"Techniques of the Observer"

a qwriting.qc.cuny.edu blog

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Unsure of what to address in your first blog? Here are a couple of ideas…

February 6th, 2011 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Your blog posts for this seminar may deal with any issue that appears in the readings for the upcoming session (and may make connections between those texts–or images–and previous ones from earlier in the semester). The best blogs will quote sparingly but will have a lot to say about the phrases and sentences that are quoted (usually by showing why such an excerpt is relevant to a class conversation, image, or aspect of another text–either primary or secondary). Please consult the grading system for the blogs listed on the syllabus for more details. There is no specific word count for blogs, though it is unlikely that you can accomplish what is necessary for the full four points in a single paragraph. Please try your best to have your blog post up on your blog by this Tuesday at noon (the same will go for future posts–by noon on the day they are due, if not before…).

Once you have done the reading, if you are unsure of how to start your post, here are a few questions that will get you thinking:

1. Look back to Turner’s paintings (see the online archives under the “Images” page or the PowerPoint presentation from last class).  If “modernization,” according to Jonathan Crary, “entail[s] a decoding and deterritorialization of vision,” explain why Turner’s images might be called “modern” paintings (“Modernizing Vision” 42). 

2. Try to describe what you understand about what Crary calls the “camera obscura” model of vision. Then, consider how Emerson writes about vision (choose a couple of short quotations as evidence). Can you discuss the kind of “model” he seems to be following when he thinks about the eye, hiw it works, and the way people see?

3. When you read Crary’s description of his approach or “method” of visual cultural analysis (“Modernizing Vision,” 45-49), what aspects of his approach do you recognize from the discussions of visual culture in chapters 2 and 3 of The Nineteenth Century Visual Culture Reader?

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