Visual Culture Minor - Curriculum

Visual Culture Minor

Group A
Choose three of the following:
 Media, Creativity, and Innovation
This foundational course explores how visual creators use new media and technologies for cultural impact and expression in a variety of fields. How have these new innovations merging art and technology impacted contemporary society by combining different languages, including visual, verbal, written and signed? By selecting case studies within the fields of, for example, film, journalism, digital media, games, internet culture, immersive media, students will understand how creative media is shaped by, and engages with, contemporary economic and social issues within the U.S. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
American Painting*
A survey of the style and meaning in American paintings from the colonial limners, through the 19th and 20th centuries, to contemporary artists. It centers on what distinguishes painting of the colonies and of the United States from the European counterpart. Lecture 3 (Fall).
This course examines the role of women in the visual arts as both images makers and subject matter in order to see how gender plays a role in the conceptualization of creativity and art. Among the topics to be discussed are: the construction of femininity and gender in the patriarchy; art as an ideological practice; women, art, and society; art history, art education, and art evaluation; women artists and their contemporaries. Lecture 3 (Spring).
 Introduction to Museums & Collecting
This course examines the history, theory, and practice of museums by situating them as social institutions emerging within their broader historical and cultural contexts, from their origins in the mouseion of the classical era and Renaissance cabinets of curiosities to the modern era’s World’s Fairs and museums of today. The evolution and range of museum functions are addressed. Building on these foundations, the following types of museums and institutions are explored: art and design, natural history, anthropology, science, and history museums, as well as historic houses and sites, botanical gardens, and zoos. In studying the histories and functions of museums through the lenses of social institutions, the course highlights the evolution of museums institutionally, ideologically, and experientially. The course considers the operations of museums, governance, and the professional ethics and legal constraints that affect museum professionals; examines museums and their practices through the perspectives of colonialism and de-colonialization, nationalism, class, gender, ethnicity, anti-racism, and community; and includes field trips to local institutions and on-campus site visits throughout the semester. Lecture 3 (Fall).
 Introduction to Visual Art �
This course will develop students' ability in perceiving worth in objects of art through consideration of fundamental concepts in painting, sculpture and architecture, involving analysis, interpretation and principles of aesthetics. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
 Introduction to Film �
This course provides the student with an introduction to film as an art form. The course presents a vocabulary for film analysis as well as the critical and analytical skills for interpreting films. The course examines the major aesthetic, structural, historical, and technical components of film. It considers how a film works, by looking internally at the multiple aspects that comprise the construction of a film, and externally at how a film affects the viewers. Students will watch a variety of feature films, primarily American, ranging in date from the 1940's through the 2000's. Clips from alternative films and foreign films will also be screened and discussed. Any artistic background in film, music, theatre, painting, sculpture, etc., is helpful, but no specific technical knowledge of film, video, or photography is required or expected. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
 Introduction to Visual Culture �
This course provides an introduction to Visual Culture studies, an interdisciplinary field of study that explores the ways in which our lives are shaped through contact with, and consumption of, images, designed objects and visual forms of media, communication, and information. Students will develop a critical understanding of different aspects of contemporary visual culture as well as an awareness of its recent historical development. Lecture 3 (Fa/sp/su).
 Queer Looks
In this course we examine representations of queer sexuality in art, film and popular culture beginning in the repressive 1950s, followed by the Stonewall Riots of 1969. We situate the birth of gay liberation in the U.S. in the context of the civil rights struggles, feminism and the anti-war movement. We turn to the work of Andy Warhol that looms over the post-war period, challenged subsequently by the onset of AIDS and the work of General Idea and Act-Up, on the one hand, and the more graphically provocative work of Robert Mapplethorpe, on the other. We examine the diversification of the queer community as transgendered identity asserts itself and the opening of popular culture to issues of diverse sexual identities. We explore expressions of queer sensibility outside of North America and Europe. We turn finally to the issue of gay marriage, both in the U.S. and abroad. Lecture 3 (Spring).
