MEDIA100-23A (HAM)

Understanding Visual Culture

15 Points

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The University of Waikato
Academic Divisions
Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Arts Office
Screen and Media Studies

Staff

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Convenor(s)

Lecturer(s)

Administrator(s)

: ashleigh.wallace@waikato.ac.nz

Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)

Tutor(s)

: shaynah.jackson@waikato.ac.nz

Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)

Librarian(s)

: em.pooley@waikato.ac.nz

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123.
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What this paper is about

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Our lives are dominated by images and by visual technologies that allow local and global communication of information and ideas.

In an increasingly visual world, how do we best decipher and understand the many ways that our everyday lives are organized around looking practices? In what ways are we affected by the many images that we encounter? How do we impression manage our identity with images?

Images are used to represent our worlds - real, imagined, or possible. They can be trivial, profound, persuasive, confronting or disturbing. Some images possess a universal appeal while some are censored for their (perceived) harm.

This paper will seek to cover visual texts in the broadest sense, ranging from drawings, paintings, photographs, moko, film and television, to new media forms. It will constitute a key first step in learning to utilize the image by beginning to understand how they work and their impact and influence on us. It also draws on a broad range of theories that will deepen students understanding of images and guide image creation and manipulation.

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How this paper will be taught

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This paper will be taught through a combination of interactive lectures and tutorials.

The lectures in the first section of the Semester will introduce key theoretical and analytical approaches that you will be required to use in all assignments. Once this compenent of the paper is completed we will move on to presenting case studies in lectures that will be structured as 'model answers' to the essay question. That is, you will be given examples of how to go about constructing an argument using analysis and interpertation of different aspects of visual culture as evidence.

During the tutorials you will complete several exercises that comprise assignment 1 (the image portfolio). This will be an opportunity to gather the resources and skills you require complete work for the first assignment. After that, tutorials will be used to help you select an essay topic and prepare for the test.

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Required Readings

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Any required and recommended reading will be available online via Moodle.


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You will need to have

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A notebook and a set of coloured pens is preferred to laptop for lecture note taking.

Two reasons: 1) the physical act of writing and drawing aids memory and 2) I encourage you to sketch the images that we analyse and annotate them for the purposes of future analysis (i.e. the test)

Only lecture notes taken in this manner can be brought into the final test (laptops not permitted)

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Assimilate images into academic arguments, linking text and image in academic argumentation that exploits theory and research on aesthetics and visual culture
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Demonstrate ability to apply knowledge and understanding in informed and critical responses
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  • Demonstrate historical understanding and knowledge of images and their changing roles and function in culture
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  • Demonstrate knowledge of socio-cultural contexts past, present and future
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  • Demonstrate methodologies in decoding, deconstructing and reading images, converting tacit knowledge and experience into a visual literacy
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Demonstrate the language of image construction and composition and apply this language in analysis, description, and interpretation
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessments

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How you will be assessed

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Image Portfolio
7 Apr 2023
5:00 PM
20
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Essay
26 May 2023
5:00 PM
30
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Test
30 May 2023
11:30 PM
30
  • In Class: In Lecture
4. Quizzes
2 Jun 2023
5:00 PM
20
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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