Hum/VC 51

Icons and Iconoclasm

9 units (3-0-6)    |  second term

How does something - an image, a person, a thing, an idea - become iconic? Drawing from the worlds of art and film, advertising and PR, science and technology, politics and propaganda, this course explores what makes certain people, places, and things "icons." To do so, we will first deploy a range of methods for closely analyzing images as signs and symbols, including the practice art historians term "iconology." We will then examine histories of how objects have circulated through culture - from newspapers and magazines to postcards, jpegs, and memes - and thereby become ubiquitous features of everyday experience. Finally, we will consider iconoclasm, the destruction of icons, and the beliefs and logics behind powerful interdictions against visual representation. Students will leave the course with a stronger understanding of image power as well as foundational tools of visual and media literacy. Not offered 2022-23.

Instructor: Jacobson

Please Note

The online version of the Caltech Catalog is provided as a convenience; however, the printed version is the only authoritative source of information about course offerings, option requirements, graduation requirements, and other important topics.