VTP Course List

VTP COURSE LIST

A/ Core Courses (students have to take 4 credits in total) 

Core courses taken beyond the 4 credit requirement will be counted as Electives.

FALL 2018

DEBATES IN VISUAL STUDIES: MEDIALITY OF CULTURE, CULTURAL ICONOLOGY AND VISUAL STUDIES
Endre Gyorgy Szonyi, 2 credits, Dept. of History, open cross-university

The course examines the role of images in defining culture and constituting its mediality and concentrates on the changing role and channels of visual communication. It surveys a long-lasting scholarly attempt to define the relationship and the interactions between images and texts, artist and audience, message and reception/perception, and introduces the most thought-provoking and cutting edge propositions dealing with visual culture.

Film and the City: A thematic introduction to the critical analysis of film

Laszlo Strausz, Cultural Heritage Program, 2 credits

The goal of this course is to introduce participating students to the basic vocabulary of the critical- and theoretical analysis of motion pictures. In order to create access points to the topic, the course will progress through the investigation of the theme of cinema and the city. By considering the audiovisual language and select theoretical aspects of film in the context of the city, student will develop skills transferrable to several disciplines related to visual studies. The course is structured into four parts, each lasting three weeks. In the first part of the course, students will familiarize themselves with the basic elements of film language (The city as composition). During the forthcoming parts (The city as identity, The city as nation, The city as memory), the group will focus on various theoretical models and analyse filmic texts that create meaning as identities, collectives and memories.
 

Foundations of Visual Practice

Didem Pekun, 2 credits, Department of Sociology

The course acquaints students with the principles of visual language from a combined theory and practice perspective. It provides an understanding of visual perception, the basic elements and structure of visual language and grammar, and the relationship between the two. The course enables participants to apply principles of visual grammar in their own scholarship and creative work, and empowers participants to develop their own unique visual voice.

VISUAL PRACTICE TRACK

WINTER 2019

Memory Frames: Visual Analysis of Photography and Film

Oksana Sarkisova (Blinken OSA and VSP) and Renata Uitz (Legal Studies Department) with Jeremy Braverman (CEU Library, VSP), Jessie Labov (CMDS), and guest faculty

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.

B / Elective Courses in theory and practice tracks

FALL 2018

FUNDAMENTALS OF DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING
Jeremy Braverman, 2 credits, Nationalism Studies, open cross-university

The course provides students a grounding in the craft of video production, and the creation of moving images, instructing them in basic skills that they can apply to projects and research in their respective disciplines, and beyond. These skills cover all phases of the documentary production process, from idea development, through pre-production and preparation, cinematography, sound and editing.  Through learning to create moving images, in concert with formal analysis of documentary examples, students gain valuable, versatile skills, and gain literacy in this increasingly important mode of communication.
VISUAL PRACTICE TRACK

DOCUMENTARY FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
Kate Coyer and Jeremy Braverman, 4 credits, School of Public Policy

A documentary filmmaking course with an emphasis on creating advocacy documentaries, intended to influence societal opinion on a given issue. Many new forms of advocacy are incorporating video, mobile communications and social media. These enable enhanced engagement, mobilization and participation by concerned citizens -- both acting with formal NGOs and within formal structures, and increasingly in decentralized and ad-hoc networks. Aided by the spread in low-cost, high-quality technologies, video and moving image media are becoming increasingly ubiquitous and multi-form, and are playing an ever-increasing role in advocacy strategies.
VISUAL THEORY AND VISUAL PRACTICE TRACK

The Artist as an Agent of History. From Symbolic Politics to Visual Activism

Andras Edit, 4 credits, Department of History

SOUND STUDIES: LISTENING & CREATING BETWEEN THE MATERIAL, MEDIUM AND METAPHOR
Ian M. Cook and guest lecturers/instructors, 2 credits, School of Public Policy, open cross-university

The aim of this course is two-fold: firstly to interrogate some of the key debates in sound studies, secondly to acquaint students with some of the different skills needed to undertake research through a sonic lens. Touching on some of the most important moments in the development of the field, as well as contemporary debates, 9 of the 12 sessions will be used to help students situate their thinking within a body of scholarship that is seemingly in a constant state of emergence. The remaining 3 sessions (taking place once every 4 weeks) will involve practical learning and hands on engagement within and outside the university. It will push students to experiment with different ways of listening and researching – from soundwalks to podcasting to transduction. Students will develop public facing materials in these sessions, which may be published if of sufficient quality.

