Memory Frames: Visual Analysis of Photography and Film

Academic Program: 

Instructor: Jessie Labov, Jeremy Braverman, Oksana Sarkisova, Renáta Uitz

Credits: 2.0

Course description: 

This is the first CEU university-wide course on methods of visual research which surveys interdisciplinary approaches to film and photography in humanities and social sciences. Images are means of preserving, showcasing, relocating and erasing memories of past events. As such visual sources are a true treasure trove for research in the social sciences and humanities. With the development of information technology classics and long-forgotten films and photographs become available to new audiences. Technological advances facilitate the exponential creation and constant reinterpretation of visual data. The course raises students’ methodological awareness by addressing epistemological, ethical, and political questions associated with the production and circulation of images. It approaches film and photography not just as aesthetic practices that lay claim to reality, but also as intellectual discourses that reflect cultural and social ideas, and challenge existing discourses and conventions. Students are invited to explore medium-specificity and the social context of image production, exhibition, and circulation, emphasizing social and historical conditioning of seeing. The two credit-course engages CEU and external faculty to discuss topics such as the relationship of image with the notion of objectivity, the social conditioning of interpretative frameworks, the appropriation and redefinition of visual imagery in different contexts. The course is also an elective core course for the Advanced Certificate in Visual Theory and Practice and aims to advance students’ proficiency with new methodologies.