COURSE INTRODUCTION AND APPLICATION INFORMATION


Course Name
Visual Theory
Code
Semester
Theory
(hour/week)
Application/Lab
(hour/week)
Local Credits
ECTS
MCS 360
Fall/Spring
3
0
3
5
Prerequisites
None
Course Language
English
Course Type
Elective
Course Level
First Cycle
Course Coordinator -
Course Lecturer(s)
Assistant(s) -
Course Objectives MCS 360 is an introduction to theoretical debates in the interdisciplinary field of visual culture. The course engages with the production, reception, appropriation and commodification of images and the ideologies of the visual. The contemporary world is saturated with visual images. These images include works of art found in galleries, museums and the public sphere, the built environment, our personal image archives, advertisements, television, film, music videos, newspapers, the Internet and social media such as Facebook, Instagram and others. Images, similar to texts, convey meanings and can be read and interpreted in different ways depending on who is looking from which perspective at a particular image in a particular time. This introductory course explores the visual from an interdisciplinary perspective across cultures and in various media. Its objective is to sharpen the gaze of the student by learning to look carefully at the visual world in the past, present, in remote as well as approximate places. The topics we engage with are always asking the question as to how our physical vision and socially constructed visuality relate to one another: how are visual images produced, what is their function and how do we consume them across different cultures, histories and memories? How do images function as signs and what do they tell us?
Learning Outcomes The students who succeeded in this course;
  • To demonstrate an understanding of key concepts in visual culture
  • To demonstrate an understanding of how theoretical debates in visual culture interrogate the gaze across different fields of visuality across local, national and the transnational visual landscapes.
  • To demonstrate an understanding of the discourses regarding questions of visual culture such as representation; advertisement, art and commodity fetishism; the production of historical images (British and Ottoman Empire); the production of gendered bodies in art, advertisement and cosmetic surgery; the meaning of surveillance in everyday life (CCTV and social media).
Course Content This course combines theoretical work and its application to images. Students are responsible for the preparation of presentations of each week’s key reading. Each week, we will summarise key points and arguments made by a visual theory scholar on a particular topic (see syllabus) and use examples that relate closely to the text.

 



Course Category

Core Courses
X
Major Area Courses
Supportive Courses
Media and Managment Skills Courses
Transferable Skill Courses

 

WEEKLY SUBJECTS AND RELATED PREPARATION STUDIES

Week Subjects Related Preparation
1 INTRODUCTION This session will serve to introduce you to visual culture as an interdisciplinary field of interest and to the objectives of this course. The first session is dedicated to the question as to how we should understand and pursue the study of images in a local, national and transnational context. There will be no key reading to accompany this first session (allowing you time to absorb next week’s reading).
2 STUDYING VISUAL CULTURE PART 1 Image: “Bad news and memories” - Atrocities - Museum, Public Sculptures, News Images. Mirzoeff, Nicholas (1998) “The Subject of Visual Culture”, in: Mirzoeff, Nicholas (ed) (1998) The Visual Culture Reader, Routledge, 3-23. Rogoff, Irit (1998) “Studying Visual Culture”, in: Mirzoeff, Nicholas (ed) (1998) The Visual Culture Reader, Routledge, 24-36.
3 STUDYING VISUAL CULTURE PART 2 Image: “Bad news and memories” 2 - Atrocities - Museum, Public Sculptures, News Images. Mitchell, W.J.T. (1998) “Showing Seeing: A Critique of Visual Culture”, in: Mirzoeff, Nicholas (ed) (1998) The Visual Culture Reader, Routledge, 86-101. Guins, Raiford/Morra, Joanna/ Smith, Marquard/ Cruz, Omayra (1998) “Conversations in Visual Culture”, in: Mirzoeff, Nicholas (ed) (1998) The Visual Culture Reader, Routledge,102-110.
4 HOW TO INTERPRET IMAGES PART 1: STUART HALL AND THE WORK OF REPRESENTATION Hall, Stuart (1997) “Introduction”, in: Hall, Stuart (ed) (1997) Representation: Cultural Representions and Signifying Practices, Sage, 1-11. Hall, Stuart (1997) “The Work of Representation”, in: Hall, Stuart (ed) (1997) Representation: Cultural Represenations and Signifying Practices, Sage, 13-74.
5 HOW TO INTERPRET IMAGES PART 2: STUART HALL AND THE WORK OF REPRESENTATION Hall, Stuart (1997) “Introduction”, in: Hall, Stuart (ed) (1997) Representation: Cultural Representions and Signifying Practices, Sage, 1-11. Hall, Stuart (1997) “The Work of Representation”, in: Hall, Stuart (ed) (1997) Representation: Cultural Represenations and Signifying Practices, Sage, 13-74.
6 CONSUMING CULTURE: KARL MARX’S CONCEPT OF COMMODITY FETISHISM Image: Advertisements and artists and activists consumer critique ‘Karl Marx’ in C. Lemert (ed.) (2004) Social Theory: the multicultural and classical readings, 29-41,49-60 Stallabrass, Julian (2004) “Consuming Culture”, in: Stallabrass, Julian (2004) Contemporary Art – A Very Short Introduction, 51-69.
7 SURVEILLANCE: FOUCAULT’S CONCEPT OF THE PANOPTICAL GAZE Images: News photography, architecture, film. Foucault, Michel (2007) “Panopticism”, in: Hier, Sean P. & Greenberg, Joshua (eds.) (2007) The Surveillance Studies Reader, Open University Press, 67-75. Sewell, Graham & Barker, James R. (2007) “Neither good, nor bad, but dangerous: surveillance as an ethical paradox”, in: Hier, Sean P. & Greenberg, Joshua (eds.) (2007) The Surveillance Studies Reader, Open University Press, 354-367.
8 Midterm
9 HISTORY AND EMPIRE PART 1: SOFT SOAPING THE BRITISH EMPIRE Images: Colonial advertisements (Soap, Coffee, Chocolate) McClintock, Anne (1998) “Soft-Soaping Empire: Commodity racism and imperial advertising”, in: Mirzoeff, Nicholas (ed) (1998) The Visual Culture Reader, Routledge,506-518.
10 GAZE, HISTORY AND EMPIRE PART 2: ORIENTALISM – THE EUROPEAN GAZE AND THE MIDDLE EAST Images: Orientalist oil paintings. Said, Edward (1979) “Introduction”, in: Said, Edward (1979) Orientalism, Vintage Books, 1-28. Mitchell, Timothy (1998) “Orientalism and the Exhibitionary Order”, in: Mirzoeff, Nicholas (ed) (1998) The Visual Culture Reader, Routledge, 495-505.
11 GAZE, HISTORY AND EMPIRE PART 3: HAREM, GENDER AND FRANTZ FANON’S ALGERIA UNVEILED Images: Orientalist oil paintings and contemporary photography. Fanon, Frantz (1963) “Algeria Unveiled” Alloula, Malek (1998) “From the Colonial Harem”, in: Mirzoeff, Nicholas (ed) (1998) The Visual Culture Reader, Routledge, 519-524. Richon, Olivier (1996) “Representation, the Harem and the Despot”, in: The BLOCK Reader in Visual Culture, Routledge.
12 POLITICS AND AESTHETICS OF THE GENDERED BODY Images: Works of art, advertisement and news Griselda, Pollock (1995) “Beholding Art History: Vision, Place and Power”, in: Melville, Stephen and Readings, Bill (eds.) (1995) Vision & Textuality, MacMillan, 38-66. Balsamo, Anne (1998) “On the Cutting Edge: Cosmetic Surgery and the technological production of the gendered body”, in: Mirzoeff, Nicholas (ed) (1998) The Visual Culture Reader, Routledge, 685-695.
13 FIELDTRIP Visit of a museum/gallery/arts centre in Izmir and talk with curators and artists
14 PREPARATION FINAL EXAM AND EVALUATION OF THE TERM
15 Semester Summary
16 Review of the Semester  
Course Textbooks
References

