Overview: This proposal aims to furnish students participating in the 2005 Art History Foreign Study Program with the opportunity to study Roman art and architecture in a manner that heightens their visual awareness of the objects they examine, while simultaneously prompting them to reflect critically on the manner in which they present the results of their examinations. Digital video as a medium can help me achieve these pedagogic goals.
Working in groups, students will produce short videos addressing major monuments and/or themes. Their projects will require that they pursue supervised research on the subject at hand, plan out their campaign of ‘filming’ in concert with the development of a voice-over, and then edit their work into a short video for presentation to the entire class. This form of directed research matches the study of visual culture with a medium that emphasizes visual attentiveness. For in planning out their camera angles and sequences, and in contending with the vagaries of weather and light, students confront fundamental issues at stake in all interpretation of visual materials. Demanding that students spend time on-site, grappling with the physical circumstances and context of the object they are examining, they are compelled to ponder the contingent and diachronic nature of spectatorship. What is more, in grafting their own explanatory texts onto a visual stream, students are made acutely aware of the dynamic relation between word and image.