Introduction to Visual Culture
(Bevezetés a vizuális kultúrába) in spring 2015
, Tue 09:30–11:00
lecture, 30 h/term; strong prereq: BMA-AMED-120
description & set texts
This course intends to investigate a field of study that has emerged as a discipline in its own right during the mid-1990s in the US as a result of the so-called "pictorial turn", i.e. a supposedly new hegemony or dominance of images in our society. Visual culture is fundamentally about the social construction of the visual field but, at the same time, it is also about the visual construction of the social field. Our readings will shed light on different instances thereof.
2. Visual Culture: An Approach
- Nicholas Mirzoeff: What is Visual Culture?
- W. J. T. Mitchell: The Pictorial Turn
3. Perception, Vision, Spectacle I
- Donald Lowe: from The History of Bourgeois Perception
- Jonathan Crary: Modernizing Vision
4. Perception, Vision, Spectacle II
- Martin Jay: Introduction [from Downcast Eyes]
- Norman Bryson: The Gaze in the Expanded Field
5. Empowerment and Disempowerment of Vision
- Michel Foucault: Panopticism
6. Photographic Images
- Roland Barthes: Rhetoric of the Image
- Roland Barthes: from Camera Lucida
7. Mid-term test
8. The Look, the Eye and the Gaze
- Jacques Lacan: from The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psycho-Analysis (The Split Between the Eye and the Gaze)
9. Bodies, Real and Virtual
- Janet Wolff: Reinstating Corporeality
- Anne Balsamo: On the Cutting Edge
10. Representation, Race and Identity
- Edward Said: from Orientalism (Orientalizing the Oriental)
- Adrian Piper: Passing for White, Passing for Black
11. Image, History, Memory
- Marianne Hirsch: Surviving Images: Holocaust Photographs and the Work of Postmemory
- Geoffrey Hartman:Tele-Suffering and Testimony in the Dot Com Era
12. End-term test
requirements & assessment
Set texts: packet for xeroxing will be available; basic source (with a few exceptions): Nicholas Mirzoeff: The Visual Culture Reader (2002)
Reading the assigned texts: Students are required to come prepared for class: they must be able to understand the texts (know the words), remember details, and formulate their critical comments. Not reading the assignment for a class counts as an absence.
Requirements: in-class participation, presentations (15-20 minutes), 2 tests
Failure to appear on day of presentation or tests will make your course incomplete.
Attendance. It is assumed that everyone will attend the classes. In accordance with university regulations, students are allowed three absences per semester; with more than three absences, their course will be incomplete.
Grading: in-class participation, presentations, test grades.