VISUAL STUDIES COURSES
Please see PennIntouch for VLST course offerings during the Fall 2014 Semester.
We are busy working to connect this page to our database of course offerings in the very near future.
Visual Studies Stage 1 Courses offered in the Fall 2014 semester are limited. Only VLST 102 is offered. VLST 101, 103 and 301 will be offered in the Spring 2015 semester.
Visual Studies Stage 2 Courses offered in the Fall 2014 semester are limited in Sectors A and B.
PSYC 207: Introduction to Cognitive Science - Brainard and Ungar. This course may be applied to Visual Studies (Stage 2, Sector A) major requirements *this semester only* because PSYC 111 is not offered.
Cognitive Science is founded on the realization that many problems in the analysis of human and artificial intelligence require an interdisciplinary approach. The course is intended to introduce undergraduates from many areas to the problems and characteristic concepts of Cognitive Science, drawing on formal and empirical approaches from the parent disciplines of computer science, linguistics, neuroscience, philosophy and psychology. The topics covered include Perception, Action, Learning, Language, Knowledge Representation, and Inference, and the relations and interactions between such modules. The course shows how the different views from the parent disciplines interact, and identifies some common themes among the theories that have been proposed. The course pays particular attention to the distinctive role of computation in such theories, and provides an introduction to some of the main directions of current research in the field. It is a requirement for the BA in Cognitive Science, the BAS in Computer and Cognitive Science, and the minor in Cognitive Science, and it is recommended for students taking the dual degree in Computer and Cognitive Science.
VLST 305: What is an Image? Verstegen. This course may be applied to Visual Studies (Stage 2 or 3, Sector A) major requirements.
The course explores various concepts of images. It considers natural images (as in optics), images as artifacts, virtual images, images as representations, and works of art as images. Themes to include: the image controversy in cognitive science, which asks whether some cognitive representations are irreducibly imagistic; the question of whether some images resemble what they represent; the development of the concept of the virtual image and of three-dimensional images; the notions of pictorial representation and non-representational images in art. Readings from C. S. Peirce, Nelson Goodman, Robert Hopkins, Dominic Lopes, W. J. T. Mitchell, John Kulvicki, and Mark Rollins, among others.
VLST 235/ARTH 235 Visual Culture of the Islamic World - Holod. This course may be applied to Visual Studies (Stage 2 or 3, Sector B) major requirements.
A one-semester survey of Islamic art and architecture which examines visual culture as it functions within the larger sphere of Islamic culture in general. Particular attention will be given to relationships between visual culture and literature, using specific case studies, sites or objects which may be related to various branches of Islamic literature, including historical, didactic, philosophical writings, poetry and religious texts. All primary sources are available in English translation.
VLST 540/ARTH 572 MLA Seminar in Visual Studies: Media and the Power of Vision - Pastore. This course may be applied to Visual Studies (Stage 2 or 3, Sector B) major requirements.
(Upperclassman only. Permission from instructor required. email email@example.com)
Art, Vision and Optical Science across periods that uses the image and idea of Medusa as a theme to get us from classical and archaic antiquity all the
way up to contemporary art.
There are several courses available, including:
VLST 102—2 Dimensions Form and Meaning - Hyland/Wahl. (counts toward Stage 1 or 2 of the VLST major requirements).
This course will introduce students to the theory and practice of image making, focusing on the development of observational skills and analytical thinking. We will look at conventions of pictorial representation across time and cultures; discuss types of visual information and modes of formal language; explore visual narrative techniques; and seek to expand our understanding of the role images play in our culture. We will look at conventions of pictorial representation across time and cultures; discuss types of visual information and modes of formal language; explore visual narrative techniques; and seek to expand our understanding of the roll images play in our culture.
VLST 251/FNAR 271 Intro to Photography. This course may be applied to Visual Studies (Stage 2 or 3, Sector C) major requirements.
This course is an introduction to the basic processes and techniques of black & white photography. Students will learn how to expose and process 35mm film, SLR camera operation, darkroom procedures & printing, basic lighting and controlled applications. It begins with an emphasis on understanding and mastering technical procedures and evolves into an investigation of the creative and expressive possibilities of making images. This is a project-based course, where students will begin to develop their personal vision, their understanding of aesthetic issues and photographic history. Assignments, ideas and important examples of contemporary art will be presented via a series of slide lectures, critiques and discussion. No previous experience necessary. 35mm SLR cameras will be available throughout the semester for reservation and checkout from the photography equipment room.
