Janis Breckenridge, Coordinator (Spanish); Tarik Elseewi (Film and Media Studies); Matt Reynolds (Art History & Visual Cultural Studies); Libby Miller (General Studies); and Andrew Culp (Rhetoric Studies).  
Visual Literacies      Report - Breckenridge Workshop
Description: This collective enquiry explores a range of multidisciplinary, rhetorical and aesthetic approaches to visual literacy, with an emphasis on critical analysis of graphic novels, photography, paintings and film. The workshop opens by studying generalized critiques of modes of perceptions (Sousanis, selections from the Visual Cultures Reader) and affect theory (Berlant). We then undertake sustained engagement with prominent philosophical and theoretical approximations to political, social and cultural dimensions of visual media especially in times of crisis such as warfare, political upheaval and major cultural shifts (Crary, Ranciere, Virilio, Butler).

Participants in this workshop include five faculty members representing four academic departments (Spanish, Film & Media Studies, Art History and Rhetoric Studies). Five meetings will be led in turn by each member of the group, who will introduce and then foster discussion of their selected text. A sixth and final session will take the form of a roundtable in which supplemental readings will foster reflections on our collaborative cross-disciplinary workshop as well as the deliberate exploration of points of intersection between our individual teaching and research endeavors.

The goals of this faculty workshop include exploring diverse trends in the vast field of visual literacy through close analysis of leading schools of thought, major critical voices and contemporary approaches to visual studies. Motivated by the desire to more fully and competently incorporate visual literacy into my Spanish literature courses (and specifically to inform the creation of a visual literacy seminar to be offered in fall 2015, Memorias visuales/Visual Memories), weekly discussions will highlight methods of applying material under study to the classroom setting. Additionally, we will explore ways to integrate our respective areas of expertise across campus following the workshop such as participation in each others' classrooms, the possibility of team-taught courses, and collectively inviting scholars or artists to campus.