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Graduate Destinations

The Institute will enhance an interdisciplinary integration of photography studies, film studies, history of art, visual sociology and technology studies. We will explore the mutual influences among modern visual culture, cultural history, and social history. In terms of methodology, we will combine the approaches of the aforementioned studies, and draw interdisciplinary support from cultural theory, critical theory, gender study, globalization study, postcolonial study, new media study, historical research, etc. By integrating these approaches, we aim to establish the specific connection between visual theories and visual culture practices, while interpreting and criticizing the formal beauty, historical significances, and social practices of Europe/America and Taiwanese/Chinese visual cultures.

Under the general direction of interdisciplinary integration, our institute has three major foci: “modern visual art,” “modern visual culture and society,” and “modern visual culture and technology”:
(1) Modern visual art:
This focus aims to explore the formal beauty, cultural significances, and historical meanings of modern Europe/America and Taiwanese/Chinese visual arts since the 17th century. In addition to discussing the stylistic history of visual arts such as painting, sculpture, photography, film, fashion, and multi-media, we will investigate the individual, regional, and epochal cultures and ideas involved in the creation, dissemination, display, and reception of visual artifacts by combing approaches of iconology, semiotics, psychoanalysis, and reception theory with cultural theory, cultural-intellectual history, and globalization study. We will analyze the mutual influences among visual art history, cultural history, and intellectual history to interpret the cultural meanings of visual arts. Because the development of Taiwan’s visual art is now under the impact of globalization, this development will also attempt to discuss the position of Taiwanese/Chinese visual art within the international realm of European and US visual arts, so as to cultivate our students’ research and critical horizons of visual art in the trend of globalization. Because the development of Taiwan’s visual arts is recently under the impact of globalization, his concentration will also attempt to discuss the position of Taiwanese/Chinese visual art within the international realm of European and American visual arts, so as to cultivate our students’ critical perspectives and of visual arts in the trend of globalization.
(2) Modern visual culture and society:
This focus will discuss the developments of modern European/American and Taiwanese/Chinese visual cultures from the perspectives of social history and sociology. We will interpret the historical and social processes of the production, dissemination, display, consumption of visual cultures through the notion that visual cultures and society shape each other. We are especially interested in exploring issues of identities in modern visual cultures, such as nationality, gender, class, and sexual orientations, and so on. To investigate issues of identities in visual cultures, we will employ theories of the politics of difference, such as socialism, feminism, critical theory, postcolonial discourse, and gender study. We will also apply the discussions of “gaze” and “spectacle” from Jacques Lacan’s theory to film theory, and the discussions of social surveillance from Michel Foucault’s concept of “panopticon” to “scopic regimes.”
(3) Modern visual culture and technology:
This focus is to explore the development of visual technologies from modern to contemporary periods, that is, from camera obscura in the 17th century to the technologies of printing, photography, film, television, new media, and all types of bio-medical visual technologies. We will study the cultural and social histories of these visual technologies to discuss how different visual technologies interacted with culture and society in the modern world, creating the changes of human sensual experiences and influencing the development of culture and society. In particular, we will develop two major issues in our research and teaching: 1) we will actively seek collaboration with Yang Ming Chiao Tung University’s bio-medical research specializations to cultivate studies of medial visual cultures and visual cognition technologies; 2) we will practically provide our students with trainings of basic skills for their future careers, such as visual communications, administrations, and managements.