 Vision, Media and Technology in Rochester
This course seeks to enrich students’ understanding of the visual by studying its historical, technical, and social construction. Recognizing the biases and issues of access embedded in visual media, we will consider how these media can both limit and liberate one’s experience of the visual world depending on ability, identity, and socioeconomic status. In addition to studying a range of image-making technologies—such as photography, film, photocopying, and virtual reality—we will also analyze the resulting images as expressions of aesthetic, cultural, and social values. We will set our sights on legacy Rochester companies, such as Eastman Kodak, Bausch & Lomb, and Xerox, to explore how the Flower City has contributed to the invention of modern and contemporary ways of seeing. Visits to institutions on and/or beyond campus will offer further insight into how RIT and Rochester remain at the forefront of experiments in visual art and visual science. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
 History & Theory of Exhibitions
Exhibitions are organized around a creative curatorial premise, a statement that articulates an idea allowing for the selection of work included in an exhibition. This course begins with an overview of exhibition history, starting with the transformation of the Louvre into the first public art museum following the French Revolution, where art history, a discipline developed in the 19th century, was enlisted to organize exhibitions. The class analyzes how art and exhibitions represent the cultural contexts in which they are created. The course examines the proliferation of types of exhibitions that accompanies modernism, up to the present, paying close attention to the curatorial premise animating the exhibitions. Lecture 3 (Spring).
 Visual Art, Automation, and Artificial Intelligence
The advent of text-to-image generative AI models has upended longstanding assumptions about the human labor and social impact of visual art. Questions about veracity, originality, and intellectual property, however, are not new to visual culture. This course will connect visual practices rooted in ideas of automation and computation to current debates about artificial intelligence and its practical/ethical implications for human creativity. We will focus on contemporary art and design practices from the 1950s to the present, such as conceptual art, new media art (e.g., video, digital, and computer art), generative art, and algorithmic art, as well as the emergence of computer-aided software, rapid prototyping, and other automated approaches to design. Studying how artists and designers have tackled such issues as authorship, collaboration, open sourcing, and appropriation will underpin our efforts to envision informed, ethically sound approaches to AI-generated image making. In addition to class discussions and debates, experimental activities employing text-to-image models will be a central component of the course. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
 Global Craftivism, Gender and Handwork
The course focuses on how traditionally feminine and domestic handcrafts have been thrust into the public sphere for social activist work in a highly visual manner. Students will examine, from both intellectual and practical perspectives, large-scale examples of craft activism both within the U.S. and internationally, focusing on the connections to political movements and how craft is made politically visual. The role of craft as an organizing force, typically enacted by women and gender minorities in situations of physical and personal vulnerability, will be investigated through readings centered on the historical ties of craft to activism and social reform in the U.S. For example, students will study the role of handwork in the Suffragist and Abolitionist movements and in the American Revolution with women’s use of “homespun” cloth. Attention will also be paid to the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt in the late 20th century. Expanding beyond the U.S., the course will analyze how craft can transform into a narrative of personal or communal identity and an ethnicity-preserving tool through case studies such as those from Chile (Arpilleras), Laos (Hmong story cloths), Argentina (Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo kerchiefs), India (Khadi cloth), England (Greenwich Commons Women’s Peace Camp and quilts), and Myanmar (street crochet for Democracy). Close attention will also be paid to the role of handcraft as a rallying force in organizing efforts relating to current issues such as reproductive justice, women’s rights, racial justice, LGBTQIA+ rights, climate and environmental justice, and to how craft activist campaigns are organized and disseminated through social media. During the course, students will work at transforming a contemporary social issue they care about into the theme of their own final project to be unveiled by the end of the semester. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
 Media Production Lab: Project Development, Pitch and Funding
In this tech-forward environment, students will gain hands-on media-production experience and exposure to innovative technologies to enhance their storytelling and media capabilities. Students will develop a project, business plan (where appropriate) and pitch for entry in campus competitions, and will learn how to concisely “sell” their innovative media ideas, and prototype, in a succinct and compelling way to possible funders. Students will also learn how to navigate funding opportunities that are internal to and external to RIT, how to identify gaps in the media-production landscape, and how to make themselves distinct from competitors. At the end of the course, students will have produced, and pitched, their own innovative media project ready for competition. Lec/Lab 3 (Fall or Spring).
