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Course content

This course will explore how visuality and aesethetics are being reconfigured within the particular forms of capitalism that dominate our time and existence, often characterized by terms such as late capitalism, absolute capitalism, capital realism, neoliberalism, and globalisation. How are issues of desire, love, sexuality, identity, ontology, connectivity, and collectivity marked by the new rhythms and intertwinings of aesthetics, visuality, and capitalism? Are the classical approaches to and categories of aesthetics and visual culture up to the task of making sense of these new reconfigurations?

In class, we will explore a broad range of visual and textual material from contemporary life and modes of thought that will help us work through these issues in compelling ways.

Learning outcome

After the completion of the course you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a better understanding of the intersections between visuality, aesthetics, and capitalism in the last 20 years
  • Work across and through disciplines in concrete and creative ways.
  • Present your ideas in a clear, compelling, and thorough manner in both writing and public speaking.
  • Identify and present the most important critical and theoretical positions in visual studies and aesthetics dealing with this period, and define the key terms and concepts in this literature.
  • Analyze visual forms from this period using the terms and concepts presented in the course literature
  • Have improved writing skills in academic English


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Recommended previous knowledge

It is recommended that you have passed 60 studiepoeng (equal to ECTS) in Art History, Aestethics and/or Visual studies before taking this course.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with KUN4560 – Topics in Visual Studies


This course will be conducted primarily as a seminar with class discussion. There will be a three hour seminar once a week for 9 weeks.

Following the seminars is highly recommended. We expect you to meet prepared for classes and to participate actively.

In order to qualify to the final exam, you must complete these compulsory assignments:

  • Compulsory attendance at seminars. There is an attendance requirement for this course; you have to be present for at least 7 out of 9 seminars. Additional absence must be justified with documentation to the exam coordinator. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of every class.
  • Meet with instructor to work out an exam essay topic by a stated deadline.
  • Submit a preliminary draft of your term paper by a stated deadline. The preliminary draft must be at 3-4 pages (à 2300 characters without spaces, not including illustrations, notes and reference).

You submit your written assignment in Canvas. You must familiarize yourself with the login and submission procedures in timely manner before the submission of assignments.

This is how you apply for a valid absence from compulsory activities/compulsory attendance.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


The examination is a semester essay

The essay must consist of 10 pages (each page à 2300 characters without spaces, not including illustrations, notes and reference).

The assignment will be handed in using Inspera. You must familiarize yourself with the login and submission procedures in timely manner before the exam. Read more about Inspera below.

When writing a semester essay you are entitled to individual guidance by you teacher. To be eligible for this guidance you must submit a draft of your paper that meets certain requirements. More detailed information about guidance and how to submit your draft will be given by the teacher during class or in Canvas.

Grading guidelines

Grading guidelines

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

The Department's assessments of courses are available at our web-pages, but generally only in Norwegian

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Facts about this course






This course will not be offered Spring semester 2020

Teaching language