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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Humanities Department
Course Prefix and Number: COMM 344
Course Title: Visual Communication and Culture
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Introduction of basic principles of perception and visual interpretation. Analysis and discussion addresses the dependent processes of rhetorical visual communication in media and film studies, cultural studies, art, literature and photography within the public sphere. Prerequisite: COMM 110.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): COMM 110.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered even Fall.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture
By Sturken, Marita (Oxford University Press)
Visual Culture: The Reader
By Evans, Jessica (Sage)
Ways of Seeing
By Berger, John (Penguin)
Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to the Interpretation of Visual Materials
By Rose, Gillian (Sage)
Visual Communication
By Lester, Paul Martin (Thompson)
Course Objectives

• To acquire a broad understanding of the theoretical foundations of visual communication. • To apply theoretical principles of visual communication to specific situations. • To expand critical thinking skills as they relate to spectatorship, power and knowledge.

Measurable Learning

• Recognize different perspectives of visual theory. • Identify and articulate the scientific and social processes of looking. • Identify and employ critical reflexive skills related to visual interpretation. • Apply advanced level organizational and analytical skills when discussing visual communication research. • Employ critical writing skills which support an understanding of basic critical and theoretical concerns in the discipline. • Demonstrate intermediate mastery of research techniques.

Topical Outline:

• Practices of looking • Viewers make meaning • Spectatorship, power and knowledge • Mass media and public sphere • Consumer culture • Scientific looking


Recommended maximum class size for this course: 20

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Amy Darnell Date: September 3, 2008
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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