activities are planned in groups with tutors that will result in a student conference.
The materials presented in class will be available on the Moodle e-learning platform together with additional sources.
The material shown during the lessons will be available on the University's Moodle e-learning platform together with additional bibliographical material.
Students with disabilities or those with special educational needs are kindly asked to contact the relevant offices by the start of the course.

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Human capital, health, education" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 08/02/2023