nl en

Visual culture


Compulsory attendance


Admission requirements

World Archaeology 2 and World Archaeology 3 obtained.


Visual culture and its contextualisation will be treated from different methodological and theoretical viewpoints. During the first part (block III) examples in class will be Ancient Greek remains, while the second part (block IV) will focus on Mesoamerica.
The different approaches and respective conclusions for this specific culture will be compared to what was developed in other cultures and historical settings.
Consequently the course will present students not only with current interpretations of Classical and Mesoamerican archaeologies but also open up the possibility to apply the analytical apparatus and theoretical perspectives to other regions.

Course objectives

  • Practise how to undertake a formal analysis of visual culture;

  • Applying different theoretical and methodological approaches to archaeological sources in order to gain insights into various cultural structures and developments (e.g. political, social, economic).

Ects distribution

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 14 hours of lectures;

  • 2,000 words of written homework;

  • 1,500-1,800 words (essay);

  • 140 pages of literature.


Course schedule details can be found in the bachelor 2 time schedule.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures;

  • Active participation.

Assessment method

Block III (Ancient Greece): 4 weekly articles (500 words);
Block IV (Mesoamerica): weekly short written assignments, in the end useful to build a final essay paper.

Assessment deadline

Block IV: the final essay is to be handed in 3 weeks after the last class.

Reading list

  • E. Panofsky, “Iconography and Iconology: An introduction to the Study of Renaissance Art” (Chapter 1) (1955) in: Meaning of the Visual Art. New York: Doubleday Anchor Books. pp. 26-54;

  • U. Eco, Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language (Introduction and Chapter 1). Bloomington: Indiana University Press (First Midland book edition) (1986), pp. 1-46;

  • A. Gell, Art and Agency. An Anthropological Theory. Oxford: Clarendon Press (1998). pp. 12-27.


Register for this course via uSis.
Instructions for registration in uSis can be found in the uSis manual.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

For more information about this course, please contact mw prof. dr N. Sojc or mw A. Rojas Martinez Gracida MA.