British Columbia Institute of

Important Notice: COVID-19 Institute response


LIBS 7026 - History of Visual Culture

Liberal Studies Part-time Studies Course

School of Computing and Academic Studies

BCIT is planning for a substantial return to on-campus activity for the fall 2021 term as informed by BC Public Health Officer guidelines. Refer to each course listing for details.

Course Details

Students will consider influential theoretical perspectives on visual culture and will themselves connect ideas and objects from the past or distant societies to those in the present. Students will evaluate how features of artworks and objects inform important social, ethical, environmental, economic, religious, and philosophical themes, and are informed by them. Themes to be explored may include: the rise of the individual in society, including issues of gender and class; the status of nature and the cosmos in a human-made environment; tensions between the secular and the sacred, reason and passion; teleological and cyclical theories of time; influence of technology and science on aesthetics and the built environment; conflicting schemes of justice and political organization. Visual culture in the ancient and medieval periods, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, the Modernist and post-Modernist periods may be considered.


BCIT ENGL 1177, or 6 credits BCIT Communication at 1100-level or above, or 3 credits of a university/college first-year social science or humanities course.



This course isn't currently offered through BCIT Part-time Studies. Please check back next term or subscribe to receive email updates.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:

  • Identify and explain the significance of representative ideas of several influential historical periods, as they are expressed in physical objects.
  • Analyze and articulate the origin and development of significant ideas of Western culture.
  • Analyze the form and function of specific artworks, structures, and objects.
  • Connect objects to the human values they express, as well as to their function in the physical world.
  • Compare examples of visual culture from different historical periods and geographic locations.

Effective as of Spring/Summer 2016


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