 Contemporary Cinema: Fact and Fiction
We will study cinema in the United States and abroad from the mid-20th century to contemporary screen cultures. We will consider shorts, war documentaries, biographical and autobiographical films, animation, mockumentaries, video diaries, and immersive installations. Questions we will ask include: How does cinema represent or transform social and historical events in local and global contexts? Which ethical and aesthetic responsibilities does a filmmaker have to their audience and filmed subjects? What ethical questions do the films raise for us as spectators? How do we understand the role of media technologies in the making of these films? We will investigate the structures, techniques, and ideologies that identify cinematic practices as fiction or non-fiction and consider films that challenge these representational systems, helping us examine the line between fact and fiction. Students will complete a film critique as a class assignment. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
 Exhibition Design
This course examines the history and practice of exhibition design. It reviews the history of exhibitions within the development of museum-like institutions. In this course the following aspects of exhibition design are considered: curatorial premise or theme, exhibition development timeline, exhibition site, contracts and contractual obligations, budgets and fundraising, publicity material, didactic material, and exhibition design. The course includes field trips to local institutions and collections throughout the semester. Lecture 3 (Fall).
 American Film of the Studio Era
This course examines the history and aesthetics of the motion picture in the United States between the 1890s and the early 1960s; emphasis will be placed on the analysis of both the work of major American filmmakers and the development of major American film genres during the Classical Hollywood Studio period. Among the filmmakers to be studied are Griffith, Chaplin, Hawks, Ford, Capra, Welles, Curtiz, Wilder, Donen, Sirk, Ray, Hitchcock, and Kubrick. Genres to be covered include the melodrama, silent comedy, screwball comedy, western, thriller, film noir, newspaper film, and the gangster film. The films will be studied within the context of contemporary cultural and political events, and will be discussed from several viewpoints, including aesthetic, technical, social, and economic. The ways in which gender and class are constructed through the movies will also be a major focus of study. Lecture 3 (Annual).
 American Film Since the Sixties
This course examines the history and aesthetics of the motion picture in the United States since the late 1960s, when the classical studio era ended. Emphasis will be placed on the analysis of both the work of major American filmmakers and the evolution of major American film genres between 1967 and 2001. Among the filmmakers to be studied are Kazan, Cassavetes, Penn, Coppola, Scorsese, Spielberg, Allen, Seidelman, Lee, Burton, Altman, Tarantino, Coen, and Lynch. The course will consider the evolution of such traditional Hollywood genres as the gangster film, the romantic comedy, and the Hollywood movie, study the development of new, blended genres, investigate the rise of the blockbuster, explore the rise of the Independents, and follow the aesthetic changes that occurred since the 1967. The films will be studied within the context of contemporary cultural and political events, and will be discussed from several viewpoints, including aesthetic, technical, social, and economic. The ways in which gender, race, and class are constructed through the movies will also be a major focus of study. Lecture 3 (Spring).
 Art in the Age of the New Deal
In this course we examine art in the age of the New Deal; that is, the art of the 1920's and the 1930's, with a particular emphasis on the artwork produced through the programs of the Roosevelt Administration's New Deal. These programs sponsored the visual arts, as well as film, theater, literature, music, and dance. We study the art produced through this sponsorship in the context of the evolution of twentieth century modernism, mostly European, that had begun to influence American art. We will look at the stylistic and ideological affinities of the figurative style, known as the American scene, with the Mexican muralists of the 1920's and examine other government-sponsored social realist art of the 1930's, notably German and Russian. Lecture 3 (Spring).
