Visual Studies Minor
Humanities & Fine Arts |
Social Science & History |
Visual studies, sometimes also known as visual culture studies, seeks to understand the many ways that we see, and are made to see, the world, and the role that visual images play. While such imagery includes works of art, it also encompasses the imagery of movies, plays, advertisements, scientific illustrations, political posters, fashion, pornography, comics, graphic novels, WebPages, YouTube and many other areas of visual culture.
Students of visual studies analyze how the design of images (that is, their use of formal elements such as line, shape, value, texture and color), the combinations of text and image, how the media disseminates them, their sequential arrangements (in the case of narrative imagery), their choice of foci, affects our interpretation of them.
Understanding iconography--that is, the set of symbolic meanings that we attach to images-- is also important as this frequently reflects socio-political dynamics, religious beliefs, gender norms, ideals of morality etc. The latter point relates to the very important question that students of visual studies ask: For whom was the image made and why? That is, when someone makes an image they invariably do so, either consciously or not, with assumptions about the social, gender or cultural identity of the viewer. This vital point unites the study of visual imagery in art, theatre and movie history, and in the fields of psychology and anthropology.
Minor Requirements (16 credits):
The minor must include courses drawn from the social sciences and the arts and humanities, but students may take it as an Humanities & Fine Arts PEAK or a Social Science & History PEAK, depending on the relative weighting of the courses chosen.
Humanities & Fine Arts PEAK
Social Science & History PEAK
- Studio-art classes including, but not limited to:
- Courses such as the following that include significant use of visual material:
- ART-497 Internship (1-3 cr) in an appropriate area: art museums and galleries, graphic design firms, theatre or film production companies, etc.