Program Information

Visual Culture

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The minor in Visual Culture exploits one of the unique strengths of Syracuse University: a world class arts school in the midst of a research institution. The minor is an interdisciplinary program sponsored by the following units: The School of Art and Design and Communication and Rhetorical Studies. The minor consists of 18 credits and functions as an academically-based minor that is intended to complement the studio-based majors in the College of Visual and Performing Arts and provide non-studio based majors a concentration in visual culture and criticism that is theoretically and historically informed. The minor is open to all Syracuse University undergraduates.

The Visual Culture minor provides students with the critical skills necessary to address the evolving intersection of art, design, and communication in a variety of contexts including the art world, consumer culture, politics, and popular culture. Drawing on the diversity of disciplinary approaches to visual culture, the minor fosters critical engagement with diverse modes of visual expression and communication, from advertising design and image activism to material culture and public sculpture.

The Visual Culture minor equips students with an interdisciplinary conceptual framework that will illuminate (1) the diverse sensory modes (i.e. verbal, aural, tactile, etc.) that inform and interact with visual expression; (2) the various institutional frameworks that shape the production, circulation, and reception of visual culture (from the nineteenth century forward); and (3) the historical and cultural contexts that normalize particular viewing practices and social formations.

By the completion of the minor, students will be adept in interdisciplinary viewing practices, familiar with diverse critical approaches to visual meaning, and an effective in communicating complex visual ideas.

The Visual Culture minor should be of interest to students who seek a program that focuses on visual culture as the nexus of creative practice, advocacy, and criticism.


3.0 GPA (based on the completion of 30 credits).  Must enter program no later than the first semester of junior year.  Limited to 30 students initially.  Applications accepted at any time, but will adhere to October 15 deadline for processing and approval in the Fall semester (March 1st for Spring semester).