Modern Cultures of Seeing

Course Level: 
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Academic Year: 
US Credits: 
ECTS Credits: 
Course Description: 

The course invites the students to explore and reflect on how 20th-century visual media – from pictorial photography to digital image-making – constructed the image of the world and of the self in modernity. Focusing on questions of representation and identity formation, the course introduces methodologies of visual analysis as well as discusses the role of cultural or social contexts and modes of communication and self-representation. Theoretical readings are combined with viewing and analyzing visual material, offering the students an engagement with foundational readings on modernity and the image from a multidisciplinary perspective. The course also develops students’ familiarity with visual analysis by approaching visual media (with special focus on film and photography) not just as aesthetic practices that lay claim to reality, but also as intellectual discourses that reflect cultural and social ideas and can both shape and challenge existing conventions.

Class sessions will combine an introductory lecture with discussions based on assigned written and visual materials, undertaking their critique and analysis

Learning Outcomes: 

· Ability to analyze visual images contextually and critically

· Understanding social and cultural contexts of image creation and consumption

· Enhancement of writing skills on still and moving images and various image-making technologies.

· Knowledge of multiple disciplinary traditions and critical methodologies for the interpretation of visual material

· Understanding of medium specificity

· Practice of oral performance that creatively communicates facts and arguments

· Awareness of ethical issues involved in producing and circulating visual imagery

· Experience with producing a reflexive visual essay in a chosen medium


Requirements: class attendance, active class participation and group work, presentation, and final essay on the topic discussed with the instructors

in-class participation: 20%

“lightening talk” / image analysis 15%

visual essay 25 %

final paper 40 %