The undergraduate minor in visual culture encompasses the study of art history, film, media, and scientific images. Spanning a wide range of historical periods and geographic locations, visual culture courses have as their unifying concern the enduring significance of images and image making, practices of looking, and visual experience.
Looking beyond campus, visual culture courses often make use of the resources of local art and media institutions such as The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, offering students an opportunity to get away from their residences and labs to apply the skills learned in class to real settings in the local community.
Visual Culture Coursework at a Glance
From Plato to Pluto: Maps, Exploration and Culture from Antiquity to the Present This course covers a broad range of topics in the history of maps and exploration from Antiquity to the present. These topics range from the earliest visualizations of earth and space in the Classical world to contemporary techniques in interplanetary navigation. By way of maps, students will explore various ways in which different cultures have conceptualized and navigated earth and space. While maps emulate the world as perceived by the human eye, they, in fact, comprise a set of observations and perceptions of the relationship between bodies in space and time. Thus, students will study maps, and the exploration they enable, as windows to the cultures that have produced them, not only as scientific and technical artifacts to measure and navigate our world.