Focusing on issues and modes of literacy and visual/textual analysis, this course helps students to develop the tools necessary for reflective and engaged looking, reading, thinking, and writing about art, media, design, and text. Analysis of both visual images/objects and texts from a variety of historical periods, from ancient antiquity to the 15th century, will be emphasized through shared case studies (from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe), keywords, and themes. Throughout, an integrated approach to the humanities will be prioritized, involving the development of critical thinking, writing skills, and class participation and engagement. Combining weekly lectures and smaller breakout seminar sessions for art, design and media, students will be exposed to the specificities of a Humanities curriculum (drawing from Art Media + Design History, Visual Culture, English, Composition and Rhetoric, and Cultural and Media Studies), and to the conceptual and practical skills necessary for further courses in Critical + Cultural Studies. Art from the past and present will be grounded in a broader context, with emphasis placed on processes of perception and the cultural meaning of images and objects. The point is to interrogate how representation, both through its production and reception, becomes politically activated, and to develop the critical and theoretical tools to begin to deconstruct and acknowledge this process.