In this course we will examine diversity, pedagogy, and visual culture in various settings: the artworld, popular media, and cultural settings such as schools and museums. As defined in this course, diversity pertains to gender, sexual identity, social class, ethnicity, ability, age, and other attributes that shape our identities. In the course we will pay special attention to issues of power and privilege in relation to diversity and visual culture. We will examine the ways that various forms of visual culture, situated in various social contexts, teach us who we are, what is “normal” in our society, and how we might change existing social conditions.
Visual culture includes paintings, sculptures, prints, and other forms of fine art as well as advertisements, news images, scientific images, television programs, and films. It includes toys, comic books, children’s art—and more. All manifestations of cultural life that are significant for their visual features are included in the term visual culture.
Pedagogy refers not only to formal methods of instruction, such as teaching and learning in classrooms. It also includes informal instruction through the arts, the media, popular forms of entertainment, and other social practices. Pedagogy includes being addressed in certain ways by various forms of visual culture. It includes the ways we actively interpret, use, and recreate forms of visual culture in our lives.