Articulating Power:  text & image in the public sphere



Fall & Winter Quarters 2004


Course :              10765                 


Instructors :      Ellen Fernandez-Sacco,  Jeannette Garceau  

Office hours by appointment

SEM II C 3104  x5422

SEM II C 4104  x6017

50 students

Sophomore- Senior

No prerequisites

No signature

No internship possibility

(Local travel, No special expenses)


Program Description:


On a daily basis, we are inundated by thousands of images which bear messages that suggest, imply and construct the identity of the consumer.


More importantly, what effects do visual, sensorial and textual arguments have on our understanding of belonging? How are the relationship of the self, the citizen and populace to a particular nation or place conveyed? And how is this reflected in our understanding of 'democracy' in relationship to how we live, make our living, and participate in a democratic society? Does it get buried beneath the idea of consumption, rather than be realized as a capacity to invoke change? In this process, what visual and textual arguments are produced for what particular audiences, by whom, for what purpose, and to what effect? What role does technology play in conveying these arguments?


This two-quarter program will consider these relations of power through case studies drawn from readings, seminar, film studies, media and contemporary events. Through this process, we will gain a better understanding of power-- how it is produced, maintained and contested, and how the body (individual, political) is defined by power.


During the first quarter, students will complete a series of workshops on writing, computer workshops on web layout (In Design), I Movie and Photoshop. Writing assignments will be a means for processing various ideas, issues and modes of analysis covered in discussions, readings, and presentations. These components enable students in the program to build their skills and generate responses to current events using text and image.


Guest lecturers, a trip to Seattle to attend the Northwest Social Forum in October; TESC Lecture Series are also part of the program. While examining the work of specific artists, writers and activists, students in the winter quarter will apply the skills gained in the previous quarter to develop a final project.




Required Texts

Available in the TESC Bookstore



Nicholas Mirzoeff, ed. The Visual Culture Reader, Second Edition. Routledge,

            July 2002, ISBN 0-415-25222-9


Noam Chomsky, Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda.

The Open Media Pamphlet Series, Seven Stories Press, 1997 or 2002 edition

ISBN 1-888363-49-5


Arundhati Roy, An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire.  Cambridge, MA: South End Press,

2004. ISBN 089608727-1


Cornell West, Democracy Matters: winning the fight against imperialism.

             The Penguin Press, 2004. ISBN 1-59420-029-7


Thomas Paine, Common Sense.  Penguin Classics, (1776) 1986. 

ISBN 0-140-39016-2



Nato Thompson & Greg Sholette, The Interventionists: Users Manual for the Creative

Disruption of Everyday Life. MASS MoCA/ The MIT Press, 2004.

ISBN 0-262-20150-X [available from]




Program Schedule



1-4                SEM2 B1105  - All group meeting



10-12            Sem2 E2107  - Seminar [or Mac Computer lab - wks 3-7]

10-12            Sem2 E2109  - Seminar [or Mac Computer lab - wks 3-7]



10-12            Sem2 D1105 – Screenings – All group



10-12                      Sem2 E2107    Seminar [or Mac Computer lab - wks 3-7]         

10-12          Sem2 E2109    Seminar [or Mac Computer lab - wks 3-7]     

1-3              Sem2 A1105  -  All group meeting           




Students are expected to attend and participate in all class sessions. Missed classes are required to be made up by reading from recommended or related books and doing an

oral presentation in class. More than two missed classes will result in reduced or no credit.







Students are required to maintain a response journal to the assigned readings, which should be brought to all class and seminar meetings. This will become part of your portfolio (together with written & web based assignments) for the program.


Week 3

Paper due- 3 pp. on program themes and questions


Week 5

Paper due Monday- 6 pp. researched piece engaging a particular topic that are neither discussed in election coverage nor represented in the media.


Week 6

Paper due- Convert research paper into a commentary or opinion piece; your goal is to construct an argument that will persuade or move an audience. Condense to 2-3 pp.