VISUAL PRACTICE TRACK

GEOSPATIAL HUMANITIES AND MAPPING TECHNOLOGIES
Viktor Lagutov, 2 credits, Dept. of History and Cultural Heritage Studies)

Growing recognition of cross-disciplinary applicability and importance made Geographic Information Systems (GIS) a popular approach in historical studies. Until lately maps development and spatial analysis had been a prerogative of cartographers and, later, experts in specialized computer software (early GIS packages). However, latest advances in computer hardware and software have opened this area to other disciplines and allowed historians to enhance their own studies. The course reviews potential areas of GIS application to Historical Studies. The primary focus is at geospatial data visualization including internet data mining, datasets processing and maps development using different software packages.
VISUAL PRACTICE TRACK

MEDIA, COMMUNICATION AND COMMUNISM IN INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT
Marsha Siefert, Fall, 4 credits, Dept. of History

This course is a history of media in communist societies with particular attention to the modes and institutions of production, dissemination, and reception in an international context. The course begins with the premise that the mass media were central to the communist goals of political socialization and cultural enlightenment. A second premise is that understanding “everyday socialism” requires understanding how the media “works,” so special attention will be paid to concepts like propaganda, censorship and public opinion that figure prominently in interpreting the way in which communication takes place in communist societies. A third premise is that the media environment during this period was never isolated, but exported to, exchanged with and penetrated by “western” media; thus the international context of media reception and interpretation is part of the history.
VISUAL THEORY TRACK

WINTER 2018

HISTORICAL NARRATIVES AND THE MOVING IMAGE: THEORY AND PRACTICE
Oksana Sarkisova and Jeremy Braverman, 4 credits, Dept. of History

A filmmaking course for historians and those in related fields.  The course also surveys classical and experimental documentary films and discusses major issues in filmmaking relevant (primarily) for history students (and other humanities and social sciences students) interested in the mechanisms of constructing and challenging established visual historical narratives. The course meets 2 times a week, one of the sessions is a seminar which discusses theoretical aspects of filmmaking and film interpretation, the other meeting is a practical session in the media lab. The outcome of the course will be 3-5 minute short films on historical themes created by groups of students, accompanied by short research papers reflecting on the subject and the interpretative position of the filmmaker/researcher. VISUAL THEORY AND VISUAL PRACTICE TRACK

MINING HISTORY: DIGITAL PRACTICES IN HUMANITIES RESEARCH
Marcell Sebők with Jessie Labov and Tamás Kiss, 2 credits, Medieval Studies Department

The course aims at introducing students to the basic debates and methodologies of the digital humanities (DH), and to think through how these approaches and methods might best be applied in their respective (historical or other humanities) projects and disciplines. After tracing how this interdisciplinary field has developed and some of its challenges and limitations, four of the main methodologies featured in DH will be discussed: text analysis, network analysis, mapping, and topic modeling. During these weeks of exploring the various approaches, students will also be working in groups, experimenting with their own datasets and areas of research. By the end of the course, each group will present and submit a DH research or project proposal, incorporating at least one methodology with a selected discipline and area of research.
VISUAL PRACTICE TRACK