 Visual Culture Theory
Visual Culture studies recognize the predominance of visual forms of media, communication, and information in the contemporary world, investigating both “high" cultural forms such as fine art, design, and architecture and popular "low" cultural forms associated with mass media and communications. Visual Culture studies represents a turn in the discourse of the visual, which had focused on content-based, critical readings of images, and has since broadened its approach to additionally question the ways in which our consumption and production of images and image based technologies are structured. Analyzing images from a social-historical perspective, visual culture asks: what are the effects of images? Can the visual be properly investigated with traditional methodologies, which have been based on language, not imagery? How do images visualize social difference? How are images viewed by varied audiences? How are images embedded in a wider culture and how do they circulate? Lecture 3 (Fall).
Traumatic Images
This course investigates visual culture and its imagistic response to life's crises. Problems of identity and identification will be explored and confronted through works of photography, painting, mixed media, new media and film of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. Beginning with the late 19th Century vogue for images of hysterical women, crippled black-sheep family members and dead loved ones (as corpses and as ghosts), we then move on to consider the last century's fascination with pain and suffering, disease and violence, struggle and survival and then the 21st century's emphasis on terrorism. Specifically, we will focus on the gendering of images and imaging as disturbing pictures work to defy the formal and theoretical distinction between private and public, personal, and collective experience and manage the often conflicting responsibilities to self, family, religion, race, nation, and society. Lecture 3 (Spring).
Art of Dying
This course explores the experience of dying a profoundly human and universal experience as it is represented by artists who are themselves facing immanent death. The unique and deeply personal process of each dying artist is crucially informed by social, cultural and historical as well as artistic contexts. The course will focus primarily on visual artists and writers living with and dying of disease - such as AIDS, cancer and cystic fibrosis as well as mortality and age. Topics such as aesthetics, artistic media, representation, grief, bereavement, illness, care-giving, aging, and the dying process will be considered within the context of issues of race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, gender and community values. Some of the artists covered will be Jo Spence, Hannah Wilke, Elias Canetti, Bob Flanagan, Herve Guibert, Tom Joslin, Laurie Lynd, Audre Lorde, Charlotte Salomon, Keith Haring, Frida Kahlo, Bas Jan Ader, Ted Rosenthal, Felix Gonzalez Torres, Keith Haring, Eric Steel, Derek Jarman, Eric Michaels, and David Wojnarowicz. We will also explore some of the critical theory of Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Elaine Scarry, Susan Sontag, and Ross Chambers. Lecture 3 (Spring).
 Imag(in)ing the City
This course examines the ways in which culture, ethnicity, languages, traditions, governance, policies and histories interact in the production of the visual experience. We will approach the city and its various urban spatial forms as image experiences, subject to interpretative strategies and the influence of other discourses. We will wander the well-traveled and the unbeaten paths, participating in and interrogating a wide range of the city’s treasures and embarrassments, secrets and norms. In addition to these field trips, we will be reading from literature and cultural studies, as well as viewing films, assessing advertisements and websites, and attending select events such as theatrical or music performances, sporting events and festivals. Seminar 3 (Annual).
 Gender and Contemporary Art
This course traces the historical development of women’s activism in the art world from the 1970s to the present. We will interpret how this art activism, which artists and scholars alike have referred to as the feminist art movement, has examined how gender informs the ways art is made, viewed, conceptualized in history and theory, and exhibited in museums and visual culture, in a range of cultural contexts. We will also analyze how current artists, critics, and curators continue to build on this history, in particular how they use the concept of gender intersectionality to develop a variety of new creative practices, theories, modes of exhibition and social engagement. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
 Visual Activism
This course is a history of visual activism from the 20th century to now. The course asks: how is activism represented and disseminated to engage audiences? How is the public sphere in the United States and abroad shaped by visual activist practices? What visual languages are used as forms of documentation, communication, persuasion, and creative expression in the service of social change? We examine a range of examples in their local and global contexts, including counter-culture photography and film, poster graphics, graffiti art, comics and political cartoons, social media, performance, urban interventions, installations, and new media. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
Deaf Art & Cinema
Students will examine the context in which specific cultural groups have chosen to create works about their experiences. They will go on to explore a wide range of artistic works representing the Deaf experience in visual arts and cinema. Students will be expected to analyze works in terms of cultural symbols and themes. Attention will be given to historical context (personal and collective) that has helped to shape many of these works, motifs, and messages. Students will write and present in-depth papers examining specific works and artists/filmmakers. In addition, students will be expected to create an original artwork and a collaborative short film. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Group B
Choose two of the following:
Culture and Globalization
By exploring critical issues of globalizing culture, we examine how ideas, attitudes, and values are exchanged or transmitted across conventional borders. How has the production, articulation, and dissemination of cultural forms (images, languages, practices, beliefs) been shaped by global capitalism, media industries, communication technologies, migration, and tourist travels? How are cultural imaginaries forged, exchanged, and circulated among a global consumer public? How has the internationalizing of news, computer technologies, video-sharing websites, blogging sites, and other permutations of instant messaging served to accelerate cultural globalization? Students will be introduced to anthropological perspectives on cultural globalization, the transmission of culture globally, and the subsequent effects on social worlds, peoples, communities, and nations. Lecture 3 (Fa/sp/su).
