CES Summer School

Visualities and Counter-visualities

June 20 to 24, 2022

CES | Alta & Casa da Escrita (Coimbra)


Image: Fernando Aguiar | "Contratexto, ou antirromance com 14 personagens" (2008)

The widening of the scope of the Humanities made possible by Cultural Studies allowed for the understanding that power is not only lodged in textual objects and the image emerged, in the last decades, with special relevance as a codified and codifying object of ideologies and social practices which it is urgent to analyse, understand and explain. Visual studies are one of the branches of Cultural Studies and this CES-SS aims at the transmission of knowledge produced by CES researchers, from other units of the University of Coimbra and other institutions, who develop research in this field, to post-graduate students and young researchers. Its goal is to develop an articulated theoretical reflection and critical analysis of phenomena associated with visual objects and practices, as well as the very concept of the visual.

We understand that the prevalence of the image in contemporary societies has not been accompanied by the development of instruments of critical analysis capable of creating a fair and balanced dynamic between the image and the observer and facilitating decoding. The first step towards a critical apprehension of the panoply of visual artefacts that surround us is the perception of the type of relationship they establish with the dominant discourses and the truths in force, forming visual regimes. The normalization of certain images tends to dilute aspects of authenticity and falsity or of participation and exclusion, demanding a sustained critical reflection on symbolic representations of values, beliefs and practices in contemporary culture. On the other hand, this is a form of representation that may anchor in different media, from the mass media to the public and private space, using different forms of interpellation.

The aim is thus to interrogate and analyse the role of visual and artistic media in the construction of misperceptions, prejudices, distortions and invisibilisation, alongside representations of alterity and the detection and redress of injustices and inequalities in the socio-cultural field. Therefore, counter-cultural and counter-hegemonic forms of artistic expression will be scrutinised, with a predominance of grammars of the visual that have been projected over time until the present day. Questions related to multiliteracies - visual, digital and aesthetic literacy -, to multimodality and to pedagogy through arts, namely visual arts, raised by the prevalence of image and performative spectacularity in contemporary societies, will also be addressed.  

Coordination: Patrícia Silva (CES Researcher) and Maria José Canelo (CES researcher and professor at FLUC)

Partnerships: Doctoral Programmes “Discourses: Culture, History and Society” (CES-FLUC) and Materialities of Literature (FLUC), Masters in Creative Writing (FLUC), Municipality of Coimbra (Casa da Escrita)

Teaching Staff
Ana Bela Almeida (Universidade de Liverpool, UK)
Ana Gago (d1g1t0_indivíduo colectivo; CITAR, Escola das Artes, Universidade Católica Portuguesa)
Diana Andringa (CES)
Diogo Marques (d1g1t0_indivíduo colectivo; MATLIT LAB, UC; IELT, NOVAFCSH)
Fernando Aguiar (artista plástico, poeta e performer; Menção Especial Fondazione Bonotto do prestigiado Prémio Literário Bernard Heidsieck-Centro Pompidou 2021)
Gaia Giuliani (CES)
Graça Capinha (CES e FLUC)
Júlia Garraio(CES)
Manuel Portela (FLUC)
Maria José Canelo (CES e FLUC)
Patrícia Silva (CES)
Sofia José Santos (CES)
Susana Araújo (FLUC)
Tania Martuscelli (Universidade do Colorado, Boulder, USA)

School format
- Guest lectures by invited academics and artists;
- Roundtables with invited academics and artists;
- Seminars or webinars hosted by trainers;
- Presentation and discussion of works by contemporary visual artists;
- Visits to local cultural institutions and other cultural events;
- Exploration workshops based on case studies and concrete methods
- Workshops for the presentation of works by the participants and discussion among peers and with trainers and coordinators


Programme [DOWNLOAD]

€ - regular || 80€ - discount for students of the doctoral programmes Discourses: Culture, History and Society (CES-FLUC) and Materialities of Literature (FLUC), of the MA programmes in Creative Writing and in Studies in Culture, Literature and Modern Languages (FLUC)

The school coordinators may require further elements at a later stage of the application, for selection purposes.