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Spring 2021: Contemporary Issues in Visual Studies

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.
  • Have skills to engage in sophisticated engagements with and critiques of contemporary culture.
  • Present their ideas in a clear, compelling, and thorough manner in writing.
  • Have improved writing skills in academic English
  • Identify and present the most important critical and theoretical positions in the art historical literature dealing with this period, and define the key terms and concepts in this literature and develop a critical reflective attitude towards these
  • Analyze visual forms from this period using the terms and concepts presented in the course literature
  • Evaluate the critical and theoretical positions in the course literature from a comparative perspective.
  • Produce a sophisticated exam essay that demonstrates both imagination and in depth research skills.
  • See the benefit of being able to use the course’s key concepts, terms and theory in your own master thesis.

Admission

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.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

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

Prerequisites

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 KUN2560 – Topics in Visual Studies

Teaching

This course will be conducted primarily as a seminar with class discussion. 

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 this compulsory assignment:

  • Meet with instructor to work out an exam essay topic by a stated deadline.
  • Attend 7 out of the 10 seminars.

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

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.

Examination

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 for KUN2560/4560

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.

Evaluation

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.

Please note information about KUN4560 can be sent to your student email and be published in Canvas. Check therefore student email and Canvas regularly.

Facts about this course

Credits

10

Level

Master

Teaching

Every spring

Examination

Every spring

Teaching language

English