Summer 2024 Course Highlight | Art, Activism, & Advertisements

This summer Ph.D. Student Becca Owen will be teaching ART HIST 103 Art, Activism, & Advertisements: Intro to Visual Culture Studies during the BEE summer session, June 3rd–July 7th. The class be taught asynchronously online. First Year Friendly | No Prereqs! | Humanities Breadth | L&S Credit. Enroll here

Description: How do art and visual culture uphold or challenge systems of power and social norms? In this class, students will practice recognizing these forces at work in visual media. Thinking expansively about what shapes the visual and how the visual shapes us, students will develop the skills to critically analyze the visual materials we encounter in our everyday lives. In this class, we will engage with a wide array of media including art, social media, animation, television, performance, documentaries, activism, and exhibitions. Students will read scholars from art history, visual culture studies, media studies, LGBTQ+ studies, critical race theory, and disability studies; write discussion posts and respond to each others’ discussion posts; participate in a field trip to a local museum or gallery of their choice; and complete a final exam including short essay questions.
“Art, Activism, and Advertisements” is an introduction to visual culture studies through key frameworks of gender, race, and (dis)ability. The course responds to the questions: Why does visual culture matter? What role does the visual play in shaping identity categories? How does visuality discipline and shape people and power? How can cultural production resist, disrupt, and protest? In the course, we will challenge conventional notions of “representation, conceptualize how power functions through the visual all around us, and analyze how visual materials reveal, perpetuate, or disrupt social and cultural norms.