Because complex issues of seeing, interpreting, and producing representations cannot be adequately considered in any one “art” discipline, and representational practices refuse to remain confined to any material or symbolic boundary through art, there is a need for transdisciplinary undergraduate courses in visual culture. This paper describes the development and implementation of a course on visual culture in an institution of higher education in the United States. The content of the course focuses on the critical analysis and interpretation of various images and texts, and how they move from one social arena to another. This analysis includes looking closely at elements of visual culture that function to regulate, categorize, and identify cultures and ideas. The interpretation includes engaging images according to their socio-historical contexts, investigating the relationship of images to ideology, and thinking about the ways that we make meaning from and award value to images. Integral to the course is a transdisciplinary inquiry that examines ways of looking, such as different “gazes,” contemporary communication technologies and global media technologies used as a tool to support cultural and political autonomy in the face of globalization.
|Keywords:||Visual Culture, Visual Studies, Visuality, Art Education, Social Diversity, Cultures and Ideas, Everyday Life, University Course, Transdisciplinarity|
Associate Professor, The Department of Art Education, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
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