Week 8

Paper due- Self-reflexive essay discussing your location


Weeks 9 & 10

Scheduled presentations of student project plans




Program Calendar for fall 2004 quarter

Please note: Readings for the week are to be completed prior to TuesdayÕs scheduled seminar meeting.


WEEK 1   September 27 -30

Terms of participation in a so-called democracy

Arundhati Roy, An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire

Noam Chomsky, Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda.

The Visual Culture Reader 

Henry Giroux, 'Public Time vs. Emergency Time: Politics, terrorism & the

culture of fear'  1-15 (handout)


Wednesday Screening:          Arundhati Roy, Instant Mix-Imperial Democracy  (2004)

Robert McChesney & Mark Crispin Miller, Rich Media,

Poor Democracy. [clip]





WEEK 2   October 4-7

Constructing & commodifying the citizen

Cornell West, Democracy Matters

Lynne Spiegel, Entertainment Wars, American Quarterly, June 2004, 235-270.

The Visual Culture Reader


Monday Screening:                The Ad & The Ego (1997) 56 min.

Wednesday Screening:          Network. Paddy Chayefsky, Sidney Lumet, Dir., (1976)

121 min.

Thursday, 10/9:                      Library research workshop with Caryn Cline



WEEK 3   October 11-14

Today & yesterday- persuading the public

**Paper due, 3-4 pages reflection on program themes

Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Arundhati Roy, An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire

Cornell West, Democracy Matters

The Visual Culture Reader


Tuesday or Thursday:            iMovie workshop – Mac Computing Classroom,

Library 4th Floor

Wednesday Screening:          Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying

& Love The Bomb. Stanley Kubrick, Dir. (1964) B/W 93 min.

Field Trip:                                Northwest Social Forum, Seattle [details t.b.a]



WEEK 4   October 18-21

Democratic participation & its manifestations

The Visual Culture Reader

Cornell West, Democracy Matters

Project Censored         

Followup on NW Social Forum, Seattle


Tuesday or Thursday:            Photoshop I workshop – Mac Computing Classroom,

Library 4th Floor

Wednesday screening:          Spectre of Hope -Sebastiao Salgado with John Berger.

 John Carlin, Director (2001) 52 min.



WEEK 5   October 25 – 28 - Midquarter Review

The body & power: violence & vicarious trauma

**Paper due

The Visual Culture Reader

Transculturation, 533-545

Leigh Raiford, The Consumption of Lynching Images, from Only Skin Deep:

Changing Conceptions of the American Self (2003) 267-274. (handout)

Susan Sontag, What have we done?' May 24, 2004; Guardian UK republished

by Common

Abigail Solomon GodeauÕs dispatches from the image wars Artforum on-line

Michel Foucault, from Discipline & Punish

John Berger, from About Looking


Tuesday or Thursday:            Photoshop II workshop – Mac Computing Classroom,

Library 4th Floor

Wednesday screening:          Stuart Hall, Media & Representation

            Carlos E. Cortes, Fall Guest Speaker Series, Racial

Identity, Media, Privilege & Multiculturalism.



WEEK 6   November 1-4

The more you watch, the less you know?

**Paper due

The Visual Culture Reader

Anne Elizabeth Moore, Live by Their Tools, Die by Their Tools: The Political

Limitations of Culture Jamming, Lip Magazine, No. 1, Summer 2004, 10-13. (handout)


Tuesday or Thursday:            inDesign I workshop – Mac Computing Classroom,

Library 4th Floor

Monday screening:                Manchurian Candidate - John Frankenheimer, Dir. (1962) B/W, 2 hr. 7 min.

Tuesday evening:                   Join program Lights, Camera, Election! to watch election night TV

coverage on multiple feeds.

Wednesday:                           Discussion of Election results



WEEK 7   November 8 – 11

Visual Colonialism

The Visual Culture Reader

 Part Three: Visual Colonialism/ Visual Transculture


Tuesday or Thursday:            inDesign II workshop – Mac Computing Classroom,

Library 4th Floor

Wednesday screening:          T.B.A.



