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Visual Studies Courses

Courses for 2018-19

Core Courses:

HAVC 201A (Fall) / HAVC 201B (Winter): Introduction to Visual Studies and Critical Theory
An introduction to the visual studies discipline through a range of discourses and approaches that have proven productive for practitioners of visual studies, in diverse thematic foci and cultural contexts. Both courses feature intensive readings and student-led discussions. In each quarter students work on three short papers on topics of their choice that relate to the broader issues discussed in class. Both courses are required for all first-year visual studies graduate students. Other students are welcome to take them individually or as a sequence. 201A, J. Gonzalez / 201B, T. Demos

HAVC 202: Introduction to Visual Studies Methods (Spring)
Examines research methods and approaches in a variety of materials, cultures, periods and subjects that are relevant in the discipline of Visual Studies. Discussions focus on research and readings by individual VS faculty who share practices, experiences and advice. Required seminar for all first-year visual studies graduate students. M. Evangelatou

HAVC 205: Grant Writing (Fall)
Instruction and practice in writing grant proposals. Students work in peer-review groups and in collaboration with the instructor, producing and revising grant proposals, personal statements, CVs, writing samples, and other materials required for successful grant applications. Restricted to Visual Studies students (3 credits, may be repeated for credit). All Visual studies second-year students are required to take this course. B. Ly



HAVC 233: Topics in Contemporary Art and Visual Culture: Intersectional Approaches to Identity and the Visual (Fall)

HAVC 233 will focus on recent approaches to identity and the visual, with a specific emphasis in intersectional and comparative approaches to the politics of representation. The course will consider a range of media and visual forms, from contemporary art practices, to popular representation (film, television, Internet-based, and material culture). Thematically, the seminar will look at gender, race, and sexuality as intersecting phenomena—and as lived experiences that are intertwined and co-occurring. Topics will include: feminist techno-cultural engagements with gendered representation on the Internet, the queering of blackness in contemporary art, the increasing visibility of trans representation and visual culture in the twenty-first century, and the imaging of homosexuality and alternative masculinities in contemporary art. Enrollment restricted to graduate students. D. Murray

HAVC 213: Theories and Visual Cultures of Iconoclasm, (Winter) 
Why do images arouse such fury? Why can the association between an object or image and its reference be so strong that attacking the image often is seen as a stronger statement than attacking the institution itself? The term “iconoclasm” was coined in Byzantium to describe the “breaking of images.” By the 1790s, its meaning was extended to the “attacking … of venerated institutions and cherished beliefs” (OED). Contemporary scholarship has emphasized that the material object serves as a vehicle for the iconoclast in the “breaking of meaning” (Rambelli & Reinders 2007). The heritage movement, emphasis on repatriation and evolution of the institution of the museum are intertwined with issues surrounding iconoclasm. This seminar explores the uneasy relationship between people, institutions and objects and what the willful destruction of works of art reveals about the act of representation itself. Enrollment restricted to graduate students. E. Cameron

HAVC 297: Independent Study
Independent study or research for graduate students. Students submit petition to sponsoring agency. May be repeated for credit. The Staff

Additional Electives (see Catalog)

  • HAVC 212, Yoruba Visualities and Aesthetics, E. Cameron
  • HAVC 220, Topics in Asian Visual Studies, B. Ly
  • HAVC 222, The Image of Arhat in China, R. Birnbaum
  • HAVC 224, Engaged Buddhism and Visual Culture, B. Ly
  • HAVC 233, Topics in Contemporary Art and Visual Culture, D. Murray
  • HAVC 235, Photography and History
  • HAVC 236, Contemporary Art and Theories Democracy, J. Gonzalez
  • HAVC 240, Seeing Race, M. Berger
  • HAVC 241, Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and Ecology, T. Demos
  • HAVC 243, Alternative Architecture
  • HAVC 245, Race and Representation, J. Gonzalez
  • HAVC 250, The Cult of Mary in Byzantium: Visualities of Political, Religious and Gender Constructs, M. Evangelatou
  • HAVC 260, Visual Literacy in Spanish American, 1500-1800, C. Dean
  • HAVC 270, Colonial Cultures of Collecting and Display, S. Kamehiro
  • HAVC 273, Imaging Colonial Peripheries and Borderlands, S. Kamehiro
  • HAVC 280, Visual Studies Issues, C. Dean

The electives listed here constitute just a sampling of the courses open to Visual Studies graduate students. Prospective students are encouraged to consult the graduate course offerings of the departments and programs of Anthropology, Digital Arts and New Media, Film and Digital Media, History, History of Consciousness and Philosophy, whose seminars are also open to our students.


Additional Courses

HAVC 294: Teaching-Related Independent Study
Directed graduate research and writing coordinated with the teaching of undergraduates. Students submit petition to sponsoring agency. May be repeated for credit. The Staff

HAVC 295: Directed Reading
Directed reading that does not involve a term paper and is usually for qualifying exam preperation. Students submit petition to course-sponsoring agency. Enrollment restricted to graduate students. May be repeated for credit. The Staff

HAVC 299: Thesis Research
Students submit petition to course sponsoring agency. Enrollment restricted tro graduate students. May be repeated for credit. The Staff