BUILDING NARRATIVES: SELF-EXPRESSION THROUGH LITERATURE, ART AND PERFORMANCE

Sanjay Kumar and Adam Bethlenfavy, 2 credits, Dept. of History

Narrative is a basic human strategy for coming to terms with fundamental elements of our experience, such as time, process, and change, and thus this a study of the distinctive nature of narrative and its various structures, elements, uses, and effects would help us in understanding the nature of identities. This course will provide a variety of critical lenses for considering the relationships between culture and narrative, focusing on the themes of nationhood, memory, intangible cultural heritage, gender and self-identity from multiple historical, literary and cultural backgrounds. Drawing on a selection of narratives ranging from literature, theatre, cinema, popular culture and performances from everyday life in the city-as the urban is often the most representative space for constructing and imagining new narratives of selfhood, we will consider the relevance of stories and storytelling to our daily lives, how our narratives shape the roles we play in society, and the various conventions of identity and otherness that they reinforce or undermine.
VISUAL THEORY TRACK

feminist biopolitics and cultural practice

Hyaesin Yoon, 4 credits, Department of Gender Studies

What do memorial displays for those who died from AIDS tell us about public mourning as a political measure of the (disavowed) sexuality? How might performances of dancers and other artists with disabilities challenge the normative perception of gendered and racialized desire/desirability? How do artistic and scientific rendering of “life” reanimate certain mode of life? How do corporeal enmeshment among human and other bodies (such as fish, hormones, chemicals) refigure our understanding of sexual and reproductive bodies? This course examines how the biopolitical operations im/materialize through various forms of cultural practice – especially at the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, species, and disability. For the purpose, this course enters the conversation between feminist and queer theories and the theories of biopolitics, which traditionally concern the relevance of the biological life/death (and what exceeds such dichotomous conceptualization) to the realms of the political. We will pay particular attention to the entwinement between the biological, technological, and cultural as an important constituent of biopolitics, as most dramatically shown in – but not limited to – the emergence of bioarts and biomedia. From this perspective, the course explores a number of sites of cultural practice including performance, eating (and starving), tattoo, biometrics, prosthetics, reproductive technology, and graphic medicine as sites of feminist criticisms and creative interventions.
VISUAL THEORY TRACK

MEDIA POLICY IN THE MAKING
Marius Dragomir, Eva Bognar, 2 credits, School of Public Policy

This course is an introduction to the process of policymaking in the media. It consists of an introductory part: a short overview of the policymaking process in the field of media: it will identify the key actors that shape this process, their competences, power and influence and the impact their decisions have on media systems in general, and media organizations in particular. The course also aims to describe and problematize the tensions and conflicts that shape media policies, such as: public versus private interests, international versus national interests, and commercial versus social interests; and the impact of media-related policies on media organizations, on journalism, and ultimately, on society. In the second part of the course students will be invited to work on concrete problems and solutions related to media policy with input from various members of the CMDS.
VISUAL THEORY TRACK


SPRING 2018

SKILLS FOR IMPACT: DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING
Jeremy Braverman, 6-week course, 2 credit hours, School of Public Policy

An introductory documentary production course designed to fit the interests and needs of SFI students.  The successful execution of a documentary film requires intensive planning, organization and collaboration, and the course develops these skills which are essential to the SFI modules, along with providing students with a grounding in the craft of video production, and the creation of moving images, instructing them in basic skills that they can apply to their coursework and research, and beyond, in their careers.  These skills cover the primary phases of the video production process, including pre-production, cinematography, sound and editing.
VISUAL PRACTICE TRACK

Practice-based research

Didem Pekun, 2 credits, Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology

The course acquaints students with the principles of artistic research and is designed to expand on participants’ study by way of producing knowledge via visuality. If artistic research is – whether in its silent or verbal, declarative or procedural, implicit or explicit form – is sensual and physical, “embodied knowledge”, then the knowledge that artistic research strives for, is a felt knowledge (Klein, 2011). The course thus aims to expand on this notion and finds modes of expressions that are ‘felt’ knowledge and complementary to the written components of students’ academic research. Students will explore the different concerns of various artists, and consider their particular relationships to performance, sound, surveillance, social practice, and the politics of aesthetics. The practice component of the course is designed to understand, analyze, and confront in practice various aspects of art’s relation to social research. To this end, the course employs various modes encompassing blogs, photography projects, filmmaking as well as visual presentations of the research projects at hand.

VISUAL PRACTICE TRACK