ARTH1912: Truth and Lies: Comparing Theories of the Image

3 CreditsFreshman SeminarGlobal PerspectivesIntellectual CommunityOral Communication & Languages

What is an image? Is it what you see, or what your mind makes of it? Can an image be felt? Or heard? How is it that images produce emotions in their viewers such as fear, pity, or pleasure? If "seeing is believing" and "the camera never lies," why do some images appear truthful, while others are suspect? How do images make meaning, and how do we learn to read them? Is there a relationship between reading text and reading an image? Does reality exist prior to its representation, or is it constituted through representation?This course will examine these questions comparatively in Western and South Asian aesthetic and philosophical traditions, from Plato's "Republic" to Bharata's "Natyasastra." We will study diverse media, from painting to photography to narrative fiction, and consider how the medium of representation relates to different forms of copying, imitation, and the production of knowledge. This course will equip students not only to theorize images of the past, but to read and interpret images that we interact with in nearly every moment of our daily lives.

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All Instructors

A- Average (3.815)Most Common: A (61%)

This total also includes data from semesters with unknown instructors.

18 students
  • 3.50


  • 4.33


  • 4.00



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