VLST 252/FNAR 145 Sculpture Practices - Bendtsten. This course may be applied to Visual Studies (Stage 2 or 3, Sector C) major requirements.
As an introduction to traditional and contemporary three-dimensional practice, this course is concerned with the concepts and methodologies surrounding three-dimensional art making in our time. Students experiment with a variety of modes of production, and develop some of the fundamental techniques used in sculpture. In addition to these investigations, assignments relative to the history and social impact of these practices are reinforced through readings and group discussion. Processes covered include use of the Fab Lab, wood construction, clay, paper, mixed media, and more.
VLST 253/FNAR 123 Drawing 1 This course may be applied to Visual Studies (Stage 2 or 3, Sector C) major requirements.
This course is designed to develop visual awareness and perceptual acuity through the process of drawing. Students learn to sharpen perceptual skills through observational drawing, and to explore the expressive potential of drawing. A variety of problems and media will be presented in order to familiarize students with various methods of working and ways of communicating ideas visually. Subject matter will include object study, still life, interior and exterior space, self-portrait and the figure. Different techniques and materials (charcoal, graphite, ink, collage) are explored in order to understand the relationship between means, material and concept. Critical thinking skills are developed through frequent class critiques and through the presentation of and research into historical and contemporary precedent in drawing.
VLST 260/FNAR 150 Photography Practices - Wahl. This course may be applied to Visual Studies (Stage 2 or 3, Sector C) major requirements.
This course is an introduction to the basic principles, strategies and processes of photographic practice. It is designed to broaden the student's aesthetic explorations and to help the student develop a visual language based on cross-disciplinary artistic practice. Through a series of projects and exercises students will be exposed to a range of camera formats, techniques and encouraged to experiment with the multiple modes and roles of photography - both analogue and digital. Attention will also be given to developing an understanding of critical aesthetic and historical issues in photography. Students will examine a range of historical and contemporary photowork as an essential part of understanding the possibilities of image making.
VLST 261/FNAR 061 Video 1 This course may be applied to Visual Studies (Stage 2 or 3, Sector C) major requirements.
This course provides students with the introductory skills and concepts related to producing short works that explore the language of the moving image. Students will learn the basics of cinematography and editing through a series of assignments designed to facilitate the use of the medium for artistic inquiry, cultural expression and narrative storytelling, through both individual and group projects.
VLST 264/FNAR 264 Art, Design, and Digitial Culture This course may be applied to Visual Studies (Stage 2 or 3, Sector C) major requirements.
This course is an introduction to the fundamental perception, representation, aesthetics, and design that shape today's visual culture. It addresses the way artists and designers create images; design with analog and digital tools; communicate, exchange, and express meaning over broad range of media; and find their voices within the fabric of contemporary art, design, and visual culture. Emphasis is placed on building an extended form of visual literacy by studying and making images using a variety of representation techniques; learning to organize and structure two-dimensional and three-dimensional space, and designing with time-based and procedural media. Students learn to develop an individual style of idea-generation, experimentation, iteration, and critique as part of their creative and critical responses to visual
VLST 265/FNAR 340 Digital Photography This course may be applied to Visual Studies (Stage 2 or 3, Sector C) major requirements.
This class offers an in-depth technical and conceptual foundation in digital imagery and the opportunity to explore the creative, expressive possibilities of photography. Students will become proficient with the basic use of the camera, techniques of digital capture, color management and color correction. They will also develop competency in scanning, retouching, printing and a variety of manipulation techniques in Photoshop. Through weekly lectures and critiques, students will become familiar with some of the most critical issues of representation, consider examples from photo history, analyze the impact of new technologies and social media. With an emphasis on structured shooting assignments, students are encouraged to experiment, expand their visual vocabulary while refining their technical skills. No previous experience is necessary. Although it is beneficial for students to have their own Digital SLR camera, registered students may reserve and checkout Digital SLR cameras and other high-end equipment from the department.
Stage 3 Courses should be chosen in consultation with your Sector Adviser or the VLST Program Director. These courses are plentiful.
VLST 395 Senior Project - Freedman and Verstegen