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lecture notes 10

Course Code
Kenneth Derry

of 3
Lecture 10, Visual culture, June 09
Opening questions
Give three examples of Indigenous art or architecture that demonstrate the idea that
“what you see is not what you get.”
→ Malagon - death rituals (sculpture), Navajo – sand painting (washed), clothes, baskets, totem
poles, shrines, etc they all have whole other meaning to what you see.
Using three examples show how elements of visual culture relate to the “religious belief” of the lion
→ Be who you are meant to be, everyone has a role to play...
→ Mark on simba forehead – show special role.
→ Drawing made of simba and than erase cuz evil uncle thinks simba is dead.
→ When realize simba is alive he put circle around the picture.
→ Clothes of the two lions, one is darker colored and one is not.
→ Last image of healthy green when right people are ruling it.
→ Flame – environment and hell..
*left over notes for text
• Oral traditions
• Transmission of ideas, values, identity, etc.
• Context and meaning- meaning can shift over time
• Tradition / change
• Ownership
• Language
• Chaos and order
• Creation stories
• Trickster stories
• Stories!!
• Authorship + meaning:
→Importance to practitioners
→Multiple authors (+ editors)
Circle of Life
It's the Circle of Life And it moves us all Through despair and hopeThrough faith and love
Till we find our place On the path unwinding In the Circle
The Circle of Life→Hakuna Matata
→ (“Where the Girls Aren’t”)
Text: The Lion King
• Songs and other texts support religious message
• “Circle of Life” is affirmed over “Hakuna Matata”
• Suppression of women, and those who do
not fit into the system (who are “weird”)
Today’s Song
• “This is the Picture (Excellent Birds)” by Peter Gabriel, with Laurie Anderson
(1986)Visual Culture
• “Field of vision”
→ Image itself
→ Relation b/t FORM and CONTENT
→ Creator(s)
→Discourse (title, explanation, responses)
Visual Culture
• “Field of vision”
→ Historical context
→ Identity of viewers
→Cultural context (of everything!)
→Institutional context
Visual Culture
• Exclusion from study of religion
• Power of images
→ Visual learners
→Islam: Qur’an, hadiths
→ Judaism, Christianity: 10 commandments]
• “You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in
heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
You shall not bow down to them or worship them.” (Exodus 20:4-5)
Indigenous Traditions
• What you see = what you get
→ Malagan death rituals (sculptures),Navajo sand paintings
→ Cloth, baskets, totem poles, shrines, hogans
• Connection to rituals and stories
• Context! (e.g., cloth colours)The Lion King
• Religious belief:
→ Be who you were meant to be
→Everyone has a role
• Meaningful art / architecture
Visual Culture: The lion king
• Images support religious message
→When roles are not followed, hell breaks loose
→Rulers indicated by gender and symbols of power
• Issues of race and gender
Lecture 11 last class on Contemporary Religion, June 14 2011
Contemporary Religion
• Local and global levels
→ Economics, (post-)colonialism, nationalism, etc.
*going to Church, mosques etc.
*religion is what people do
• Modern trends with old connections
→Paganism, spirituality, etc.
• “Non-religious” cultural products
→Film, literature, music, art, TV, etc.
Contemporary Religion
• What is “religion”?
*its what people do and it’s a practice and a certain way of acting
→Going to church / temple / mosque / etc.?
→No “essence”
→ Why do we look to the past? (misplaced sense of authenticity)
→Religions CHANGE
→ Connection to CULTURE
Contemporary Religion
• Indigenous cultures
• Reclaim identity, rights, land, religions, etc.
• Some “return” to traditions, mix old with new
→ Maori: full moko on women
→ Yoruba: Ogun (god of war) connected to welders, car mechanics, and chauffers
→Painting, literature, film Syracuse ChiefsContemporary Religion
• Popular culture:
→References to “religions”
→ Connections to “religion”
• The Big Bang Theory:
→ “Religions”: Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism
→ “Religion”: Sacred rituals, beliefs, texts,
meaning, etc.
*final exam info is on the sildes
Its much more clearer there so I didn’t type it. I hope you find my notes help full, I did
my best to type them up asap.