Fall 2021

The Anatomy of Pictures

Moodle site: Course


Lorne Falk (Section 01)


This course is about the centrality of images produced by mechanical means in the rituals, practices, and representations of everyday life—what we now understand as visual culture. With a focus on the last 50 years, we will explore why it is important to understand the image as utterly diverse in its functions. We will dissect examples from contemporary photography, new media, screen culture, and cultural theory that critically challenge visual culture. Our conversations will cover topics from new models of spectatorship and how to become visually literate to controversies surrounding trigger warnings and the risk of “remaining forever trapped inside the image” (cf. Jacques Rancière’s “The Intolerable Image”). Readings will include the voices of artists, critics, historians, cultural theorists, and philosophers such as Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard, Richard Dyer, Jessica Evans, Michel Foucault, Anne Friedberg, Stuart Hall, bell hooks, Kobena Mercer, Adrian Piper, Claudia Rankine, and Hito Steyerl.

Fall semester. Visiting Lecturer Falk.

If Overenrolled: Dean's office determines this.


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Research, Attention to Writing, Community Based Learning


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021