Certificate in Art History and Visual Culture - The Birth of Pop: How Visual Culture Makes Meaning HIST 4303   The Birth of Pop: How Visual Culture Makes Meaning
Contemporary western society is saturated with visual images of all kinds: from oil painting to pornography. Visual culture is not only becoming more diverse but also increasingly globalized. For these reasons alone, the study of popular visual culture is an important pursuit. But popular images, like all visual images, also carry meaning and generate effects. The first part of this course explores the origins of mass popular culture in 19th Century Britain. Through case studies, suggesting that Western ideas about mental health, gender, romance, weddings and marriage emerged and were transmitted though Victorian visual culture, students learn to see connections between the popular culture of the past and contemporary visuality. Students will also critique the development of cultural studies as a discipline and form their own theoretical positions. In the second part, students will conduct their own self-directed primary research into a visual popular culture topic of their choosing. In the final weeks of the course, students will be asked to reflect on the course as a whole, consolidate what they have learned, and articulate the connections (or disruptions) they see between historical and contemporary theory and practice. This course is ideally suited to students who want to incorporate visual or popular culture sources in their Honours or MA thesis.
FORMAT: Seminar
PREREQUISITES: HIST 2900.03 or HIST 3303.03 or GWST 2900.03 or GWST 3303.03 or permission of the instructor