Images function as both a practical artistic medium (in advertisements for example) but also as something to be aesthetically enjoyed. They can also serve as a medium for social change as images can spread awareness about important issues and, in the digital age, reach huge numbers of people regardless of the language they speak. To better understand how images function, this course introduces students from a variety of backgrounds and interests to interdisciplinary approaches to visual studies, culture, and theory. We will learn how to analyze, evaluate, and interpret images across multiple cultural realms, including art and popular media, public and political space, advertising and commerce, and cinematic and virtual worlds.
Students will develop a sound foundation in relevant theories such as the gaze, agency, semiology, the exhibitionary order, and spectatorship. Throughout the course, we will also consider how visual technologies have been crucial to the construction and representation of diverse subjectivities, and how they have intersected with broader economic, political, and cultural developments such as colonialism and globalization. Topics will be organized through three interrelated and mutually constitutive thematic units: Technologies of Vision; Spaces of Vision/Envisioning Space; and Global Visual Culture. Each unit will be concluded through a project taking creative and critical visual and/or textual form.

offering time

Fall 22


Art and Media Studies


Tram Luong



Course code


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