Logo Students

CUL 121 – Seeing Culture: Politics of Visual Representation

2017 – S2 Day

General Information

Pdf icon Download as PDF
Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Anthony Lambert
Contact via anthony.lambert@mq.edu.au
Y3A253 / Level 2 Admin Hub
Email for appointment
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
Visual culture brings together a range of theories, practices and texts that explore the relationship between vision, visuality and the way people act in their everyday lives. This unit introduces students to a variety of critical concepts which can be used in the analysis of visual texts. Exploring a range of imagery and media, including film, television, photography and Information Technology, we look at the ways visual culture shapes (and is shaped by) our social worlds, our bodies and identities. In particular we focus on relationships between the visual and normalising practices, contemporary politics, bodies and technologies. Within these relationships we explore the (re)production, performance and use of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, fatness and disability. Further to this we explore notions of genre, discourse, power and textuality through the application and testing of methods of visual analysis. Finally we place the visual within the contexts of embodiment, the human sensorium and the everyday.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Memorize basic aspects (contemporary and historical) of visual cultural studies and be able to apply them through a variety of activities and analyses.
  2. Explain the politicised aspects of visual texts and Cultural Studies approaches to both their production and content (as discourses, texts, lived realities).
  3. Critically review, analyse and synthesise findings.
  4. Present work in a manner conforming to accepted academic standards in both written and spoken form.
  5. Appraise issues and debates specific to Cultural Studies practice and its associated philosophical and political underpinnings.

General Assessment Information

Late Submissions - Guidelines

Tasks 10% or less. No extensions will be granted. Students who have not submitted the task prior to the deadline will be awarded a mark of 0 for the task, except for cases in which an application for Disruption to Studies is made and approved.

Tasks above 10%. Tasks above 10%. No extensions will be granted. Students who submit late work without an approved Disruption to Studies extension will receive a penalty of 5% per day. This penalty does not apply for cases in which an application for Disruption to Studies is made and approved.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Tutorial Exercise 25% Ongoing
Screening Responses 15% Weeks 3, 7, 10
Visual Analysis 30% 12/10/2017
Screen Tests 30% Weeks 4, 8, 12

Tutorial Exercise

Due: Ongoing
Weighting: 25%

Outline:

You will lead the tutorial for a minimum of ten minutes (through an original analysis and discussion/group activity). Your tutor will allocate topics/weeks and dates in the first tutorial and the exercises will begin in the following week.

Submission Requirements:

You will offer, in class, an analysis of one specific visual text - an image or object that you possess or have found in your research using  the key terms and concepts with respect to the weekly topics. Define and explain these with examples from the readings and research you have done. There is no written component to this exercise - it is assessed in class and you do not submit any materials.

Criteria:

You are graded in class, on a series of criteria including: conceptual understanding, originality and presentation - each out of five, with a total score out of fifteen. There are no presentations in tutorials following screenings (see Screening Responses section). Seek assistance from your tutor if you have any problems. If you do not fulfil this assessment and have no appropriate Disruption to Studies or extension arrangements in place, you may lose 25% of your overall grade for this unit.

Late Submissions - Guidelines

Tasks above 10%.No extensions will be granted. Students who submit late work without an approved Disruption to Studies extension will receive a penalty of 5% per day. This penalty does not apply for cases in which an application for Disruption to Studies is made and approved.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Explain the politicised aspects of visual texts and Cultural Studies approaches to both their production and content (as discourses, texts, lived realities).
  • Critically review, analyse and synthesise findings.
  • Present work in a manner conforming to accepted academic standards in both written and spoken form.
  • Appraise issues and debates specific to Cultural Studies practice and its associated philosophical and political underpinnings.

Screening Responses

Due: Weeks 3, 7, 10
Weighting: 15%

Outline:

In the tutorial following each of the three screenings, you will bring to class a written statement of 300 words that offers 1) a synopsis/description of the film/text and 2) explain how you think the screening relates to the study of visual culture by addressing the weekly questions under the iLearn topic banner.

Submission Requirements:

You will read this to the class and submit a copy to your tutor. This should be in hard copy and no longer than 300 words. You should also bring to class examples of other visual texts that deal with the same topic for discussionIn addition to your own responses, you should explicitly engage with, respond to and initiate discussion around the weekly themes and concepts, and your tutor will explain the rubric for grading your responses in tutorials in the week two class.

Criteria:

In addition to the above, please note: The first submission in week 3 is used as an early diagnostic assessment to identify students who might require help with their work. These reflective submissions are marked as a pass/fail based on whether you submit and whether it is received in the right tutorial.

This assessment explicitly requires your participation in class. Each submission is graded out of five, and taken together the three comprise a total of 15% of your grade.