Native Americans in Film
This course will examine the parallels of anthropological works and resulting government policies in the late-19th and 20th centuries as they relate to the genre of Native Americans film, both popular and ethnographic works. In addition, an extensive regional and historical literature review will complement the possible films. Lecture 3 (Fa/sp/su).
African Film
This course considers the diversity, contours and synergies of African films and filmmaking, traversing the continent to view films from Senegal, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, Kenya, Egypt and Mali. Though much scholarship has focused on influential African filmmakers and nationally located cinemas, the straight-to-video systems of the 1980s and 1990s had a profound impact on African films and filmmaking. Nollywood and other video film industries began to dominate film production and transnational mobility, influencing new film technologies and industries, accessibility and addressability across the globe. Topics in this course include the influence of African film directors on filmmaking, and critical developments in major industries; Nollywood and beyond, and the cultural aesthetics, politics and economics that affect their global mobility and popular appeal; postcolonial identities and power; music and oral traditions of storytelling; didactic, post-colonial cinema with moral, political missions vs. ‘arthouse’ approaches; Afrofuturist and speculative cinema; channels such as African Magic that are shown in more than 50 African countries; and the effects of video streaming on global stardom and popularity. Students will learn about diverse African films and approaches to filmmaking, and the vibrant people and creative cultures that make up these film industries. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
Bodies and Culture
Our bodies are more than mere physical entities; they are conditioned by culture, society, and history. We will take a comparative approach to the cultural construction of bodies and the impact of ethnic, gender, and racial ideologies on body practices (i.e. surgical alteration, mutilation, beautification, surrogacy, erotica). We will critically investigate the global formation of normative discourses of the body (regarding sexuality, AIDS/illness, reproduction, fat/food) in medical science, consumer culture, and the mass media. The course features discussion, writing, and project-oriented research, encouraging students to acquire a range of analytic skills through a combination of text interpretation and research. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
Cultural Images of War and Terror
Native American Sovereignty, Culture, and Resources
There is a great cultural, and linguistic diversity among Native American Indigenous Nations and their approach to managing cultural and natural resources. This course will explore this diversity in addition to the various ways Indigenous nations have maintained and exerted their sovereignty. This will be done in one of three distinct topics: 1). American Indian Sovereignty - an examination of the historical and political foundations of Indigenous sovereignty and its current expressions; 2). Indigenous Economics and Economies - a contrasting of Indigenous approaches for building and maintaining sustainable economies with non-Indigenous ones combined with the use of economic methods to understand the impact of settler colonialism and capitalism on Indigenous economies; or 3). Native American Languages - an examination of: the structure and origin of Indigenous languages; the events that have led many Indigenous languages to be endangered; and the efforts to revitalize Indigenous languages. For clarification purposes: American Indian is used to refer to Indigenous people residing within the boundaries of the continental United States; Native American broadens this definition to include all Indigenous people residing in either North or South America; while Indigenous is the most broadly defined. Indigenous includes all people who identify with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies who consider themselves distinct from the societies now prevailing on those territories both within and outside the Americas. Lecture 3 (Spring).
