“It is a commonplace of modern cultural criticism“ – states W. J. T. Mitchell – “that images have a power in our world undreamed of by the ancient idolaters.“ In fact, the force and multitude of images are at the core of current notions of the visual; they inform its theoretical understanding, its social & political impact, and its epistemological potential.

Against this background, the course addresses the image both as a representational sign and as an experience or visual event in its own right: After a concise exploration of selected contemporary image concepts, it will focus on the use of photography, film and electronic media to analyze, in a series of case studies, their capacity for producing (scientific) knowledge, their ability to reconstruct the past (e.g. as historical source material) and also their entanglement with issues of political power and equality. Beyond delineating the many historical shifts and inter/media transformations of the pictorial, the course aims at deepening the participants’ critical awareness of their own idea, reception and employment of imagery in an academic context.

(NOTE: THE ABOVE SYLLABUS IS FROM AY 2021-22. THE NEW SYLLABUS [2022-23] WILL BE UPLOADED IN DECEMBER!)