Visual Theory 2

Subject is not scheduled Not scheduled

Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
311VT2 ZK 3 2T English summer

Subject guarantor

Name of lecturer(s)

Learning outcomes of the course unit

1.To present and build a basic working vocabulary with which to discuss the way visual images, particularly photographs, are constructed;

2.For students to be able to identify and understand the visual functions of each of these elements in terms of their desired effect or impact on viewers;

3.For students to analyse, explore and question:

-the relationships between the image-maker, viewer, subject and commissioning agent; and

-the various functions of images;

  1. To consolidate the above material in the context of contemporary uses of images.

Mode of study


Prerequisites and co-requisites

It is suggested students visited Visual Theory I.

Newcomers are accepted when there is a vacancy.

The number of attendants is limited to 25.

Course contents

This is a follow-up course to Visual Theory 1 ? although the first course is not required - and continues the exploration of the structural components or unconscious and subconscious building-blocks of visual images, how they work and how film-makers, photographers and other visual artists manipulate them in different ways to provoke specific reactions from viewers. This course concentrates mainly on design elements.

As in the first course, students are given simple practical and theoretical assignments to enable them to see the effects and dynamics of the individual elements for themselves and the option of creating an ?image sketchbook? during the semester. It is in lecture/seminar format and illustrated with photographic and cinematographic examples from both classical and contemporary image-makers.

Recommended or required reading

Required Reading

Lazroe, Beth (1998) Photography as Visual Communication: a Curriculum. FAMU, Prague. Available in the FAMU International Office.

Recommended Reading

Berger, John (1972) Ways of Seeing. BBC and Penguin Books Ltd., London.

Bordwell, David and Thompson, Kristin (2001) Film Art, an Introduction. McGraw Hill Higher Education, International Edition.

Dowling, John; Mohammadi, Ali and Sreberny-Mohammadi, Annabelle (1995) Questioning the Media: a Critical Introduction. Sage Publications, London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi.

Hall, Stuart (1997), Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. Milton Keynes: The Open University.

Fiske, John (1990) Introduction to Communications Studies. 2nd edition, Routledge, London and New York.

Hollows, Joanne and Jancovich, Mark, eds. (1995) Approaches to Popular Film.

Manchester University Press, UK.

Hayward, Susan (2000) Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts. Routledge: New York.

Hollows, Joanne; Hutchings, Peter and Jancovich, Mark, eds. (2000) The Film Studies Reader. Arnold, Hodder Headline Group, London.

Jung, Karl, ed. (1980) Man and His Symbols, 2nd ed., Picador, Pan Books Ltd., London.

Kaplan, E. Ann, ed. (1990) Psychoanalysis & Cinema. Routledge, New York and London.

Kuhn, Annette (1988) Cinema, Censorship and Sexuality. Routledge, London and New York.

Lazroe, Beth (1997) Perception, Culture, Representation and the Photographic Image. World Young Photography, Ljubljana.

Maalouf, Amin (2000) On Identity. The Harvill Press, London.

Price, Stuart (1994) Media Studies. Pitman Publishing, London.

Thompson, Kristin and Bordwell, David (2003) Film History, an Introduction. McGraw Hill Higher Education, International Edition.

Thompson, Kristin (1999) Storytelling in the New Hollywood: Understanding Classical Narrative Technique. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London.

Time-Life Books (1973) The Art of Photography.Time-Life International (Nederland).

Webster, Frank (1985) The New Photography, Responsibility in Visual Education, John Calder, Riverrun Press, London and New York.

Assessment methods and criteria

Assessment will be based on (1) how well students are able to apply the material presented and discussed each week in lecture to images chosen and, for classwork assignments, written about by the students; (2) a final examination essay, to be developed related to lecture material and illustrating points and ideas with published images of students' own choice. Because (1) requires class participation, without which students will not understand the requirements for the written work for both the homework assignments and the exam, attendance is an integral part of this grade.

Initial weekly seminars will be based on homework assignments, where students will either take or submit published photographs or images of their choice, sometimes together with a short essay. Assignments are therefore required to be submitted on time. Students are expected to inform the lecturer in advance if they will be late in fulfilling an assignment (up to one week after it is due); late work will not be accepted unless this is done. No student who has not submitted homework assignments will be permitted to take the final examination.

Students are also expected, as a basic courtesy, to inform the lecturer in advance if they expect to be late or absent, or the absence will not be excused. A maximum of 3 excused absences is permitted; otherwise credit may not be given and/or students not allowed to take the final exam

Assessment and final grade:

The course grade will be calculated as follows:

-Attendance ? 10%

-classwork assignments/class participation ? 40%

-final examination ? 50%


Mobile telephones except in emergency situations and by prior arrangement will not be tolerated in class.

Further information

No schedule has been prepared for this course

The subject is a part of the following study plans