Late Submissions - Guidelines

Tasks 10% or less. Each individual submission is worth 5% of your total grade. No extensions will be granted. Students who have not submitted the task prior to the deadline will be awarded a mark of 0 for the task, except for cases in which an application for Disruption to Studies is made and approved.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Explain the politicised aspects of visual texts and Cultural Studies approaches to both their production and content (as discourses, texts, lived realities).
  • Appraise issues and debates specific to Cultural Studies practice and its associated philosophical and political underpinnings.

Visual Analysis

Due: 12/10/2017
Weighting: 30%

Outline:

You will conduct a critical analysis on a set topic from specific material covered and associated screenings from across the first half of the semester.

Submission Requirements:

The length is 1200 Words - Due Thursday, October 12 by 6:00 pm. Submission is online only via the ILearn Turnitin Assignments link. 

Criteria:

a) Extent to which the essay is focused on the specific question selected

b) Structure: statement of aims in introduction, organisation of material (logical order and flow of discussion), conclusion

c) Clarity of argument, quality of analysis and fluency in cultural studies terms

d) Identification of appropriate themes and concepts from the set texts and further reading and their usefulness in the analysis of examples

e) Use of appropriate evidence to support claims

f) Adequate and appropriate citation of sources

g) Presentation: format, spelling, syntax, grammar and expression 

Late Submissions - Guidelines

Tasks above 10%. No extensions will be granted. Students who submit late work without an approved Disruption to Studies extension will receive a penalty of 5% per day. This penalty does not apply for cases in which an application for Disruption to Studies is made and approved.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Memorize basic aspects (contemporary and historical) of visual cultural studies and be able to apply them through a variety of activities and analyses.
  • Explain the politicised aspects of visual texts and Cultural Studies approaches to both their production and content (as discourses, texts, lived realities).
  • Critically review, analyse and synthesise findings.
  • Present work in a manner conforming to accepted academic standards in both written and spoken form.

Screen Tests

Due: Weeks 4, 8, 12
Weighting: 30%

Outline:

There are three periodic tests to be completed across the semester, and each test is worth 10 percent (30 percent in total).  

Submission  Requirements:

You will complete the tests online via the quizzes section on iLearn. The tests are timed and are scored automatically through the online system. Each test will comprise a series of questions taken from lectures, readings and will focus on one of the screenings shown in the course.

Criteria:

Please read the following notes and instructions:

1. The tests will take the form of ten direct-answer questions.

2. Whilst you undertake the tests in your own time and are able to consult your notes, the questions will come to you randomly and the time for each test will be capped at fifteen minutes.

3. Test one (due week 4) will cover week 1-4 and the first screening, test two will cover weeks 5-7 (due week 8) and the second screening, and test three (due week 12) will cover weeks 9-12 and the third screening.

4. You are encouraged to revise before logging on to begin east test.

Late Submissions - Guidelines

Tasks 10% or less. No extensions will be granted. Students who have not submitted the task prior to the deadline will be awarded a mark of 0 for the task, except for cases in which an application for Disruption to Studies is made and approved. As each test is worth 10%, if you fail to complete or attempt any test by the due date (without such approval), you will lose 10% for each one missed. 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Memorize basic aspects (contemporary and historical) of visual cultural studies and be able to apply them through a variety of activities and analyses.
  • Explain the politicised aspects of visual texts and Cultural Studies approaches to both their production and content (as discourses, texts, lived realities).
  • Present work in a manner conforming to accepted academic standards in both written and spoken form.

Delivery and Resources

Delivery Mode: Internal, Daytime  

This unit will use:    Echo, iLearn, Turnitin 

 

Lectures and Tutorials 

Lectures: See Echo block on iLearn for filmed weekly lectures. Lectures, screenings, readings and appropriate work must be watched/done prior to tutorials.

Tutorials: As per timetable (1 hr per week)

Screenings: Links are available under the weekly tab or via the library Kanopy streaming service.

For current updates, classrooms and times please consult the MQU Timetables website: http://www.timetables.mq.edu.au

 

Required and recommended resources 

THERE ARE ESSENTIAL WEEKLY READINGS FOR THIS UNIT AS FOLLOWS. All entries are available via Unit Readings on the library site.

WEEK 1

Reading:  Mitchell, W.J.T. (2002) ‘Showing seeing: a critique of visual culture’, Journal of Visual Culture Vol. 2, pp. 165-181.

WEEK 2

Reading:     Aiello, G. (2006) ‘Theoretical Advances in Critical Visual Analysis: Perception, Ideology, Mythologies, and Social Semiotics’, Journal of Visual Literacy, 26: 2, pp. 89-102.

