General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Visual Culture And Semiotics. Selected Issues.
Language English
Module lecturer dr Katarzyna Machtyl
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position adiunkt
Faculty Faculty of Anthropology and Cultural Studies
Semester 2021/2022 (winter)
Duration 30


Module aim (aims)

Achieving knowledge and skills connected with the most important theories in visual culture studies and visual semiotics- Introducing basic terms, notions, methodologies and different orientations in visual semiotics

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

knowledge of the English language


Week 1: Introductory classWeek 2: What is visual culture?Week 3: What is visual semiotics?Week 4: Iconic signs – Ch. Peirce, Y. LotmanWeek 5: Photographic message: R. BarthesWeek 6: Semiotics of cinema: Y. LotmanWeek 7: Semiotics of cinema: R. BarthesWeek 8: W.J.T. Mitchell: The Pictorial turn – the ‘manifesto’Week 9: W.J.T. Mitchell: What do pictures want?Week 10: B. Latour: Iconophilia and iconoclashWeek 11: Students’ presentationsWeek 12: Students’ presentationsWeek 13: Students’ presentationsWeek 14: Students’ presentationsWeek 15: Summary

Reading list

R. Barthes, The Kitchen of Meaning, in: R. Barthes, The Semiotic Challenge, University of California Press, 1994 W.J.T. Mitchell, Showing seeing: a critique of visual culture, “Journal of Visual Culture” 2002 SAGE Publications (London, Thousand Oaks, CA and New Delhi), Vol 1(2): 165-181 G. Sonesson, Pictorial concepts. Inquiries into the semiotic heritage and its relevance to the interpretation of the visual world, Lund University Press 1989 (passages) M. Bal, N. Bryson, Semiotics and Art History, “The Art Bulletin”, Vol. 73, No. 2 (Jun., 1991) (passages) Y. Lotman, Universe of the mind. A semiotic theory of culture, London, New York, I. B. Tauris Publishers, 2001 R. Barthes, The Photographic Message, in: R. Barthes, Image Music Text, Fontana Press. An Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers 1997 Y. Lotman, Semiotics of cinema, University of Michigan, cop. 1976 (passages) R. Barthes, The Third Meaning. Research notes on some Eisenstein stills, in: R. Barthes, Image Music Text, Fontana Press. An Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers 1997 W.J.T. Mitchell, The Pictorial turn, in: Picture Theory. Essays on Verbal and Visual Representation, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago 1994 W.J.T. Mitchell: What do pictures want? The Lives and Loves of Images, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago 2005 (passages) B. Latour, How to Be Iconophilic in Art, Science and Religion?, in: C.A. Jones, P. Galison (ed.), Picturing Science, Producing Art, Routledge, New York-London 1998 (passages) B. Latour, What is iconoclash? Or is there a world beyond the image wars?, in: Iconoclash, Beyond the Image-Wars in Science, Religion and Art, P. Weibel, B. Latour (ed.), ZKM and MIT Press 2002 (passages)