240G - 001 | CCN: 20359

Rhetorical Theory

Image, Music, Text

Instructor: Trinh T. Minh-ha,

4 Units

Taking examples from film, video, and the visual arts with writings by poets, cultural critics and philosophers, the course will focus on “voice” as an activity by which the text’s social, ethic and esthetic positioning is conveyed to the viewer. It will explore the intervals between saying and seeing, speaking and hearing, or between language and image, sense and sound. Of importance, for example, is the compass of the voice and the way its presence and absence physically and conceptually structures the filmic space. Attention will thus be given to practices that question the conventions by which image, music and verbal text are constituted as a homogenous whole (the many-as-one fiction), and that challenge the perpetration of relations of subordination between plastic representation and linguistic reference—or, the tendency to fold the space of verbal language over that of visual language (and vice-versa) and hence to reduce them to the functions of illustrating, explaining and duplicating.