WEEK 3

Screening:          ​Pornland: How the Porn Industry Has Hijacked Our Sexuality (2014)

Reading:   Tyler, M. (2014) ‘Harms of production: theorising pornography as a form of prostitution’, Women’s Studies International Forum 48, pp. 114-123.

WEEK 4

Reading:    Meyers, S. (2010) ‘Invisible Waves of Technology: Ultrasound and the Making of Fetal Images’, Medicine Studies 2, 197-209.

WEEK 5

Reading:   Murray, S. (2005) ‘Doing Politics or Selling Out? Living the Fat Body’, Women's Studies: An inter-disciplinary journal, 34:3-4, pp. 265-277.

WEEK 6

Reading:   Garland-Thomson, R. (2002) ‘The Politics of Staring: Visual Rhetorics of Disability in

Popular Photography’, in Snyder, S. L., Brueggermann, B.J. and R. Garland-Thomson (eds.), Disability Studies: Enabling the Humanities, New York, MLA, pp. 57-75.

WEEK 7

Screening:          Journey through Hell (2007)

Reading:   Bleiker, R., Campbell, D., Hutchison, E. and X. Nicholson (2013) ‘The visual dehumanisation of refugees’, Australian Journal of Political Science, 48:4, pp. 398-416.

WEEK 8: NO READINGS OR SCREENINGS

WEEK 9

Reading:   Mitchell, L. (2013) ‘Monsters, Heroes, Martyrs and Their Storytellers: The Enduring Attraction of Culturally Embedded Narratives in the “War on Terror”’, Liverpool Law Review, 35:1, pp. 83-101.

WEEK 10

Screening:          Contract Killers: Who Killed Carolyn Matthews? (2011)

Reading:   Carrabine, E. (2012) ‘Just Images: Aesthetics, Ethics and Visual Criminology’, British Journal of Criminology 52, pp. 463-489.  

WEEK 11

Reading:   Nayar, P. K. (2009) ‘Scar Cultures: Media, Spectacle, Suffering’, Journal of Creative Communications, 4:3, pp. 147-162.

WEEK 12

Reading:    Elizabeth Stephens (2012) Sensation machine: Film, phenomenology and the training of the senses, Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 26:4, 529-539.

Week 13: NO READINGS OR SCREENINGS

NOTE: All readings for this course are through the library's online catalogue and it is your responsibility to access and read all materials before the appropriate tutorial. Please see the iLearn page for CUL121 for further information.

Unit Schedule

CUL121 Seeing Culture - Set weekly class topics, S2, 2017.

WEEK 1: Seeing Culture (July 31 - Aug 4)

WEEK 2: Seeing Signs (Aug 7 - 11)

WEEK 3: Seeing Sex (Aug 14 - 18)

WEEK 4: Seeing Science, Medicine and Bodies (Aug 21 - 25)

WEEK 5: Seeing Fatness (Aug 28 - Sept 1)

WEEK 6: Seeing Disability (Sept 4 - 8)

WEEK 7: Seeing Immigration (Sept 11 - 15)

WEEK 8: Reading Week (Oct 2 - 6)

WEEK 9: Seeing Monsters (Oct 9 - 13)

WEEK 10: Seeing Crime (Oct 16 - 20)

WEEK 11: Seeing Spectacles (Oct 23 - 27)

WEEK 12: Seeing Senses (Oct 30 - Nov 3)

WEEK 13: Consultations (Nov 6 - 10)

 

NOTE: All readings and materials are available either through the library’s online catalogue or journal/database access.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Late Submissions - Guidelines

Tasks 10% or less. No extensions will be granted. Students who have not submitted the task prior to the deadline will be awarded a mark of 0 for the task, except for cases in which an application for Disruption to Studies is made and approved.

Tasks above 10%. No extensions will be granted. Students who submit late work without an approved Disruption to Studies extension will receive a penalty of 10% per day. This penalty does not apply for cases in which an application for Disruption to Studies is made and approved.

Additional information

MMCCS website https://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/faculties_and_departments/faculty_of_arts/department_of_media_music_communication_and_cultural_studies/

MMCCS Session Re-mark Application http://www.mq.edu.au/pubstatic/public/download/?id=167914

Information is correct at the time of publication

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Memorize basic aspects (contemporary and historical) of visual cultural studies and be able to apply them through a variety of activities and analyses.
  • Explain the politicised aspects of visual texts and Cultural Studies approaches to both their production and content (as discourses, texts, lived realities).
  • Appraise issues and debates specific to Cultural Studies practice and its associated philosophical and political underpinnings.

Assessment tasks

  • Tutorial Exercise
  • Screening Responses
  • Visual Analysis
  • Screen Tests

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Memorize basic aspects (contemporary and historical) of visual cultural studies and be able to apply them through a variety of activities and analyses.
  • Explain the politicised aspects of visual texts and Cultural Studies approaches to both their production and content (as discourses, texts, lived realities).
  • Critically review, analyse and synthesise findings.
  • Present work in a manner conforming to accepted academic standards in both written and spoken form.
  • Appraise issues and debates specific to Cultural Studies practice and its associated philosophical and political underpinnings.

