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Handbooks Courses Units

VSA1000 - Introduction to Visual Culture: Back to the Future

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Art and Design

Leader: Robert Nelson


Clayton First semester 2008 (Day)


This unit introduces any interested student to the study of visual culture in its various forms, from painting and architecture, to film, TV, fashion, and new media. After initial consideration of Renaissance and Baroque space and spectacle, the focus will shift to modernist

approaches to visuality in the 19th and early 20th century city. Machines, bodies and subcultures will be addressed through avant-garde movements such as Futurism, Surrealism, and Pop. Fashion, film and television will be considered as sites for the generation of desire and diverse forms of spectatorship, and the unit will conclude with contemporary forms and concepts, including cyberculture and digital visual culture.


On completion of this subject, students:

  1. Should have begun to develop the ability to engage with a range of visual texts through the application of appropriate forms of visual analysis.

  1. Should be able to make informed, critical judgements about various forms of visual culture.

  1. Should be able to engage with appropriate written texts.


Essay (1500 words): 25%
Essay (2000 words): 50%
Visual test (1 hour): 25%

Contact hours

4 hours (1 x 1 hour lecture, 1 x 1 hour tutorial and 1 x 2 hour screening) per week

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