Communication and Culture | Image Cultures
C208 | 21376 | Simons, J.

MW, 4:00 PM-5:15 PM, C2 100

Fulfills College A&H Requirement

Instructor: Jon Simons
Office: C2 239
Phone: 856-0896


It is often said that we live in an ‘image culture’, but what
precisely is meant by that? This course offers an interdisciplinary
and historical context for understanding contemporary Western ‘image
culture’ by addressing the notion of the ‘image’ in a wide range of
its theoretical, critical and practical contexts, uses and history.
Images are objects of study in disciplines from art history to
neuroscience, from political science to cultural studies. The
ubiquity of visual imagery is only half the story of contemporary
image culture, given that there is a whole family of graphic,
optical, perceptual and mental imagery. We thus need an appreciation
of dreams, fantasies, memories and ideas, as well as corporate,
political, personal, bodily and commodity images.

By figuring out the family resemblances between the uses of the
term ‘image’, the significance of images for contemporary culture
emerges. In discussing a selection of key readings across the
domains of religion, art history, cultural and media studies, the
course tells the story of the image from the Bible to the present,
while looking at religious icons, advertisements, brands, films, TV
shows and photographs.

Most of the reading selections will be drawn from one anthology:
Sunil Manghani, Arthur Piper and Jon Simons (eds) Images: A Reader
(Sage, 2006).


Assignment				% of final grade

In-class reader responses		10%
Mid-term paper			20%
Image project proposal		10%
Image project	 and portfolio		40%

Final exam				20%