Assessment tasks

  • Tutorial Exercise
  • Screening Responses
  • Visual Analysis
  • Screen Tests

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Memorize basic aspects (contemporary and historical) of visual cultural studies and be able to apply them through a variety of activities and analyses.
  • Explain the politicised aspects of visual texts and Cultural Studies approaches to both their production and content (as discourses, texts, lived realities).

Assessment tasks

  • Tutorial Exercise
  • Screening Responses
  • Visual Analysis
  • Screen Tests

Creative and Innovative

Our graduates will also be capable of creative thinking and of creating knowledge. They will be imaginative and open to experience and capable of innovation at work and in the community. We want them to be engaged in applying their critical, creative thinking.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Assessment task

  • Tutorial Exercise

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Memorize basic aspects (contemporary and historical) of visual cultural studies and be able to apply them through a variety of activities and analyses.
  • Present work in a manner conforming to accepted academic standards in both written and spoken form.

Assessment tasks

  • Tutorial Exercise
  • Visual Analysis
  • Screen Tests

Engaged and Ethical Local and Global citizens

As local citizens our graduates will be aware of indigenous perspectives and of the nation's historical context. They will be engaged with the challenges of contemporary society and with knowledge and ideas. We want our graduates to have respect for diversity, to be open-minded, sensitive to others and inclusive, and to be open to other cultures and perspectives: they should have a level of cultural literacy. Our graduates should be aware of disadvantage and social justice, and be willing to participate to help create a wiser and better society.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Explain the politicised aspects of visual texts and Cultural Studies approaches to both their production and content (as discourses, texts, lived realities).
  • Critically review, analyse and synthesise findings.
  • Appraise issues and debates specific to Cultural Studies practice and its associated philosophical and political underpinnings.

Assessment tasks

  • Tutorial Exercise
  • Screening Responses
  • Visual Analysis
  • Screen Tests

Socially and Environmentally Active and Responsible

We want our graduates to be aware of and have respect for self and others; to be able to work with others as a leader and a team player; to have a sense of connectedness with others and country; and to have a sense of mutual obligation. Our graduates should be informed and active participants in moving society towards sustainability.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Explain the politicised aspects of visual texts and Cultural Studies approaches to both their production and content (as discourses, texts, lived realities).
  • Appraise issues and debates specific to Cultural Studies practice and its associated philosophical and political underpinnings.

Assessment task

  • Tutorial Exercise

Capable of Professional and Personal Judgement and Initiative

We want our graduates to have emotional intelligence and sound interpersonal skills and to demonstrate discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgement. They will exercise initiative as needed. They will be capable of risk assessment, and be able to handle ambiguity and complexity, enabling them to be adaptable in diverse and changing environments.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Appraise issues and debates specific to Cultural Studies practice and its associated philosophical and political underpinnings.

Assessment tasks

  • Tutorial Exercise
  • Screening Responses

Commitment to Continuous Learning

Our graduates will have enquiring minds and a literate curiosity which will lead them to pursue knowledge for its own sake. They will continue to pursue learning in their careers and as they participate in the world. They will be capable of reflecting on their experiences and relationships with others and the environment, learning from them, and growing - personally, professionally and socially.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Memorize basic aspects (contemporary and historical) of visual cultural studies and be able to apply them through a variety of activities and analyses.
  • Appraise issues and debates specific to Cultural Studies practice and its associated philosophical and political underpinnings.

Assessment tasks

  • Tutorial Exercise
  • Screening Responses
  • Visual Analysis

Course specific policies and requirements

Attendance 

CUL 121 requires that students atend every weekly (hour-long) tutorial. In addition to the formal lectures there are some weeks in which short films or television programs are screened. Attendance at lectures is strongly advised as lectures and screenings actively supplement the material covered in readings and provide the basis for tutorial activities and essay questions. Lecture links may be found on the iLearn page and abbreviated notes will be posted to each weekly section.

 

Examination(s) 

There is no examination for CUL121. Please see notes regarding assessment. 

 

Assignment submission 

ALL ASSIGNMENTS to be submitted in online or in class. You must structure and reference essays appropriately, including a full and correct bibliography. See relevant sections in this guide for details with respect to turnitin, plagiarism and academic writing services. 

 

Extensions and penalties 

You should complete all components of this course. Work submitted late without extension or proof/documentation of extenuating circumstances will incur a five percent penalty for each day after the due date. Extensions will not be permitted unless you have made an appropriate application for Disruption to Studies.