Visual Comm.

About the Class

This 4000-level course examines communication theories that help explain how visual images/messages symbolically interact with audiences in a variety of contexts, including photography, film, the arts, comics, multimedia, advertising, embodied performance, architecture and graphic design. We will explore questions about the communicative potential of visual materials and raise questions about their political, social and economic value.

Disclaimer… Possible Graphic Images Ahead

This course treats imagery in a variety of contexts. Therefore, students may be exposed to some images they find disturbing. These images could be violent, traumatic or sexual in nature. We will set some ground rules for student-sourced images in the first weeks of class. If there are images in lectures I think may be particularly prone to this disclaimer, I will provide a trigger warning before showing them. Please schedule a meeting with me if you are concerned about he content of images discussed in this course.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you should:

  • Be able to analyze images using appropriate theories drawn from visual communication research and rhetorical theory
  • Become familiar with the uses and limitations of different theoretical approaches to visual communication, including theories of representation, the public sphere, affect and critical race and gender theories
  • Acquire practical knowledge and skills for media commentators and analysts in applying theoretical tools and in understanding the persuasive use of images
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