Global Sexualities
By exploring issues of gender and sexuality in a global context, students will be introduced to anthropological perspectives on the experience of men and women, as gendered subjects, in different societies and historical contexts, including colonialism, nationalism, and global capitalism. In turn, we will explore how cultural constructions of masculinity and femininity are configured by race, class, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Course materials are drawn from an array of sources, reflecting various theoretical perspectives and ethnographic views from different parts of the world. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
Visual Anthropology
We see others as we imagine them to be, in terms of our values, not as they see themselves. This course examines ways in which we understand and represent the reality of others through visual media, across the boundaries of culture, gender, and race. It considers how and why visual media can be used to represent or to distort the world around us. Pictorial media, in particular ethnographic film and photography, are analyzed to document the ways in which indigenous and native peoples in different parts of the world have been represented and imagined by anthropologists and western popular culture. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
 The Archaeology of Death
Death and burial are how most individuals enter the archaeological record and one could say that deliberate burial of the dead is the first direct evidence we have for the emergence of ethical and religious systems of thought. Human remains, their mortuary treatment, and associated material culture illuminate past patterns of social organization, economics, belief systems, health, and the negotiation of gender, status, and identity. In this course we explore the scientific and theoretical tools used to analyze and interpret past mortuary practices, how archaeologists create new knowledge about the past through the formulations and testing of hypotheses, survey mortuary practices from their first occurrence in the archaeological record, and what human remains can tell us about changes in the human experience over time and space. We will learn how human remains are identified, how determinations of age, sex, biological affiliation, health, and injury are made, how to interpret formation processes, to interpret associated material culture to understand the negotiation of gender and status; how humans have cared for the deceased members of their societies at different times and places in the human past; and the ethics of studying human mortuary remains. Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Fall or Spring).
Visual Communication
This course is an introduction to the study of visual communication. The iconic and symbolic demonstration of visual images used in a variety of media is stressed. The major goal of the course is to examine visual messages as a form of intentional communication that seeks to inform, persuade, and entertain specific target audiences. Lecture 3 (Fall or Spring).
Film Studies
This course familiarizes students with a number of different critical approaches to film as a narrative and representational art. The course introduces students to the language as well as analytical and critical methodologies of film theory and criticism from early formalist approaches to contemporary considerations of technologies and ideologies alike. Students will be introduced to a selection of these approaches and be asked to apply them to a variety of films selected by the instructor. Additional screening time is recommended. (Prerequisites: Completion of First Year Writing (FYW) requirement is required prior to enrolling in this class.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
The Graphic Novel
This course charts the development of the graphic novel, examines that history in relation to other media (including literary works, comics, film, and video games), and reflects on how images and writing function in relation to one another. Primary readings will be supplemented with secondary works that address socio-historical contexts, interpretive approaches and the cultural politics of the medium, such as representations of class, race, gender, and ethnicity. Lecture 3 (Spring).
Maps, Spaces and Places
This course takes as its premise that spatial thinking is critically important. Spatial thinking informs our ability to understand many areas of 21st century culture, as mobile interfaces and geospatial technologies enable us to engage with our surroundings in new ways. The study begins with the history maps and mapmaking, and explores how maps work. As students create representational, iconographic, satirical, image-based, informational, and other map forms, the course emphasizes the map as narrative. The course develops into an exploration of the ways, particularly in texts, that mapmaking creates cultural routes, mobile forms of ethnography, and ways of imagining travel and tourism in the era of globalization. The diverse writers represented in this course are rethinking space as a dynamic context for the making of history and for different organizations of social and communal life. (Prerequisites: Completion of First Year Writing (FYW) requirement is required prior to enrolling in this class.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Hands-on History
Get hands-on experience researching, interpreting, and writing history. The class will tackle a common historical theme (announced in the subtitle), then do original historical research on a topic of your choice within the overall theme. Our themes do not just rehash old topics with little new information to uncover. Instead, we focus on relatively unexplored areas of the past, where your research can shed new light on unknown topics. You will learn about history by doing it! All majors are welcome. Lecture 3 (Spring).
