Samuel M. Yum
Examination of various topics and approaches to the study of culture in a global context. May include the study art, literature, theater, cultural history, music history/ethnomusicology, and/or cultural anthropology/geography. Topics and approaches may vary with instructor.
Visual Media in Cross-Cultural Research
This course is an exploration of the use of visual technologies in "thinking" and "doing" cross-cultural research. As a class we address the paradox of how cultural others have been captured and presented through visual media in ways that shape and distort realities, but at the same time preserve images as cultural artifacts, themselves. We begin with discussion of the first uses of film and photography as tools for documenting diversity from a number of disciplinary perspectives. We quickly move on to consider how recent developments in media technologies have impacted the visual treatment of others, with special emphasis on our own exploratory thinking and use of visual tools with campus resources.
Student learning goals
To analyze visual methods and strategies in the study of culture.
To learn to construct effective descriptions and analyses with visual tools.
To experiment with non-textual forms of ethnographic display and communication.
To develop our own working definition of visual culture.
General method of instruction
Lecture, group discussion, case studies, project work.
Class attendance, assigned readings, participation.
Some background in new media production (digital photography, film, video, web-based presentations, etc) helpful but not required.
Class assignments and grading
Varied: short assignments, quizzes, final visual project.
Grading is based on a straight percentage/100-point scale.