Science, Technology, Medicine and Visual Culture
We are surrounded with images, photos, and moving pictures, yet
we have little language to write about how they affect us. The
purpose of this course is to learn how to critically read and
write about visual power and visual culture by attending to the
means of their production, as well as their reception.
Reading, viewing and class participation are 30% of your grade.
You must show up and your eyes must be open!
Writing assignments include three short (3-5 page) papers applying
the readings to visual media you have witnessed.
The final project is to produce a multi-media, hypermedia, or
other visual explication of a key concept in critical visual studies.
Week 1: Ways of Seeing
- John Berger. (1973) Ways of Seeing. New York: Viking
- E.H. Gombrich. (1982) The Image and the Eye: Further Studies
in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation. Oxford: Phaidon.
- Martin Kemp. (1990) The Science of Art: Optical Themes
in Western Art from Brunelleschi to Seurat. New Haven: Yale
University Press. (Selections).
- Paper Tiger - Donna Haraway reads National Geographic
Week 2: Cultural Codes - Advertising Images
- Roland Barthes, (1972). Mythologies. New York: The
- Roland Barthes, (1988) "The Advertising Message"
in The Semiotic Challenge. New York: Hill and Wang 173-179.
- Marshall McLuhan, (1967) The Mechanical Bride: folklore
of industrial man. Boston: Beacon Press. (Selections).
- Louise Krasniewicz (1994) Pregnant Men: The Social Alchemy
of Male Birthing.
- Pepsi Ad Campaign - 1950 - 1990
Week 3: Cultural Codes - Film, TV and Race
- Hamid Naficy and Teshome H. Gabriel, ed. (1993). Otherness
and the Media: the Ethnography of the Imagined and the Imaged.
Studies in Film and Video. Langhorne, Pa: Harwood Academic
- Lipsitz (1993) The Ethnic Image In Film (A Course Description)
Radical History Review, Fall, N57:182-185.
- Marlon Riggs (1991) Color Adjustment
- Marlon Riggs (1986) Ethnic Notions
Week 4: Access and the Infrastructure of Visual Culture
- Ithiel de Sola Pool. (1983) Technologies of Freedom.
Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press (Selections).
- Joceba Gabliondo (1992) "The Event Film" (manuscript).
- Reebee Garofalo. "Understanding Mega-Events: If We Are
the World, then How Do We Change It?" in Technoculture.
- Information Superhighway Debates (Selected mass-media articles).
- On-line debates over public access
Week 5: Popular Culture
- Stephen Heath. (1984) The Sexual Fix. New York: Schocken
- Colin MacCabe, ed, (1986) High Theory/Low Culture: Analysing
Popular Television and Film New York: St. Martin's Press.
- Talk Shows
- Soap Opera
Week 6: Mathematical Persuasion and Visual Evidence
- Darrell Huff (1993) How to Lie with Statistics. New
York: W.W. Norton.
- Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray, (1994) The Bell
Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life.
- Jacques Bertin (1983) Semiology of Graphics. Madison,
Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press. (Selections)
- Denis Wood (1992) The Power of Maps. New York: Guilford
- Theodore M. Porter. (1992). "Quantification and the Accounting
Ideal in Science." Social Studies of Science 22:
- Dumit - Objective Brains, Prejudicial Images.
Week 7: Photography, Truth, and Simulation
- Tagg, John. (1988). "The Proof of the Picture"
in The Burden of Representation: Essays on Photographies and
Histories. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.
- Stephen Heath (1991) "CNN and the Position of the Announcer."
- Jennifer Tucker (1993) "Visualizing the Invisible: On
the Use of Photographs as Evidence of the Unseen" (manuscript).
- Jennifer Mnookin (1994) "The Use of Photographs in Court"
- Cops (reality TV)
Week 8: Medical Images
- Rosalind Petchestky, (1987). "Fetal Images: The Power
of Visual Cultures in the Politics of Reproduction." Feminist
Studies 13.2: 206.
- Valerie Hartouni, (1991). "Containing Women: Reproductive
Discourse in the 1980s." Technoculture. Ed. Constance
Penley and Andrew Ross. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota
- Rayna Rapp, (1993). "Accounting for Amniocentesis."
Knowledge, Power, and Practice: The Anthropology of Medicine
and Everyday Life. Ed. Shirley Lindenbaum and Margaret Lock.
Berkeley: University of California Press. 55.
- Emily Martin (1992) "Body Narratives, Body Boundaries"
in Cultural Studies.
- Lennart Nilsson, The Miracle of Life
- Nova - The Brain
Week 9: Science and Biology of Vision
- Richard Mark Friedhoff and William Benzon (1989) Visualization:
the Second Computer Revolution. New York: Abrams. (Selections).
- Gregory, Richard. (1981). Mind in Science Chap 12:
"Links of Brain".
- Stephen Kosslyn (1994) Image and Brain: the Resolution
of the Imagery Debate. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. (Selections)
- Our own vision: Optical Illusions as a Means of Scientific
Week 10: Producing Visuals, Project Presentations