Visual Studies Minor
The Interdisciplinary Visual Studies Minor invites students both to investigate their place in a global system of images and make images, objects, and digital artifacts with critical awareness. Additionally, the program trains students in interdisciplinary rigor and encourages them to examine the relationship between the visual and various structures of power.
Curriculum & Courses
The Visual Studies curriculum is organized to help students develop critical and creative engagement with visual experience across media, time, and cultures.
All students are required to take an introductory gateway course and a senior-level capstone course. The introductory course will cover a variety of disciplinary approaches to the field of Visual Studies, and will include guest lectures, field trips for hands-on learning, and an introduction to some form of making. The capstone course will consolidate a student experience of the interdisciplinary minor that integrates visual scholarship, making, and public engagement. Students will select their four elective courses from three categories: Visual Literacy, Labs/Studio Courses and The Ethics of the Visual.
Students interested in the Interdisciplinary Visual Studies Minor should plan their course schedule in consultation with the Director of Visual Studies and with their major advisor. Please note: currently no more than one of the six minor credits may count towards the student’s major.
The minor will include six courses:
- The Introduction to Visual Studies (VIST H142), the gateway course offered each fall
- Four elective courses that meet the following three learning goals (please find here a list of current courses approved for the minor):
- Visual Literacy
Courses that teach students how to describe and analyze the visual and the impact of digital and/or analogue technologies on art, culture, science, commerce, policy, society, and the environment.
- Critical Making
Labs/Studio Courses that create curricular opportunities for students to make media of all kinds, from images and films to objects and performances, and to develop a critical awareness of the relationship between process, product, and reception.
- Ethics of the Visual
Courses that invite students to examine the relationship between the visual and structures of power, analyzing the role of images in making and swaying consumers and attending to the role that images play in constructing “others” through such categories as race, gender, or disability.
- Visual Literacy
- A Senior Capstone Seminar (VIST H399) where students will work in small groups to research and propose projects that engage the larger campus community.
Both the Introduction and the Capstone courses must be taken at Haverford College. Additionally, at least two of the four elective courses must be taken at Haverford, Bryn Mawr, or Swarthmore in order to be counted for the Visual Studies Minor.
Research & Outreach
The English major and visual studies minor’s thesis investigates what makes Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric such a formative reading experience and temporally distinctive work of poetry.
Spir hopes to attend graduate school and to become a professor, as well as to travel and do field research while working in non-profits.
This visual studies course explores the specific mid-20th-century movement of “conceptual art,” as well as its progenitors and its progeny.
Check out our other academic offerings: