ARTH 348H/2-AA - Special Topics in Art and Film: Introduction to Visual Culture: Methods and Themes
INSTRUCTOR: Kaia Scott
This course seeks to introduce students to debates that surround the emergence of the field of visual culture as an interdisciplinary domain of inquiry. Ever since the 1990's there has been an ever growing interest in developing approaches to visual materials outsides the confines of traditional disciplines such as art history or film studies. Visual culture embraces both high and low cultural forms, not limited to the category of "art." For instance, the use of images in advertising in order to saturate real and "virtual" spaces will be discussed. Particular attention will be given to the growing transmedial flow of images and to investigating sites of image accumulation and institutions of transmission in the 20th and 21st centuries, such as the museum, the movie theatre, and mass media. Students will be asked to consider various image producing and exhibition technologies as well as issues relating to spectatorship, meaning and the interpretation of images. Each week the class will explore either a theme or a corpus of works through readings and analysis with the aim of helping students develop methods of inquiry appropriate to investigating the world of visual culture. The work of several key theorists will be considered, which may include W.J.T. Mitchell, S. Kracauer, W. Benjamin, R. Barthes, H. Foster, M. Bal, J. Clifford, T. Gunning, etc.