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Module

MCH2077 : Visual Culture

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Katie Markham
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

Visual Culture is an innovative interdisciplinary module, which draws on theories and approaches from media and cultural Studies, fine art, film, memory studies and heritage. This module provides students with a grounding in the different disciplinary approaches to the visual and considers the way that our relationship to the visual has been shaped across time and space.

The emphasis on this module is on visual culture as a form of communication. To this end, students will be expected to develop appropriate analytical skills in decoding and assessing different types of visual communication, using a variety of different methodologies. This module aims:

•       To explore the concept of the ‘visual’, both as a mode of communication and an interdisciplinary field of study.
•       To provide students with a critical and comprehensive understanding of the role that visual communication plays in contemporary society, supported by an appreciation of the social and political histories of these acts of communication.

•       To recognise the visual as political, social and cultural in nature and to understand how contemporary politics and culture shape acts of visual communication.

•       To introduce a range of modalities of accessing, researching and comprehending visual acts of communication, including the ability to discriminate between types of visual communication.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module familiarizes students with the historical, political, social and economic contexts of visual communication and considers the visual in relation to a range of different topics, including:

•       Psychoanalytic theory and the visual
•       Visual culture and the institution
•       The photograph: histories, meanings, mobilities
•       Exhibitionism, class and the visual
•       Visual culture, commerce and consumption
•       Visual culture, politics and the visuality of protest
•       Digital visual cultures
•       Visualizing time and place
•       Cultural memory, trauma and the visual
•       Visual culture and the body
•       Offensiveness, taste and censorship

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials94:0036:00Non-synchronous online (18 hours of lectures, with each hour equating to 2 hours of delivery time)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion112:0012:00Discussion board contribution
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00Essay Preparation and completion
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading94:0036:00Student readings and research in preparation for lecture and seminar discussion
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00PiP or online, depending on University situation. Relating to module topics and assessment guidance
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Synchronous online. Webinars, Q&A sessions, assessment workshops, general reflections on module
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion92:0018:00Online. Peer-led reflections on assessment and module materials . Part of Assessment 1
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study138:0038:00General reading, writing lecture notes, writing seminar/workshop notes
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk21:002:00Intro & concluding module talks (15-30 mins, equating 15-60 mins delivery). Non-synch, online
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures in the module will introduce students to various aspects of contemporary visual culture. The module will
draw attention to the prevalence of visual acts of communication in everyday life and will offer strategies to enhance
the understanding of such instances of communication.
The examples of case studies will consolidate the appropriation of research methods that have applicability for an
integrated approach to media studies, cultural studies and communication studies. Students will be constantly
presented with the interdisciplinary implications of analysing visual culture and will be made aware of avenues for
more in-depth study of the area.
The module will review a wide range of aspects of visual instances (painting, photography, advertising, film,
television, new media, design, architecture, urbanism), looking at the political, cultural and social contexts in which
they are produced and interpreted.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M60Critical essay, 2500 words
Portfolio2M40Minimum 4 x contributions to Canvas discussions thread/blog over module duration (posts to be circa 250 words each)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment methods offer students the opportunity to explore themes from the module and apply them in a theoretical and practical way. Essay 1 allows students to apply a theory or theme from the module to a visual text of their choice and use one of the methodological approaches from the module to generate an in-depth analysis of that text. This assignment is complemented by continued student participation in the online blog or discussion thread; students will be required to contribute to this thread over the course of the module, writing a minimum of 2 blog posts responding to a theme or idea raised during the lecture, responding to each other’s posts and sharing examples of visual texts that relate to the lecture topics.

Reading Lists

Timetable