Graduate Topics in Film: Image and Power
240-002 | German 265 | CCN: 31547
Thur. 1:00pm-4:00pm, Dwinelle 226 ///
This seminar explores the changing status and function of the image from the invention of photography to present-day Instagram culture. Focusing on photography as the paradigmatic medium of technical image production, the seminar will examine theoretical questions that are central for any analysis of modern visual culture, including film, television, and the Internet. How do we define an image, and how do images define us? What kind of work do images do within a specific media-historical milieu? How do images produce or challenge power relations in society? We will examine concepts such as indexicality and representation; identity, ideology, and affect; memory and trauma, as well as new powers of manipulation in the age of digital image-making and artificial intelligence. Our discussions will be guided by media-theoretical writings of Giorgio Agamben, Ariella Azulay, Walter Benjamin, Hans Belting, Roland Barthes, Judith Butler, Gilles Deleuze, James Elkins, Vilém Flusser, Michel Foucault, Martin Heidegger, Siegfried Kracauer, J.T. Mitchell, Jacques Rancière, and Susan Sontag, among others. There will be guest lectures by scholars from Berkeley’s School of Information and the Center for New Media.