MLA Seminar in Visual Studies: Medusa and the Power of Vision

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ARTH 572 640
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Course Description
Art History is the study of images. We hope to understand how images are made, how they communicate ideas to viewers and how society sees itself reflected in its visual culture. This course will examine art and the history of optical science as well as theories of visual perception, and ask how we see and how things come to be seen. Furthermore, we will ask how a different understanding of vision influences the nature of a particular culture’s visual language. Using the terrible mythological creature, Medusa, a figure with snakes for tresses whose very gaze turned men to stone, we will think about how artists depicted Medusa and correlate these visions to contemporary theories of perception. In the process, we will consider the visual cultures of classical Greece and Rome, the Renaissance and beyond. Readings will include theoretical texts, poetry, prose, history, scientific texts and art history. *** This course will be online for Spring term 2022 ***
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