WEEK 8   November 15 – 18

Visual Technologies & Necessary Engagements

**Paper due

The Visual Culture Reader

Cornell West, Democracy Matters

Jennifer Gonzalez, Morphologies: Race as a Visual Technology 

from Only Skin Deep, 379-393. (handout)


Wednesday screening:          Cornell West, Restoring Hope (2003)

Reverend Billy, The Church of Stop Shopping

Peace Revival

                                                James Luna, Take a Picture with a Real Indian



Thanksgiving Break November 22-28



WEEK 9- November 29 - December 2

Student Presentations

**Proposal due for Winter Quarter project



WEEK 10- December 13 - 17

Student Presentations -- Reviews & Evaluations

Finalizing Winter Quarter plans


On-line Resources

A selection of links to a variety of organizations that engage aspects of media & the public sphere

World Social Forum

Northwest Social Forum


Critical Art Ensemble

Los Cybrids

John Jota Leanos

Diane Ludin

James Luna

Linda Pollack

Greg Sholette

The Yes Men

Media & Reporting

Guardian Unlimited - Special Report: The United States of America,12271,759893,00.html

Covert Action Quarterly

Democracy Now

Disinfopedia: An encyclopedia of people, issues, news & groups shaping the public agenda

Disinfopedia’s List of Links

Disinfopedia: Propaganda Techniques

Notes from the Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion

Free Press: Media Reform
Beginner's Guide

Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (F.A.I.R.)

Media Info Center   

Media Channel  

The Center for Media Literacy

Eight Key Concepts to Media Literacy

Media Studies

Media Study

PR Watch: Center for Media & Democracy

University of Oregon: School of Education Media Literacy On-line project

University of Oregon: Media Literacy Review

Adbusters Media Foundation & Magazine

Culture and Communication

Critical Media Study

Critical and Cultural Studies: A Division of the National Communication Association

The Cultural Environment Movement

Cultural Studies and Critical Theory

Cultural Studies Listserv

Sarah Zupko's Cultural Studies Center

Voice of the Shuttle: Cultural Studies Page

Commercialism, Corporatization and Globalization

The Corporatization of Grassroots Media

Global Exchange

Hand to Brand Combat

The Nation
This article details the how conglomeratization has impacted the publishing industry.

The New Tyrants: Global Corporatization

No Logo


Institute for Women's Policy Research

Jean Kilbourne's Website
Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D. ( is internationally recognized for her pioneering work on alcohol and tobacco advertising and the image of women in advertising. She is featured in MEF videos Killing Us Softly 3, Deadly Persuasion, Slim Hopes, and Spin the Bottle. This website has information about her lecture schedule, links, resources, and more.

National Organization for Women (NOW)

ON THE ISSUES: The Progressive Women's Quarterly

Women-focused magazines and newsletters on the web

Women's Studies/Women's Issues Resource Sites

Children Now: Boys to Men: Messages About Masculinity

Men's Roles and Responsibilities in Ending Gender-Based Violence

Mentors in Violence Prevention Program

The National Organization of Men Against Sexism

Race & Ethnic Studies

The African-American WebRing Collaboration

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

Asian American Feminists

Anti-Racism Website Links

Black Cultural Studies Web Site

Chicano/Latino Net

ERaM: Ethnicity, Racism and Media Discussion Forum


The Multiracial Activist

Recommended U.S. Latino Website

LGBT and Sexual Orientation Issues

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): Lesbian and Gay Rights

The Family Diversity Project

GLAAD: Fair, Accurate, and Inclusive Representation

Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN)

The Human Rights Campaign

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Queer Resource Directory

Diversity and Social Justice

The McGraw-Hill Multicultural Supersite

Multicultural Pavilion: Resources and Dialogues for Educators, Students and Activists

Youth Development and Youth Activism

Media Literacy Review: Directory of Media Production Programs for Youth

Academy for Educational Development (AED)

WireTap: the Magazine

Violence Prevention Links and Resources

Youth Violence: A Report from the Surgeon General

The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV)

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Made by Ellen Fernandez-Sacco