2017-18
Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog

Visual Studies (VS)

Art

202 Center for the Arts
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-6010
Ph: 716-645-6878
F: 716-645-6970
W: www.art.buffalo.edu

The Learning Environment

Visual Studies courses takes place in lecture halls and small seminar rooms, in on-campus museums and galleries and in the museums and the rich architectural landscape of Buffalo. Introductory-level lectures train students in techniques of visual decoding. Subsequent classes mix lectures with engaged student discussion and participation. Advanced students participate in a capstone course for seniors and have the option to take seminars and work closely with professors.

About Our Facilities

In addition to a variety of classrooms, Visual Studies courses have access to multiple on-campus galleries that provide a continuous stream of exhibitions of historical and contemporary art and offer an array of internship opportunities for students.

About Our Faculty

Our faculty is concentrated in the modern and contemporary period, and we are also strong in ancient art and the relationship between art and political activism. Our faculty are specialists in theory, early 20th-century European art, performance and post war American art — all examined with careful attention to questions of gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity.

The highly ranked Department of Art faculty and staff consist of professionally and internationally active artists, scholars and technicians who make available a diverse range of discourse and expertise. A partial list of the fellowships secured by our faculty suggests its strength: Guggenheim Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Warhol Foundation, Terra Foundation, Smithsonian, Fulbright Fellowship, National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Capital Foundation, American Association of University Women, American Academy in Berlin, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, the Corporation of Yaddo, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Chalmers Arts Fellowship. Teaching staff in the Department of Art include approximately 21 teaching assistants and 10 adjunct instructors annually.

Faculty List Directory

Please visit the Department of Art website for additional information about our faculty.

VS Courses


  • VS 109LEC Introduction to Sexuality Studies
    Lecture

    What is sexuality? How is sex related to gender? Are sexuality and gender `natural? expressions or ones created by culture? This class will explore these questions and more. While we tend to think of men/women and homosexuality/heterosexuality as opposites, the reality is far more nuanced: a spectrum of genders and sexualities, rather than two opposing poles, which reflects a variety of cultural and historically specific meanings. This course will introduce students to a survey of those meanings (and the labels we attach to them), and to the social, cultural, religious, and legal practices that affect how they are created, understood, and policed. Beginning with the historical emergence of sexuality, we will examine the creation of the hetero/homo binary and the associated hierarchization based on sexual identity that results from the creation of these categories. We will examine the history and practices of the gay and lesbian liberation movements, the push for equality, and the impact of the AIDS crisis. Finally, students will apply the vocabulary and critical skills they have learned to an analysis of the expressions of sexuality in popular culture including literature, music, television and film.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Varies
  • VS 150LEC Visual Theory, Aesthetics, and Criticism
    Lecture

    Introduces and explores visual, aesthetic, and critical theory, and the social and cultural dynamics that inform and influence contemporary art making. Required for first-year B.F.A. and B.A. Art Program majors. Lab fee. LEC/REC

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Fall
  • VS 200LEC Department of Art Speakers Series
    Lecture

    The Department of Art Speakers Series is comprised of lectures by visual arts professionals practicing in the fields of visual art, design, multi-media, cultural theory, and criticism. Exposes students to a wide range of viewpoints, art practice, and contemporary theory. Speakers change each semester.

    Credits: 1
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Fall
  • VS 220LEC Topics in Visual Studies
    Lecture

    A course that explores different aspects of visual culture, which focuses on a different subject each semester that it is offered. Explores both the visual qualities and the critical analysis of a particular aspect of current and historical visual study.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Spring
  • VS 260LEC Visual Theory, Aesthetics and Criticism 2
    Lecture

    Examines visual theory, aesthetic philosophy, and critical theory and their application to and effects on visual art of the 20th and 21st centuries. Provides a broad grounding in both Modern and Postmodern thought based upon a carefully considered exposure to a set of representative primary texts. Lab fee.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Spring
  • VS 300LEC Topics in Visual Studies
    Lecture

    A course that explores different aspects of visual culture, which focuses on a different subject each semester that it is offered. Explores both the visual qualities and the critical analysis of a particular aspect of current and historical visual study.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Fall
  • VS 375LEC Science, Culture, and Emerging Media
    Lecture

    Introduces critical issues in science, culture, and emerging media-especially as they pertain to contemporary artistic practice. Topics are addressed through artists' works; selected readings include historical trends, biotechnology, virtuality, net theory, and cultural resistance. Lab fee.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Fall
  • VS 400SEM Topics in Visual Studies
    Seminar

    A course that explores different aspects of visual culture, which focuses on a different subject each semester that it is offered. Explores both the visual qualities and the critical analysis of a particular aspect of current and historical visual study.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
  • VS 415LAB Special Topics
    Laboratory

    Topics vary by semester.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
  • VS 425LAB Designed Play
    Laboratory

    Focuses on the changing role of "play" and its impact on contemporary cultural production. Investigates the following topics: how we currently define play - is it aimless, productive, meaningful; production of "play" and use of game-based models in consumer, educational and corporate culture; shifting boundaries between work and leisure. Integrates studio assignments with theoretical research and analysis from a broad range of platforms including: digital and non-digital gaming, virtual worlds, public space and situated technologies, interactive and environmental design.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Spring
  • VS 449SEM Topics in Contemporary Photography
    Seminar

    Combines lecture, readings, and class discussion in examining major issues in contemporary photography. Theoretical, critical, and historical topics vary each semester. Lab fee.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
  • VS 479SEM The Revolutionary Sublime
    Seminar

    An advanced undergraduate seminar. Investigates the visual art that arose from revolutionary tensions between theory and everyday life in key European and American political upheavals.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Spring
  • VS 480SEM Visual Culture Seminar: Discourse and Deconstruction
    Seminar

    Provides the student with a critical examination of how the medium of photography has been philosophically problematized by poststructuralist theory, focusing upon visual culture and visual art. Lectures and directed reading provide the basis for discussion.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
  • VS 487SEM Visual Culture Seminar: Vision, Space, and Power
    Seminar

    Students consider the issues surrounding how we visually conceptualize both space and gender and how they are interrelated, focusing upon visual culture and visual art. Lectures and directed reading provide the basis for discussion.

    Credits: 3
    Grading: Graded (GRD)
    Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
Published: November 16, 2017 08:33:16 AM