French Films and Hollywood
A comparative study of French films and their American remakes from the 1930s to the 21st century to determine what these films reveal about the cultural and cinematic contexts from which they emerge. The course examines differences as well as similarities in the construction of identities in France and the United States. Devotes particular attention to the (re)construction of race, space, gender, and national histories. Conducted in English. Lecture 3 (Spring).
Gender and Sexuality in Hispanic Studies
This course introduces students to the study of gender and sexuality in cultural production from the Hispanic world. Students will read, view, and discuss diverse works from a variety of historical periods and geographical regions that deal with gender identity, sexuality, and interrelated social movements. This course refines students' skills through discussions, presentations, and writing exercises on readings, lectures, and film screenings. Students will also develop research skills as they complete a project on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor. The critical approach that will inform this course is feminist thought. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Caribbean Cinema
This course provides an introduction to Hispanic Caribbean culture through cinema studies. We will study the role of film in Hispanic Caribbean societies as well as the unique artistic and technical achievements and obstacles of Cuban, Dominican, and Puerto Rican filmmakers. Topics covered include: The Basics of Film Analysis; An Introduction to Caribbean Film History; The Social Context of the Hispanic Caribbean Film Industry; Art and Revolution; Race, Ethnicity, and Religion; Occupation, Dictatorship, and War; Gender, Sexuality and Exile; Transnationalism and Migration, and Hispanic Caribbean Film in a Global Context. This course will take a cultural studies approach to the study of film as a social practice. Weekly films (1.5-2 hours in length) must be watched outside of class hours. All films with dialog have English subtitles. Lecture 3 (Spring).
Philosophy of Art/Aesthetics
This course introduces students to thinking philosophically about the nature of art and its relation to other human experiences. Among the topics considered are the aesthetic experience, the relation between morality and art, ugliness in art and truth in art. Lecture 3 (Spring).
Feminist Theory
This course examines the main currents in contemporary feminist thought. Feminist theory explores the nature and effects of categories of sex and gender upon our ways of living, thinking and doing, while also challenging how gendered assumptions might shape our conceptions of identity and inquiry more generally. Different conceptions of sex and gender will be discussed, and the course will investigate how these concepts affect our lives in both concrete and symbolic ways. Special attention will be paid to how gendered assumptions color our understanding of knowledge production, experiences of embodiment and emotion, public and private activities, and the nature of ethical decision making. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Philosophy of Film
Introduces students to models of film interpretation and critique that arose in pre-war Europe and that have burgeoned since; these models combine philosophical, aesthetic, economic and psychoanalytic methods of analysis. Among the topics considered are the nature of the image, ideology and alienation, trauma, fetishism, magical realism, realism and anti-realism in film. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Philosophy of Vision and Imaging
This course examines how philosophers and others have understood the nature and primacy of sight. It explores how technologies of seeing and imaging have influenced theories of sight and our most dominant and authoritative practices of seeing and representing in the humanities and the arts, as well as in the natural and social sciences. The course will focus on the impact these theories and practices of seeing and representing both analogue and digital have on the nature of knowing, as well as on how they shape and mediate our experiences of personal and social identity and agency more generally. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Politics Through Film
This course explores the enduring issues facing the American and global political order through the lens of film. Particular attention will be paid to the principles of sound political deliberation, the limitations of political leadership and the theory and practice of American political principles both at home and abroad. Lecture 3 (Spring).
Face of the Land
Land and landscapes have been shaped, and reshaped, through a variety of geological forces, historical developments, and societal changes. In turn, human societies and cultures change within the context of their environment. Students will explore a historically informed, humanistic approach to the relationship of technology and society using landscapes and land use change. This course uses an interdisciplinary lens to critically examine intersections of natural, built and lived environments, social processes, and environmental change. Lecture 3 (Spring).

* This course is offered on RIT's international campuses.

† Students may use credit for either VISL-100, or VISL-120, or VISL-140 towards the minor.