SoSe 16: S-Culture-Gender-Media II: Word and Image
For the past couple of decades, scholars have diagnosed our culture as an increasingly visual one that challenges a century-long primacy of the word. What has been discussed under the label of the ... read more
For the past couple of decades, scholars have diagnosed our culture as an increasingly visual one that challenges a century-long primacy of the word. What has been discussed under the label of the pictorial or iconic turn, however, appears to be but the latest instalment in Western culture’s persistent desire to closely interrelate words and images as antithetical albeit complementary modes of representation. Frequently, the word-image relationship has been theorized as a quasi-binary opposition: words are conventional signs, images natural signs; words tell, images show; words are temporal, images spatial; etc. Yet, there have also been a myriad of forms combining word and image, drawing upon as well as putting into question the very distinction between the two media.
The class invites students to reflect on these issues in a variety of theoretical and practical contexts. In a first step, we will read a number of foundational texts – from ancient philosophy via semiotics to recent cognitive studies. In a second step, students are invited to analyse the relationship between word and image in a cultural artifact or phenomenon of their choice, e.g. emblems, ekphrasis, illustrated novels, artists’ books, comics, cartoons, advertisements, concrete poetry.
Participants will have to meet the standard requirements: regular attendance, minutes of one session and a presentation are obligatory, additional credits can be obtained by submitting a term paper.
A reading list will be distributed at the beginning of the term. Both the recently published Handbook of Intermediality (ed. Gabriele Rippl) as well as the Handbuch Literatur & Visuelle Kultur (ed. Claudia Benthien and Brigitte Weingart) offer a good introduction to, and overview of, the topic at hand.