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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Art

Undergraduate Course: Introduction to Visual and Cultural Studies (ARTX08084)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is an introduction to Visual Culture and its intersections with 20th century and contemporary art practice.
Course description The course provides students with a firm grounding in Visual Culture: the study of visuality, and the cultural frameworks in which visuality is governed, produced and regulated. The course introduces you to key concepts, themes, and approaches in the study of visuality and images. These include concepts of the gaze and spectatorship, technological reproduction and media, consumerism and commodity culture, the power of images in a global economy, and the interface between contemporary art and image culture.

Is our world increasingly visual and if so why? How do we understand images, and what is their function in contemporary culture? We will explore visual culture both from historical perspectives and from the perspective of contemporary culture and contemporary art practice. Students will gain a strong awareness not only of cultural history and the place of artistic practice within this, but also of the key theories of the 20th and 21st centuries that have helped shape our understanding of visual culture and the image-centred world in which we live.

The course will be delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking History of Art 2 (HIAR08012)
Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Evidence academic skills and judgement in identifying, collating and synthesising sources.
  2. Demonstrate independent and creative thinking.
  3. Evidence written and presentation skills in line with academic requirements.
  4. Demonstrate a critical understanding of concepts pertaining to visual culture.
Reading List
John Berger. Ways of Seeing. Penguin 2008
Guy Debord. The Society of the Spectacle. Rebel 1992
Simon During (ed.) The Cultural Studies Reader. Routledge 2007.
James Elkins. Visual Studies: A Skeptical Introduction. Routledge 2003
Nicholas Mirzoeff. How To See The World: An Introduction to Images, from Self-Portraits to Selfies, Maps to Movies, and More. Basic Books 2016.
Nicholas Mirzoeff. An Introduction to Visual Culture. Routledge 1999.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research skills, criticality, reflection
Keywordsvisual culture,contemporary art,image
Course organiserDr Kamini Vellodi
Tel: (0131 6)51 5800
Course secretaryMiss Clara Fraser
Tel: (0131 6)51 4164
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