 

EVALUATION SYSTEM

Semester Requirements Number Percentage
Participation
10
Laboratory / Application
Field Work
Quizzes / Studio Critiques
Homework / Assignments
Presentation / Jury
1
20
Project
Seminar / Workshop
Midterms / Oral Exams
1
30
Final / Oral Exam
1
40
Total

Contribution of Semester Work to Final Grade
60
Contribution of Final Work to Final Grade
40
Total

ECTS / WORKLOAD TABLE

Activities Number Duration (Hours) Workload
Course Hours
Including exam week: 16 x total hours
16
3
48
Laboratory / Application Hours
Including exam week: 16 x total hours
16
Study Hours Out of Class
16
3
Field Work
Quizzes / Studio Critiques
Homework / Assignments
Presentation / Jury
1
10
Project
Seminar / Workshop
Midterms / Oral Exams
1
14
Final / Oral Exam
1
20
    Total
140

 

COURSE LEARNING OUTCOMES AND PROGRAM QUALIFICATIONS RELATIONSHIP

#
Program Qualifications / Outcomes
* Level of Contribution
1
2
3
4
5
1 To be able to critically discuss and interpret the theories, concepts and ideas that form the basis of media and communication discipline. X
2 To have the fundamental knowledge and ability to use the technical equipment and software programs required by the mediaproduction process.
3 To be able to use the acquired theoretical knowledge in practice.
4 To be able to critically interpret theoretical debates concerning the relations between the forms, agents, and factors that play a role in the field of media and communication. X
5 To be able to critically discuss and draw on theories, concepts and ideas that form the basis of other disciplines complementing the field of media and communication studies.
6 To be informed about national, regional, and global issues and problems; to be able to generate problemsolving methods depending on the quality of evidence and research, and to acquire the ability to report those methods to the public.
7 To be able to gather, scrutinize and use with scientific methods the necessary data to for the processes of production and distribution. X
8 To be able to use and develop the acquired knowledge and skills in a lifelong process towards personal and social goals.
9 To be able to follow developments in new technologies of media and communication, as well as new methods of production, new media industries, and new theories; and to be able to communicate with international colleagues in a foreign language. (“European Language Portfolio Global Scale,” Level B1)
10 To be able to use a second foreign language at the intermediate level.
11 To be able to use computer software required by the discipline and to possess advancedlevel computing and IT skills. (“European Computer Driving Licence”, Advanced Level)

*1 Lowest, 2 Low, 3 Average, 4 High, 5 Highest

 

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