Visual Culture


Introduction to Visual Culture


1. Introduction to visual culture.

Discussing the relationship between culture and visuality.

Read James Elkins “Farewell to Visual Studies“.

2. What we see is real.

Discussing the fundamental mechanisms of seeing, perceiving and understanding reality

Read Jean Baudrillard sub-chapter “Hyperrealism of simulation” (pp. 143-147) and Chapter 7, Simulacra and Simulation

3. What we see is not real.

Questioning our ability to process visual information.

Read Gombrich and his analysis of illusions. Focus on chapter VII (pp. 203-241).

4. Images as narratives.

Discussing key concepts for the interpretation and explanation of images.

Read Schirato and Web, focus on pp. 81-105.

5. Images as constructions.

Discussion about constructionism and its role in understanding visual culture.

Read Kress and Leuwen

6. Images as ideology.

Discussing the relationship between contemporary visual culture and political ideologies.

Read Adorno and his conception about the role of art in the formation of ideology. Focus on pages 46-61

7. Bodies, gender, sex.

Discussing the implications of images and image building in our self identity.

Read Laura Mulvey and her seminal work on visual gaze, sexuality and cinema, available here:

8. Images, death and violence.

What is the role of images in social construction of violent imaginary.

Read the classical text of Georges Bataille.

9. Images in the digital world.

Discussing what are the consequences of total democratization of visual culture.

Read Andrew Darley and his views on the relationship between digital culture and visual culture.

10. Images and interpretations.

Putting together all the information in a personalized analysis of images.

Read Leuwen and Jewitt for a larger context.

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