Lectures: M & W 11:00 - 11:50 am Fine Arts Building, room 127

Discussion Sections:

003 W 1:00 - 1:50 pm Fine Arts Building, room 308B
004 W 2:00-2:50 pm Fine Arts Building, room 308B
005 W 3:00-3:50 pm Fine Arts Building, room 308B
008 F 11-11:50 pm Fine Arts Building, room 308B

Course Instructor:
Anna Brzyski
office: 303A Fine Arts Building
phone: 859 388-9899
e-mail: anna.brzyski@uky.edu
website: www.artworlds.org/ab/
office hours: Wednesday 12:00 - 2:00 pm
& by appointment

Teaching Assistants:
Sections 003 & 008
Julia Carr
office: 303A Fine Arts Building
phone: 859 219-9289
e-mail: julia.carr@uky.edu
office hours: Friday 12:00 - 1:00 pm
& by appointment

Sections 004 & 005
Susan Hemmingson
office: 308A Fine Arts Building
phone: 859 971-0974
e-mail: susan.hemmingson@uky.edu
office hours: Tuesday 11:00 - 12:00 pm
& by appointment

Course Description
This course introduces students to the concepts and techniques of visual literacy. We will examine the full spectrum of man-made visual forms encountered by contemporary Americans and learn how to think critically about various aspects of our visual environment from architectural complexes to individual buildings, from graphic novels and cartoons to films and works of art, from still photos to streaming video. Although the main focus of the course is contemporary American visual culture, we will explore other cultures and other time periods considering the subtle and not so subtle effects of globalization on our lives, beliefs, consuming, and viewing habits.

Learning Outcomes
In order to pass this course, students must demonstrate the following:
1) a nuanced understanding of the concept of visual culture across a broad spectrum of cultural forms
2) an ability to critically analyze and compare images, works of art, architectural structures and other visual forms
3) an ability to analyze a visual narrative
4) an ability to write a coherent, well reasoned essay free of major spelling and grammatical flaws
5) an ability to conduct independent research
6) mastery of basic vocabulary appropriate to discussion of different sectors of contemporary visual culture
5) understanding of key concepts discussed in the course, such as power, identity, ideology, gender, race, class, globalism, desire, consumerism, etc. and how they impact production and our understanding of visual forms

Course textbooks, materials, & study aids:

Matthew Rampley, ed.
Exploring Visual Culture: Definitions, Concepts, Contexts
(Edinburgh University Press, 2005)

Art Spiegelman
Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale
My Father Bleeds History
(Pantheon, 1986)

Course lectures archived at the Fine Arts Library, Media Center
Course website: http://www.artworlds.org/ab/page26/IVS/IVShome.html
UK Library resources page for Visual Studies
UK Library resources page for Art
ArtStor image database

Exams & Assignments
Midterm: Monday, Oct. 18, in class
Exploring Visual Culture, Introduction, Chapters 1-6, 15

Final Exam: Monday, December 13, 10:30 am
Exploring Visual Culture, Chapters 7-14

Assignment 1: Us & Them due in section week 5

Assignment 2: Analysis of Art Spiegelman’s Maus, due in section week 12

Assignment 3: Sex Sells, due in section week 16

All assignments must be submitted on time. Late assignments will not be accepted except for instances of excused absence (see section on attendance policies). All arrangements for late handing in of assignments and for make up of exams must be made well ahead of time in consultation with the instructor.

Attendance is mandatory. Every absence will be noted and will reflect on the final grade.
3 unexcused absences will result in automatic failure of the course.

Excused absence
The following are acceptable reasons for class absence:
1. Illness of the student or serious illness of a member of the student's immediate family
2. Death of a member of the student's immediate family
3. Trips for members of student organizations sponsored by an academic unit, trips for University classes, and trips for participation in intercollegiate athletic events
4. Major religious holidays (prior notification required)
5. Any other circumstance which the instructor finds reasonable cause for nonattendance

Verification of absences
In absences related to illness, death or travel, an instructor will require verification such as a written doctor's excuse, a death notice from a newspaper or formal notification from University personnel documenting participation in a trip.

When feasible, students should notify their instructors prior to the occurrence of an absence. If prior notification is impossible, students have one week from the time of the excused absence to notify instructors.

Midterm: 15 points
Final: 25 points
Assignment 1: 10 points
Assignment 2: 20 points
Assignment 2: 20 points
Participation & Attendance: 10 points

A is for excellent work. This means mastery of the course material, excellence in execution and expression of various assignments (all completed conscientiously, skillfully, and on time), perfect attendance (no unexcused absences), and consistency in class participation and preparedness. [100-90 points]
B is for good work. This means demonstrating good knowledge of the course material, completing all assignments proficiently, on time, and well above average, and consistent attendance, active class participation and good preparedness. [89-80 points]
C is for average work. This means demonstrating basic knowledge of the course material; assignments are decently done; most work is finished, classes have been attended. [79-70 points]
D is for poor work. This means poor attendance, being routinely unprepared, below par work on the assignments, non-participation in class. [69-60 points]
E is for failing work. This means poor attendance (3 or more unexcused absences), very poor work, being routinely unprepared, non-participation in class, cheating on exams or blatant plagiarism. [less than 60 points]

Academic Integrity
Academic Integrity Part II of Student Rights and Responsibilities (available online at http://www.uky.edu/StudentAffairs/Code/ part2.html) states that all academic work, written or otherwise, submitted by students to their instructors or other academic supervisors, is expected to be the result of their own thought, research, or self-expression. In cases where students feel unsure about a question of plagiarism involving their work, they are obliged to consult their instructors on the matter before submission.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities
If you have a documented disability that requires academic accommodations, please see your TA as soon as possible during scheduled office hours. In order to receive accommodations in this course, you must provide us with a Letter of Accommodation from the Disability Resource Center (Room 2, Alumni Gym, 257‐2754, email address jkarnes@email.uky.edu) for coordination of campus disability services available to students with disabilities.

Communication with the Instructor and TAs
As a student, it is your responsibility to notify us if you will have to miss a class or an assignment due date. Please let your TA know as soon as possible if you anticipate any scheduling problems. Come and talk to us if you are having trouble understanding the course material or have difficulty completing an assignment. For simple matters, the best way to get in touch with either the instructor or the TA is through e-mail. For addressing more complicated issues it is best to come to the our office hours. It is in your best interest to get to know us and to keep us aware of any problems you may be having. Communication with your professors and TAs is key to your academic success!

This syllabus is subject to change at the discretion of the instructor to accommodate instructional and/or student needs. All changes will be posted on the course website. The course website offers the most accurate and most current information.