A concentration in Visual Studies acknowledges the profound impact of visual texts in the past and the present around the globe.
This concentration allows students to approach Visual Studies both creatively and critically. A student in this concentration will have the freedom to explore a full range of visual expression, from painting and sculpture through photography, graphics, film, and digital video. A student may give her or his attention to visual texts’ aesthetics, politics, technological production and reproduction, psychological and/or verbal associations, or their commodification, to name a few directions. In every case the student of Visual Studies will be expected to respond to visual texts by locating them within cultural and social values.
The Visual Studies concentration can be approached with a primary focus on either the production of visual texts in studio/practice or on their history and theory. Regardless of the student’s choice of track, the concentration requires classroom exposure to both critical and creative experiences. Students in their first and second year who are intending to moderate into the production track are urged to take foundation level 2-D, 3-D, and lens-based courses, as their schedules and requirements permit.
At moderation students will be expected to select a track within Visual Studies. The minimum number of courses at each level that are required are:
Thus the concentration requires a minimum of 26 credits (including the 6 credits in foundation/survey level courses).
The senior thesis topic must be within the student’s concentration or at least in one of the student’s concentrations.
In order to contextualize the field of Visual Studies within the methodologies of history and theory, students are invited to select courses from a wide range of courses that analyze the history of specific visual texts or theoretical courses that address visual texts often alongside other kinds of texts.
NOTE: Simon’s Rock offers courses that blend the study of theory and practice of visual texts. The faculty who teach them will determine whether their courses are primarily practical or historical/theoretical or whether they indeed can be applied to fulfilling the requirement for either track.